5 things Kevin O’Connell needs to improve in his second season with the Vikings

(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) Kevin O'Connell
(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) Kevin O'Connell /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Kayla Wolf/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /

Playing all four quarters

One weak aspect of the Vikings, and one that was unfortunately consistent, was this team’s ability to disappear for a quarter or so. Minnesota often started off hot, scoring points on their first couple of drives. That would often carry over to about the midway part of the second quarter, and suddenly things would change.

The offense, which was once moving the ball with ease, would start to struggle. Maybe a drive would stall due to a penalty or sack, or maybe a ball would be dropped by a receiver. The defense that was making stops would suddenly miss tackles or blow coverages, and the opposing offense would get huge chunks of yardage to set up scores, tying the game or even taking the lead.

Like Hulk Hogan in most of his wrestling matches, the Vikings would eventually “Hulk-Up” and dominate in the fourth quarter, and that would be enough for the team to get a win.

While that formula worked for Minnesota this season, it isn’t a plan that is sustainable. In 2023, O’Connell needs to figure out a way for his team to consistently stay in the game and not disappear for a quarter and a half.