3. Head Coaching Decisions
Kevin O'Connell is a good football coach and has done a lot to keep his team competitive despite a crazy number of injuries to key players on his team.
While his ability to keep morale high and the team believing despite the loss of their star wide receiver and starting quarterback is great, some of his in-game decisions have been confusing and costly.
O'Connell opted to go extremely vanilla in the second half against the Saints after opening up a huge lead. The defense was able to hang on and secure the victory, but the game was much closer than it needed to be or should have been.
He also went conservative in Denver, and his biggest offense was not being aggressive late in the Bears' game while only having a one-point lead with about three minutes left.
O'Connell needs to start calling plays like Ed Donatell is his defensive coordinator again. A year ago, he knew the offense had to keep putting points on the board if it was going to win games, and that strategy worked.
Now that he knows his defense is good, he's comfortable getting a lead early and then calling plays to drain the clock and preserve that lead instead of adding to it. That strategy has backfired the last few weeks, and the Vikings have lost to teams they should've beaten.
If the Vikings are going to make the playoffs, the head coach needs to be more aggressive in his playcalling and have his side of the ball carry their weight.