3 reasons why the Vikings are their own worst enemy in 2023

The Minnesota Vikings are entering the final stretch of their season, but are they their own toughest opponent?

Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison
Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Poor in-game coaching decisions

Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell has done a magnificent job overall this season despite all the turmoil the team has gone through. He didn't lose his team despite a turnover-filled 0-3 start.

He's also brought them back into the playoff picture despite losing their star wide receiver, starting quarterback, backup quarterback, and starting outside linebacker.

It's truly impressive what he's gotten out of quarterback Josh Dobbs in the short time he's been with Minnesota and the fact that he's kept morale high throughout the entire organization.

Despite all those positives, O'Connell's decisions during some games have contributed directly to a handful of the team's losses.

O'Connell has had some questionable play calls at times, including passing when it's clearly the time to run and getting too cute with his formations, as evidenced last week when he had tight end T.J. Hockenson snap the ball under center and then pitch it to Dobbs.

We've also seen O'Connell go very conservative in his play calling when the Vikings have a two-score lead. That tentativeness almost cost them the game against the New Orleans Saints in Week 10, and it did contribute to the loss against the Broncos last week.

O'Connell also seems to be unsure when to challenge plays, throwing the red flag on plays that even fans in the highest of nose-bleeds seats can see aren't going to go Minnesota's way.

O'Connell needs to clean up his performance on the field. He needs to keep the aggression going in his playcalling and not be afraid to put teams away early in games.

He also needs to not get so cute with some of his calls and consult a little more with his review guy to see if a play is worth challenging or not.

If he gets these issues ironed out, the team should cruise into the playoffs. If he struggles, O'Connell could be a reason this 2023 team falls short of its goals.