I don’t want to say I told you so, but, you know. I can’t hold it in — I told you so! But hey, I got $20 from someone who bet me the Vikings would make it to the Super Bowl. That was the easiest 20 bucks I’ll ever make. This team always does this stuff, and this year was just another one of those moments. I previously wrote an article saying people need to temper their expectations for the season. That’s literally what the title was. I warned people not to get their hopes up because of the likelihood of this happening.
I will admit we underachieved even to what I thought we would do. I thought we would at least make the playoffs and lose right away or win one game and lose the next game. We didn’t even make the playoffs. How can we go from 13-3 with Case Keenum to 8-7-1 with Kirk Cousins? I mean it’s the most “Vikings” thing that could happen. We massively overpay for a quarterback that we think will get us over the hump, but he doesn’t even get us to the playoffs.
For those of you who think Mike Zimmer is the problem, you are incorrect. Ironically, the problem is our quarterback who we paid $84 million to get. While Cousins’ statistics might say he had a good season, it’s all an illusion. He was nonexistent in a number of first-half games, and most of his stats came from garbage time in the fourth quarter when we were down big. He was 1-4 in primetime games and beat only one playoff team throughout the season (the Eagles in week five). We also lost at home to the Buffalo Bills, a game we were supposed to easily win.
That’s not even the worst part. The most irritating thing of them all is the fact that we lost a “win and you’re in” game at home against our division rivals, the Chicago Bears. Cousins played terribly in the first half and couldn’t do enough in the second half to get us the needed win. Of course, the Eagles won in week 17, thus booting the Vikes out of the playoffs. Chicago lost to the Eagles in the Wild Card Game, so maybe they regret beating us. I get it; our defense has underachieved, but they still played good enough to get us more than eight wins. All I can say is this doesn’t surprise me.
So, what does the future hold? Well, I can’t say it’s great. This was the season we should have made a slight run, and we underachieved. We’ll likely lose Anthony Barr and Kyle Rudolph in the offseason, so there’s another task on the list. Unless we can sign a star or two and draft offensive linemen that can actually block, I don’t see this team competing for a Super Bowl anytime soon. Our defense seems to be regressing, Kirk can’t play in big games and the NFC is full of title contenders.
Maybe Cousins will get hurt week one and Trevor Siemian will lead us to a 13-3 record, much like when Sam Bradford got hurt and Keenum stepped in. I’m joking. That will never happen. I don’t even know if I can call myself excited for next season. It’s more like I’m interested to see if we actually live up to our potential or just underachieve once again.