Everything looks to be on fire for the Minnesota Vikings right now. Their offensive line has been getting destroyed, Kirk Cousins has not lived up to expectations, the defense has had lapses, and they just fired their offensive coordinator in December.
Here is a story very similar to what the Vikings are experiencing.
Firing a coach in December
After a disappointing loss to the Washington Redskins on December 9th, 2012, the Baltimore Ravens fired their offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. They released him despite being in the playoff picture. They replaced Cameron with a guy Vikings fans are very familiar with, quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell. This move came from ownership after fear of the coaches losing the team.
The Minnesota Vikings fired John DeFilippo on December 11th, 2018.
Quarterback not living up to expectations
Joe Flacco was heavily scrutinized for his play all season. There were multiple questions as to whether he was a franchise quarterback or not. During the regular season, he ranked 18th in total QBR at 51.1. That was right behind Christian Ponder, Sam Bradford, and Nick Foles. Flacco finished the season with 3817 yards, 22 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions.
Kirk Cousins currently ranks 15th in the NFL in QBR at 61.1. Cousins has faced scrutiny all season about living up to his contract.
Team lead by defense that wasn’t as good as last year
During the 2012 regular season, the Baltimore Ravens struggled to maintain a top 10 defense in the NFL. They would click at times but never really put their full potential together. This came as a big disappointment. During the 2011 season, Bleacher Report ranked the Ravens defense number 3 overall. They never played up to expectations during the regular season.
The Minnesota Vikings are a top 10 defense this year. They are just not playing as sound and strong as last season where they were the number 1 defense.
So what happened from here?
Firing Cam Cameron did not immediately fix the Ravens. They lost 2 of their last 3 regular season games. Ultimately, they still won their division and squeaked into the NFL playoffs as a 4 seed.
During the wild card round of the playoffs, they beat the Indianapolis Colts 24-9. Then they went to number one seeded Denver for a rematch of week 15 were they lost. This time they beat the Broncos 38-35.
After the divisional
This brings us to Super Bowl XLVII. The team that fired their coach and was not living up to expectations was now at the big dance against the San Fransico 49ers. This game was high scoring. The Ravens defense gave up points but made plays when they needed to. Joe Flacco made amazing throws all game. He threw for three huge touchdowns. The Ravens beat the 49ers and Flacco took his place in the history books forever as a Super Bowl champion and MVP.
What does this mean for the Vikings?
This in no way is a prediction for the Minnesota Vikings. This is simply bringing up that a team has been in this position before and made something special out of the situation. The Vikings can be special if they put it together as Kirk Cousins stated in his post-game press conference.
“Unfortunately we haven’t put the whole complementary football together enough to be the team we know we’re capable of,” Cousins said. “That will be the challenge these last three weeks. If we can put it all together, there’s kind of a feeling where we’re saying, ‘Hey, watch out.’ If we put it all together, it could be special.”
There are a lot of similarities between the situations and the Vikings need to know that their season is far from over. Time to go watch some Ray Lewis pump up videos.