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Why can’t the Vikings win outdoors on grass?

There is one common link

Minnesota Vikings v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

In the wake of the Minnesota Vikings’ 26-23 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday afternoon, the usual suspects gave us the usual amount of “Kirk Cousins blah blah can’t win blah blah good teams blah blah” that we’ve come to expect. However, this most recent loss is just a part of a disturbing trend that we’ve seen throughout the Mike Zimmer era.

Witness this stat from Warren Sharp:

Now, there is one minor correction that needs to be made to this stat, as the Vikings do have one victory under these conditions since 2014. That was the final game of the 2015 regular season, when the 10-5 Vikings went into Lambeau Field and defeated the 10-5 Green Bay Packers to win the NFC North Division.

But, I mean, it’s not as if 1-13-1 is really that much better than 0-13-1.

2014 was, of course, the start of Mike Zimmer’s time as head coach of the Minnesota Vikings. During that time, he’s had seven different players start at quarterback, including going into each of his first five seasons with the team with a different #1 guy at the position. They were, in order

  • Matt Cassel
  • Teddy Bridgewater
  • Christian Ponder
  • Shaun Hill
  • Sam Bradford
  • Case Keenum
  • Kirk Cousins

Yet, out of all of those quarterbacks, only Bridgewater has managed a victory in a game outdoors on the road against a team with a winning record. In that game, Bridgewater completed 10-of-19 passes for 99 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception.

The fact that this has been a problem for the five and a half seasons now leads me to the belief. . .which may sound odd. . .that this is not necessarily a quarterback problem. The Vikings have been very good on defense in just about every season of the Mike Zimmer era, and have certainly had enough offensive skill position talent in most of those seasons.

So what’s the issue? It might be Mike Zimmer. And I say this as someone that would put Mike Zimmer in the top three of all-time Vikings’ head coaches if I were to throw a ranking together. He’d definitely be no worse than fourth, I don’t think.

The quarterbacks have changed over the years, the skill position players have changed, and the offensive coordinators have changed. But Zimmer has been the one constant, and this has been an issue since the time he became the head coach.

This seems like something that a deeper dive could be done into, and hopefully at some point this week I can get a chance to do that. But I wanted to open it up for all of you to discuss what the issue here could potentially be and why the Vikings are consistently coming up short in this department in the Mike Zimmer era.