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Tuesday Open Thread: December 22, 2020

Minneapolis Mn , Vikings vs San Francisco 10/24/99—Vikings defensive tackle John Randle tries to avoid San Francisco√≠s Ray Brown (65), Dave Fiore after Randle intercepted a pass thrown by Jeff Garcia during the 2nd quarter. The interception was his

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

A couple days have passed since what was essentially the end of the Vikings season, and this season still feels........odd.......... much like everything else has felt in 2020. I’m not sure how I feel about the season.I suppose I have some disappointment, but not as much as most years when the Vikings miss the playoffs (maybe it’ll set in a little more when they’re officially eliminated, nothing’s over until it’s over), and I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because this entire year has been a charlie foxtrot of epic proportions, and my senses have been numbed by the constant onslaught of stupidity and chaos. Maybe it’s because we watched the Vikings go through a painful (but much needed) overhaul of much of the defense during the off-season. Many players were new or were going to be in starting roles for the first time in their careers. Then, starting at the beginning of training camp, we watched as, one by one, key personnel were lost to season ending injuries (or just decided to take the year off). An already young and inexperienced group became even younger and more inexperienced. Couple that with the team’s abysmal start when many fans had written the season off by week 6, and even the most optimistic fans’ expectations were tempered. I think the inexperience and youth showed in the Bears game, you could almost sense that the Bears wanted that game more than the Vikings. Kendricks going out was, in my opinion, the straw that broke the camel’s back, and the defense just wasn’t able to function well enough to get a win.

So, where does that leave us? For me, I am encouraged by the fact that the team did not give up. They didn’t give up when they were 1-5, and they fought back to the point where they were in the playoff picture. I am encouraged that we still have a great deal of talent on the roster, and this season forced some players into starting roles to either sink or swim, and we found a few really good swimmers in guys like Dantzler, Wonnom, and Cleveland; and I haven’t even mentioned the most exciting young addition to the roster, Justin Jefferson. With an addition or two in the secondary, along with a little depth, I have no doubt that we will have a formidable defense once again next year, and the offense, with the amazing talent they have in Cook, Jefferson, and Thielen, and an above-average quarterback in Cousins, should be able to score points. There will be an adjustment or two necessary on the O-line, but this year’s O-line was much improved from the wreck it was for quite a few years. I also think the team has the right head coach. I’ve liked Mike Zimmer since he came here, and my opinion hasn’t changed. I think now that he has an offensive coordinator he can rely on in Gary Kubiak, the team will continue to improve once it’s healthy.

Where are my concerns? Well, I’ll start with the above-average quarterback I mentioned, because he has an elite-quarterback price tag, his cap hit will be $31 million next year, and $45 million in 2022, and there’s no way out of that contract unless a team wants to trade for him, and the odds of that happeningare about the same as the odds of you being able to stick a wet noodle up a wildcat’s a**. The Vikings don’t have a lot of cap room.......well, they actually have no cap room..........well, they actually have negative cap room, and since they aren’t the government, they can’t just ignore that & go spend a bunch of money on players, they’re going to have to find ways to free up cap space, let’s just hope the plan for doing that isn’t signing more ridiculous back-loaded contract extensions. That brings me to my next concern, and that is the GM. When Zimmer first came to Minnesota, Speilman became a much better GM, because he and Zim were working together, and the team improved quickly. After the 2017 season, something happened. It seems that Rick might have let his ego get a little too big, and he’s made some questionable moves that have cost the team. He signed the high priced free agent quarterback, he hired DerFlippy (I can’t even remember his real name, I’ve always called him DerFlippy), he signed Cousins to that insanely ridiculous contract extension, and while everyone makes mistakes, I’m not sure he’s learned from his, and that could be problematic. I hope not, I hope Cousins turns out to be worth every penny, and if he brings a championship to Minnesota, I will happily eat my words. I’ll even let him stop by so I can show him how to grill a steak. Judging by those things he posted on Tweeter or IntstantGram a couple years ago, he needs a lesson or two. SKOL!

Around the DN since our last open thread:

Justin Jefferson broke the Vikings’ rookie season reception record previously held by Randy Moss, Chris has the details.

GASkol brings you his latest Minnesota Vikings Weekly Player Recap: Week 15 2020 (Turn Out the Lights, the Party’s Over).

Stock Market Report 2.0 Vikings-Bears is posted, courtesy of vhcadet.

Other Vikings/NFL news, and random oddities and annoyances:

From, the NFL revealed the complete rosters for the 2021 Pro Bowl. They aren’t going to play the Pro Bowl this year, and it will be missed one.

It’s the week for upsets, the Jets got their first win against the Rams, then last night, the Bengals knocked off the Steelers on Monday Night Football, per ESPN.

The Jaguars finally got some good news this year! With the Bengals victory last night, the Jags are guaranteed a top 2 pick in next year’s draft, per Sports Illustrated.

We come to today’s media selection:

Here’s another one of my favorite Christmas songs, sung by one of my favorite singers. This is Mr. Robert Earl Keen with Merry Christmas From The Family. Enjoy!

Again, we all know the rules, but in case someone is new:

-No discussion of politics or religion
-No feeding of the trolls
-Take the gender hatred elsewhere, it won’t be tolerated
-Keep the bad language to a minimum (using the spoiler tags, if you must)
-If discussing a newer show or movie, please use spoiler tags
-No pictures that could get someone fired or in serious trouble with their employer
-If you can’t disagree in a civil manner, feel free to go away
-While navigating the open thread, just assume it’s sarcasm.

With that, the beer light is on and the bar is open. Belly up & tie one on, don’t forget to tip your waitress (from a minimum of six feet away, of course), and try the season, it’ll leave a bad taste in your mouth.