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Vikings late-season struggles were NOT KOC’s fault

Austin is back and he doesn’t want you blaming the coach for this year’s ending

Green Bay Packers v Minnesota Vikings Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

The Minnesota Vikings found themselves in a challenging situation late in the season, facing a series of setbacks that left most of us questioning the team’s future. One prevailing narrative suggests that the struggles stem from issues with the play-calling of Head Coach Kevin O’Connell rather than poor performances by backup quarterbacks.

Certainly, the quarterback position is pivotal in the NFL, and injuries to key players can significantly impact a team’s performance. In the case of the Vikings, injuries to their starting quarterback have forced multiple backup signal-callers into action. However, attributing the team’s struggles solely to the performance of backup quarterbacks may be oversimplifying a complex situation.

It’s essential to consider the broader context, including the offensive scheme and play-calling strategies employed by Kevin O’Connell. Despite the challenges at quarterback, some argue that the coaching decisions and in-game adjustments played a role in the team’s difficulties. O’Connell, known for his offensive acumen, faced the challenge of adapting to the strengths and weaknesses of backup quarterbacks. Critics argue that the play-calling had not adequately adjusted to the changing personnel, leading to predictable and ineffective offensive performances. The lack of creativity and adaptability in the offensive game plan had left the Vikings vulnerable, regardless of who lines up under center.

On the other hand, supporters of O’Connell argue that the coaching staff can only do so much with the limitations imposed by backup quarterbacks. Adjusting the playbook to accommodate the strengths of less experienced or less skilled players is undoubtedly challenging. The argument goes that expecting the same level of performance from a backup as from a seasoned starter is unrealistic.

To accurately assess the situation, it’s crucial to analyze both aspects - the performance of backup quarterbacks and the coaching decisions. A comprehensive evaluation should consider whether the coaching staff is effectively leveraging the strengths of the available talent and adjusting the game plan to optimize performance.

It’s obvious that with the QB1 in Kevin O’Connell’s system, this offense operates at a much higher, more efficient level. Fans may have been caught in the crossfire of the angst of losing a few games down the stretch and the pure raw emotions of the season ending that eventually led to the call for Kevin O’Connell to lose his job after bringing this same team last year to the playoffs. As egregious as the remarks from fans may have been, the fans don’t actually want to see anyone lose their job, they just want a Superbowl.