John DeFilippo fired by Vikings after Kirk Cousins, offense struggle in embarrassing loss to Seahawks

Late in Monday night's loss to the Seahawks, there was a discussion about tension brewing between Mike Zimmer and Vikings offensive coordinator John DeFilippo. That tension doesn't actually exist anymore, because DeFilippo was fired on Tuesday morning in the wake of an embarrassing offensive performance that helped pave the way to a 21-7 loss in Seattle

The ugly offensive performance was a combination of things that have plagued Minnesota all season long: an inability to establish the run, an inability to protect Kirk Cousins and an inability to play good offensive football against teams with a winning record

It's been a wild ride for DeFilippo, who drew praise for his early-season work with Cousins. The former Eagles quarterbacks coach was on the short list for potential head-coaching opportunities. That won't be the case now, with "Flip" being tossed on the scrap heap with just three weeks remaining in the season. 

DeFilippo will be replaced by quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski, the team announced. Expect Stefanski to have very strict marching orders as to how the offense should operate, with those orders coming from Zimmer. Worth noting: the Giants wanted to bring Stefanski to New York with former Vikings OC Pat Shurmur, but the Vikings blocked him from leaving for that position. This promotion could keep him in place with Minnesota through 2019.

The Vikings have been bad on offense for several games now, including a stinker against the Patriots in Week 13 and Week 14's egg in Seattle. Some of Cousins' decision making has been questionable, at best.

You could argue, despite the early-season success of Cousins and his pretty substantial statistical production, that the offense looked better last year with Case Keenum under center. 

Adam Thielen busted out to a historical start but he was clearly frustrated against Seattle on Monday night -- the star wide receiver was caught saying "it's been there all f---ing night" late in the game when he caught a pass. 

Cousins got $84 million this offseason in fully guaranteed money from the Vikings. The expectation was he'd take them over the top and turn them into a juggernaut. Instead, Minnesota's been an average offensive team this season. The Vikings have been a lower-end team in red-zone production and haven't been able to run the ball effectively at all. 

Part of that is on the offensive line, but Zimmer likely just grew frustrated with the difference in approach between what he wanted and what DeFilippo was doing. 

Despite their struggles, the Vikings are 6-6-1 and in firm control of the final wild-card spot in the NFC. They get the Dolphins at home and Lions on the road in the next two weeks before closing with a home game against the Bears in Week 17. Win two of those three and they're very likely to get in the playoffs. The Panthers, Eagles or Redskins would have to win out in order to beat them (good luck with that) and the Packers need to win out and have the Vikings lose two of the next three to steal a spot from their hated rival. 

Listen to Brady Quinn and Will Brinson talk Vikings-Seahawks on Tuesday's Pick Six Podcast:

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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