The Vikings' overtime loss to the Bengals last Sunday only heightened some of the tension in that organization, with ownership having conveyed to some associates their expectation that the club be a playoff factor this season to fend off major changes.
The Wilfs, who own the team, have pondered significant changes in the past, and seriously considered parting ways with head coach Mike Zimmer even after a playoff appearance two years ago, sources said. It is not lost on those within the organization how significant this season is to maintaining job security there. Zimmer's coaching style can be grating for coaches and players, they have churned through coaches and coordinators over the years, and the pressure is on for them to have a much improved 2021.
Ownership has invested major resources in the roster of the team – as well as its infrastructure – in recent years, with the Kirk Cousins era, if you will, yet to bear much fruit. The expectation is that the team will be more consistent and fundamentally sound this season. In Week 1, however, there were repeated issues, Minnesota was penalized 12 times for 166 yards in blowing a lead to the Bengals, with a staggering 10 penalties for 91 yards in the first half alone playing a role in 14-7 deficit at halftime, and, after scrambling to tie the game late, the Vikings lost in overtime.
Zimmer is in his eighth season at the helm, amassing a 64-48-1 record, but since 2018 his defense's have begun to falter and he is 25-23 in that span.
It's time for the Vikings to make their move in the NFC North. Can Kirk Cousins, Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson get the job done? Download the CBS Sports app to get the latest headlines from our team of NFL experts. If you've already downloaded the CBS Sports app, favorite the Vikings right now to get all the top headlines out of Minnesota.