The Vikings Worst Moments Of 2021 

April 15, 2022

The 2021 Vikings struggled most of the time when they were on the field but they fought hard for their record and should improve in 2022. But what were the Vikings worst moments of 2021?

The NFL season is 17 weeks of dog fights week in and week out. The Vikings were no stranger to close games last year. They played in 14 games that came down to one score and lost eight of them.

Let’s look at the worst moments from the 2021 season

The Vikings Worst Moments Of 2021

Wide right by Greg Joseph

The Vikings traveled to Arizona to face the Cardinals at State Farm Stadium in Glendale. Vikings were looking for their first win after losing an overtime thriller to the Cincinnati Bengals. The Cardinals were 1-0 after soundly beating the Tennessee Titans in the opener.

The season was still fresh and filled with optimism for the Vikings. They came out with a bang as Kirk Cousins hit second-year wide receiver K.J Osborn on the second play of the game. Arizona answered with a T.D pass from Kyler Murray to Deandre Hopkins. Then again the Vikings followed up with another amazing play by Cousins to Adam Thielen, this was only the first quarter.

They followed that up with another score this time to Justin Jefferson for 14 yards. Then Greg Joseph missed the extra point that would come back to haunt the Vikings. The game continued to be fast-paced totaling 67, 893 total yards, and a pick-six by l.b Nick Vigil. Vikings got the ball last. They drove 58 yards in nine plays and gained 58 yards to set up Joseph for a game-winner. The kick, unfortunately, went wide right as time expired and the Vikings lost. This loss set the Vikings back to 0-2 and could have been a huge boost as they fought and answered back all game. The final score was 33-34.

The ghost of Vikings kickers past paid a visit in Arizona and triggered the purple PTSD for all.

Sunday Night Halloween Game

Both teams were well-rested coming off of a bye week. Both were coming off wins and were eager to play. The week of the game was strange as star quarterback Dak Prescott pulled his calf in New England but wasn’t expected to miss the game. Then it became a reality as Dallas put him on the inactive the night before. This was the best scenario for the Vikings. The backup quarterback was Cooper Rush who never started a game before, it gave the vikes an improved chance to win.

Cooper Rush struggled all second half with two turnovers caused by former cowboy safety Xavier woods one was an interception and a fumble. The Vikings scored on the opening drive and then followed with Greg Joseph’s field goals. Rush settled down with a 73-yard touchdown to Cedrick Wilson and tied the game 13-13 by the end of the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the Viking’s offense continued to struggle only. Justin Jefferson was held to 21 yards, Kirk Cousins to 187 yards, and Dalvin Cook 78 yards. The only touchdown was from the opening drive to Adam Thielen. Cooper Rush had the ball with two minutes left and drove down the field on eight plays for 75 yards. He threw a TD pass to Amari Cooper with 51 seconds left. The Viking’s defense melted. Bashaud Breeland dropped an easy interception, Mike Zimmer called back-to-back timeouts and Ezekiel Elliot broke two tackles and gained 15 yards on a third and five in the red zone. The final score was 20-16.

The game was the Vikings to win and the Cowboys to lose. Cowboys rested Dak for the future and the Vikings were sitting in a prime position in the NFC East and could afford to lose one game. It was on prime time, in front of the home fans on a national stage. It couldn’t be a worse scenario for Minnesota.

The Firing Of Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman

The firing of Zimmer and Spielman was the right move by the Wilfs. The two had created a toxic work environment for the players and staff. It was followed by back-to-back mediocre seasons. Both teams were expected to make the playoffs and compete but did not meet expectations.

These moves marked the end of the Mike Zimmer era who coached the Vikings for eight seasons with a .562 winning percentage. In those seasons his defenses ranked as high as number one in 2017, reaching the NFC championship, the Minneapolis Miracle, and an upset win in New Orleans in 2019. Seeing Zimmer go who arguably is the second-best head coach in history behind Bud Grant brought sadness and closed the super bowl window. Zimmers teams never reached full potential and never delivered.

Rick Spielman’s tenure as GM in Minnesota was16 seasons. Five seasons as Vice President of Player Personnel and 11 as the General Manager. He had made great moves from trading for Jared Allen, signing Brett Favre, and drafting numerous Pro Bowlers. During his time he always formed solid teams and spent when he needed to, so he never mortgaged the future.

Even the signing of Kirk Cousin was a good move to Wilfs. Kirk is still on the roster and got extended. His biggest flaw was not mending his relationship with Zimmer. Both of these could have been here if things went differently and they both treated and acted respectably towards each other. These were no doubt the Vikings worst moments of 2021.