What are some of the methods the Minnesota Vikings can take away from the 2019 NFL season that ended with the Kansas City Chiefs winning the Super Bowl?
Dressed in a purple tie at his first press conference as head coach of the Minnesota Vikings in 2014, Mike Zimmer vowed to present the franchise with his first Super Bowl victory. Six years later, Zimmer and the Vikings still don’t have the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
During the head coach’s tenure, Minnesota made the playoffs three times and secured an appearance in the NFC Championship. Since the end of 2017 that left them with a Super Bowl game, the Vikings have been looking for ways to get over the bump and make it to the big game.
In the AFC, the Kansas City Chiefs were in a similar situation. Before Sunday, the Chiefs hadn’t played in a Super Bowl since their victory over Minnesota in 1969.
However, thanks to a ton of key decisions over the years, Kansas City not only got to this season’s Super Bowl, but they also left the game with a win.
The NFL has become an imitating league and what better team to copy than the one that just won the Super Bowl? So what are some of the things the Vikings can learn from this season’s champion so that they can achieve a similar goal soon?
Write a young quarterback with a high pick:
After helping the Chiefs advance to the playoffs in three of his four years with the team, Alex Smith headed into the 2017 offseason to win the franchise for the AFC Championship or at- of the.
The veteran quarterback didn’t put in any spectacular numbers in his first four seasons at Kansas City, but the team’s attacking plan didn’t require him to be the unit’s focal point. Smith got the job done and generally made a few mistakes.
He was pretty good in the middle, but the Chiefs finally came to their senses and knew he wasn’t going to be the type to take them to a championship. So, during the 2017 NFL Draft, Kansas City made a decision that would eventually change the fortunes of the franchise.
Seeing the potential to select a once-in-a-lifetime quarterback, the Chiefs sent two first-round picks and a third-round pick to the Buffalo Bills to move up to tenth overall. With its new selection, Kansas City has selected former Texas Tech contact Patrick Mahomes.
It was a bold decision by the chiefs, but it was necessary. Mahomes eventually replaced Smith as Kansas City’s 2018 starting quarterback and on Sunday he was Super Bowl LIV MVP.
The Vikings are currently in a situation where they must determine whether they want to extend Kirk Cousins’ contract or let him enter the 2020 season with only one year remaining on his current contract.
Minnesota backed the Brinks Truck for Cousins two years ago and only resulted in one playoff win. He’s proven to be a talented quarterback, but is he the type to believe the Vikings can lead them to the Promised Land?
If Minnesota is to take a page from the Chiefs’ recent playbook, they’ll use a first-round pick on a new caller this year and have him sit behind Cousins next season. Then, when the Cousins deal ends in 2021, the Minnesota Vikings can insert their young passer as a new center starter.
Are Minnesota ready to take a chance on drafting a possible franchise savior or will they just continue to roll with a veteran quarterback who hasn’t enjoyed more success in his NFL career than Alex Smith?
You don’t need a star runner:
Dalvin Cook has just had a great season for the Vikings and you can’t argue with that. In his third year with the team, Cook tallied 1,654 total yards and 13 touchdowns. His performance helped Minnesota end the season with the sixth-most rushing yards in the NFL.
So, with the impressive numbers he presented in 2019, and the fact that he is entering the final year of his contract with Viking, Cook is likely looking for a new contract this offseason.
Blocking a runner as talented as Cook seems like an easy decision for Minnesota. But the Chiefs’ championship season shows that investing a lot of money in a running back may not be the best option.
Kansas City’s best running back in 2019 was Damien Williams and he finished the season with 498 rushing yards.
Instead of one man doing most of the fieldwork, the Chiefs have used two running backs in 2019. Williams and LeSean McCoy have combined for 1,357 total yards and 12 touchdowns for Kansas City this season.
The Chiefs’ top two running backs also cost the team less than $ 5 million in 2019, an amount that Cook will likely look to double in his next contract.
Even Kansas City’s Super Bowl opponent this season, the 49ers, has proven that a star backer isn’t necessary.
San Francisco’s top two running backs of 2019, Tevin Coleman and Raheem Mostert, totaled 1,676 total yards and 17 touchdowns while costing the team less than $ 6 million.
The Vikings’ new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak has shown in the past that his zone-blocking career plan can be successful with just about anyone. So will the success of the chefs cause Minnesota to consider other options in the backfield instead of paying too much to extend Cook?
Be patient with a worthy head coach:
In his first five seasons as Chiefs head coach, Andy Reid led the team to the playoffs on four occasions. Despite their constant travel to the playoffs, Reid and Kansas City have only been able to win one playoff game during that span.
That, of course, changed when Patrick Mahomes was placed under center in 2018. In his two seasons with Mahomes as a starting quarterback, the Chiefs have reached the AFC Championship or higher.
Therefore, Kansas City’s lack of playoff success wasn’t really due to Reid losing the coaching skills to lead his team. It had more to do with the Chiefs not having the right players on their roster to take them to a championship.
A head coach can only do what he or she is so that the players on the pitch can get out, run, and do their jobs. Reid is constantly putting his boys in a position to be successful and that’s something that can also be said about Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer.
Minnesota has made the playoffs in three of their last five years under Zimmer, and the team has finished with a record loss only once in six seasons as a head coach. Zimmer does his best with the players he’s been given and sometimes the mistakes on the pitch are completely out of his control.
The Chiefs could have tried to find someone new to beat them after winning just one playoff game in Reid’s first five seasons with the team. But Kansas City knew their head coach was the right fit for the job and they stayed with him.
It’s a philosophy the Vikings should embrace as well. While the grass may look greener with someone other than Zimmer at the helm, Minnesota knows better than anyone that a change in head coach can also be a huge setback for a franchise. Minnesota Vikings tickets are on sale you can get your tickets from her: https://www.tix2games.com/nfl/minnesota-vikings-tickets.html