Minnesota Vikings: Mike Zimmer made the wrong call against Seattle

Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer - Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer - Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /

The Minnesota Vikings were the victims of overthinking the situation as Mike Zimmer made the wrong call against the Seattle Seahawks

The Minnesota Vikings went into their Week 5 matchup with the Seattle Seahawks as 6.5-point underdogs but were in a position to win the game with just minutes left to go. This was thanks to a combination of a dominant performance from their running backs that combined for almost 200 yards and a defense that sacked Russell Wilson four times.

With 2 minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Vikings were on the Seattle 6-yard line facing a fourth and inches after Adam Thielen was stopped just short of the line to gain on third and four. The Vikings were ahead by 5 at the time and the conventional wisdom would be to kick the field goal to go up by 8 but they chose to run the ball and were stopped short for a turnover on downs.

Hindsight is 20/20 in that if they got the first down then could have gone into victory formation, taken a knee three times, and gone home to Minnesota with a tough road win. However, the odds were stacked against them given the situation and the fact that Seattle was geared up to stop the run.

Minnesota had successfully gone for it on fourth down two other times in the game but they were both in “no-man’s-land” on the 50 and Seattle’s 36 where a long field goal would have been incredibly hard given the weather conditions. In this situation from the Seattle 6, a 23-yard field goal is as close to a certainty as there is in the NFL and the Vikings should have taken the points.

If the field goal was successful, it would have put the Vikings up by 8 points and at that point, the worst that could happen was Seattle could tie the game. They would have had to drive at least 75 yards without the added momentum of a crucial fourth-down stop and still would have had to score on the two-point conversion to take the game to overtime.

Instead, the Seahawks had to travel a longer distance but knew all they had to do was score a touchdown to likely win the game rather than score and convert the two-pointer just to tie it up. For Minnesota’s defense, they would have played with more confidence knowing they had several chances to win the game and that even if they gave up a touchdown, Seattle still needed a two-pointer to tie.

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Sometimes coaches can overthink matters and sometimes aggression pays off but in a situation where a short field goal guarantees you at least overtime in the worst-case scenario, the Minnesota Vikings and Mike Zimmer made the wrong call by not taking the points when they had them.