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Cris Carter Has Blunt Thoughts on the State of the Vikings

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In the Super Bowl era, the Minnesota Vikings are the NFL’s fifth-best team per win percentage (.558). Generally speaking, the franchise is accustomed to winning, aside from the blatant lack of Super Bowl victories.

Even without a Lombardi trophy, the expectation is for the Vikings to routinely win games while hopes center on a breakthrough season — much like the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles — when the Super Bowl-less curse ends. And for the last eight seasons under head coach Mike Zimmer, the Vikings never get too low. Zimmer’s bad seasons end up as 7-9 records and never anything worse. Therefore, Zimmer’s job security remains safe, and Vikings fans merely pray “this is the year” the team exorcises longstanding demons.

Based on a series of mind-numbing losses in 2021, this campaign appears closer to another 7-9 or so Zimmer season than the elusive Super Bowl dream.

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And folks are not happy about it.

The dismay isn’t just a fan-driven sentiment. After a passel of seasons without a Super Bowl triumph, even Hall of Famer Cris Carter opined on the state of the Vikings:

From the moment the Zimmer Vikings failed to win a championship in 2017 — they were damn close — a brooding thought about Minnesota has percolated the purple orbit. Some close onlookers of the team feel the formula is stale. Right after quarterback Kirk Cousins failed to drag the team to the postseason and beyond in 2018 (his first season with the organization), little chirps suggested Zimmer needed to exit the franchise.

Carter isn’t quite endorsing that opinion all the way back to 2018, but he is firmly on board with the discontentment of settling for mediocrity.

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And to be clear, the ProFootballTalk tweet is absurd for this reason: Why would the Vikings, on the day of losing Danielle Hunter for the rest of 2021, trade a 2nd and a 3rd-Round draft pick for an aging pass rusher who might only be with the team for 10 weeks? Carter’s tweet doesn’t exactly promote Miller to the Vikings, but it was a segue to give a raw judgment of the team.

On Sunday Night Football, Carter was in attendance to watch the Vikings fall at the feet of the Cooper Rush-led Dallas Cowboys. He even gave a speech to the 65,000+ fans in attendance. Yet, clearly, he was unimpressed with the contest’s outcome, as was the Vikings body politic of fans.

So, will Vikings brass listen to Carter? Probably not directly — but the pitchforks from fans won’t be ignored for too long. Before the 2021 regular season began, the working theory suggested Zimmer probably needed a playoff win and then some to see the light of day in 2022. Now, with the loss of Hunter and the prolonged ineptitude on offense, a trip to the postseason seems grimmer by the minute. It is not out of the realm of possibility that Minnesota could “get hot,” but the remaining schedule offers no gimmes outside of the Detriot Lions on the road in December.

Zimmer’s Vikings have reached the postseason three times since 2014. Only eight other franchises visited the playoffs more times amid the last seven years. Right now, Zimmer’s central salvation — and curse — is the Vikings never hit rock bottom under his tutelage. They alternate very good seasons with mediocre ones. The pattern is like clockwork. In even-numbered seasons, Minnesota finishes with an underwhelming, playoff-less record. During odd-numbered seasons, the Vikings play meaningful January football. This year, though, is the exception, at least for the moment.

And Cris Carter has seen enough.

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Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

The post Cris Carter Has Blunt Thoughts on the State of the Vikings appeared first on Vikings Territory.





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