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Should The Vikings Fire Mike Zimmer?

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(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

 

With only one game remaining in the 2021 NFL regular season, the Minnesota Vikings sit at 7-9.

This is the second year in a row Minnesota has posted a losing record.

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Vikings fans are frustrated and the national media are calling for head coach Mike Zimmer to be fired.

In his eight seasons at the helm of the franchise, Zimmer has taken Minnesota to the playoffs three times.

The Vikings also have three losing seasons plus a year of .500 football under Zimmer’s direction.

As yet another disappointing year ends, is it time for Minnesota to find a new head coach?

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Highs And Lows Under Zimmer

Zimmer was hired by the Vikings in early 2014 with the knowledge that he was a great defensive coach.

His Dallas Cowboys and Cincinnati Bengals defenses (where he served as coordinator) were regularly the best in the NFL.

The 2013 Vikings defense finished as one of the worst in the league that year, giving up the second-most yards and the most points to opponents.

In his first year with the club, Minnesota went 7-9 and improved defensively to 11th in the league.

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The Vikings went 11-5 in 2015 and the defense improved even more to fifth overall.

In the Wild Card round that season, kicker Blair Walsh missed a 27-yard, chip shot field goal that sent the Vikings home with a 10-9 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Minnesota went 8-8 in 2016 with a sixth-ranked defense and a 23rd-ranked offense.

In 2017, a 13-3 regular season led to a literal miracle in the postseason.

Down by a point in the Divisional round to the visiting New Orleans Saints with only seconds left, then Vikings quarterback Case Keenum threw a desperation heave to receiver Stefon Diggs.

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Remarkably, Diggs caught the ball, spun, avoided two defenders and raced to the end zone.

The 29-24 win was immediately dubbed the “Minneapolis Miracle.”

There was no miracle the following week, however, when Minnesota was crushed by Philadelphia, 38-7 in the Conference Championship.

The Vikings hoped to improve their 10th-ranked 2017 offense by acquiring quarterback Kirk Cousins in March of 2018.

Instead, as the team went 8-7-1, the offense plummeted to 19th overall and Minny’s first-ranked 2017 defense fell to ninth in the league in 2018.

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2019 saw the Vikings improve to 10-6, beat New Orleans in the Wild Card round, and lose to the San Francisco 49ers in the Divisional round.

Both the offense and defense improved in 2019 to eighth and fifth, respectively.

Last year, Minnesota’s 7-9 season was partially the result of a woeful 29th-ranked defense.

This season, the defense has improved slightly to 25th overall while Cousins and the offense sit at 14th.

 

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Should He Stay Or Should He Go?

All coaches wear out their welcome eventually.

Whether they are beloved by their players or not, even good coaches will experience periods of losses and poor team performance.

Zimmer is a good defensive coach who can put a decent offense on the field.

However, that hasn’t been the case the past two years.

Based on the results in 2020 and 2021, the Vikings may need a fresh start.

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Just as they hired Zimmer in 2014 to help improve the defensive side of the ball, it might be time for Minnesota to find an offensive-minded coach to help Cousins.

The Vikings offense is loaded and could use new blood to help it run at peak performance.

In turn, the new coach can hire an experienced coordinator to help rebuild the beleaguered Minnesota defense.

When the NFL’s next “Black Monday” arrives, don’t be surprised to see Zimmer as one of the coaches looking for a new home.

The post Should The Vikings Fire Mike Zimmer? appeared first on The Cold Wire.

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Packers’ Matt LaFleur says Jordan Love ‘light years ahead’ of last year: ‘The game has slowed down for him’

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Jordan Love certainly showed the progress the Green Bay Packers wanted from the first preseason game to the second, using the deep ball to give Green Bay optimism in a post-Aaron Rodgers world. Love was accurate on his deep passes that didn’t reflect his overall performance in the box score. 

Packers head coach Matt LaFleur liked what he saw from the former first-round pick, saying he’s “light years ahead” of where he was last year.

“I think the game has slowed down for him,” LaFleur said after Friday’s 20-10 win over the New Orleans Saints (via ESPN). “I see a much more decisive player. I think that’s going to lead to a much more effective player.”

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Love finished 12 of 24 for 113 yards with one touchdown and zero interceptions, yet his performance was highlighted by several drops that affected his night. Love threw a deep pass to seventh-round rookie Samori Toure that wasn’t a completion, and fourth-round rookie Romeo Doubs also misread a pass that led to a drop. LaFleur admitted Toure’s ball needed to be caught. 

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The Packers are liking what they’re seeing from Love, throwing accurate deep passes and showcasing his arm strength. The five drops certainly affected Love’s performance — as was the case in his three-interception game last week — yet the Packers have seen enough to be confident in Love if he had to play this year.





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Combate Global picks, live stream, how to watch, fight card: Tena vs. Romero predictions, channel, time

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The Combate Global schedule will continue Friday on Paramount+ with five fights from La Jaula in Miami. Ivan Tena is a 23-year-old featherweight who looks like one of the best prospects in the promotion after earning three knockout victories and one submission win in his first four fights. He’ll take on Mexican fighter Roberto Romero in a USA vs. Mexico showdown in the 145-pound division. You can stream the action live on Paramount+.

The co-main event will feature Chile’s Valentina Escobar (1-0) against Mexico’s Yazmin Najera in a fight at 120 pounds. Another bout on the Combate Global fight card will feature a pair of veteran featherweights as Carlos Rivera (14-6) takes on Landry Ward (5-1). The Combate Global fight card begins at 10:30 p.m. ET and you can catch all the action live on Paramount+.

Paramount+ now has two levels of membership so you can watch Combate and much more. The Premium Plan is $9.99 per month and you can watch your local CBS live stream, including plenty of sports like Champions League, Italian Serie A, college hoops, and the PGA Tour, with no ads, on-demand and the ability to download episodes for offline viewing. Plus, watch the highly-anticipated series Halo, Picard, 1883, and more. Both plans come with a free week to start. Paramount+ will even give you a free week to start, so sign up now here.

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How to watch Combate Global 

  • Date: Friday, August 19
  • Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
  • Streaming: Paramount+

Top Combate Global picks for Aug. 19 fight card

Before tuning in to Friday’s Combate Global fight card, you need to see the picks from SportsLine’s MMA insider Andrew Gombas. With more than 1,400 selections tracked by the third-party monitoring service Bet MMA, he has shown a 6 percent return on investment for his followers. Over the past two years, his followers have netted a profit of more than $10,000. 

For Friday’s card, Gombas is picking Tena to defeat Romero to stay unbeaten and continue his rise up the featherweight ranks. Tena is a recent Arizona State graduate who trains out of MMA Lab and has finished all four of his professional fights in the first or second round. Romero is coming off a draw against Zed Montanez in his last fight.

“This is a fantastic main event for the Combate USA vs. Mexico card. Ivan Tena is one of the prospects in Combate who I hold in high regard. Roberto Romero is known for an exciting fighting style and has a bright future as well. I have to side with Tena. He is a slick finisher who punishes his opponents for making mistakes. I think he gets another finish,” Gombas told SportsLine. Stream the card on Paramount+ now.

How to watch Combate Global in Miami

Now that you know who to pick, get ready to watch Combate Global. Visit Paramount+ now to see the Combate Global, your live local CBS sporting events, some of the world’s top soccer matchups and much more.

August 19 Combate Global fight card

Stream the entire Combate Global fight card here

  • Ivan Tena vs. Roberto Romero
  • Valentina Escobar vs. Yazmin Najera
  • Carlos Rivera vs. Landry Ward
  • Jaret Betancourt vs. Rodrigo Garcia
  • Katie Perez vs. Andrea Meneses Garcia



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Packers’ Aaron Rodgers sets up QB Danny Etling’s long rushing TD during mid-game interview in preseason win

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Quarterback Danny Etling scored a 51-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter of Friday’s preseason victory over the New Orleans Saints, yet the highlight of the play wasn’t the touchdown run itself — but who was on air when the play occurred. Etling took the snap and ran to his right untouched for the touchdown with Aaron Rodgers being interviewed mid-game. 

Needless to say, Rodgers was pretty excited when Etling — the third-string quarterback — had the big play for the score. 

“What did I tell ya. What did I tell ya. What did I tell ya,” Rodgers said as he clapped his hands and smiled. “Yeah baby, I love it. I love it.” 

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This isn’t the first time Etling ran a naked bootleg and scored on a long touchdown run. Etling scored on an 86-yard touchdown run on a naked bootleg to his right during his time with the New England Patriots in 2018 — and this touchdown looked eerily similar. In fact, Rodgers was complimenting Etling’s athleticism and reminiscing about that very run minutes before he took off for the score Friday night.

Etling has bounced around the league, being waived and signed by the Patriots, Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks several times. Etling also was on the Minnesota Vikings practice squad, the Denver Broncos practice squad, the Packers practice squad and the Jacksonville Jaguars practice squad. He actually was assigned to the Packers practice squad and later signed by the Jaguars and assigned to their practice squad last December.

Overall, Etling has been involved in 27 transactions since entering the league in 2018 — yet has never played a regular season snap in the NFL

For one night, the former seventh-round quarterback from LSU recaptured his rookie year magic. No one at Lambeau Field may have been happier than Rodgers. 

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