Following an 8-7-1 campaign in 2018, the Minnesota Vikings saw an otherwise respectable season collapse in fount of their eyes on the final day, failing to claim the last Wild Card playoff spot in a 24-10 loss to the Chicago Bears.
In a season when the smallest details may have made the difference between January football and Wild Card weekend on the sofa, head coach Mike Zimmer is holding his players accountable.
Is there anything in OTAs or training camp that Mike Zimmer wants to see Kirk Cousins be better at? "With him," Zimmer said, "I don’t think it’s any of those things. It’s games – that’s where he’s got to play better.”— Chad Graff (@ChadGraff) March 26, 2019
Kirk Cousins had a great statistical 2018, with a 70 percent completion percentage, 30 touchdown passes, and 10 interceptions. However, games such as the finale against Chicago, the loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 14 and even the Buffalo loss in Week 3 changed Minnesota's ultimate fate. The Vikings scored an average of just 8.67 points over their three games.
Mike Zimmer on Xavier Rhodes: "Xavier needs to play better. I’m going to make sure he plays better. … I just don’t think he played as well as he can play. He needs to play up to his ability level. We’re paying him a lot of money. He needs to play up to that contract."— Chad Graff (@ChadGraff) March 26, 2019
Players on the defensive side of the ball were also open for criticism, including corner Xavier Rhodes. The corner is a two-time Pro Bowler, but did see a decline in numbers over the course of last year, with fewer tackles, passes defended and interceptions than in 2017.