Following an embarrassing 21-7 road loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Monday, Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer fired offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, replacing him with quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski.
Minnesota dropped its third game in four weeks to fall to 6-6-1 on the season. They're essentially out of the running for the NFC North , and are only in contention to nab the final wild card spot in the NFC.
Much of the team's struggles can be placed on quarterback Kirk Cousins, who's in the first of a three-year deal worth $84 million, signed in the offseason. Every single penny of it is guaranteed, but Cousins hasn't done a lot to earn the big payday.
After the firing, Zimmer explained why he made the difficult decision to fire DeFilippo - who was the quarterbacks coach for the Super Bowl 52 champion Philadelphia Eagles.
"This one, unfortunately with the timing and the situation with the last three ballgames here, with us still having an opportunity to do something, I felt like I don’t want the season to be wasted," Zimmer said, via Chad Graff of The Athletic.
Zimmer added that he "didn't do a good enough job" in helping DeFilippo get better over time, and noted that firing him was "an extremely difficult decision." Zimmer also said that he will help Stefanski on offense, as the former has no experience in calling plays at the NFL level.
The Vikings reached the NFC Championship Game last season with career journeyman Case Keenum at the helm. When they gave Cousins a shin $84 million deal, the front office made one thing clear: It's Super Bowl or bust.
Minnesota returns home Sunday for a must-win game over the Miami Dolphins, followed by a road game against the Detroit Lions. Their regular season will conclude with a home contest against the NFC North-leading Chicago Bears.
What This Means
Despite having quality receivers in Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, Cousins hasn't been able to make the most of the talent around him. If Cousins falters and Minny can't lock down a playoff spot this season, expect more changes in Minnesota.