As Vikings coach Mike Zimmer tries to fix a suddenly broken defense, here’s a good starting point: Don’t put a linebacker on a receiver. Multiple times.
Linebacker Anthony Barr drew the short straw on a 70-yard touchdown pass to Rams receiver Cooper Kupp and a 31-yard touchdown pass to Rams receiver Robert Woods. Earlier in the game, Barr tried to cover Rams running back Todd Gurley on what became an eight-yard touchdown pass.
The night capped a rough five days for Barr, a fifth-year player who is trying to get a new contract. The first glitch came on Sunday, when Bills rookie quarterback Josh Allen hurdled Barr in a highlight that will be part of the NFL long after Barr is gone from it.
“Got to be concerned,” Barr said on Thursday night regarding the subpar defensive performance generally. “We have to figure something out and get this thing turned around soon.”
Yes they do. Since taking a 14-3 record to Philadelphia in January for a chance to earn a spot on the Super Bowl, the Vikings are 1-3-1. They’re now 1-2-1 on the season, and whether the season can be salvaged may hinge on whether they can exorcise a demon or two in the City of Brotherly Love.