Four years after Minneapolis Miracle, Vikings are a long way from a Super Bowl win

Divisional Round - New Orleans Saints v Minnesota Vikings
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Many believe, incorrectly, that the Immaculate Reception happened en route to Pittsburgh’s first Super Bowl win. In reality, the Steelers lost the following weekend, to the unbeaten Dolphins in the 1972 AFC Championship. Two years later, the Steelers won the Super Bowl, beating the Vikings.

That reality was met with encouragement by plenty of Vikings fans four years ago, after the Minneapolis Miracle (which happened on January 14, 2018) ended a week later with a loss to the Eagles in the NFC Championship. The glass wasn’t half full; the cup was about to runneth over for those shouting SKOL! before taking the first gulp. It was just a matter of time before the Vikings finally got back to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1976, right? Um. Wrong.

Since 2018, the Vikings have regressed. In hindsight, maybe they should have kept quarterback Case Keenum (who threw the pass that sparked a miracle) instead of going all in for Kirk Cousins. After four seasons with (and countless millions paid to) Cousins, the Vikings seem much farther away from a championship than they were after one of the most dramatic moments in league history.

No longer content to be “just good enough,” Vikings ownership has cleaned house in an effort to consistently contend for championships. The hires they will soon make, for a new G.M. and a new head coach, will go a long way toward determining whether the franchise will finally realize its decades-long obsession to win a Super Bowl.

Today’s anniversary is a jarring reminder of the vibe that surrounded the Vikings just four years ago. Within the next four years, can they reverse the current path and finish the job that the team came close to accomplishing in 2009 and 2017? It all comes down to the persons the Wilfs hire, and then what they do once they settle in to their new jobs.

37 responses to “Four years after Minneapolis Miracle, Vikings are a long way from a Super Bowl win

  1. They want to “consistently contend for championships.”

    Management, the team and their fans have admitted to what most of us have known all along – they aspire to be like the Packers.

  2. Great QB’s get their coaches into the HOF. Mediocre QB’s get their coaches fired. I have a hard time with this owner. I think he’s just content with mediocrity. He needs to sell tickets, so he’s going through the same old tired motions. Fire this guy. Fire that guy. Spielman and Zimmer were top notch. Spielman just didn’t get a QB. The owner should know enough about the game to demand a top QB. Can’t fire yourself, I guess.

  3. Aren’t that far off. Need to hit on some draft picks and have the 2020 class round out a bit more and they will be in the mix. Zimmer had them under performing

  4. SKOL has come to stand for Still Keep On Losing…oh well, there is always fishing on the lakes…

  5. You keep saying they’re no longer content to be just good enough, but the GM candidates they’re currently looking at are from teams that seem to be just good enough too, in the Browns, Eagles, Titans, and colts.

  6. I can see having a team close to being a legit contender and saying you know what if we can get Brett Favre I think we can get over the hump, that kind of makes sense,

    I can’t see a team literally a game away from the SB say, “you know what we need? Kirk Cousins…”

  7. Aside from this one lucky play, they werent even particularly close that year either. The next game they played it was demonstrated they didnt belong. 30 point loss wasnt it?

  8. The Cousins fans always point to his stats. What does that matter if it doesn’t get you anywhere? He’s not a winner or a leader and they’ve paid him a boatload of money to be that. Jay Cutler also put up great stats too. What did he ever really accomplish in the league?

  9. I think the last four years clearly showed that 2018 team was highly overrated. I mean, without the miracle play, they lose in the divisional round as usual.

    They kept around almost their entire core from the NFC Championship Team, and no sane person can argue Case Keenum was better than Kirk Cousins the last few years. The offensive schemes in the league surpassed Zimmer’s old school, stubborn defensive style, and the defense regressed a bit every year until the last two seasons when they were awful.

    Like any team that wants to contend for Super Bowls, they need to find a top tier franchise quarterback, which is incredibly difficult. Here’s to hoping the new regime can find that QB in the near future.

  10. I was in my 20’s when the Vikings went to 4 Super Bowls in 7 years. Back then I figured they will continue that trend, boy was I wrong.

  11. I don’t get this take. The 2017 Vikings were not one of the greatest teams of all time. Adding Kirk Cousins did not make them one of those teams. But on two strikes with their window closing,d did they not swing for the fences on a ball that was at least over the plate?

    Badly as that worked out, I haven’t heard what they should have done differently, either from people content with being good or people willing to risk everything for greatness. The other options were a radically restructured Teddy Bridgewater, and Sam Bradford with the glue still drying yet we’re still weighing the merits of the best free agent available against a guy barely hanging in as backup to Baker Mayfield. Okay…

  12. I’ll be forever grateful to Case Keenum for that season and having the Miracle moment, however his career since would suggest he would have as much chance of going deep in the play offs as Cousins has. He had the season of his last life that year and it’s just unfortunate that the Vikings came up against Foles who also managed to string together a run of games in the play offs that he never managed before or has done since. Apart from that when the defense has been as bad as it has the last two seasons it would be a struggle to contend regardless of who’s playing QB.

  13. Another team was having a great play off run that year like the Vikings, the Jaguars. They wouldn’t get blown out in the Championship game however and were arguably one wrong whistle away from going to the Superbowl. Their implosion since was faster and bigger than the Vikings but neither team at that moment in time had what could be described as an elite QB. Thats what’s required to consistently compete for the big prize, I can’t think of a team that does so without one. The problem is it’s easier saying you need one than it is getting one.

  14. This is what happens when you freak out and sell T-shirts that celebrate a divisional round win. Lol, I LOVE it.

  15. “The vibe that surrounded the Vikings just four years ago?”

    Oh c’mon. 4 years ago the Vikings were a fluke play away from being one and done in their own building. They were only hosting a playoff game because Aaron Rodgers missed 10 games and they played a cupcake schedule and caught an inordinate number of breaks along the way.

    “The vibe” wasn’t ever rooted in anything real to being with. Anybody who thought they were about to become like the 70’s Steelers was delusional. The Vikings of the Mike Zimmer era were and always have been the same as the Vikings of the Jerry Burns era: A slightly above average team whose front office deluded themselves into believing they were only 1 player away.

    They weren’t that in 1989 and they weren’t that in 2017 either.

  16. The real problem was Thielen catching the OT bomb versus the Saints to set up the Rudolph push-off.

    That win convinced Ziggy’s braintrust to extend GM, coach, and QB all at/around the same time. One out of three is bad, in this sport.

  17. That 2017 Vikings team (and the Eagles team that beat them, to a lesser degree) had lightning in a bottle written all over it. Anyone who thought that was the start of something wasn’t looking too closely at the depth chart.

  18. Honestly who didn’t see this coming the moment they signed Kirk cousins? Dude is in it for the money only. He masquerades as an elite qb due to his pay but in all truth he is just good enough. He’s your problem. Oh an no more defensive minded head coaches. We’re in a new age now and tds are king!

  19. I think the Wilfs are just about out of money…they gave it all to Kirk Cousins for very little in return. On paper Kirk’s numbers look pretty good,but he disappears when it matters the most.

  20. The Vikings have regressed. So let’s talk about Kirk Cousins and his money rather than how the defense went from 18 ppg with Keenum to 25 ppg during those 4 years. A good coach gets his players into the HOF, not the other way around.

  21. The Vikings were not that great of a team during the Minneapolis miracle year anyway. Saints had them beat and let Vikings off the hook and then they got crushed the next week.

  22. Fact! the Vikings never won 13 games in a season for three straight years and never made the Super Bowl, like the team just to the east of them is about to!

  23. I don’t care for Kirk Cousins as a person. And as a Packer fan, I could say that about Aaron Rodgers too. But Cousins is a skillful quarterback and I think would have started at lots of other teams. The big difference in my mind between everybody else in the division has been the Packers’ good fortune at Quarterback. Favre and Rodgers will both be in the HOF.
    As a Packer fan, I’m sad to see the Vikings retooling. I had hoped for more years of mediocrity. They are always a fearsome opponent. When Rodgers leaves the Packers, hopefully through retirement in several years down the road, the Division becomes a tossup.

  24. Obviously the Vikes weren’t able to back up their choice with drafts or player development. I doubt Case Keenan was the answer as he flamed out in Denver and has not particularly looked good. Certainly Kirk Cousins was not the answer. He’s been pretty good just not the answer. Zimmer feared before the Cousin’s signing that throwing too many resources at the QB would get him fired. It certainly was part of his firing as the Vikings went from an ascending trajectory to a lower level plateau. Being tied to Cousins financially eliminated any other options at QB. The lack of flexibility is part what made the Vikings so consistently mediocre. We will never know how things would have worked out if they had some flexibility with roster construction. We just know that now there is going to be a new GM and HC. I wonder if Chris Simms is right about Kellen Mond. Hopefully the new regime will give the kid half a chance and I never have to listen to rationalizations talking up the attributes of Sean Mannion.

  25. Correct me if I’m wrong but don’t the Minnesota Vikings hang Division championship banners at their Winter Park training facility?

    Nothing says “just good enough” better than cherishing Division banners.


  26. The late great John Madden once said that championship teams have two significant things. 1. A good offensive line, which allows for a good running game and gives the QB time to find the open receiver. The offensive line is where the Viking’s are severely lacking. 2. A great secondary, which will shut down the opponent’s passing game. Take away the passing game and your opponent becomes very 1 dimensional. The Viking’s ranked in the bottom 1/4 against the pass. Not a recipe for success.

  27. Looked promising until MIN fans decide to do the SKOL stuff on the Philly Art Museum steps. Within 24 hours they became Foles chants.

  28. Vikings will NEVER win a super bowl.
    Much like Detroit, Cleveland, Jacksonville and a few other teams.

  29. I think it’s safe to say at this point…that dropping a 3rd round pick on Kellen Mond was a bad idea.

  30. I’ve been here since day one. Talk about a snake bitten franchise. The sad part is the Wilfs are the best team owners in all of team sports, they will support their GM, coaches and players in every way possible and beyond, but it seems no matter who coaches the team, who the players are and unfortunately who ownership is-“We just can’t”!

  31. What they need is some sort of shaman to undo whatever curse hangs over the team. They had Favre when he was having one of his best years along with Peterson in his prime and a fine defense, and a wheel still fell off. There’s just something about Minnesota…


  32. January 28, 1960, Minneapolis, MN

    That is the date on which the Minnesota Vikings were founded. I think it would only be the fair and right thing to lower all Viking Team flags to half-mast that day, to commemorate the devoted fans that have unflinchingly supported them.

  33. scottishvike says:
    January 15, 2022 at 6:49 am
    I’ll be forever grateful to Case Keenum for that season and having the Miracle moment, however his career since would suggest he would have as much chance of going deep in the play offs as Cousins has.

    Imagine that. a guy that had easily a top 3 pair of WRs in the league regressed when he didn’t anymore. You gonan tell me Culpepper wasnt the same when he didnt have two HoFers to throw too? In my opinion the biggest difference between Keenum and Cousins, isn’t on their field when they have weaopons around them, its their contracts.

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