We’ll Soon Find Out If The Purple Pattern Holds in 2021

Mike ZImmer
Sep 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer looks at his play chart against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Valued reader, join me on a trip down Minnesota’s memory lane.

We begin in 2017. Our Vikings began their year going 2-2. Our losses included two uninspiring performances against the Steelers and Lions. There’s no shame in losing to the Steelers; there’s plenty of shame in losing to the Lions. By the end of the regular season, we were 13-3. Stefon Diggs then provided us with one of the greatest moments in our franchise’s history.

In 2018, there was a new sheriff in town. He was well-compensated and said “frick” a lot. Our Vikings began 1-2-1. The tie was against Green Bay; were it not for some Daniel Carlson kicking shenanigans, we would have won. Otherwise, the game that most stands out is our slobberknocker against the Rams. We also had a brutal loss to the Bills (they were lousy at the time). We ended up missing the playoffs with an 8-7-1 record.

Fast forward a year. Our Vikings again begin in an inauspicious manner. After four weeks, we’ve got a 2-2 record following losses to division rivals GB and Chicago. We go on to make the playoffs with a 10-6 record. We defeat the Saints in the playoffs once again. Kirk, to his credit, led a great drive down the field to win. Kyle Rudolph didn’t push off as he secured the biggest TD catch of his career.

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For our last stop on Minnesota’s memory lane, we look to last year. We started out 1-3. Our lone victory came against the hapless Houston Texans. Otherwise, we dropped games to the Peckers, Colts, and Titans. By the end of the season, we were an underwhelming 7-9. We missed the playoffs.

Vikings fans and writers have long recognized the good season/bad season back and forth that has characterized Zim’s time as Minnesota’s HC. One thing that commonly gets overlooked, though, is how the seasons have begun. All things considered, we can do quite well when we start 2-2. Would I prefer to start 4-0? Of course, who wouldn’t? Nevertheless, it’s notable that this team has had success in the past when we’re mediocre to start the year.

Ending the opening four games with a losing record, in contrast, is a recipe for purple disaster.

Our next three games, in order, come against Arizona, Seattle, and Cleveland. We need to snag 2 wins out of these three tough games. If we don’t, the purple pattern suggests we could be in for another long season.

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