Kevin O’Connell’s Revenge Tour in 2022 Has Gone Perfectly

Vikings Voted Best Team to Play For by NFL Players Association
Sep 11, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

We’ve talked a lot about revenge tours for players so far this season. Za’Darius Smith opened the year up by getting revenge on the Green Bay Packers, Kirk Cousins got his against Washington earlier this year, and so did Harrison Phillips against the Buffalo Bills. Kevin O’Connell’s revenge tour has gone a little under-the-radar, though, and it’s one that has occurred throughout most of the season.

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As an NFL player, the Vikings head coach spent time with five NFL teams:

  • New England Patriots
  • New York Jets (twice)
  • Detroit Lions
  • Miami Dolphins
  • San Diego Chargers

Then, as a coach prior to becoming the Vikings head coach, he spent time with four teams:

  • Cleveland Browns
  • San Francisco 49ers
  • Washington Commanders
  • Los Angeles Rams

In 2022, the Vikings have played five of these nine teams so far, and they are about to play the Detroit Lions once again in Week 14. So far, the Vikings are 5-0 against teams that Kevin O’Connell has prior connections to. Here are all the results so far:

  • Week 3 win vs. Detroit Lions, 28-24
  • Week 5 win @ Miami Dolphins, 24-16
  • Week 9 win @ Washington Commanders, 20-17
  • Week 12 win vs. New England Patriots, 33-26
  • Week 13 vs. New York Jets, 27-22

A victory against the Detroit Lions in Week 14 not only clinches the NFC North crown for the Vikings this year, something they haven’t accomplished since 2017, but it also ensures that the Vikings head coach goes a perfect 6-0 against his former teams. Needless to say, that would be a major accomplishment considering four of the six teams would be in the playoffs if the season ended today.

As impressive as this would be, there could be another “revenge game” looming for O’Connell and the Vikings later this season. If you look at the NFC playoff picture, there’s one team that seems inevitable to be in the Vikings way. That team is the San Francisco 49ers.

Of course, it remains to be seen how competitive that team will be moving through the remainder of the regular season due to Jimmy Garoppolo’s season-ending foot injury. In his stead, it appears that Brock Purdy, a seventh-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, will be the starter for the rest of the way. The 49ers play these teams the rest of the way:

  • Week 14 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Week 15 @ Seattle Seahawks
  • Week 16 vs. Washington Commanders
  • Week 17 @ Las Vegas Raiders
  • Week 18 vs. Arizona Cardinals

Certainly, this is not the easiest schedule in the world, so things could get dicey down the stretch. We’ll see if O’Connell gets his shot at a divisional round revenge game, but first things first, let’s get that 6-0 regular season sweep and the NFC North crown.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.