No one should be surprised if the Vikings beat the Chargers on Sunday.

The Chargers are last in the NFL against the run and the Vikings are at their best when they run the ball effectively.

If the Vikings win, they will be 4-5 with eight games left, including matchups with the disappointing 49ers and the winless Lions.

If the Vikings lose on Sunday, though, they will fall to 3-6 with a game against the Packers looming. They could be 3-7 when they make their third flight to a coast in four weeks, to play San Francisco, and they will be required to make a late-season run while navigating COVID-19 problems, key injuries and inept coaching.

If the Vikings fall from contention in the next eight days, all that will remain is the timing of the firing of Mike Zimmer and many of his coaches.

Vikings fans will need a more relevant team to cheer.

I've done their homework for them.

They should cheer for the Chargers.

If the Chargers win on Sunday, they will be 6-3. They have perhaps the best uniforms in sports, with a powder-blue-and-gold scheme and a lightning bolt logo.

They might have the best young quarterback in the league, in Justin Herbert, and he possesses what appears to be an ideal combination of arm strength, touch, presence, leadership and toughness.

Their skill-position players are the explosive Mike Williams, the perpetually underrated Keenan Allen and running back Austin Ekeler, one of the league's best stories. Ekeler played at Western Colorado and went undrafted, then played well enough that the Chargers were happy to let former first-round draft pick Melvin Gordon leave.

The Chargers defense is problematic, but that just creates the kind of high-scoring games that are the most entertaining to watch.

The best reason to cheer for the Chargers, though, is their coach.

This week, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer, forced to be the organizational spokesperson in the wake of allegations of domestic assault against Vikings star Dalvin Cook, said, "It is what it is.''

Zimmer might as well have grunted and spit into a red Solo Cup.

The Vikings erred in leaving the topic to Zimmer. General Manager Rick Spielman should have acted like the GM and taken the tough questions on the topic. After all, Spielman drafted Cook and gave Cook a large contract extension.

The Chargers coach is Brandon Staley, the former St. Thomas assistant. He's in his first year as an NFL head coach and is already wiser, and a better communicator, than most of his peers.

On the sideline, he's aggressive, often choosing to go for it on fourth downs. He's personable. His team is winning. And he knows what it means to speak for an organization.

Earlier this season, Staley was asked about the firing of Raiders coach Jon Gruden in the wake of Gruden's racist e-mails being revealed.

Said Staley:

"Perspective and trust in this world are really, really difficult to achieve. I think about all the people that were affected by those e-mails — whether you're a person of color, whether you're a person, you know, a gender, your sexual orientation. That's who I'm thinking about because it's a sacred mantle for someone to call you coach or someone to call you a leader.

"Trust is really, really hard to achieve in this world. It's really, really challenging to achieve, especially with people with those groups that I just mentioned. People are really guarded and skeptical of people because of e-mails like that.

"Kindness and lifting people up and respecting people you don't know, I just think that that's such a big part of our thing here … listening to people and learning about people because I think what you'll discover is that we have so much more in common than not."

How many NFL head coaches could and would speak so eloquently about a peer being punished for being a racist?

If the Vikings fall out of contention, their fans should adopt the Chargers. And hope that the Vikings are capable of hiring someone like Staley.