The Vikings blew a chance to at least have a .500 record this season, and I think if they had gotten to .500, there would be a different attitude about the team in the offseason.
The loss in Miami made the defense look bad. I’m guessing that before the game, the coaches and executives thought the defense had been repaired, and that as soon as they got everyone healthy, it would be fine headed into next season. Now you have to think they will feel the need to upgrade at a few defensive positions, which isn’t easy to do.
If the team had been able to finish 8-8, people would have looked at it as a positive step in Mike Zimmer’s first season as a coach, especially without Adrian Peterson. But having a losing record causes a lot more concern.
I think the Vikings need better depth on the offensive line which was hit hard by injury. If Peterson doesn’t come back, they will have to sign or draft a running back. And there is some question whether backup quarterback Matt Cassel will return; he is owed $4.5 million next season, and that isn’t guaranteed.
This will be an interesting offseason for the Vikings.