The Minnesota Vikings are off to a rather poor start in 2023. They sit with an 0-3 record through the first three weeks, and now they have a road game against the Carolina Panthers awaiting them.
Head coach Kevin O’Connell probably deserves a little benefit of the doubt, considering the Vikings went 13-4 during his first season.
However, that doesn’t seem to be happening from the national perspective. In fact, multiple outlets have placed the Vikings coach on the hot seat because of this 0-3 start.
Major Outlets Place Vikings Head Coach Kevin O’Connell on the Hot Seat
The first national outlet to warm O’Connell’s seat was Pro Football Network as Dallas Robinson wrote of O’Connell, “While the Vikings won’t fire O’Connell after he took the club to the postseason in his debut, Minnesota has to be disappointed with its 0-3 start. But O’Connell will likely guide the Vikings through their upcoming reset/rebuild.”
So, in Robinson’s estimations, O’Connell isn’t likely to be fired this year, but if the Vikings continue their losing ways into 2024, it could heat up quickly.
FanSided’s Luke Norris is less optimistic, though. Here is what the analyst had to say of O’Connell’s warming seat:
A season ago, Kevin O’Connell led the Minnesota Vikings to the most victories they’d had in five years, winning 13 games in his first year as an NFL head coach.
But that 13-4 mark easily could have been much worse, as 11 of those wins were by eight points or less.
In similar fashion, the Vikings’ first three games of the 2023 campaign have all been decided by one score. Only this year, O’Connell & Co. have been on the wrong side of victory all three times.
No head coach can ever take all the blame for a loss, but O’Connell certainly has to take some heat for this one, as his clock management down the stretch was quite poor.
Letting the clock run instead of getting in Cousins’ ear to tell him to spike the ball as precious seconds ticked away was inexcusable, and Vikings fans certainly weren’t happy about it on social media.
Kevin O’Connell’s seat might not be quite as hot as those of Matt Eberflus and Ron Rivera, but it’s certainly warming up with Minnesota dropping to 0-3.
From my perspective, it would be truly stunning if the Vikings let go of their head coach any time soon. Minnesota brought him in to rejuvenate their offense, and he has done that through his first year-plus with the Vikings.
An 0-3 start to the year is very disappointing for Minnesota, but even if they continue losing this year, that puts them in position to draft one of the top young QBs in the 2024 NFL Draft. O’Connell should stick around to develop that young QB if it comes to that.
In all, we should expect the Vikings to keep their head coach around. He had a terrific first season as the head coach and deserves a bit of a grace through this rough patch.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.