Panic after DET, Brandel Out, Firing People

Questions Answered: Panic after DET, Brandel Out, Firing People
Dec 11, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end T.J. Hockenson (87) and Detroit Lions wide receiver Josh Reynolds. Mandatory Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports.

Questions Answered: Panic after DET, Brandel Out, Firing People

The following questions are about current Minnesota Vikings topics, answered by PurplePTSD. Today is the December 12th edition, addressed in a from-the-hip fashion. If you have questions, please email them to [email protected].

Also, please note: These are opinion-based responses. Some answers will be incorrect from time to time. But we’ll try to keep that to a minimum.

Q: You have to admit you’re a wee bit panicked about the Vikings after the loss in Detroit, right?

Questions Answered: Panic after DET,
Dec 5, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. Mandatory Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports.

A: Well, that depends on your overall expectation for the team. They’re certainly not performing like Super Bowl contenders, so it’s probably time to readjust your projections.

After toppling the Bills in Buffalo, the Vikings convinced most of the purple community that Super Bowl aspirations were attainable. And, at the time, that was a fair assumption.

Now, though, the team ranks last in important defensive metrics, can’t run the football worth a damn, and still employs a suspect kicker. The Vikings likely aren’t winning in a Super Bowl this season, but the campaign for a first-year head coach can still be classified as successful.

Q: Who’s the next man up with Blake Brandel out indefinitely?

Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Blake Brandel (64) during the NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports

A: Why, that should be Christian Darrisaw — not a bad replacement for Brandel, huh?

Darrisaw could’ve played in Detroit if it was the NFC Championship or something similar. However, out of an abundance of caution with the brain injury, the Vikings gave Darrisaw one extra week to get right. It was the smart move.

But, yes, now Brandel is hurt, and his primary backup is probably Oli Udoh from The Oli Udoh RG Show of 2021. Udoh wasn’t much of a right guard, but like Brandel, he’s a decent reservist tackle.

Otherwise, rookie Vederian Lowe received a little playing time at Detroit, too.

The short answer — Darrisaw. He should be back this Saturday.

Q: Would you fire Ed Donatell?

Sep 30, 2022; Thundridge, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Ed Donatell during practice at Hanbury Manor. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A: No, not with four weeks before the playoffs and a 10-3 record.

Kevin O’Connell should first inspire Donatell to change his tactics or philosophy and then let that chat ride the rest of the way. There’s virtually no precedent for the No. 2 seed in a playoff picture to can its defensive coordinator with the postseason near — while later making noise in the playoffs.

Donatell certainly isn’t loved at the moment, but any change in defensive coaching personnel should happen in January, not Week 15.

The Minnesota Vikings Must Keep Their Foot on the Gas

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).