The Vikings missed several different opportunities in Week 16.
First, Minnesota's 30-23 loss to Los Angeles meant the Vikings were booted from being in control of making the NFC Playoffs.
Minnesota also missed its fourth chance to get above .500 in 2021, as it is now 7-8 with two games left in the regular season.
And on a more micro level, the Vikings couldn't take advantage of numerous chances within Sunday's game, whether it was the offense in the red zone or the defense unable to haul in an extra interception or two.
The end result was a deflating loss in terms of playoff hopes, with Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports gave the Vikings a ‘C+ grade’ for their Week 16 performance.
They can't be dinged too much considering they finished within one score and thoroughly disrupted Stafford for at least a half of action. Mike Zimmer's "D" really looked poised to lead an upset at one point in the second half. Justin Jefferson was also reliable as usual, and Kirk Cousins never bowed out.
But the play-calling left quite a bit to be desired, especially in the red zone, too often forcing Cousins to make a big play on third down early. Alexander Mattison was both under-used and wrongly used at times. The defense, meanwhile, ultimately looked incapable of slowing the Rams ground game, and even the secondary that helped dominate Stafford early proved porous down the stretch.
Overall, it wasn't an awful performance from any phase. But it just wasn't good enough for this time of year when teams are making a push for the playoffs.
According to analytics website FiveThirtyEight.com, the Vikings postseason chances now sit at just 11 percent.
Minnesota would be eliminated in Week 17 with a loss plus a Philadelphia win. The Eagles moved to 8-7 after their big win Sunday.
The Vikings play their final road game of the season on Sunday at Lambeau Field against the Packers on Sunday Night Football. Green Bay is 12-3, has won the NFC North and is currently the top seed in the NFC.
View game action photos between the Vikings and Rams during the Week 16 matchup at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Coleman announces HBCU punter award
Greg Coleman was announced as an inductee into the Black College Football Hall of Fame in November of 2020, and was enshrined in June of 2021.
The former Vikings punter described his emotions a six months ago when he was honored at a ceremony in Atlanta.
"For months, I have tried to keep the lid on my emotions about this recognition," Coleman told Vikings.com. "And now that it's a done deal, I can't begin to describe what this feels like – being recognized and called a Hall of Famer."
Coleman starred collegiately at Florida A&M University, which is recognized as a Historically Black Colleges and University (HBCU).
Coleman, who now serves as a radio sideline analyst for Vikings games, had a special announcement Monday morning regarding football and HBCUs.
He unveiled the honor on Twitter:
Coleman punter at Florida A&M University from 1972-75, before becoming the first Black punter ever selected in an NFL Draft (Cincinnati tabbed him in the 14th round in 1976).
The Class of 2022 Black College Hall of Fame Inductees (out of 29 finalists that include former Vikings receivers Sammy White and Jake Reed and former Head Coach Leslie Frazier) will be announced Dec. 28, 2021.