The Minnesota Vikings have reached the bye week. The bye week is a great time for teams who need to reset. While the Vikings are 5-1, this is an opportunity for new head coach Kevin O’Connell to reflect and improve.
In recent years, the Vikings have performed all over the place after the bye week. Vikings fans grew to expect anything under former head coach Mike Zimmer. It will be interesting to see how the new regime performs in its first crack at it.
Vikings Bye Week Before & After by Season
Let’s take a look at how the Vikings performed every season after the bye during Mike Zimmer’s tenure dating back to 2014.
Last season, the bye also came in Week 7 for the Vikings. They were 3-3 heading into the bye and then lost their next two games. Minnesota actually kept that pattern of losing two and winning two in a row the rest of the season ending with a single loss to the Bears.
Before Bye: 3-3
After Bye: 5-6
The Vikings were a different team after the bye week during the 2020 season. Unfortunately, it was too little too late after a disappointing 1-5 start. Losing three of their last four games to end the season made the year finish just how it started, right after a stretch that gave the fans hope.
Before Bye: 1-5
After Bye: 6-4
2019 was the last time the Vikings made a trip to the playoffs. That season, the bye week didn’t come until Week 12. They didn’t really need the bye to recoup that year, as they were rolling at 8-3. They lost the last two games of the season but still squeaked into the playoffs to knock off the much higher-seeded New Orleans Saints.
Before Bye: 8-3
After Bye: 2-3
During the first season with current QB Kirk Cousins, the Vikings had a decent record before the bye in Week 10. They finished the season going 3-4 to narrowly miss the playoffs.
Before Bye: 5-3-1
After Bye: 3-4
This is one of the most memorable seasons in recent Vikings history — the year Case Keenum took over for an injured Sam Bradford and led the Vikings one game shy of a Super Bowl appearance. The Vikings were tough before the bye but were even tougher after it. The bye came in Week 9, and only one of their three total losses came during that stretch.
This is something the 2022 Vikings will look to emulate, as the 2017 team won four straight after the bye. That would put the 2022 squad at 9-1.
Before Bye: 6-2
After Bye: 7-1
While 2017 was a year the Vikings would like to repeat, 2016 is one they will look to avoid at all costs. This Sam Bradford-led team started the season 5-0 before the bye in Week 6. Then, they lost their next four games after the bye. They were so bad after the bye that they only won three more games all season and finished the year 8-8, missing the playoffs.
Before Bye: 5-0
After Bye: 3-8
This was the last season of Teddy Bridgewater as the healthy franchise quarterback of the Vikings. The team had a great season overall. Before the bye, the team was 2-2. They turned it on after that, winning five games straight to finish with an 11-5 record and a playoff berth. This is another year we would like to forget because this is the famous wide Blair Walsh wide-left season during the Vikings playoff matchup against the Seattle Seahawks.
Before Bye: 2-2
After Bye: 9-3
2014 was a disappointing season for the Vikings. The bye came in Week 10 that year. Prior to that, they were 4-5. Things didn’t change at all after that, as they finished the year 7-9, missing the playoffs.
Before Bye: 4-5
After Bye: 3-4
The Page Has Turned
While it is fun to look at what we have grown to expect from the Vikings, the new coaching staff will look to make their own identity. We will get a taste of what that is as the season progresses. They have an excellent opportunity to make a statement with five wins already. If they put together a 3- to 4-game winning streak, they can build a nice cushion in the playoff and division race.