Did DeMeco Ryans make a slam-dunk case as Vikings next head coach?

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Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers have terrorized the NFC North division for years, finishing first in seven out of the last 10 seasons. However, Minnesota Vikings coaching candidate and current defensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers, DeMeco Ryans, bullied the bully in the Divisional Round of the playoffs.

The 49ers hit and harassed Rodgers, a league MVP candidate, all night long on Saturday. He spent most of the game doing snow angels on the ground after being held to only 225 passing yards and zero touchdowns.

Yes, the great Aaron Rodgers was a complete non-factor in a playoff game.

That’s a major feather-in-the-cap sort of a performance from Ryans after interviewing for the head coaching job for the Vikings. Nothing screams “take me seriously” more than beating and eliminating a team’s greatest division rival from the postseason.

The Vikings have leaned heavily on the defensive side of the ball with the last two hires being a previous defensive coordinator in Mike Zimmer and current one in Leslie Frazier. So they’d be sticking with the same formula if the team opted to give Ryans a chance at the reins.

The only thing working against the 37-year-old is experience. He spent four years working his way up as a quality control coach and linebackers coach to eventually landing the defensive coordinator job in 2021. It’s going to be tough to bypass other candidates with actual NFL head coaching experience like Todd Bowles, Raheem Morris or Dan Quinn.

But then again, this is the day and age where teams are more willing to take a shot at fresh faces in hopes of sparking some renewed energy on the field.

Kliff Kingsbury didn’t coach a snap of professional football before landing the Arizona Cardinals coaching job, and Sean McVay was only an offensive coordinator for three years before the Los Angeles Rams came calling.

Ryans might not be a slam-dunk hire, but his name should definitely be pushed up the list after the dominance his defense showed against the Packers.

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3 takeaways for the Vikings after a wild Divisional Playoff weekend

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