Skip to main content

It's the year 2026 and Cooper Rush is sitting at a bar. With "Glory Days" playing in the background, Rush is enjoying a beer as he is approached by a stranger.

"Aren't you Cooper Rush?" the stranger asked.

"Why, yes I am!" Rush responds.

"Wow, I remember when you beat the Vikings on Sunday Night Football," the stranger continued. "That was awesome!"

Rush nods politely and takes a sip of his beer as the stranger continues.

"Funny story...I also beat the Vikings," the stranger said extending his hand. "The name's Nick. Nick Foles."

Suddenly, another stranger stands up and yells across the room.

"No way," the man says. "I'm Chase Daniel and I also beat the Vikings!"

Matt Moore and Andy Dalton walk through the door and suddenly Rush realizes he's in an elite fraternity. He is one of the many backup quarterbacks that have defeated Mike Zimmer.

Zimmer's futility against backup quarterbacks continued on Sunday night when Rush led the Dallas Cowboys to a 20-16 victory on national television. With Dak Prescott out due to injury, Rush stepped in brilliantly, throwing for 325 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

With the game on the line, Zimmer's defense made Rush look like Roger Staubach as he drove down the field and found Amari Cooper for the game-winning touchdown with 51 seconds remaining.

It was reminiscent of other clutch performances by quarterbacks who are known more for holding a clipboard than throwing touchdowns. During his tenure with the Vikings, Zimmer has posted a 7-5 record against backup quarterbacks including a 4-5 record in the last nine games.

Screen Shot 2021-11-01 at 11.43.06 AM

The list of backup quarterback performances gets more interesting when you consider the story behind the games. 

Nick Foles blasted the Vikings in the NFC Championship when they had a chance to play in the Super Bowl in their own stadium. Matt Moore was retired before beating the Vikings in 2019 and Brandon Allen built a 20-0 lead the following week before Minnesota scored 27 of the next 30 points to win. 

But Rush's story adds another interesting chapter. Despite being in his fourth season in the NFL, Rush was making his first career start. While it was a small task for Rush to eclipse Sean Mannion's touchdown total, it should have been an even smaller one for the Vikings' defense to contain a quarterback of this caliber.

A key component could be the Vikings' lack of preparation. Zimmer said in his postgame press conference that they had plenty of film on Rush but Xavier Woods noted they had prepared for Prescott instead of the possibility that Rush would start.

"We just prepared for [Prescott]," Woods said. "We kind of felt like they were still going to run the same offense. So we just prepared for [Prescott] all week. We didn't get the word until pregame so...we just watched a couple clips of [Rush]."

This thought process is even more inexcusable considering Prescott's practice schedule. He practiced in limited fashion throughout the week and felt sore when trying to ramp things up on Thursday. The tea leaves continued to fall when Prescott and McCarthy mentioned the big picture and with a massive lead in the NFC East, there was no reason to risk further damage.

Still, Zimmer and his team apparently succumbed to tunnel vision which has sunk the Vikings too many times throughout his tenure. With another backup torching his defense, it might be time for Zimmer to prepare for the unexpected. Otherwise, it could be time for a change.

Next Up

Nicholas Kraus

Man sentenced for fatally striking woman during Uptown protest

Nicholas Kraus, 36, of St. Paul drove into a protest in Uptown last year, killing Deona Marie Knajdek.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Fleeing suspect crashes into vehicle in Woodbury, 2 injured

The crash occurred Friday afternoon after a pursuit with Woodbury police.

Screen Shot 2022-11-26 at 2.34.44 PM

Yes, that's MN native Jenny Taft in a State Farm commercial

Jenny Taft got her broadcasting career started in Minneapolis in 2011.

crime scene tape - police tape

23-year-old woman critical after shooting in Plymouth

A 23-year-old woman was shot Friday night in Plymouth.

white Christmas

2 MN towns among most 'magical' winter locations in the country

The list was compiled by Trips Discover and published earlier this month.

Screen Shot 2022-11-26 at 8.27.12 AM

St. Olaf football player charged after fatal crash in Chicago

The 18-year-old is accused of speeding and going the wrong way when he crashed into a vehicle that may have been attempting to flee police.

Screen Shot 2022-11-26 at 7.41.18 AM

Woman 34 weeks pregnant injured by drunk driver in Cottage Grove

The 49-year-old suspected of DUI was booked into jail around 1:30 a.m. Saturday.


2 dead, 5 injured in Thanksgiving Day crash near Alexandria

The crash involved two people from Alexandria and five from Bloomington.

Screen Shot 2022-11-25 at 6.44.11 PM

Lengthy standoff in Prior Lake ends late Friday night

The suspect allegedly assaulted an officer outside Kwik Trip, fled and broke into a home.

snow - 12-10-21 - Joe Nelson - 5

Accumulating snow possible in Twin Cities next week

The storm system could arrive in the Tuesday-Wednesday timeframe.

Target store snow

With Black Friday barely underway, Target reveals Cyber Monday deals

Plans for the two-day sale were revealed Friday morning.

Screen Shot 2022-11-25 at 9.37.25 AM

Man waves replica assault weapon at drivers in downtown Minneapolis

The alarming incident was spotted by the new MPD chief, Brian O'Hara.


Mike Zimmer

Mike Zimmer, Rick Spielman fired by Minnesota Vikings

Zimmer's run ends after eight seasons in Minnesota.

Mike Zimmer

Mike Zimmer needs to become 'Riverboat Zim' to save the Vikings

Zimmer's tendencies have put him on the edge of the hot seat.

Mike Zimmer

Mike Zimmer offers statement after being fired by Vikings

Zimmer was fired on Monday after eight seasons with the Vikings.

Mike Zimmer

‘Fire Zimmer’ trending after Vikings beat Panthers

The Vikings won the game but their coach is still on the hot seat.

Mike Zimmer

Mike Zimmer’s girlfriend slams Rick Spielman on Twitter

After Rick Spielman's media tour, Zimmer's girlfriend has broken her silence.

Mike Zimmer

Report: Vikings ownership undecided on firing Mike Zimmer

With the Vikings' playoff hopes on the line, Zimmer's fate is up in the air.

Mike Zimmer

Report: Vikings finalizing multi-year extension with Mike Zimmer

The Vikings' head coach was heading into the final year of his contract.

Mike Zimmer

Vikings fans clamor for change after latest bad loss under Mike Zimmer

The "fire Mike Zimmer" tweets are raging on Twitter again.