Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer – Media Availability – December 26, 2021

All right, disappointing loss. You know, we talked all week about controlling the game with our tempo and our — being able to run the football. They ran the ball way better than we did today. We had some guys get out of their alignments and gaps and things like that. And so, it was difficult in the run game. Didn’t do a good enough job there. You know, they — early in the first half, offensively, I thought we weren’t good enough. We forced three turnovers and ended up getting ten points out of those. And then, you know, defensively in the second half, you know, we gave up a couple big plays that ended up getting scores for them. So, get back to work and keep fighting.


Q: With Sean Mannion testing positive — or being moved out of the COVID list this morning, was that a random test or was he showing symptoms?

A: He was sick.


Q: Your defense traditionally can stop the run. What was the issue? Was it just more lining up or was it tackling?

A: I don’t think it was tackling, necessarily. You know, they have a unique scheme where they use the receiver, the extra guy that’s over there to kind of — you know, when our guys were jumping out at them instead of playing what they were supposed to play, so they ended up getting some big gashes in there.


Q: Did you feel it was a lost opportunity, it’s not often you pick off Matthew Stafford three times, but you weren’t able to take full advantage of it?

A: Yeah.


Q: Is it tougher where it kind of feels like the opposite complementary football when the defense tries to set up the offense, it doesn’t go perfect, and I guess vice versa at the end?

A: Yeah, I don’t know if that’s — I mean, typically when you get turnovers and interceptions, you want to score. I don’t know if that’s complementary football or not. But it’s — it wasn’t good enough today.


Q: When your running game looked good early, do you feel like you went away from it or do you feel you weren’t executing it well?

A: Well, I think there were sometimes where we got second and 12, and I think the one time it was second and 15 coming off the goal line or something like that. You know, with this team, you can’t be behind the chains. And I felt like we were a lot today, especially in the first half.


Q: What did you see on the fumble where they said forward progress?

A: Well, I told them — you know, we let these guys get in these piles and they run forever. You know, they never blow the whistle. And then all of a sudden we got a one-on-one there and you’re going to see them blow them dead. They told me the replay said the ball came out and touched the player that was out of bounds. So I don’t know if he was or not.


Q: Did they not review it because they — did they blow a whistle there?

A: Yeah, it was a non-reviewable play.


Q: How serious was it — did Thielen reinjure his ankle or is this going to happen going forward?

A: I don’t know.


Q: You had momentum when it was a three-point game and then the offense goes three and out, they get the punt return. This team does not seem to be able to keep momentum. Has that been an issue all year long or was it just today?

A: Yeah, I mean, I don’t know. Obviously, the punt return was a big play in the game. And, you know, so.


Q: Kirk was dealing with that rib injury this week. Do you think that affected his throwing at all today?

A: He said he was fine.


Q: How do you guys look after the playoff race now? How frustrating was it?

A: I just look at one game. The next one.