Postgame Quotes After Loss to Seattle

Posted Jan 10, 2016

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer  

Before I get started, I’d like to say I thought the fans were outstanding today. They sat in the coldest game in Vikings history, they were loud, they were educated, I thought they did a great job. It’s disappointing that we lost today. I thought we played well enough to win. This team has a lot of fight and a lot of heart. I’ve probably never been more proud of a football team than I am this team, the way they worked all year long, the way they fought, the way they competed, the intelligence that they played with, the way they worked and it’s unfortunate that we lost and don’t have a chance to continue to move forward. Regardless of what people think and regardless of how they think we played, we’re a good football team.

Q: Is part of changing the culture of this football team overcoming these obstacles or the, “here we go again” theory?

A: I never felt like there was any, “Here we go again,” today. We missed the field goal, we lost the game. Other than that, they hit a kind of a fluky play. We played great on defense all day. We did a good job in the running game, we did a good job on their quarterback. We missed a chip shot field goal, so that’s life.

Q: On the field goal, was there anything you go wrong as far as the snap or hold?

A: Snap spot was maybe a little high, but it’s a chip shot. He’s got to make it.

Q: Did you say anything to Blair Walsh after the game?

A: No, I have not said anything to him.

Q: On the broken play to Tyler Lockett, what are your players supposed to do in that situation?

A: Well, we were in a blitz, so they should have blitzed, but the guy made a good play and the receivers got open. I mean, he juked a guy, I guess. I didn’t see the whole thing, but he juked a guy.

Q: What was your message to your team in the locker room after the game?

A: I’m proud of them. They worked their rear ends off all year for me. You can’t really say much when you lose a game like this, especially in a playoff game, but I’m still proud of them. I’m proud they’re my team.

Q: What was your thoughts on choosing to defend that end zone when you came out for the third quarter? 

A: Because I like to do it that way.

Q: Did it have to do with the wind or were you trying to extend the lead in the third quarter?

A: Yeah, wind had nothing to do with it today.

Q: What did you see on the Adrian Peterson fumble? Was he carrying it loosely? 

A: I don’t know, I couldn’t see.

Q: What kind of adjustments were made on defense in this game compared to when you played them last month?

A: We changed a lot of things, obviously. I thought we did a better job in coverage, we did a better job [pass] rushing for the most part, we did a better job in the run game, we did a good job on third downs. We had a couple corners hurt on the one touchdown that they got. We didn’t play very good on the touchdown pass.

Q: How did you feel about Teddy Bridgewater’s overall play considering the elements?

A: I thought he played better today, he threw the ball well. He had a couple tipped, but he did what we asked him to do today, take what the defense gave him, trying to convert third downs. We had a chance to win the football game and we didn’t get it done.

Q: When you look at the overall season, do you think this team is on the path that you want them to be on?

A: Well, I think this team has proved a lot of things to a lot of people this year. Like I said the other day, there was only four teams with a better record than us heading into the playoffs, so we’ve done a lot of good things. The unfortunate part is each year is a different year, so just like whatever we did throughout the regular season, it didn’t matter today. When we start back up in OTAs and start lifting in the winter, none of that will matter. It’s all about the opportunity that you had and what you do with it. I like this football team. I think we have a lot of great people on it, a lot of really good team guys that care, that work, that will bust their rear end, and so that’s always a good place to start, but there’s no guarantees about next year from where we’re at.

Q: How would you characterize this season?

A: Well, the finish was disappointing, but I thought we did a lot of good things this year. We had the best record of any team that’s every played in a temporary stadium, first playoff game ever in a temporary stadium, we won the NFC North for the first time in I don’t know however many years. Did some good things.

Q: When you have a game like this, do you still have that curiosity of how far this team could have gone or what you could have accomplished?

A: Yeah, we’ll never know. We did a lot of things a lot of people didn’t think we could’ve done and I think that’s what hurts the most is we don’t get an opportunity to continue to do that.

Vikings Defensive End Brian Robison

Q: Last game against the Seahwaks they totaled over 400 yards. What are you most proud of today from the defense, as you guys kept their offense in check for the majority of the game?

A: I’m proud of how smart we were playing Russell Wilson today. I’m proud of how we played on first and second downs. That was a huge key for success on defense. I’m proud of our coaches. They came up with a great game plan. They worked hard all week. I am just proud of this team in general. Even though we didn’t come out on top today, it just shows truly what type of caliber team we are.

Q: As a unit, describe the emotions collectively?

A: We want to be moving on. No player is ready to go home, that’s for sure. We knew this was going to be a tough test for us and we wanted to prove them all wrong. Hardly anyone gave us a chance to win this game. By all rights, we should have won. I think that’s the thing that hurts the most. It was a game that we had in hand but we just didn’t finish it.

Q: How does it feel to see Blair Walsh taking all the blame and what was your response once you saw the kick miss?

A: You can name a hundred things during the game that could have changed the outcome. They had a busted play that we allowed a big gain on. That was a key moment for them. We have to finish drives as an offense. We were able to turn the ball over with the interception and then we did the same thing with the fumble. It all boils down to the same things. It’s always about turnovers and third downs. It’s just about doing your job. I am not taking away anything away from Seattle, but I felt like we had that game dead to rights. There was just a few plays that determined the outcome of it. I’m not going to lay all the blame on Blair. Absolutely not. There are plays throughout the game that you can pick other than that, that turned the momentum. You just have to finish it out.

Vikings Running Back Adrian Peterson

Q: Adrian, you guys were so close, but yet now so far away.

A: Yeah, you know it is definitely a hard pill to swallow. Look back over this game, and there’s missed opportunities on our behalf. Our defense played outstanding. Offensively we gave ourselves a shot towards the end even with all the adversity throughout the game. We had an opportunity and we just weren’t able to come through with it. A lot of people, and even Blair, has put the blame on himself. Throughout this season, without him, there are a lot of games we would have lost.

Q: Did you get a chance to talk to him today after the game?

A: Briefly. I just told him, “Hey man, you know we love you. Those nine points that are on the board, you accounted for those. The team knows this. Just keep your head up.”

Q: Does it hurt more Adrian because every year you play  you realize that your careers are finite and you only get so many shots at this?

A: Yeah, it’s definitely harder because of that. You think about the OTAs and what it takes to get to this point, and having to do that all over again, that’s what hurts the most. You think about the way we came out and kind of dominated into the fourth quarter, nine to zero, and to come out and lose in this fashion is a dagger. 

Q: Was the weather a big factor in the game plan and footing, all those things?

A: Of course it was, but obviously we played through it and I felt like we played well. I feel like offensively we should have converted more and turned those three points into seven, but overall I feel like offensively, defensively and special teams we played at a high level and we gave ourselves an opportunity to be playing next week.

Q: What were your emotions, even though you know that Blair would take this personally, what were your emotions when you actually saw it miss right at that time with everything you guys have put up with this year and what you have come through?

A: I was initially just in a state of shock, I couldn’t believe it. I thought it was fake. It’s kind of hard to swallow and really hard to explain.

Q: We never see Teddy get really too high or too low. What sort of emotions did you see from him and really as a young quarterback that’s going to steer this team in the future?

A: I think he held himself well throughout the game. Of course with this type of loss, it’s one that is emotional, and he took it hard. I just appreciate everything that he did this season. We’ll learn from this and if God’s willing, come back next season and we’ll be able to sit back and watch the first round.

Q: Talk about this group of men in this locker room. You guys are a close knit group, I’m sure you’re going to have your exit interviews and all those things. Immediately after the game what did you tell these guys?

A: Just keep your head up, we’re going to have another opportunity, and just remember how this felt so when the opportunity presents itself again we’ll take advantage of these opportunities.

Q: Your thoughts on Mike Zimmer and the thoughts he and his staff did this year?

A: They did an outstanding job of adjusting throughout the season, putting us in the best position, figuring things out throughout the season and allowing us to go out and play fast. So I take my hat off to them and I look forward to another season with them.  

Q: What were you thinking when the fumble popped out? Were you thinking “not again”?

A: Yeah, you know it was tough. To have the first down, and my mentality is to try to scratch for extra yards, that was one of those times when I should have double arm wrapped it. After that it was just praying that the defense would give us another opportunity, and they gave us another opportunity. I look back on that and say if I don’t put that ball on the ground, they’re not able to get that field goal and take the lead. That’s something that will haunt me throughout this offseason.

Q: Brian Robison and Chad Greenway compared this to that 2009 loss to New Orleans. How does it compare?

A: Its right up there with it. It felt like there was so much promise for us this season, and the way we came out gave us a chance to come through. I feel like we dominated throughout this game, and kind of gave it away in the fourth quarter, and in the fashion that we did is right there with the NFC Championship game.

Q: The linebacker had your arm on that fumble. Was that keeping you from covering it up?

A: I really don’t recall it. I just recall the ball going up in the air and me scratching, trying to get it back.

Q: On a positive note Chad Greenway says he definitely wants to play another year. How do you feel with him back, because you’re close to him?

A: I feel glad to hear that. Him leaving in this fashion is not what I would want for him. So he deserves more, and he has brought a lot of leadership, hard work, and that warrior mentality to this organization. That’s my brother and I love him. When I’m out there fighting, he’s one of the guys I’m doing it for. So to hear that, it makes me feel real good, we need him around.

Q: Are you ready to do it again next year?

A: Yeah, without a doubt. I can say this, coming back for this next season, it will probably be one of my best seasons ever.

Q: Given what happened back in Week 13, and given how much you guys run the football, it’s your M-O, how much responsibility did you feel personally coming into this game?

A: I felt a lot of responsibility, a lot. We knew we were facing a tough defense, a fast and physical defense. To kind of go back to the last play before the field goal, being an inch away from the first down, it haunts me. I’m sick about that. So I hold myself responsible for this loss as well.

Q: Why do you think you’ve had so much trouble running against Seattle?

A: These guys do a good job. After the game Earl Thomas came up to me and was like “Hey man, I have so much respect for you, because each game you know that teams are coming in and are focusing on stopping the run, and you still come in and continue to chop. That’s why I love and respect you.” So we knew it was going to be that today. They were going to come in with the number one defense, the number one scoring defense, and we just kept fighting away. The offensive line did a great job of creating opportunities. Some I didn’t take advantage of, and some I was able to take advantage of. It wasn’t good enough today.

Q: What’s this team’s legacy? I know it’s a short turnaround to ask that question, but when you look back what is this team going to be remembered for?

A: Just being able to fight and overcome adversity. Throughout this whole season no one gave us a chance, and it really didn’t matter because here in this locker room and at Winter Park we all believe in one another. We were a field goal away from playing Arizona.

Q: Is losing this way harder than the way they beat you guys a couple of weeks ago?

A: Of course. I would have rather had them block the field goal and blow us out. You don’t want to be on the 20- yard line with 26 seconds left and miss the field goal. Of course that’s a lot harder than getting beat 38-6 or whatever it was.

Vikings Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater

It’s been a great run; hats off to Seattle, those guys played a great game. Our coaching staff did a great job of making adjustments, being ready and prepared to face this Seattle team the second time around. We had an opportunity to finish the game. It was a great overall team effort today, we just came up short.

Q: Does it make it more difficult knowing how close you were to winning?

A: Yeah, it’s definitely tough losing a game like that. We fought hard all game; it was a chess match. We knew those guys well, like I said, we made adjustments for those guys and they made adjustments for us. To lose a game like that, it was tough, we just have to use it as a motivator moving forward in to this offseason and next season.

Q: What was Coach Zimmer’s message to the team in the locker room?

A: He was very emotional, just telling us he was very proud of us and I’m proud of this group, too. It’s very hard to end the season like that, especially knowing that nothing in this league stays the same, it might be the last time you take the field with some guys in that locker room an that’s what makes this loss that much tougher. It was a great group, a group of guys who did everything Coach Zimmer asked of us, we accepted it and stepped up to every challenge this year and it’s just tough. 

Q: How do you sum up the season as a whole?

A: It was a good run; a lot of ups and downs. It was good to do some of the things we did this year. We just have to just deal with today and move forward.

Q: Do you wish that offensively you were more aggressive in the 4th quarter?

A: We had opportunities to put this game away, we just came up short. We had opportunities to do some big things throughout the game and I think our guys did a good job of executing all game today; protection was good, the wide receivers did a great job of understanding what we were trying to do in the passing game. We did a great job using the running backs and tight ends, getting everyone involved. It was just tough coming up short like that.

Q: On the final drive when you and Kyle Rudolph connected, did you feel comfortable with the setup for Blair Walsh?

A: Definitely. We just wanted to be sure that we got in good enough field position, we could have either scored or tried to kick the field goal, not give Seattle the ball back or give them the ball back with little time left, they didn’t have any more timeouts left. We gave ourselves and opportunity, we just came up short.

Q: How much did the cold weather impact your play?

A: It wasn’t really a factor at all. We were warm; for the most part. Especially on the sideline with the heated benches and everything. Then you go out there on the field and it’s all a mental thing. It didn’t affect us at all.

Q: Were you trying to get to the left or right hash on the final possession of the game?

A: We were hoping that we could get a 1st down, probably run the clock down some more and then kick the field goal to seal the deal. It didn’t go that way.

Q: What went through your head on the Adrian Peterson fumble?

A: It was just a tough play in the game. Adrian [Peterson], he’s a spectacular running back and he’s a guy who tries to fight for every extra yard and that’s why we love him. Those guys just tackled the football on that play.

Q: What are you feeling personally walking off the field?

A: It was very tough, but Blair [Walsh], he’s done some great things around here. He’s won a ton of football games for us; he’s finished a ton of drives for us this year. For the game to end like that, it’s just tough. Like I said, you think about the group of guys in that locker room who won’t be here next year, it makes it that much harder. It’s a very emotional time right now and it’s a tough time.

Q: Did you have a sense of what if, how far you could have gone if you would have won this game?

A: Like I said, we gave ourselves an opportunity to win this football game and we didn’t win it. You do sit back and say, “what if” – “what if we had won this game and got to face an opponent next week.” You like to think ahead, but today we just didn’t finish the deal. We always say the time is now, tomorrow isn’t promised for the group of guys in that locker room, I’ll continue to say that – it will be a totally different group next year and we’re going to have some guys that won’t be here next year and it’s just very tough.

Q: Did Russell Wilson say anything in particular after today’s game?

A: Just talked to him after the game briefly after the game; we shook hands and he just told me, ‘Stay in touch.’ And that was that. I told him, ‘Good luck the rest of the way.’ Seattle is a very talented group and they’ve represented the NFC in the past two Super Bowls, you can’t take that away from them. I just shook hands with him and that was it.

Q: Are there any of your throws that you would like to have back?

A: Probably one of the sacks – I can’t remember, it was 3rd down, 3rd-and-long. If I don’t get sacked, probably just punt the ball, push them back even further in their territory. We knew that this game was going to come down to those key factors – turnovers, penalties, field position, sacks and scoring points in the special teams game. Just wish I could have avoided that sack right there.

Vikings Kicker Blair Walsh

Q: It went wide left and you kicked it on the laces, was that because of the hold?

A: It was so quick I have no idea what happened. You have to look back at the film, but I can tell you this it is my fault. I know Jeff (Locke) did his job and Kevin (McDermott) did his job, and I am the only one who didn’t do my job, so that is on me.

Q: What was the team’s message to you after the game?

A: You have some of the best teammates in the league on this team, all being in support of me. At the same time, it is my fault, and I want to have you guys here when I make the game winning kicks and I realize I have to have you here when I miss them. It is the life of a kicker. This team has so much in store for it and I am excited for where this team is going to go, but we needed this one and I didn’t come through for us in that moment and that hurts.

Q: After making field goals at 43 and 47 yards, you are probably thinking you have this, what was going through your mind?

A: Never think that. You are confident but you never think that you have it, or take it for granted. Out there I just didn’t put a swing on it that would be acceptable by anybody’s standards. I worked real hard to get myself to a place where I was very consistent for this team all year, and in that moment, the moment they needed me the most this year I wasn’t and that stings. I’ll be working hard to erase that from my career but it will take a while.

 Q: Did you just not get good contact?

A: It didn’t feel good off my foot and I kind of knew right away. It is just ridiculous and you have to do much better than that and I didn’t.

Q: What exactly happened?

A: When you pull it to the left like that you didn’t stay long enough into the kick and commit through it enough, and that is what I didn’t do. I had done it all day so I am not sure why I didn’t there, but it is frustrating no doubt. 

Q: Was the weather any different at the other end of the field?

A: It is all the same, that field is what it is. We have done such a good job of mastering it all year on field goals, and I picked one hell of a time for one that I missed for the first time. The whole thing is on me and I accept that. It is shameful, I have to do better.

Q: How do you think you’ll handle any future criticism?

A: I have been there before. I have been there at the end of my college career, I am kind of here right now. I know this feeling unfortunately. It has happened to me twice. I think my record of kicks in my career speaks for itself. I know I am one of the better kickers in the league, I know that sounds kind of crazy right now but I think my record says that. Like I have said over and over again the one that they needed the most today I didn’t make and that is on me. These guys deserve to win today and I’ve got to finish it.

Q: Is this how it is going to be as a kicker good or bad?

A: Yeah, but you have to eliminate that chance of not doing well. We have done such a good job all year of doing that, it was just my fault.

Vikings LB Chad Greenway

Q: What has it meant to be a captain of this team?

A: It’s a lot of fun to be a veteran leader with this group because they’re so hungry to do well. They have so much fun but yet when it’s time to work, they work. It’s going to be hard to find a football team that’s going to outwork us whether it be in practice or a walk-thru, doing things correctly. It’s been a privilege to be at the head of this football team and obviously an honor to be a captain.

Q: Have you thought about if you’ll be playing here next season?

A: Yeah, I just haven’t really thought that far. Who knows what’s going to happen. It’s an offseason decision. It just doesn’t seem like immediacy that this ends right now. Like I said earlier in this interview, it doesn’t feel like we should be the football team going home right now. That’s hard. There’s so many factors that go into that question I can’t really answer it. There’s enough football left in me to play another season and try to go out differently.

Q: You talk about your teammates. Earlier Brian [Robison] was saying “I would not trade out one person on this team. Every person’s chemistry has made this team what it is.”

A: Yeah, I mean we’ve come together to such a tight group and I think there’s so many different factors that go into that from where our players come from, the age gaps that we have in some rooms. We just have a nice mix. But you know it’s the NFL; there’s change that happens. It’s inevitable with free agency and new guys coming in, so that’s just the reality. This cast of characters, as much as we’d like to stay together, is not going to be together. We hope that, you know we have such a young, solid core of guys across the board at positions and as an organization it’s exciting. I think our fan base is really excited. Games like today is what defines you as players, as a coach, as a GM, as an organization. We’re so close but it’s just close is all it is at the end of the day. It’s frustrating because we want to be the team moving on.

Q: How does this compare to some of your toughest Vikings defeats, mainly that 2009 loss to New Orleans?

A: Well I think in some ways, that season was such a fun season as well. You get to that point to play in that title game, it was such an honor to get to that point in your career. That’s something that everybody strives for as you get to the pinnacle of your profession. When we were right on the cusp and that was certainly an excruciating game to lose because you knew what was at the end of that rainbow. I think today is right up there just because the way the game went and the way we rounded out kind of our style and that Seattle style as well. We knew it had to be this kind of a game for us to win. Offense, credit them for driving down late in a tough situation. Kyle [Rudolph] made a couple great plays, tough catch on the sideline. And really just all day, it was a fun football game. I’m sure it was an excellent game to watch but you know, you think back, you just want to be on top of these more than anything.

Q: Were you in shock with the kick?

A: Because it’s Blair [Walsh], yeah. Like I said, there is nobody in the world that wants that kick more than Blair Walsh. You just know how bad he wanted it, over and above how it affects us individually and as a team. Shocked, yeah because it’s a kick that he makes but like I said, nobody is more shocked than him. I just told him before you guys came in, we’re not in this position without him. We’re not in the position to win the game in the 4th quarter without him and his leg on a tough day to kick. He was just threading them all day. For us to look down like it was that play that ended it is ridiculous. That’s why you call it a team game and he’s certainly a big part of this team. He’s going to take it very hard because he’s a professional and that’s what you have to do in this business but I think from our perspective looking at him, you just gain so much respect for the position he put us in today and how many big kicks and game winning kicks he went through throughout the year.

Vikings Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn

Q: Do you think you outplayed them?

A: Yes, we most definitely outplayed them but at the end of the day you outplay a team and they still came away with a win so we took the losing stick on this game.

Q: How about Russell Wilson?

A: We tried to contain him and we did contain him for some plays. I missed him on one play but we still felt that we competed and we did a pretty good job on defense.

Q: What does this do for you guys after having such a good year and a chance to go so far?

A: It crushed our dreams. We were hoping to be holding that Lombardi Trophy at the end of the year, and we are not going to be doing that. We are going to see what is going to happen and keep working.

Vikings DE Everson Griffen

Q: As one of the team captains what do you say to Blair Walsh to keep his head up?

A: He’s got to keep his head up. You know, just have to keep his head up. It’s a field goal he should have made, he made three of them beforehand. It’s a field goal he should have made but at the end of the day he missed it and he’ll learn from his mistakes, move on, and get better from it.

Q: You guys had been able to manage their offense the whole game. What were some of the things you did well?

A: We executed our assignments, played our keys. We just executed. We played disciplined football, we contained Russell [Wilson], we tackled well. They got lucky on the little dump plays. It’s a game we should have won, it’s a game we should have won.

Q: When the ball hits the ground like on the bad snap, does that make the defense lag up a little?

A: No. He’s picking up to try to run, we just have to get him down. We have to find a way to get him down. It’s shocking. It’s very disappointing that we lost and the only thing we can do now is, I really don’t know. Don’t let this affect us next year. Rise up and compete and fight like we always do. 

Q: With more wins this year, the division crown, what resonates you going into the off season?

A: Being great. Being great as a team. Like we always say, being fighters and being competitors and just playing disciplined football, smart football and guys that love the game. Like Coach Zimmer says, ”never take the cheese”, and we never took the cheese when we had the ups and downs during the season. We faced adversity and at the end of the day we stuck together as a unit. You win as a unit and you’re going to lose as a unit. The biggest thing we did was we fought, we fought man. People always doubted us but we fought together and the only people that have to believe are the people in this locker room. We believed each and every game.

Vikings Punter Jeff Locke

Q: How are your emotions right now after a loss like this?

A: Total gut check. Blair [Walsh], Kevin [McDermott] and I are a unit, so it’s on all three of us. I feel like I missed the kick, that’s what it feels like.

Q: Did you have an opportunity to see where the laces were on the kick?

A: You usually do, but certain types of spins you have to capture it completely clean. In these conditions it’s going to be close to impossible. 

Q: How did the ball feel compared to the three prior made kicks?

A: It was the same ball the whole game.

Q: Replay showed Blair Walsh kicked the ball in the laces a couple of times today, was there a problem with either of those kicks?

A: I could have definitely spun the ball better. Laces were straight back on that last field goal and that’s definitely not the type of picture you want to give a kicker, no matter how long the kick is.

Q: Does the cold weather play a part in that?

A: A little bit. Every time you spin it, you’re risking the ball spinning out from the top all the way down, especially when it’s slick with the ball and the ground. I mean, I practiced it enough where I could have definitely at least spun it half way.

Q: Blair said it was all on him, how do you respond to that?

A: We’re a unit. Kevin [McDermott] and I’s job is to make it as easy as possible for him to give him the best possible picture. Not doing that is just a big gut check.

Q: Can you take us through your feelings when the kick was no good?

A: I felt like I had kicked it and missed it. I really did. We’re a unit and I felt like I missed the kick.

Q: How are you able to be so stoic and maintain your composure?

A: I don’t know, maybe it’s just the nature of playing pro sports. You’re going to have huge ups and big downs, you just have to take both of them in stride. We have to learn from this and perform better as a unit for our team.

Vikings Linebacker Anthony Barr

Q: What was the game plan against Russell Wilson today?

A: It was a complete key to try and keep him in the pocket. He’s very mobile and we tried to make him take tough throws from the pocket. He was able to leave the pocket a little bit today but I think we did a good job of slowing him down.

Q: The muffed snap play that turned into a big play for the Seattle, was that a busted coverage or more of a heads up play by Wilson?

A: Yeah, to have the whereabouts to look up field and get that ball off, kudos to him. It was a great play but we have to still keep them out of the end zone in that situation. 

Q: Your teammate Blair Walsh had a great day kicking field goals until the last one and he is taking all the blame, how does that make you feel?

A: He is the reason why we were in the game in the first place. You make some and you miss some. It’s a make or miss league. Obviously we would have liked to have it, but no hard feelings to that guy. We win as a team, we lose as a team. He’s a great player. A great kicker. I still have all the confidence in the world in him.

Q: It has to sting a little bit, you had Seattle right where you wanted them?

A: Yeah it’s awful. It doesn’t feel good at all. But what are you going to do? You have to move on, somehow, someway. I couldn’t be happier and more proud of this group of guys on what we accomplished this season. Obviously we want to be playing next week and I think we should be playing next week.

Q: Defensively, what was the difference in this game, compared to the first meeting this season?

A: We were able to stop the run. They didn’t run the ball as effective as last time. Obviously having healthy bodies was a big part of that, but guys understood the scheme and we practiced hard all week.

Q: Schematically, did you guys focus more on stopping the run more this game?

A: I’m not sure anymore but it was just more of a focal point in practice this week. More focused coming into the game to stop the run because we knew it was going to be cold. It was going to be hard to throw the ball. We tried to get them to third and longs. Last game we got into a lot of third and ones and two’s and they were able to convert. I feel like we made it a little more difficult for them this week.

Q: What is supposed to happen on that busted snap play?

A: It’s just one of those plays where people see the ball and they’re going to go after the ball. You don’t know if he is going to be able to pick it up or if he is going to kick it forward and the ball is still going to be live. I think everybody did everything they’re supposed to do. Obviously, he (Tyler Lockett) was uncovered but that was because of the fumble and Russell (Wilson) made a great play on that.

Vikings Defensive Tackle Sharrif Floyd

Q: What is this team’s legacy?

A: All I can say is that we believe in us. Let see what next year has in store for us. But for the future for anybody else’s thoughts on who the Vikings are, we are fighters, we are warriors, and we will continue to be that. We will continue to stay together and stay strong. That is our foundation and that is what we live off of.

Q: Have you ever been in a loss quite like that before?

A: That is my first time losing in the playoffs. You win some and you lose some.

Q: Sharrif, how much does your heart go out to Adrian?

A: I felt like he took it harder than anybody. As his brother and as his teammate we all took this loss and we all felt this. It never was just on one man in the locker room; it is a team effort. We lose together and we win together. If we would’ve won the glory would’ve been on everybody but at the end of the day it is a loss and we are going to take it together and we are going to respect it together. No one believed in us but us and we know that is all it takes. We stick together. We stand together.

Vikings Cornerback Trae Waynes

Q: How difficult is it to digest a finish like that?

A: There are going to be some crazy games and this was one of them but that is the playoffs, so you just have to learn from it and keep moving on.

Q: Did you feel like he had it in the bag?

A: Yeah, I thought we all did. We were in perfect position to win the game but it just didn’t go that way.

Q: Did you feel like they were targeting you earlier on as and have you gotten used to it once you get in the game?

A: I honestly don’t even pay attention to it anymore. I just go out there and try to do my assignment. 

Q: How do you feel Josh Robinson did?

A: I think he did good. He filled in when I had to come out and I thought he did a good job.

Q: How much different were things here compared to the last time you played these guys?

A: We got after them today. We took the fight to them. Unfortunately, it didn’t go that way in the end.