EAGAN, Minn. — Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer didn't mince words Monday afternoon.
His team really needed to get in the win column in Week 10, especially given the rollercoaster season Minnesota had endured through the first eight games.
The Vikings did just that, getting a 27-20 road win against the Chargers in yet another one-score game.
Minnesota has now seen eight of its nine games in 2021 decided by seven points or fewer, with the Vikings holding a 3-5 record in such games.
Zimmer explained how his team was able to get the job done Sunday, and why it was so important to be able to prevail this time around.
"The biggest thing is character in the locker room," Zimmer said. "We've had a bunch of tough losses, but we've also had a lot of opportunities to win those games, too.
"I think it was important that we won yesterday because they keep giving great effort and they keep giving great effort and they haven't had a lot to show for it," Zimmer continued. "I think that should energize us even a little bit more, but we had a lot of guys go in there and play well.
"And typically, when you've got good character in the locker room, guys continue to fight," Zimmer added. "But it was important for us to win yesterday."
The Vikings received contributions throughout the lineup Sunday at SoFi Stadium.
Justin Jefferson paced the offense with a monstrous day, and Eric Kendricks starred again defensively just down the road from where he blossomed at UCLA.
Others such as Mason Cole and Camryn Bynum stepped up, too, as each made his second straight start filling in for teammates on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
The Vikings second road win of the season put Zimmer's crew at 4-5 with eight games to go. (The NFL is playing a 17-game schedule for the first time this season).
Zimmer said Monday that he's not really paying too much attention to the NFC playoff picture at the moment.
As it stands now, Minnesota is in the No. 8 spot, just a half-game behind 5-5 Carolina, a team the Vikings have already beat this season.
"We've been fighting so much and so hard to try to get back to get some wins. I don't think when you're 4-5 that you think about those things," Zimmer said. "We did mention that, you know, there's been a lot of times we've got on a roll and continue to get better and better.
"We've just got to figure out some ways to win games. So, hopefully we'll continue to do that," Zimmer added. "Hopefully we get some more wins and we can start talking about that a little bit more, I think."
View game action photos of the Vikings battling the Chargers during the Week 10 matchup at SoFi Stadium.
The Vikings return to action Sunday at home, and it's a big one as the Packers come to U.S. Bank Stadium.
The NFC North foes have not met yet in 2021, and Green Bay currently leads the division (and holds the conference's No. 1 playoff seed) with an 8-2 record.
Zimmer knows the intensity will pick up this week as the Vikings try to get back to .500 for a second time this season.
Sunday's win at Los Angeles might give Minnesota some extra wind in its sails with a tough test looming.
"Obviously, we've had a lot of good battles over the years," said Zimmer, who is 6-7-1 in his career against the Packers. "I think having won that game and them being at the top of the division, I hope there's a lot of juice."