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Monday Morning Mailbag: Bouncing Back After Sunday's Stunner?

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We are one of the best at pressuring and sacking the quarterback, and we seem to have left that skill in the locker room. You cannot give Andrew Luck time. What did the Colts do to take that away? -- Gerald Goblirsch

Indianapolis was able to run the ball effectively on Sunday, averaging 4.0 yards per carry. Frank Gore had 101 rushing yards on 26 carries to lead the way. The productive rushing attack kept the Colts out of 3rd and longs (they had to-go distances of more than six yards on 3rd downs only five times), which is where a pass rush thrives. A defense has to stop the run to earn the right to rush the passer, and on Sunday the Vikings defense did not do that.

Did this loss put us out of the playoffs? -- Adam Wilkirson Albuquerque, NM

The loss to Indianapolis put a significant dent in the Vikings playoff chances, but it did not eliminate them. We'll have to wait until the result of the Redskins-Panthers game tonight to know all of the scenarios, but one that gets the Vikings in is if the Buccaneers, Packers and Redskins each go 0-2 and the Vikings go 2-0 to close the season.

I am so very proud of what coach Zimmer and Rick Spielman have done with this team in light of being plagued with injuries. But I do sympathize with Sam Bradford. He is lethally accurate when he has the time. We've seen what he can do when we give him the time. I just don't want to see another good QB go down because we can't give him five seconds consistently to pick defenses apart. -- James Thorn

Injuries along the offensive line have been an issue for the Vikings ever since the beginning of the year when Matt Kalil was dealing with a hip injury. Against the Colts, the Vikings used their seventh different starting offensive line combination. After surrendering zero sacks last week, the Vikings gave up five sacks of Bradford this week and that was one of the issues that kept the offense from getting anything going. I agree that Bradford has shown what he can do when given time. He has six games this season with a passer rating of 100 and he has the NFL's top completion percent at 71.6, so we know Bradford can get the job done when his teammates play well around him.

Tough game to watch. We really never got going both offensively and defensively. That being said, I'm really looking forward to next week. It's going to be a tough game. How do players move on from a performance like this and get it figured out with only a week before the Green Bay game? We need our defense to play like they have the majority of the year but my concern is getting the ball moving offensively. Go Vikings. -- Charles Nagely

There is a great sense of routine in the NFL and that kind of structurer is one thing that helps teams move on, win or lose, quickly from one game to the next. Also, the NFL is a competitive league where very few players and coaches are afforded the luxury of job security, and so that motivates individuals to move on quickly and get ready for the next game. The Vikings are a prideful bunch who play hard for their head coach and that won't change because of a disappointing effort at home against the Colts. I expect to see a charged up and resilient Vikings bunch on Saturday at Lambeau Field.

We have to get mentally stronger and quit shooting ourselves in the foot. I can't wait to see how much fight they have in them for our game against Green Bay. Do you agree? -- John McGuire Lone Pine, CA

I do agree on both. The self-inflicted wounds were significant for the Vikings on Sunday. That is not to take away from the Colts plan and execution, both of which were good. The leverage penalty on Linval Joseph, Adrian Peterson's lost fumble and the Sam Bradford interception to end the first half are all examples of the Vikings doing things to beat themselves, something head coach Mike Zimmer emphasized this week in preparing his team for the game. Zimmer also said that he looks forward to seeing who on this team will fight when the Vikings go to Green Bay next week to play a Packers team that is on a roll and is looking to win the division.

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