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Postgame Quotes After Win Over Packers

Head Coach Mike Zimmer

(on the game as a whole)

"I'm proud of this football team. You know, we started out two years ago trying to build something special. These guys fight, they work hard, they do things right, they're good guys, they're good guys off the field. Like I told them last night, it's not a surprise that we are where we're at, but they've earned this opportunity and we have to go take it and I think that we played with a lot of heart tonight. We fought, it wasn't pretty by any stretch of the imagination and we still have a long way to go, but I think that this football team has a lot of character. I'm proud of them today."

(on watching defense's performance at the end of the game)

"It wasn't fun, to be honest with you. It was nerve-racking. (Aaron) Rodgers is a great quarterback. The Packers have a great organization. Mike McCarthy is a hell of a coach. We were just fortunate to win tonight. You felt like every call you were making was tough."

(on whether their success is coming sooner than they expected)

"You know, when you win eleven games in a season, you've had a heck of a year. Did we get here faster? I don't know. I have pretty high expectations. I think we've played well throughout this football season. I don't know. Maybe."

(on defense pulling through on the last drive of the game)

"We had some time outs and I was going to use them if I needed to. We had some guys banged up so we didn't have very many guys going in. The no-huddle offense puts a lot of pressure on you. And we were only two-of-eighteen on third downs offensively today so that hurt us. They handled the adversity extremely well."

(on being aggressive)

"We didn't come here to finish second. Let loose, take our swings, and if we get knocked out, we get knocked out."

(on Bridgewater's performance)

"It was spotty. The left-handed throw was - well, you don't even want to know what I told him on that one. But, I thought he rushed things a little today. I thought he was getting out of the pocket a little bit too much. There were times when he was running into sacks because he was moving too much. He just needs to settle down and play like he's been playing. And we're going to need him to play well this week."

Quarterback Stefon Diggs

(on the game as a whole)

"The thing that I love about this team is that they take on challenges by Coach Zimmer. Coach Zimmer has challenged us all year long and the guys have done nothing but answered his challenge.You talk about, at the start of training camp, this was the primary goal. You ultimately want to win the Super Bowl, but this was goal one. To come into Lambeau and to beat the four-time defending NFC North Champs, that's a huge stepping stone for the Minnesota Vikings. It just speaks vibes of what Coach Zimmer is doing around here in just two years. He's getting the guys going and buying into what he is saying."

(on Zimmer's emotion after the game)

"Coach Zimmer is very excited but at the same time, he is not satisfied. And that's what we love about Coach Zimmer. He said that this is only the beginning and we have a long road ahead of us. We're going to enjoy this tonight and tomorrow we will shift our focus to the Seattle Seahawks."

(on next week's game against Seattle)

"That's a team that's going right now and they're rolling, but the thing with Seattle, I think we got our season going after that loss also. We know that it's going to be a good challenge for us, we get to return back home and play in front of our home crowd: fans that have been in support of us all year long. I can't wait to get back there.

(on the offense stepping-up after Peterson went out)

"The guys knew that we still had a game to win. Jared did a great job when he came in. Matt did a great job also. The offensive line did a great job also, opening up holes for those guys. The wide receivers did a great job whenever they had an opportunity to catch a football. The guys knew what was ahead of us and what was at stake and those guys dug deep and just stepped up."

Cornerback Xavier Rhodes

(on his fourth quarter interception)

"It was just going over the Packers all week, Aaron Rodgers getting out of the pocket and then guys scrambling, going deep, so I just stayed on my man, turned around and I was just in the right place at the right time."

(on being NFC North Champions)

"It feels good. We have been trying to get this for a long time and we finally got it."

(on the final play of the game)

"Just need to knock it down. We saw what happened against Detroit. You just have to knock the ball down. You can't let the guy get a touch there, so that's what I did."

(on learning from the first matchup against Green Bay)

"We had a lot of penalties and mental errors in the first game. We weren't really settled as a defense, so we came back in this game and knew what we had to do and we did it."

Wide Receiver Mike Wallace

(on the win)

"It was great. Our guys did a great job. Our defense played a hell of a game. I appreciate everything that our team has been through. We have overcome a lot."

(on head coach Mike Zimmer)

"He is phenomenal. He has been preaching to us since day one the type of team that we have and the types of things that we can accomplish, and how much he believes in us. From day one he saw how much potential this team had and now we are starting to see the fruits of our labor. This is just the tip of the iceberg with winning the division title."

(on facing Seattle in the playoffs)

"We are excited about the opportunity to play those guys again in our house. They embarrassed us the last time we played them. They have a great defense and we know they will be ready, but at the same time, it is a different mindset now. I think our guys have a lot of confidence."

Cornerback Mackensie Alexander

(on his touchdown)

"I never heard a whistle. I just went and scooped up the ball. Guys did a great job of blocking the quarterback downfield. I slowed down and got into the end zone."

(on the defense playing well tonight)

"It was big to slow down a high-powered offense like those guys with one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. We knew it was going to be tough. We weren't going to lay down at all. Those guys fought hard. We just came out on top. We fought and I am glad we got the victory."

(on containing Green Bay's wide receivers)

"We definitely competed on the back end. We knew it wouldn't be easy covering those guys. Going against Randall Cobb is tough because he is a matchup nightmare, but I pride myself on competing. I knew he would win some, but at the same time I would get my share as well. We just pride ourselves on competing and I feel like we did a great job tonight."

(on what this win says about the progress Minnesota has made since Week 1)

"We are growing. We are growing a lot. From the beginning of the year until now, it is night and day with this team. We know we have a young team, but at the same time sometimes youth is good. We knew what we had in this room. We know we didn't play our best football to start the year. Sometimes that happens the first game of the year on the big stage. We didn't show up at all. We learned a lot from that game."

Safety Harrison Smith

**(on playing a home playoff game next week)

"It's big for us. We like playing in that outside, that cold. I think the fans love it. We should get a good crowd. It will be a tough game – Seattle is rolling right now. They played a great game today, so we got a lot on our plate."

Defensive Tackle Shariff Floyd

(on the game and looking forward to next week)

"We still got a long road to go and still got a lot more football to play. We just got to stick together. We had to really, really dig deep. But that's what it takes. I love this team and I love this defense and I love how tough we played for each other."

(on the celebration after the game)

"I'm just happy I wasn't around because it was cold out there. I couldn't handle no Gatorade on me. He's a tough coach but we don't expect anything less. We're never going to bow down to someone else. We still got fight and know how to play football, too."

(on playing tough)

"We just like to play tough. We know it starts up front because that's where the ball is. The talent is all across the board on this defense. When we walk back into that facility, it's Seattle from there on out. This is over with."

Guard Brandon Fusco

(on the offensive line)

"The hard work is paying off. We just have to play our game. I think we have to be physical up front and control the line of scrimmage, don't be one-dimensional on offense."

(on playing Seattle next week)

"We're going to enjoy this one right now and then we'll go onto Seattle soon. This game is kind of about revenge, too, I feel like."

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