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Postgame Quotes: Giants at Vikings

*Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer *

I thought it was a good team win tonight. I thought the offense did some good things. We converted a bunch of key third downs. We had 22 first downs which we talked about last week at Carolina. We had 11 in the first half and we wanted to get to 22 tonight. We did that. We scored some points in the red zone. Defensively, I thought for the most part we did a pretty good job. We gave up the big play on the screen. I thought the fans were unbelievable tonight. They had this place rocking. That Skol Chant, the energy in this stadium is really fun to see. All in all, it was a good win. On to the next one.

Q: Does it feel like you're 4-0?

A: No, It feels like we just won one game.   

Q: How were you able to get the running game going?

A: Well it helps. We hit some big plays tonight to Charles Johnson; [Kyle] Rudolph had some nice catches. So it's starting to open things up a little bit in the running game. I think Jerick [McKinnon] could have run better than he did. He was kind of tip-toeing in there a lot of times. So we've got to get that fixed. Obviously the third-and-one that we tried to run we didn't get. We gave up a screen pass for a big play tonight. Defensively, we tried to knock people down instead of tackling them a few times. So we've got a lot of things to clean up. It's going to be a short week; we've got to get ready to go.

Q: To be 4-0 without Adrian or Teddy, what does that say about the foundation of this team?

A: Well as long as I'm here, our expectations are never going to change, number one. It doesn't matter who is playing; we expect them to perform. Rick has done a great job of bringing in here a lot of depth, a lot of high character guys. Really, I say it all the time because it's true about this football team. It's so important to have the right kind of guys in here. Guys that when it gets down to it, we fight. It's like they scored there at the end and the offense takes the ball 85 or however many yards to score a touchdown. It showed a lot of moxy on their part and determination. We have that kind of team here.

Q: What did you do well to take away their passing attack?

A: I think the guys covered good tonight. We did a nice job there. There was some cat and mouse games going on, like there always is. But it was good.    

Q: How good is it to see Cordarrelle Patterson out there contributing?

A: We talked about getting him more involved in the game. He caught some passes tonight. He did some good things. I talked to him during the week. I told him, 'We're going to get you in the game plan. Now it's up to you what you do with it. It's up to you.' He responded well. He keeps working hard. I think it's good for all guys to see. If you work hard good things come. You keep fighting, you keep working and you get your opportunity and you take advantage of it.

Q: Why does the gunner position seem to excite him?

A: Yeah, well he did a great job tonight. That first seven points in the game, I believe, was because he basically forced the fumble. That was huge. He's taken a lot of ownership in that part.

Q: What do you try to do as a coaches when players' tempers start to flare?

A: I only worry about my players. I don't care about the other team's players. They know when I come over and talk to them that it's time to chill out.   

Q: Did you like the defensive line's performance?

A: We didn't get any sacks but he was short-dropping and getting the ball out quickly, for the most part. So we didn't get a lot of opportunities to get him but it was important for us to stop the run tonight. We had to stop the run. I thought we did a nice job with that. There was a couple that scooted through there but for the most part I thought the linebackers and the defensive line did a nice job. They had a couple good schemes against us and we had to make some adjustments in-game but it was good.

Q: Any concerns with Andre Smith and how was Jeremiah as a fill-in?

A: Well it's good, and he played a different position tonight. It's guys like him that go in there, they do well and earn opportunities to play. That's kind of like Trae Waynes; he's earned opportunities to play. He made some nice plays tonight and we'll see how Andre Smith is. I'm not concerned.

Q: As the momentum builds, how are you going to be able to keep guys hungry?

A: I think this team likes to win. I don't think it's about…I just think they like to win. I think they like to compete. I think they like to go out there and prove to everybody that they can be talked about with as good of teams as there are in the league. We still got a long way to go. We're not handing out any medals tonight. This attitude, I mean the attitude of this team, they like to work. It's good and they actually tell me I'm getting soft sometimes.    

Q: Is that true? Are you getting soft?

A: Yeah, they do. They tell me all the time, "What are you doing? How come we're not in pads today? What are we doing?"

Q: How is your confidence in Blair Walsh?

A: I don't know. I wish I knew; I wish I knew. We need to make those or it's going to bite us in the rear end. Our team is going to be playing close games. That's how we're built, but I think over the course of the last three years we're learned how to play in close games. We've learned how to be tough in the critical situations of the game. Even there at the end, being able to get a couple of first downs to get the clock going down. I try to teach this team about field position and doing the right things to win as a team and they seem to be responding with those things.

Q: Does this offense look different than you expected?

A: Well yeah, I mean we're missing a lot of guys over there. In the NFL it's adapt or you get eaten up. I think our offensive coaches have done a nice job adapting to the personnel that we have and trying to use everybody that we have. I thought (Sam) Bradford played well tonight. Again knock on wood, we haven't turned the ball over yet, which is big. Those kinds of things. I think we had two (takeaways) and they had zero. All those things. The third down, we talked about third down conversions and our third downs were good and theirs weren't really good. All those things are really, really important that are small factors in the game that lead to big wins.

Q: What do you like from Sam Bradford?

A: He's pretty poised in there and we protected for him well tonight. They have some good pass rushers over there but we protected for him good tonight. He made two great throws to Charles Johnson. He made some big throws to (Kyle) Rudolph; the touchdown to Rudolph I thought was big. He continues to do the things we're asking him to do.

Q: What have you done with Sam Bradford to make him as comfortable as possible?

A: Lots of things. We've changed some names to make him more comfortable. There's numerous things but he's done a great job of studying, learning. This offense, like I said, we've had to adapt in a lot of things. He's done a great job of studying, learning terminology, number one. When you first come in, that's always big. Then protections, route combinations, run checks, there's so many things. He's done a remarkable job, number one, and number two, he's been awful really gritty in the ball games.

Q: What has Cordarrelle Patterson been doing to get all the playing time?

A: Well we decided to get him in a personnel group this week because we wanted to try and use some of the abilities that he has and I thought he did a nice job. When you work hard good things happen. I think that guys see that, especially young guys. We have some rookies in here that they have to see, 'Ok this guy works hard and he does this and he gets an opportunity to play,' and maybe he didn't get the opportunity a year ago or something. I think it's good for our football team that guys get rewarded when they do good things and they practice hard and perform when they have the opportunity.

Q: Do you see his role expanding?

A: I don't know; we'll see. Each week will be different. We're just going to try to figure out to get one more win each week. One thing our guys don't really care about very much is stats. We didn't get any sacks on defense tonight but Everson Griffen and those defensive linemen were as happy as anybody. We're not going to concern ourselves about stats; we're concerned about wins.

Q: The 67- yard catch and run they had, was that on a blitz?

A: No, it wasn't a blitz. They blocked us, and we missed some tackles and we overran some things.

*Vikings Cornerback Xavier Rhodes *

Q: Can you just tell us about your day from your perspective? You were involved in a lot.

A: It was just a battle – just getting calls, making plays on the ball and executing when it was my time and just playing my game and doing the best I can.

Q: Are you done with shadowing of individual guys?

A: That's not up to me. That's up to the coaches. Whatever the coaches tell me to do, that's what I do.

Q: What is the difference about this defense when you can have a dominant pass rush game and then play like you guys did today?

A: We play as one. We play as a unit, no matter what it is. Those guys are going to apply pressure on the quarterback, and we're going to be in tight coverage. We play as a unit.

Q: Just how exhausting is it to cover Odell Beckham Jr. for an entire game?

A: It was pretty tough. He's a great receiver. Just showing him, the routes he was running, he knows how to get off the press. He's very aggressive.

Q: It looked like at some point Jerry Gray pulled you off to the side when you were going at it with Odell Beckham Jr. What did he say to you?

A: Just stay composed. Keep your composure. Don't let that get the best of me, and stay in my game.

Q: Could you tell when you were getting to him?

A: That's just him. He just goes out there and plays with his emotions, and he wanted to get the ball; he wanted to make plays for his team. That's probably what motivates him at the same time. He's still one of the best receivers in the league.

Q: Can you talk about the interception?

A: First of all, I'd like to that God for that one. I just made a play on the ball when it was in the air.

*Vikings Quarterback Sam Bradford *

Q: How did it feel to have a more balanced attack with the run game going tonight?

A: Yeah, I think it helped a lot especially in the second half when I felt that we were able to pound them a bit. We stayed balanced all night. You know I said it last week, when we do that I feel like we're at our best. So, to get it going tonight and to get over 100-yards, I think that was a big step for us.  

Q: How does the offensive creativity increase when you get a lead early and carry it the entire game?

A: I think when you're playing with a lead it allows you to stay a little bit more balanced as opposed to when you fall behind, especially if you're behind in the second half. It turns into more of a throwing game. The defense kind of knows what's coming. Playing with a lead is always nice because you can keep them a little bit more off balance.

Q: How has your trust in Kyle Rudolph grown from when you first met him?

A: I think I said this after the first week, but he's one of those guys that I think we had a bond early. He was a guy that I've trusted since I've got here. He's such a big target and he's got strong hands. He makes a lot of tough contested catches. The catch he made in the red zone tonight was fantastic. It's nice having targets like that down there.

Q: Do you and Kyle Rudolph feed off of each other?

A: I think so. I think that it's kind of a two way street there. We both have to trust each other. I think it's getting to that point and I've got all the confidence in the world in him. Hopefully he feels the same way. It would've been nice to get him two (touchdowns) tonight for both of them (his twins) tomorrow. 

Q: Four weeks ago when you got here, did you think that it would've gone as well as it has so far?

A: I think I probably said that too. But, my whole mentality is I just take things a day at a time. I try not to look too far ahead. I try not to get overwhelmed with things. I just try to get better every day. That's been my approach since I've gotten here. I've tried to learn a little bit more of the offense each time we step on the field. I think it's gone pretty well. I think there's some things I can do better. I think there's things we can do better as an offense. But, obviously to be 4-0 where we are right now, I don't think you can ask for much more.

Q: How did the offensive line step up this game?

A: Yeah, they played great tonight. I didn't get hit hardly at all tonight. They got the run game going for those backs. When Dre (Andre Smith) went down and (Jeremiah) Sirles came in, I thought he did a great job out there for us tonight. I think the game ball should go to those guys up front tonight. They kept me clean and kept those guys going in the run game. I think this was probably one of their best games of the year.

Q: What was the difference with Charles Johnson this game?

A: Charles is one of those guys where we wanted to get him the ball the past couple of weeks because he's been running good routes. He's shown the speed to get by people. Tonight we finally just got it called at the right time and got the matchups to come out and hit that play to open the second half. I think that gave us some momentum. Then we got on the ball pretty quick and hit them with a second one. Those were two huge plays for us in the second half. 

Q: Were the two big plays to Charles Johnson something you recognized right away with the single coverage on him?

A: Yeah, exactly. The first one he gave a great move at the line and (got) a lot of separation and did the same thing on the second one. It was nice to get him the ball and allow him to make those plays.

Q: How important was that drive when the Giants scored in the fourth quarter?

A: That was a pretty big response for us. Obviously, our defense has played fantastic all year. I think it was time for us to go out there and respond, give them a little break to catch their breath. But, to score and go up by two possessions I think that was probably the biggest turning point in the game.

Q: How have the coaches made you comfortable in making the play calls?

A: They've been awesome. Obviously, when I got here I was having a hard time just calling the plays. They were a little bit wordy. Obviously, everything was new. They've been awesome in code wording things. Things that I've done in the past and trying to incorporate those into the offense. Things that I feel comfortable with. I've spent a lot of time with Scott Turner. He's done a great job just helping me get comfortable in this system.

Q: Where there any moments early on where you maybe said the wrong play call or the wrong check or audible where you thought it was the terminology from a previous offense?

A: I don't think that has happened in a game yet. It might have happened in practice, but hopefully we can keep that from happening.

Q: Were you surprised at all when tensions kind of flared there at the end?

A: I guess just a little bit, because you don't expect it to happen on a play like that. You obviously want everyone to be smart at the end of the game. I thought our guys did a good job of protecting themselves, not letting those guys just do that to them, but at the same time, we've got to be smart and just make sure we don't take any penalties or lose anyone going forward.

Q: With the quarterback situation, when you run, do you realize you have 66,000 fans saying, 'Go down, slide?'

A: Is that what they're saying out there? Well, that's usually what's going on in my mind, too. So, don't worry about it.

Q: Your defense the last three weeks has practically kept three Super Bowl-caliber quarterback in check. How much easier does that make your job knowing those guys are on the other side of the ball?

A: A lot easier. Those guys have played fantastic all year long. They've got to be playing the best defense in the league right now, and obviously, it's comforting to know that we've got that on the other side of the ball. At the same time, I don't think that we can rely on that. We've got to go out there, hold ourselves to a high level, expect to go out there and score points and be efficient, but knowing that we don't have to go out there and score 40, 50 points a game, it makes it nice.

Q: The fact that you spread the ball around and hit nine different guys, how are your reads not only with the receivers but also with the tight ends?

A: I think we've got a lot of guys on this offense who can make plays for us. I think it kind of goes back to keeping people off balance when we can spread the ball around. I think it makes it tougher for people to defend us, as opposed to when the ball only goes to [Stefon] Diggs or only goes to Kyle [Rudolph]. I think the more people we can get involved, we've got a lot of guys with speed who can make plays for us. I think we showed that tonight. So, hopefully we can continue to keep everyone involved. 

Q: Do you view Cordarrelle Patterson as kind of a unique guy in some of the skillsets that he brings?

A: Yeah, obviously, he's a very talented player, and we feel like if we can get the ball in his hands, good things will happen. We've just got to keep finding ways to get him the ball. I think he has a shot to be a tremendous wide receiver, too. I've just seen the progress in the four week that I've been here, the things he has been able to do on the practice field. He's an exciting guy to have, especially on the perimeter. We've just got to keep getting him the ball.

Q: Is that game planned to get him involved more, or did it just happen as the game evolved?

A: Yeah, I think it was a little bit game planned. I think we wanted to get him involved tonight. We wanted to get him out there on the field and give him the opportunity, and hopefully we'll continue to build on that.

Vikings Wide Receiver Cordarrelle Patterson

Q: How gratifying was it for the offense to sustain the kind of drives that you did today?

A: We talk about it all week, you got to do something offensively. Defense has been winning the games for us. We talked about it the whole week. It was our game plan to go in and just try to score every time we had the ball. We didn't, but the offense put up a show today.

Q: For you to be such a big part of the offense doing different things, was that fun for you to be catching, running, doing all sorts of things?

A: Of course, every time my number is called I get excited, no matter if it's on offense, special teams, going out there and just trying to help my team get a win and do whatever I can to help.

Q: You've been really patient and coaches have been really honest with you. What has been the most important thing with your relationship with the coaches to get you to where you are right now?

A: Like you said, patience. Patience is the key to success. God works in mysterious ways, you never know what's going to happen. When your number gets called, just be ready for it. I talk to all the coaches all the time, and they tell me that when they say your number is up, make sure that you're ready, remember where you need to be and just do everything you can to help this team.

Q: Did you know tonight that you were going to be featured?

A: I kind of did. At practice we were working on a lot of different things this week. I was just excited to be out there, to be with those guys out there, it felt good.

Q: On the forced fumble, could you tell that you distracted him with you being down there?

A: I didn't know. I put my hand out when I saw that he didn't fair catch. I put my hand out and just tried to hit the ball. I thought I ran past him, but then I looked back and the ball was on the ground. Marcus Sherels did a good job of getting on it.

Q: What did you learn the last year? You've been on the bench, you've been a featured guy, you've been everything.

A: I don't look at what happened back then. God gave you your eyes in the front of our head to see where you're going, not where you've been. I'm just focused on this week. We've got the Texans next week, that's the main goal, to come out 5-0.

Q: A lot of guys would have pouted or maybe not embraced being a gunner. What made you embrace that role?

A: I don't think anybody should be pouting. When your number is called, just go make a play. Like I say, I love being the gunner. Anything I can do to help this team win I'm going to go out there and contribute to my best.

Q: You seemed to feed off different kind of situations. Whether it's on special teams, whether its lining up out on offense, are you better when you're involved in all different aspects?

A: I'm a football player. It doesn't matter where you put me, I'm going to make a play for my team. That's what I'm going to do each and every week. Every time my number is called, I'm going to go out there and given it 100 percent, do everything I can and let God take care of the rest.

*Vikings Wide Receiver Stefon Diggs *

Q: How are the wide receivers and the offense gelling with Sam Bradford?

A: Everybody feels food. We've got some, I would say, horses in the stable. Everybody's ready to go. We got big plays out of 'C.J.' [Charles Johnson], big plays out of 'C.P.' [Cordarrelle Patterson], especially on the special teams game. We've got a lot of guys that can play at a high level. Sam has a way of finding those guys when it's time. So, it's just all the feel of the game for him.

Q: Sam is getting more and more comfortable spreading the ball around, and not just looking toward you as he did against Green Bay. Now he's finding Adam Thielen, he's finding Cordarrelle Patterson and Kyle Rudolph. How much is that helping relieve the offense?

A: That's huge. Guys game plan. Guys know who gets the ball in certain situations, but we've got so many guys that can get open and play at a high level that it makes it harder for defenses. One week, they might be looking at me. The next week, [they'll be looking] at C.P. and they'll be looking at C.J. So, it gives you so many options, and we've got great running backs back there that tote the ball really well. So, you can't count on anybody. We're just playing at a high level.

Q: How do you love your new home, U.S. Bank Stadium?

A: I love my new home. This is my second time in here and I'm well broken into it. I love it.

Q: Can you talk about the offense and getting the running game going?

A: You know it's all gameplan. I don't really call the plays, so whatever the OC (Offensive Coordinator) sees and likes he's going to call it. Our job is to make sure it works. Make sure it works the way it's supposed to and hit the plays when it's open. 

Q: How does it feel to be 4-0?

A: We can't be five. We can't be six. The most we can be is 4-0. Today is just another step in the right direction of where we want to go as a team, but it all works together. Everyone is working as a cohesive unit to get to that W. You know, it's a good place. 


Vikings Linebacker Anthony Barr**

Q: With how good your pass rush has been, do you expect to see a lot more of the quick passes like Eli Manning was throwing at you tonight?

A: Yeah, they're going to have to. They've got to get the ball out quick, and we've got to play tight coverage, and you see the results. I think anytime you can limit big plays, you put yourself in position to win.

Q: Did you show how effective you can be even when you don't get sacks?

A: It just shows our versatility. We can press you. We can play coverage, stop the run. On any given day, I think we're able to do it.

Q: What is the key to being this disruptive?

A: Stopping the run, first of all – making them one dimensional, make Eli [Manning] have to sit back there and throw the ball, and then play tight coverage, frustrate the receivers as much as possible. We did a great job of that.

Q: Is that as disruptive as you think you guys can be this year?

A: We were pretty disruptive last game (at Carolina). That was kind of our top game. So, it's just a different type of disruption, though. It's not in the face of the quarterback every day; it's more so focused on the receivers, because they have three great receivers. All those guys can make big plays, and they all make big-time catches. So, it was an emphasis to play coverage this week try to limit those three guys as much as possible.

Q: When you're not hitting Eli Manning or getting sacks, are you able to see that he's not able to do all the things he wants to do? Are you guys picking up on that?

A: Yeah, he was dropping really short today. Seven yards, and he's stepping up and getting the ball out. So, I don't think that's really what he wants to do. He wants to be able to step back, scan the field and be able to throw the ball down field, and we were able to limit that tonight. That was a big key to success.

Q: Does that take the deep game completely out of it?

A: Yeah, I think every week is to limit the big plays, and then they threw a couple shots down the field in max protection looks, try to let their guys make plays. Our guys made better plays. So, it was really one-on-one battles on the outside, and we won those today.

Vikings Wide Receiver Adam Thielen

Q: How loud was it in the first half?

A: It was loud! It was definitely loud. I think our defense fed off that, which was great. It was definitely a little bit quieter on offense this time, which was good.

Q: Was it what you thought it would be in terms of the style of the game?

A: Yeah, we came in with a game plan and I think we executed it. We kind of stuck to it, which is good, and obviously we scored some points on offense, which is good.

Q: You got your buddy Cordarrelle Patterson quite involved. He played a lot of different roles tonight.

A: He's a heck of a football player, and he's going to continue to work hard and keep making plays for us.

Q: You guys also opened it up for the running game, not only Jerick but Matt as well getting in to the endzone. That's nice when you can get both assets going.

A: Yes, absolutely, I think that's been a big thing for us this year, to make sure we can be two dimensional and that we can run and pass. We just have to keep working and keep getting better every day.

Q: I think it was about nine total of you guys on offense that caught passes today, what does it say about Sam Bradford and his comfort level with you guys now?

A: I think that's what it's going to take to win. We have a lot of guys that can play football and obviously Sam does a great job of finding the open guy, which is what we need to do.

Q: We have to talk about that one play where that guy just kind of blatantly holds you. I know you got to hold in your anger, but come on, when something like that happens how do you stop yourself?

A: I just have to look at the film and try to get better. I think I could have just got up and got the ball. It's just one of those things where when the ball is in the air, you got to go get it, and there are no excuses.

Q: At 4-0, it goes without say that it feels great, but you guys believed in yourselves. What are your emotions right now?

A: It was good. Obviously a win is a win. When you can keep stacking wins in the NFL obviously it's a special thing. We just got keep rolling, keep getting better and keep our confidence up.

Vikings Defensive End Brian Robison

Q: What were the keys for the defense? You didn't have sacks but you put pressure on the offense.

A:  I thought we played the run game well for the most part. We had a couple of runs that got out on us. We had one screen play that got out on us. But other than that we tackled well; we forced a couple of turnovers, and that's what we needed to do. We needed to get them in the pass situations. They did a lot of quick passes on us, so it didn't really allow us to get the pass rush that we needed, but at the end of the day we came out with a win. That's all that matters.

Q: Is the stadium starting to feel like home?

A: Absolutely, our crowd is amazing. It is so loud in there; it's ridiculous. Eli was making a lot of his checks up at the line of scrimmage, and I think a lot of guys had problems hearing him. You could tell their backs and tight ends were having to come up and hear him. We need to keep that up during the season.

Q: What happens when momentum starts rolling?

A: It's huge. You've got to have momentum on your side. It builds confidence and that's what you need in this league. You've got to have confidence going into every single week, and I think that's what we got right now.

Q: Do you think you were able to rattle Eli, despite not having any sacks tonight?

A: I think the key to it was obviously being able to get a good push and get around his feet. When you do those quick passes you have to be able to run and tackle well. Our defensive backs did a great job of being on those wide receivers when they were getting quick passes. They didn't get to turn up field and make a bunch of moves or anything like that. Our defensive backs were there ready to make plays.

Q: Did tonight feel like the old Cordarrelle, where you see him move around the formations?

A: Like I said, he's a hard working kid and he's going to keep getting better, and I'm glad to say he's one of my better friends. I'm just glad he's having success.

Q: You guys seemed a lot more balanced offensively this game.

A: Yeah, I think that's an emphasis for us. I think that's what it's going to take to win, and what it'll take to move the ball and keep getting better on offense. But yeah, it's an emphasis of ours and we just want to keep doing that moving forward.

Vikings Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn

Q: How does 4-0 sound?

A: It sounds great. It sounds great, 4-0. We've still got a long way to go, but 4-0 sure sounds better than 3-1.

Q: Do you feel like this defense is a special unit?

A: Yeah, most definitely. We've got a long way to go. It's still early. It's still early. We're 4-0. We've still got a long way to go. We made a couple mistakes, giving up that string up plays, but at the same time, we know we've got a good group of guys that's willing to come in each and every day and work hard.

Q: You've played a pretty good cast back-to-back-to-back, especially at quarterback?

A: Yeah, most definitely. It's the NFL; everybody gets paid well, and those quarterbacks are pretty good. We've got another test coming up, and we've got a short week, so we've got to be ready and be prepared and be ready.

Q: What was the key to attacking Odell Beckham Jr.?

A: Try to make it hard for him – make it hard for him, try to get up in his face, press him and try to knock off the timing with him and his quarterback and just compete. You've got to compete at a very high level. The guy is a very competitive guy, so you've got to compete with him and try to make plays.

Q: With the way your front seven has been rushing the quarterback, do you expect to see more short drops?

A: Yeah, most definitely. You're looking around the league; it's franchise quarterbacks out there, and you don't want to get those guys hurt. They're the money men. You definitely don't want to get those guys hurt, so you try to protect them. You've got to get off the ball real fast, and we've just got to cover them up.

Q: Can you sense when you're frustrating Odell Beckham Jr.?

A: A little bit, but at the same time, like I said, the guy's just competitive. He's one of the most competitive guys in the league. He just wants to win. He's a receiver. Receivers always want the ball. They always feel like they're open and things like that, so I won't say we can see it, but at the same time, we just try to go out there and just do our job.

Vikings Linebacker Eric Kendricks

Q: Is there a point of emphasis defensively?

A: There's always a point of emphasis. We always have to play good defense, we always expected to and we want to stop the run.

Q: Do you play differently when facing a quarterback of Eli Manning's caliber?

A: We know he runs the show, but have to play our style of defense and worry about us first. As long as we do that we'll be alright.

Q: Are you impressed with Sam Bradford?

A: Absolutely, came in late, he's doing a great job, a very competitive individual.

Q: This team has struggled in the last few seasons during primetime games, you are 2-0 in those games this year. Have those problems gone away?

A: We just try to win every game we play. Win the close ones and grind it out. We did that tonight, played physical and got the win.

Q: What does 4-0 mean?

A: It's just 1-0 for us. We take it one game at a time and we're moving on to the next game as soon as this break tomorrow is over with.

Vikings Running Back Jerick McKinnon

Q: Describe your play tonight.

A: I was being patient early in the game, and I was able to find some lanes and creases. I came out in the 2nd half, and I was probably a little too patient and it cost me a couple yards I could have gotten. It was about getting a rhythm and the guys up front did a real good job fighting all four quarters. It is still a work in progress, but we are getting where we want to be.

Q: What is it like for both you and Matt Asiata to come out and get a touchdown?

A: It is great. You know we are a duo and we push each other day after day after day. Matt is like an older brother mentor to me. Every time I have him in my ear and Adrian Peterson in my ear, and it makes me want to be the best that I can be for myself and for my teammates.

Q: You got in the end zone after a nice play by Charles Johnson. What was the energy like after he was able to make that play?

A: That was a big play, and it gave us more momentum. We are at home and get to play in front of this big crowd and make big plays. It gave us some rhythm. The front five guys made it easy for me.

Q: The coaches have been pushing to get the running game going.

A: Yeah, Coach Zimmer has been hard on us, Coach Turner, and Coach Sparano. We go hard every day in the run game and Coach Zimmer challenged us, and I think we stepped up this game and achieved those goals.

Q: What is it like to have a guy like Jeremiah Sirles who come in and play any position?

A: We have so much faith in him, and that is everybody. Charles Johnson stepped up when he was called on. I feel like that has been the motto this year with everyone going down with injuries. Everybody has to fill in when it is their time and play like they are starting.

Q: It felt like there was some relief tonight in the rushing game?

A: Yeah, definitely. Those guys up front did a good job. I am so hard on myself, and I wanted more, but like I said, I came out a little too patient the beginning of the 2nd half and could have done a little bit more. Definitely some relief though.

Q: Did Adrian Peterson get in your ear?

A: Yeah, Adrian is always getting in our ear. When I came out in the 2nd half, he was telling me to take what the defense gives you. Take those three, four, five, short yard runs, and it will open up.

Vikings Tackle Jeremiah Sirles

Q: Have you played all five positions on the offensive line?

A: I've played all five positions at some point in time. Not this season, last preseason I played all five.

Q: It seemed the offense made a statement tonight, was there a point of emphasis?

A: Absolutely, we wanted to come out here and run the ball. We wanted to control the clock; we wanted to get first downs, get time of possession, and really just give our defense a break because we have hung our hat a lot on the defense. I thought that we came out there as a whole offensive group and played pretty well.

Q: There was a lot of talk about their defensive front going up against you banged up offensive line. What are your thoughts on that?

A: It's 'next man' up philosophy around here. I think the guys buy into that and we work really hard during the week. I love the way we all work; we all continue to play really hard and those little runs we had in the beginning started to pound on them and weigh on them in the end. It feels good to go out there at the end when we need one first down and be able to get it.

Q: What was the difference in being able to run the ball effectively tonight compared to your prior games this season?

A: We just stay with it. We haven't changed anything. We honestly haven't changed a thing since we were in camp in Mankato. We just continue to stay with it, continue to work at it and just chip away at it. Baby steps turn into giant steps and before we know it we had a 100 -yard game today. So now we need to keep setting the bar higher and higher

Vikings Running Back Matt Asiata

Q: Is it extra special that Jerick McKinnon got in there too and how you both are playing off each other?

A: It's always special when someone gets in, even with the running backs. I knew Jerick was going to get one, so we celebrated after that.

Q: What has the offensive line been doing? Sam Bradford had more time today, you were seeing holes, what was different?

A: We just played hard-nosed football, playing Vikings football. No turnovers is a big key for us.

Q: Nine different receivers caught balls tonight including you, what is the difference there with Bradford spreading the ball around?

A: I think it is confusing the defense, you never know who is going to get it. Kyle Rudolph made some big catches, and I was surprised when Bradford threw it to me and I had to get the first down. That was a big first down.

Q: Week to week people are expecting you all to lose, do you like to have that chip on your shoulder? Now you guys are the target at 4 and 0. What is the next step, is it to just keep it going?

A: We'll just keep it one game at a time, and go 1 and 0 every week, and like you said, playing with a chip on your shoulder. It is always great to go out there and prove to everybody what we can do.

Q: Did you interact with Adrian Peterson on the sideline?

A: Yeah all the time. He comes out and tells us where the holes are at, or where to bounce it or keep it in. Adrian being out there just boosts our confidence up.

Q: How important is it for you guys to play well and sustain drives? It really looked like you took the game over in the second half.

A: It is always big when the offense is out there. The time of possession that we had is great. It helps our defense rest up for when it is their time to go up. I think our offense did a great job today.

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