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Postgame Quotes: Vikings at Redskins

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer

"Credit to the Redskins. They did some better things than we did today. We didn't finish in the second half. Again, we started out slow on the road, came back and did some good things offensively there in the second quarter. We moved the ball pretty well in the second half but didn't convert some third downs, third-and-ones, some short-yardage situations. So, we have a lot of things we have to clean up, a lot of things we have to get better at. Defensively, I thought they did a god job of keeping us off-balance with the play-actions and they got after us a little bit on the outside today. Just keep going, keep fighting. That is all we can do. We aren't going to stick our heads in the sand. This team will still continue to fight."

On if there any positives coming out of this game:

"Yeah, I am sure there are."

On if there is a common thread in their losses this season:

"[We] probably just [are] not playing good enough to win. Going back, trying to think of the losses. We turned the ball over against Philadelphia. The next week we didn't play really good and these last two weeks, it felt like the team fought, even though we put ourselves in a hole. I thought we fought and we didn't execute well enough to win. They've got a really good offense and they made some plays on us today. The quarterback [Kirk Cousins] threw the ball well. I think it is just these third-and-ones, obviously have been difficult for us."

On the offensive line being frustrated the team cannot gain one yard on third- or fourth-and-one:

"Everybody is frustrated right now. Which, I would be disappointed if they weren't frustrated. We did some decent things on offense today. [We] moved the ball. I think we had three straight scores and we didn't score any in the second half." 

On the long touchdown pass to TE Vernon Davis:

"There was a pass-off between linebackers and one of them missed it."

On the interception by LB Preston Smith:

"It dropped off from the rush of lineman and tipped the ball."

On the defense the last four games:

"There are some things that we worked on this week and I'll have to look at the tape to see if those things showed up. These guys were a handful because of a lot of the things they do and because of the skill that they have. We got eaten up a little bit on the outside today."

On playing Jeremiah Sirles at left tackle as opposed to right tackle:

"It's because T.J. [Clemmings] was the right tackle."

On difficulty of Sirles being at left tackle:

"It's not."

On what happened on K Blair Walsh's missed kick:

"I don't know. Honestly I didn't even see the kick so I don't know what happened other than he missed."

On WR Stefon Diggs:

"He's a good player and he's done some good things to get him the football. He's doing what we expect him to do."

On if there is concern for the season:

"I am concerned, obviously, but I still believe. I believe if we do a couple things here and a couple things there, we are going to win games. I just feel like if we can get over the hump and we can just keep fighting until we do that, positive things will happen. But… it doesn't look like that right now. But the big thing is, if we don't have fight, we have no chance, and we've got guys who fight we just aren't playing well enough right now."

On the lack of a running game:

"Well it's disappointing because we got back to the negative yardage plays again today. And when that happens, then obviously the running game goes nowhere. The bottom line is we try to win however we can. I'm sure we'd like to run the ball better, but, you know, if we have to throw it every down then we throw it every down."

On T Jake Long's injury and if he believes the injury will end Long's season:

"Achilles. I believe so."

On evaluating losses:

"I will evaluate everything."

On how the Redskins were able to use play action effectively:

"Well it's a lot of misdirection play action with boots and guys crossing across the field. They do a great job of their option route running. Cousins played great today, I thought. He's not turning the ball over so he's playing well."

On continuing despite various injuries:

"Well, we have no choice. We have no choice, that's what we have to do. So we have to figure out a way and keep going."

Vikings QB Sam Bradford

On the final drive:

"I missed a pass, took a sack, I mean there you have it – drive ends."

On replication of the second quarter:

"I don't know, I think we ran three plays in the third quarter. It's not good enough. I don't really know what to say."

On LB Preston Smith's interception:

"Just didn't see it. He made a good play. They brought internal pressure and dropped him out. He got under our slant and I've got to be able to see him when he drops into coverage."

On short-yardage plays:

"You just have to work through. Obviously we felt like those plays, schematically, we would be able to get third-and-1. We have confidence in those guys in front, confidence in our backs. We are going to keep calling on third-and-1 and they are going to be first downs. We have to trust and go out there and execute it when those plays are called."

On his mental challenge:

"Obviously it's frustrating. I think in order for us to get back on track, we just have to go out there and execute. I think that's the bottom line. We were able to do it early in the year; we've shown flashes of it. In the past two weeks, we have to be more consistent, sustaining drives, converting third downs and putting points on the board."

On balance and the team's running game:

"Yeah, it's been tough the past couple weeks but we are going to stay committed to it. I know that we believe in the run game, I still believe that we are at our best when we are balanced and able to keep people off balance and mix in some play-action. We just have to look at it and figure out what's been going wrong in the run game, what's been successful, what hasn't. Just maybe eliminate some unsuccessful stuff and move on and find a way to run the football."

On T Jake Long's injury:

"Yeah, I obviously didn't hear what it was but we were in St. Louis together and obviously both went through some injuries there. I know how difficult it is and I know he was just excited to be back playing and starting. For him to get injured today, obviously it's really tough."

On WR Stefon Diggs:

"Similar to last week, I thought Diggs did a great job just finding some of the soft spots in the zone underneath. When he was presented with man coverage he did a great job just creating separation and making plays against that too. I thought Diggs did a great job today." 

On if there was anything he could've done better today:

"Not throwing an interception in the fourth quarter would've helped."

On if this is damaging to the team's confidence:

"I hope not. Hopefully we have a tough enough group of guys, and I think we do, in that locker room to overcome that and keep at them. Like I said, it's a week-to-week league, regardless of if we won four in a row or lost four in a row, we have to go out there and continue to fight, continue to improve ourselves and go out there with that mentality that we are going to win each week. That's our goal next week."

Vikings WR Stefon Diggs

On playing in his hometown:

"It was exciting. The main part about it was I was around my family. It hurt to come home and lose but I'm a professional at the end of the game. I'm going to band with my brothers and fight for my brothers. That's all I can really do. Just keep fighting. That's how I was born, just keep fighting."

On seeing his friends and family today:

"It hurt a little bit. I want to win for my family and for this team. I want to do everything I can. Just back to the drawing board. Continue to scrap and continue to work hard. You can tell it hurt a little bit."

On if he talked to his family postgame:

"No, but I'm going to find them. Have a little conversation with them because I love them. Got some good luck from my daughter pregame. Just keep fighting with my brothers. It's going to shake, we're going to shake back."

Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph

On the point of emphasis for the offense:

"A big thing for us is getting behind the sticks. In the first half, the first quarter, a penalty puts us back. I believe it was first-and-long. Then we come back in the second quarter with a facemask penalty that put us behind the sticks. Then we continued to move the ball and that's when we scored three straight drives because we didn't beat ourselves. We went out with a plan. [Offensive Coordinator] Pat [Shurmur] put together a great plan for us. Then we went out there and executed it. You see the results. Then we come back in the second half and we can't complete a third-and-one. Then we can't complete two third-and-ones. That kills drives. That's four drives right there. Give credit to the Redskins. We stalled ourselves. We can't keep doing that. Third-and-ones are huge. We have to convert those. That's how we keep drives going and score points."

On short-yardage situations:

"It's just one yard; we have to do better. We went with big people and we went with small people. We didn't get either one. That's where our toughness has to kick in. We have to go out and get that."

On the confidence level to convert short-yardage plays:

"It's got to be high. Coach [Mike] Zimmer keeps talking about us believing. We've got to believe in that situation just like when we got the ball back with just over two minutes left. Everyone in that huddle believes we are going to get that touchdown. If you don't have that belief, then it is no reason for us to be out there."

Vikings DE Brian Robison

On finding a way through without putting the blame on one person:

"Gotta figure out a way. I mean, at the end of the day we've gotta go back to work this week and figure out what it is that we've gotta do in order to pull out these close games that we tend to be losing. We're in a slump right now, so we gotta make sure we find a way to get ourselves out of it."

On getting down early in the game:

"We definitely never want to allow another team to start fast, you know. That's what we pride ourselves on is starting fast and finishing ballgames. We did a great job coming back but anytime you spot a team 14 points it's gonna be tough to win ballgames that way. Like I said, we didn't make enough plays in order to win this ball game."

On the change in the defense and the season:

"We just have to capitalize on opportunity. We gotta create more turnovers, we gotta be better on third down. There's a lot of things with that, that aren't happening right now for us. At the end of the day, we gotta figure out what we gotta get back to doing."

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