Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer
Okay, good team win today. Obviously anytime you can win a division game at home it's always good. I thought our guys played with a lot of fight, a lot of heart. It was important that we win the turnover battle, barely we did, we turned a couple over early and kind of let them get back into the swing of things but overall it's a good win and a good way to get going here the next couple weeks. Questions?
Q: How much did the defensive approach change after Aaron Rodgers went down?
A: Well obviously it's not the same guy. We stuck with the plan for a little while after that kind of to see what was going on and then as the game, as we got up by two scores, then we kind of changed some of the things that we were doing. It's how it is.
Q: Are you able to get more aggressive with Harrison Smith off the edge when it's Brett Hundley and not Aaron Rodgers?
A: Not not really. I think Harrison has done that quite a bit in the past against those guys too. I thought Harrison played great today though. I thought, and it's hard for me to say like about Anthony Harris, we didn't know that he was going to have to play today for sure and he went in there and played. I didn't notice him so obviously he did a decent job.
Q: How much of a luxury is it to have a guy like Harrison Smith to come up with so many big plays?
A: Well he's a good football player. He's smart, he's tough, he's physical, he's instinctive. That was a play they had run against us in the past and they ran it earlier this year. We happened to be in a little different coverage but he saw it and made a great play.
Q: Is what we saw from Laquon Treadwell what you've seen in practice?
A: Yeah he works really hard in practice and makes great catches. He's a guy that works really, really hard. I'm glad that he had some success today and obviously the catch on the sideline is as good as there is.
Q: What can you say about Jerick McKinnon after coming back from the fumble?
A: The fumble was not good, especially at that point of the game. I thought we were you know up by whatever and I thought we had a chance to get in scoring position and we fumble and give it back and they end up scoring. But you know Jerick did a nice job he caught the ball well today, he ran the ball good, he's good to get to the perimeter. There's still some things we have to correct with him, as with a lot of our guys, but it's always good correcting after wins.
Q: It looks like Aaron Rodgers is going to be long term. Do you feel like the division play has changed?
A: I don't know, I'm not into the soothsayer stuff. Obviously he's a great player, it's different when he's not in there, there's no doubt about it but it's just the way it is.
Q: What went into the decision to have Xavier Rhodes shadow Davante Adams and not Jordy Nelson?
A: Just what we thought was the best thing for us to do in this game.
Q: Do you have any comments on the Sam Bradford injury reports and what is your update with him?
A: I don't think it's any more serious than what it is and I have no comment on the other part.
Q: How about the continued fine play of Case Keenum?
A: Yeah well Case did some good things today and there's some things that he needs to continue to do better at. He moved the team well and made some good throws and there's some things we have to clean up with him.
Q: Were you trying to call a timeout on Jerick's touchdown?
A: Yeah, the clock was running down and I didn't want to get a penalty. I mean we snapped it at like 1 (second) I think so that's why I was doing it.
Q: What went into Stacy Coley being the kickoff returner this week?
A: Well you know Jerick [McKinnon] is getting a lot more plays with the offense so that was just part of it. I wanted to take a look at Coley, see how he does. We haven't got a lot of production out of that spot this year and I'd like to get some more production.* *
Q: Did Anthony Barr get hurt when he hit Rodgers?
A: No, I don't think so. There was a play late in the half, there was a pretty big collision, is what I think happened.
Q: What did you think of his hit on Rodgers?
A: Quite honestly, I didn't see it. I might be the only one that hasn't. From what I understand and the reports that I heard from Pereira and Aikman and those guys, it was a clean hit. I didn't see the hit, still haven't seen the hit.
Q: How did Anthony Barr perform?
A: Anthony is playing good. He's playing with a lot of intensity, a lot of fight. I like where he's at right now.
Q: Do you like where your defense is at right now?
A: I like how they compete and I like how they fight. We're getting some turnovers, which is always big. It always make it better. The thing I probably like the best, we played the whole game in nickel defense today and we did a nice job in the running game. We didn't allow them to run the football into little guys. That helped tremendously. It helped us in some of the coverage aspects as well.
Q: How impressive was Harrison Smith's one-handed interception?
A: I did coach a guy named Deion [Sanders] that had some pretty good ones. It was a great interception, they're all good. All turnovers are good in my book.
Q: What can you say about Everson Griffen's consistency?
A: He's a good player, plays hard, goes hard. He's tough. It's an all-day affair for those offensive tackles when they've got to go against him. I think Everson continues to do a good job, he's a good leader on this football team. Works extremely hard, is a great team guy.
Q: How important is depth in the NFL?
A: It's really important. We've had our fair share of injuries as with everybody else in this league I'm sure. It's nice to see that when Anthony Harris comes in, or [Jerick] McKinnon and Latavius [Murray] come in, when [Case] Keenum comes in, [Jeremiah] Sirles today. These guys come in and compete. Knock on wood, most of these injuries have not been season-enders. Obviously, [Dalvin] Cook is but I don't think any of the others are.
Q: How do you feel about the tackling today?
A: It looked good today, I don't know. I'll let you guys evaluate the tackling. I know everybody talked about two weeks ago when we played Detroit. Tackling some of these running backs in space is like catching a chicken in a big yard. So, it's hard to do.
Q: What explanation did you get for the penalty on Laquon Treadwell's block?
A: Said he hit him in the head. From what I was told, he hit him in the shoulder. But he said he hit him in the shoulder and the head. You can't do that coming back toward the ball.
Vikings Cornerback Xavier Rhodes
Q: Two games in a row without giving up a big play in the pass game, how were you able to do that today?
A: Just playing my man. It's simple, every week, same game plan and nothing changed. Go in, be aggressive, and don't let them catch the ball.
Q: Do you think the defense gained momentum as the game went on?
A: I don't know. We were just looking at our mistakes and correcting them as the game went on. Capitalized on the plays they messed up on and getting sacks, getting interceptions, and getting turnovers.
Q: Did you see something in Harrison Smith and know he was going to have a great game?
A: Harry is Harry, every week he is going to do what he does and ball out.
Q: Do you feel interceptions are contagious and you feed off each other?
A: We always feed off everyone. Once the ball is in the air and there is a tipped ball we have to take advantage of that and there were a few tipped balls. My [interception] was a tipped ball, Trae's was a tipped ball, and there was a great pick by Harry. It was good for us to get turnovers and get the offense back on the field as fast as possible.
Q: Did you still have to keep up your intensity after Rodgers left the game because you haven't watched to much of Hundley in the past.
A: They still are going to run their offense and we are still going to see what they have on film. Nothing is going to change because they have a new quarterback in the game. They are still going to do what they do, only thing that changes is the quarterback. We felt like they were going to go with the same game plan so we did what we did, play aggressive and play our defense.
Q: Are you guys now the team to beat in the division?
A: We are just going to play football.
Q: Was this a complete win?
A: It was good, all areas did good. That's a team win.
Vikings Center Pat Elflein
Q: How did you feel like Jeremiah Sirles fit in to the offensive line?
A: Jeremiah is always ready to go. He's had his number called plenty of times to come in for a few plays during games and in practice. He's always ready, always prepared, studies hard, works hard. When his number is called he's going to be ready to go.
Q: He said earlier this week that it's easier for him when he is able to focus in on playing just one position. With you playing next to him, is it easier for you knowing who is going to be there?
A: Yeah, definitely. If you play with a guy long enough you kind of build a routine and a rhythm, and you know how he's going to play on different blocks. So yeah, it definitely works to your advantage.
Q: That's a pretty good defensive front, but you guys opened some big holes in the running game. What was that due to?
A: I haven't watched the film yet, so you kind of have to see that first to see how we executed. I know we ran the ball a little bit, and that's just credit to not only the five guys up front, but everybody doing their job. Jerick [McKinnon] making his read, us doing our job, and sometimes out on the perimeter those guys blocking too. It's a whole team effort.
Q: Are you pleased with the consistency you have been playing with as a whole.
A: We work hard. Coach [Tony] Sparano is on us all the time, never settling for anything. We're always trying to get better. We keep working and working, that's the result we want. I'm sure we're not going to be totally satisfied with that, we got to keep grinding.
Vikings Wide Receiver Laquon Treadwell
Q: Tell me about your one hander. How'd you go up and get it?
A: Just practice and preparation. I was ready for the moment.
Q: What's it like to contribute and get into the mix of things?
A: It's always fun to play football. It's always fun to be out there competing and helping your team win.
Q: Did you expect to get some balls today, or did it just play out that way?
A: I did expect it, I always expect it. I always do my best to stay mentally ready even though other guys are making plays. I knew my time would come, and I made the most out of it.
Q: Walk us through your play of knocking the ball out of Clay Matthews hands.
A: I was just hustling, and I couldn't let him score. I tried to knock it inbounds so I could at least jump on it and get the ball back. I saw him relaxing and he thought he was going to walk in and I just made a play on it. I tried my best to make a play and get the ball back.
Q: What does it mean to lose a quarterback, running back and a wide receiver and still beat one of the best teams in the NFL?
A: Honestly, I give all the credit to our coaches. They make us work. Next guy up has kind of been my role right now, just waiting and working. There's so many good guys on the team that you just have to wait your turn and continue to stay focused and continue to believe in yourself. We always just wait our turn and work, and the next guy is always up.
Q: Was that the best catch you've ever made?
A: No, I've had a couple of those. But it's pretty good to do it in this league. I just have to continue to work and continue to get better.
Q: When did you know that you were in rhythm with Case Keenum today?
A: I always feel like I am in the rhythm. I just have to wait until the opportunities come in the game. Our coaches do a really good job of making us work all week and getting ready for the game, and practice what happens in the game and then it happens in the game.
Q: How can Case Keenum spread the ball around so well?
A: Case is always ready. He's always a high-energy guy, happy, positive and always smiling, so that rubs off on everybody. He just gives us a chance to win and we have to do our jobs to get open and Case will do the rest.
Q: How was it having all phases of the team playing well?
A: It's great, they preach all phases have to come play and play hard, and we have to win all phases every day. Special teams showed up big today on punt and kickoff return, our offense did really well scoring some points, and the defense did a great job doing what they do. It always helps when everyone is playing on a high level.
Q: The wide receivers showed a lot of depth didn't they?
A: Yeah, like I said earlier our coaches do a really good job at making us wait our turns and working for the opportunity so when it comes we're ready. The same thing happened with (Stefon) Diggs. A guy got hurt and he came in and he made plays. That's what the coaches want to see and that's what we have to do. We just have to be ready for our work and be serious about our work every day, and it'll come.
Q: Were you surprised you got flagged by that block?
A: I mean not really. This is the NFL and safety first. I tried to keep it clean, but I hesitated. I didn't really launch or anything. I didn't think I hit him that hard either. I just tried to make a play and make a block for our team. I probably could have used my hands, so I'll clean it up and take the coaching from it.
Vikings Tight End Kyle Rudolph
Q: How big of a win is this against a divisional opponent?
A: I said it earlier in the week, this is a team that we'll be battling come December for a playoff spot and hopefully for a chance at being NFC North Champs again. It was big, it was a team win and it took all three phases, offense, defense and special teams. NFC North division games are tough and physical. It's always good when you feel this way after a win.
Q: Can you talk about the way the offensive line has been playing?
A: Those guys have been playing awesome. They're great in the run game, aggressive, tough, and go again today with no sacks. They're keeping Case (Keenum) on his feet and Case is getting the ball down field. We have to stop turning the ball over. But we'll get that cleaned up and keep this offense rolling.
Q: What can you say about the trust that's been built with Case (Keenum)?
A: Every week as we get reps throughout practice we're going to become more comfortable with one another. These are reps that we haven't had, it seems like déjà vu from last year and we're trying to play catchup. Each week we're going to get better in the passing game because we'll get more comfortable with one another and get familiar with one another. He'll know where we kind of like the ball thrown and we'll know where he's going to throw the ball. There's a lot that goes into timing, route running and passing so that's just going to get better every week.
Q: Are you guys just scratching at the surface in showing the depth that you have?
A: Yeah and I've said it all year long. There's a ton of guys on this offense that can make plays as long as we keep our quarterback on his feet. Let those guys do their thing down the field, but we have to stop turning the ball over. We make it really hard on ourselves and our defense who for the third straight week has played lights out. The only way teams get points on us is if we give them good field position and other than that they aren't going the distance on that defense.
Q: How much of a luxury is it to have a backup like Case Keenum?
A: I mentioned it last week after the game in Chicago that you have to have a guy that can come in and play. The days of quarterbacks playing 16 games are far and few between, so to have a guy that we trust, that we know will come in and pick up right where we left off is big.
Q: Can you talk about the defense and how they're feeding off each other?
A: Harrison (Smith) played one of the best football games I've ever seen him play and I've known him for a long time. It just seemed like he was everywhere today. It's fun seeing those guys run around. Like I said, we just have to stop putting them in tough situations. They're going to get us good field position as long as we take care of the ball. So we have to stop turning the ball over.
Q: How much do the two division wins in a row mean?
A: It's huge to come out of this stretch with three straight division games two and one. We didn't want to drop two out of the three especially both home games so it's a big win for us in the division. We have a tough Baltimore team coming here before we go to London. After these they take a little bit longer to get back but we have to get back to work and get ready for the Ravens.
Vikings Left Guard Jeremiah Sirles
Q: Why does the screen game work so well with this offensive line?
A: I think that we can get out and we can move in space as a group pretty well. I think that we can run a little bit. I mean, having a guy like Jet (Jerick McKinnon) back there who can make the first guy miss, and then as long as we just stand in front of people he makes us look good.
Q: I saw a highlight of you after one of those touchdowns… a little bit of dancing. Could you tell us what you did there?
A: Me and Jet have been planning that for like three years just joking around back before the celebrations were even legal. This year when they were finally legal we were like "alright we're going to do it". It just so happened it worked out today.
Q: That was after the TD run?
A: Yeah. It was after the first run for the touchdown. The screen. It was after the screen. I think they call it "Hit Them Folks" or whatever it is. But, I always joke with Jet about it, and today we were able to do it for the first time. It was fun. Literally we've been talking about it since I got here.
Q: What do they call it again?
A: I don't know. It's a dance. What is it? "Hit Dem Folks". You go here, here, then here. I don't know. It is on Twitter. I am getting crushed for it but it's alright. We had fun with it.
Q: With Pat Elflein, what's helped him adjust so quickly?
A: He's so smart. I have been around some rookies in the league, and he's just extremely smart and he has no stop in him. He just continues to grind. He continues to play really hard and it's fun to watch him continue to develop every single week.
*Vikings Quarterback Case Keenum *
Q: You seem to be settling into a bit of a groove. Can you elaborate on your comfort level?
A: I feel very comfortable out there. Starting with the game plan, I thought Pat Shurmur, Kevin Stefanski and those guys did a great job putting together a nice game plan. Up front again played really well, no sacks. We ran the ball well when we needed to. Down the field, those guys are making plays. When your defense gets those three turnovers, it's big time. It really helps. It was a great team win today. I just have to keep doing my job. I have to take care of the ball better, had the one interception. But something with our defense, if we stay turnover free, we're a lot better football team. We battled through it today which was fun. Tough, tough opponent. It was a pretty cool game. It was my first Vikings-Packers game and that atmosphere was electric. You could tell just from running out on the field for warm-ups. It was exciting. It was great. Great to get a win. Great.
Q: Do you just look for the yellow gloves that Adam Theilen wears?
A: Adam is a great receiver If you just get it in the general area, he tends to make a play. That makes me gravitate to look towards him more.
Q: I know you have great respect for Aaron Rodgers, your thoughts on him going down today?
A: You hate to see that. You really do. Thoughts and prayers go out to him and their whole team. He is incredible for our game. Just as a quarterback, I have a lot of respect for him. For his craft, how he operates, how he plays the game. As a person, too. How he is a leader of that football team. You hate to see that for anybody, especially a guy like that. We're competitors but none of us like to ever see anybody go down.
Q: Laquon Treadwell has maintained a really patient approach and with Stefon Diggs out, he had that opportunity. Can you speak to how he was able to seize that and what you saw on the one-handed catch?
A: I didn't see the catch. I was on the ground. You will have to tell me about it. I will watch it on film. From what the crowd sounded like, it sounded like it was pretty impressive. He makes a lot of plays at practice. He's been doing that for a long time. He is a guy that is developing really well. I like throwing him the football. It was good to see him get hot tonight.
Q: What is it with Jerick McKinnon that makes him a good fit for Pat Shurmur's offense?
A: He can do a lot of things and he sees the field really well. A back who can pick up protections and catch the ball out of the backfield. And to do what he's obviously able to do once he gets the ball in his hands, that's a guy you want on your team. It's been really fun watching him run down the field with the ball in his hands.
Q: How much does your confidence continue to increase every game as you get more of these starts under your belt?
A: I was telling [Kyle] Rudolph earlier, and the more practice, more play, the more chemistry we got. Whether we missed a few things, certain plays we have guys running open down the field that we are going to hit. We left some offense out there. The more I practice and the more I play with those guys, we will form some more chemistry. I feel more comfortable about what I'm thinking and what I'm seeing, and that makes us a better football team.
Q: When is the last time you talked to Sam Bradford and how are his spirits?
A: You'll have to ask Sam about that. I'm going to focus on the game and enjoy this win. We'll see what happens this week.
Q: With no sacks, what has the offensive line been doing well to protect you?
A: They're doing a great job of first of all, identifying fronts. Green Bay really came after us today. They mixed up their pressures, mixed up their fronts. They've got some great pass rushers on that side of the ball. Getting it identified, and then making sure they have the right call into the right pressure. They are playing their tails off and it has been fun back there behind those guys.
Q: Was there anything specific on the atmosphere in your first Vikings-Packers game that you took away from that was a big moment?
A: It's hard to say. Having Thor [Hafthor Bjornsson], The Mountain, blow the horn there. I'm a Game of Thrones fan. That was pretty cool. We saw him at the facility on Saturday and he is a large human being. It was fun. I love the Skol Chant. That's really cool. My whole family loves it. They're up there going crazy. Just the whole thing today. Beating the Packers is fun.
Q: You moved back into first place again today. It sounds like Aaron Rodgers might miss the rest of the season. How do you feel about the complexion of the division?
A: I take it a week at a time. I know that's boring and it's an answer I give for a lot of things, but this league is too tough to get wrapped up this game. "We have this game coming up." "In two weeks we have this, and in three weeks we have this," and "this team is playing this team," You can't compare like that. You have to go take care of business every week. Every team in this league is really, really good, and any team can win on any Sunday. If you give everything you've got that week, and the next week, and the next week, and don't think about all of other weeks, I think you look back at the end of the year and that's something you can be proud of.
Q: You guys worked a lot on the screen-game this offseason, do you think that is something you guys are doing well with?
A: Yes, we had some great screens, and one actually got called back because I didn't get the ball out quick enough, but when you have an offensive line that can run, give it space, and create explosive plays like that, it's just about getting the ball in the right guy's hands. Jet [Jerick McKinnon] did a great job tonight. We use a lot of different guys in a lot of different ways, but it's a good mix-up.
Q: With Sam Bradford playing week-to-week and Teddy Bridgewater potentially practicing sometime soon, what do you make of the quarterback situation right now?
A: I don't make anything of it. I'm playing quarterback, and I love to play quarterback. I love this team, I love this offense, and I love the atmosphere. I love the stadium. It's a great spot. Like I said, there's a lot of externals in this business, and it's your job to talk through every possibility in everything that goes on, but that's not my job, so I don't have to answer that question. I can go out and play quarterback and have fun.
Q: Speaking of this offense, you're running a lot more bootlegs than when Sam Bradford was playing. Going back to your early years with [Gary] Kubiak, do you think that's helped you grow to run well and move well?
A: It depends on the defense. I appreciate you watching film from five years ago. You're doing your homework so I appreciate that, but it depends on the week. It depends on the defenses. Different fronts allow for different ways to get on the edge and move the pocket a little bit. That's something I'm comfortable with for sure. When you're holding the ball that long, it's hard for guys to cover down the field that long, and with our guys down the field, it puts us in a different position.
Vikings Running Back Jerick McKinnon
Q. How does it feel to have explosive plays called back by penalties?
A. I didn't really know what the penalty was at first but things happen throughout the ball game and you just have to respond. I think we did a good job of doing that today. It is what it is. You're going to have penalties it is part of the game, so it's all about bouncing back, moving forward, and being productive on offense and I think we did that today.
Q. How big was it for you to have that kind of day against Green Bay?
A. I know how tense this rivalry is, but I couldn't have had any of this without those guys up front. I think we did well, collectively as a unit.
Q. You always talk about being in the flow, the more receptions you get, the more yardage you get and yards after catch, you seem to get stronger and stronger with each one, is that true?
A. I am just trying to find a way to make a play for the team. When my number is called I just try to make the most out of the opportunities that the coaches are giving me. From week-to- week it's starting to increase a little bit. But for me, it is all about working and getting better, there is always something you can take away from the game and get better at the next week. The most exciting thing for me, is to go back and look at the film and see what I can do better the next week. I am just glad to be a part of this team, everybody fights hard and it was a good win.
Q. Without looking at the film, what do you think you did better this week?
A. Caught the ball. I dropped the ball a couple weeks ago. I mean there are a lot of things I could point out that I can do better. Had a couple of hiccups in the game and I can't do that, I have to get better. I'm looking forward to next week.
Q. Does the fumble still sit with you?
A. Definitely. The one last week still sits with me. In that situation I can't do that and it is something that I haven't done in the past. For me it is just about responding, making up for that mistake not for me but for my teammates. Those guys are fighting hard and for me to go out there and put the ball on the ground, I can't do that. I am just glad to respond for those guys and get that off my shoulders.
Q. What is it with Case Keenum and his repore with all of you guys?
A. I think it is his energy. When he take the field in pregame, you feel it. He is on a hot streak right now, he has seemed to do a lot of things right. Like I said, everybody is getting better week-to-week. I am enjoying playing with him and the other ten guys out there.
*Q. What do you think of the entire NFC North right now? *
A. It's a week-to-week thing in this division it could go either way. It was a great team win don't get me wrong, but like I said the NFL is week-to-week. We're going to enjoy this win, but at the same time we are going to get ready for the Baltimore Ravens next week. We have to keep this thing going, and find a way to win these games.
Q. How much confidence do you have in Case Keenum?
A. I think everybody has a lot of confidence in Case Keenum. There is no drop off, and I think we are confident in whoever steps up at any position. That is the good thing about this team. Everybody is confident in each other. The team has a tight bond. It's just playing with each other, getting used to each other and going from there.
Q. How do you feel when you see a guy like Aaron Rodgers go down?
A. I never want to see anybody get hurt, on my team, the opposing team, anything like that. Once he went down, we just had to apply pressure. The defense did a great job, that's what they do, apply pressure. Like I said, it's a great team win, our defense made some big plays they stepped up. It was a great team win, and I am happy to come out on the winning side.
Q. Being here a couple years now, are you starting to see things better with this offensive line?
A. I definitely think things are flowing better. Those guys are coming off the ball really hard every play. A big thing from last year to this year is everyone is staying healthy and I think that is giving us a lot of momentum.
Q. Does it feel like it has been really easy for you guys to get going the past few weeks?
A. I think really the thing that has been able to get us going is we aren't getting behind the sticks. We haven't had too many penalties, we are being efficient running the ball. The guys on the perimeter, we know they are going to make plays catching the ball. I think it is about just keeping the ball moving forward.
Q. What have the past couple of weeks been like for you without Dalvin Cook and you getting more carries?
A. I FaceTime Dalvin a lot. He is in good spirits. It's not about getting more carries or anything like that cause, when Latavius Murray is in the game I am saying "run the ball, give the ball to him". Like I said, when coach calls your number it gives you confidence and it makes you want to make a play for everybody.
Vikings Safety Harrison Smith
Q: Was this as well as you have ever played?
A: I do not know. I gave up a catch on the first play of the game. There is always stuff you can correct. When your number is called, try and make a play. That is the mentality of the whole team. If everybody does their job, we have a good chance of having success.* *
Q: How did you change without Rodgers in there?
A: I do not think we altered a whole lot. We had a game plan and we pretty much stuck to it.
Q: With only one team scoring more than 20 points on you so far this season, is that just the discipline of the team?
A: Absolutely. Discipline of what we are asked to do is big. We love playing. We all love playing. We love playing together and we love the coaches. We love coming to the sideline and getting hyped with them. There is still a lot of football left to be played and we know that. We just have to continue getting better each week.
Q: Did you think Barr's hit on Rodgers was clean?
A: I did not see it. It probably was. It was unfortunate. He is the best in the game and I hate to see that for him.
Q: When they call a safety blitz, what goes through your mind?
A: It is just another assignment for me. It is fun because I get to play all over. Coach Zimmer is creative and he puts us in positions to win. Whatever my assignment is, I try to execute it.
Q: Can you talk about your interception?
A: I was really just making sure I had it knocked down and had a chance to finish.
Q: Is it a contagious feeling when you are all locked in that way?
A: Yes. You want to execute your job so either you can make a play or somebody next to you can make a play. When guys' numbers are called, guys are stepping up and making plays. We cannot rest on that. We have to continue to move forward.
Q: With Rodgers out, do you guys still have to play as aggressive?
A: Yes. We still have to play our brand of football.
Q: Did it give a sense of relief when Rodgers went out?
A: No. You do not want to see those things. It is unfortunate. I wish him the best.
Q: Was this the best you have seen all three levels of the defense play?
A: It is hard to tell without watching the film.
Q: Can you talk about how Anthony Harris did today?
A: He stepped right in and did a great job. We all play well together.
Vikings Linebacker Eric Kendricks
Q: How did the game plan change after Rodgers left the game?
A: I feel like the game plan didn't change much. It was just about what we have to do on defense.
Q: You're pretty familiar with Brett Hundley, right?
A: Yeah, I am. I played against him in college. I tried not to think about that, just play football. He had a couple plays when he extended them and made throws downfield which were crazy. We have to do better in coverage.
Q: That was an impressive win for your team after a short week, thoughts?
A: I felt like everybody came out to play today. We had high enthusiasm as soon as everyone walked through the door today and we were excited to play.
Q: Is that enthusiasm because of this rivalry or is that where you are always at?
A: That is where we're at. We decide to play every week, but today everything was clicking We knew it was a short week; we knew what was against us but we prevailed. We played well.
Q: How did the dynamic change after Rodgers left the game?
A: Not much honestly. They had a very mobile quarterback. He was getting out of the pocket and making throws downfield. It was up to us on defense to create turnovers, create a little havoc and make him uncomfortable.
Q: The take aways seemed to be the difference maker today.
A: Absolutely, tipped balls and rallying to ball late. We had a couple completions when we got the ball out a little late that was huge. Made some tackles in open space. Everyone was rallying to the ball. Everyone was communicating. It was fun.
Q: Everson has a sack in six straight games, thoughts?
A: It shows every Sunday that guy comes to play. He comes with an attitude, comes with enthusiasm, and that's contagious and we all feed off of it.
Q: Can you talk about Harry's interception?
A: I can talk about a couple of plays he made today. He was all over the place. It was cool to watch and cool to be on the same defense. I couldn't believe some of the plays he made. We know he's capable of that and he brought it today. He definitely did.
Vikings Defensive End Everson Griffen
Q: Did Aaron Rodgers' injury change your game plan?
A:We pray for Aaron Rodgers' speedy recovery. He is one of the best quarterbacks in the game. I pray for him. I love playing against him. He is a competitor. I wish him the best but we went out there and won the game under any circumstances. As for the game plan, we stuck with it. At the end, we were able to eat and that is what we did.
Q: Can you talk about Harrison Smith?
A: He is a monster. Hitman Harry is smart and deliberate. He is going to come down as the best safety in the league. I love having him in the back end because I always know he is going to give me more time to rush.
Q: Can you talk about the impact today had on the division?
A: I think we focus on us. We are not worried about the division. We are worried about our play and what we have to do on a daily basis. That is our number one focus. There is nobody else, it is about the Minnesota Vikings.
Q: How do you feel about having six straight games with a sack?
A: I cannot do it without my front four. We have the best front four in the league. We get the job done on a daily basis. We feed off each other and play for one another. We love each other. That is how we do it.
Q: How did Trae Waynes play?
A: Trae [Waynes] came through big. He has proven people wrong each and every day. He is out there hustling and getting the job done at a high level. I am happy he is on my team.
Q: Did you think you would be able to rattle Hundley because he is inexperienced?
A: We just went out there and stuck to the game plan. He was sitting shallow in the pocket early and we just stuck to the rush plan. We got him on the ground a few times.
Vikings Wide Receiver Adam Thielen
Q: What is it about playing Green Bay that allows you to have such big performances?
A: I don't know, opportunity I guess. I got a lot of targets, and there were definitely some plays left out there that I felt like I could have done better on. But shoot, we got the win. We had two division games, two division wins in a row, so I'm happy.
Q: Did this game get a little heated between the two teams?
A: I don't think so. I think we have a lot of respect for them, they have a lot of respect for us. I don't think it got chippy at all, it was good.
Q: You guys seemed to pick up momentum as the game went on.
A: I think that's how this league works, you got to feed for the energy, you got to feed off of the momentum. You got to get things going to really get things going. You got to get first downs, extend drives, and that's when you start making big plays.
Q: Is this division yours to win now?
A: I don't know, I think we're just going to take it one game at a time. We're not worried about the big picture, we're just going to take it one week at a time, keep trying to get better, because I think there is a lot of things on tape that we need to get better at, which is good. Whenever you can go evaluate the film after a win and keep getting better, that's a good thing.
Q: There were some penalties that could have been costly, even though you guys pulled out the win. How difficult can it be to limit those penalties?
A: I think it's something that's kind of haunted us in the past, so I think it's still something that we need to get better at, especially when we get in field goal range and getting in that scoring zone. We got to make sure that we're on point, because that takes us out of points and makes it really tough to score.
Q: Can you talk about the way Jerick McKinnon has played over the past couple of weeks?
A: Yeah, I think that's a big part of our offense's success. He's been huge for moving the ball, getting first downs, and then scoring touchdowns. I think he's been scoring all the touchdowns for us. So yeah, it's huge, he's a great player and I think he's a guy that just keeps coming to work and keeps grinding, getting better, and is a great teammate. You can obviously root for guys like that.
Q: What does a win like this do to propel confidence moving forward, knowing what is on the horizon?
A: I think it's a lot like our offensive game, it just provides momentum. Every win just provides momentum going into the next week. We're looking forward now to moving on to Baltimore and coming back home again, which is obviously huge with our crowd. We'll try to get better.
Q: What are your thoughts on Treadwell's one-handed catch?
A: It was huge. It was a huge part of the game, and it was an unbelievable catch. I mean the corners were talking to me after that catch, saying how amazing of a catch that was. When you have the other team talking about how good of a catch it is, that's pretty impressive. And what a time to do it, it was a huge play in the game getting that first down and moving the ball. Vikings Defensive End Brian Robison
Q: You had a lot of family at the game today. What was it like to play the way you did in front of them?
A: It is great. We have had our ups and downs this season already. To go out there and for our team to play the way they have played today and get a win against a very good Green Bay football team means a lot.
Q: Does anything change when Rodgers goes out?
A: Nothing changes. It does not matter if it is Rodgers back there or Hundley. Our goal was the same which was stop the run, collapse the pocket and get to the quarterback. This is not about one guy. This is not about Rodgers. This is about the Green Bay Packers and our plan against the Green Bay Packers was to stop the run, collapse the pocket and get to the quarterback.
Q: Are you guys the best team in the NFC North right now?
A: I do not know. We will find out at the end of the season.
Q: What was it like to see Rodgers go down?
A: You never want to see a guy go down like that. I think he is the best quarterback in the NFL right now. You never want to see a guy get injured. You want to compete against the best so obviously we want to compete against him. That is still a very good Green Bay football team that we were able to get a win against.
Q: How wide open does the division feel now?
A: We have to take this one game at a time. Our focus has to move to the Baltimore Ravens. We cannot get caught up in where we are at in the division. We have to think about the next task at hand which is the Baltimore Ravens.