EDEN PRARIE, Minn. — Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer altered the normal schedule by giving players a day off Monday and will have them return to Winter Park Tuesday to review film from Sunday's 29-26 comeback victory against the Redskins.
The coach was able to do so this week because Minnesota (4-5) has reached its bye. The Vikings will return to action against the Bears (3-5) on Nov. 16 at Soldier Field. Chicago visits Green Bay this Sunday as the Bears and Packers comeback from their Week 9 byes.
View images from the week 9 matchup at TCF Bank Stadium between the Vikings and Redskins.
"We're going to review the tape tomorrow and then we're going to hit some situations that I want to cover that we haven't covered for a while and refresh their memories that way," Zimmer said. "And then I want to work with some of the younger guys quite a bit tomorrow."
Players are scheduled to have Thursday-Sunday off this week.
Minnesota experienced somewhat of a mini-bye that was created by their appearance at Green Bay on Thursday Night Football but didn't come back too sharp against Detroit the following week.
Zimmer said he didn't consider the timing of the bye to be a disruption of the momentum gained by the past two wins.
"I guess the one thing that I've noticed a little bit about this team, sometimes is when they have a little bit of time off they seem to forget quicker than I would like for them to, some of the things," Zimmer said. "We'll have to see when we get back to work tomorrow on some of that and then next week. I think it's a good time for us, being a little past the halfway point of this season to kind of get refreshed, get our legs back. Players-wise get away from football a little bit and focus on their families and the things they need to do with their lives a little bit and then get back and give me their lives back again."
DEEP THOUGHTS: Rookie Teddy Bridgewater led his third fourth-quarter comeback victory in five starts and finished the game a solid 26-for-42 passing for 268 yards and a touchdown for a passer rating of 88.2.
Bridgewater and the Vikings came out firing early, taking a deep shot at Greg Jennings on the first play of the game but missed, and aimed deep again on his fifth throw but sailed it beyond the reach of Cordarrelle Patterson.
Zimmer said he doesn't think Bridgewater has a problem with the deep ball when asked about the misfires.
"What I do believe is that we probably need to throw it some more, and we will hit it," Zimmer said. "I do know one thing about Teddy: if it is a problem, he will work extremely hard at whatever his deficiencies are. If he believes that's one of them, I'm sure he will work at it. We're going to continue to do it and continue to practice it.
Zimmer pointed out those plays can have a high reward without too harsh a result on an incompletion. He said the deep attempts were less about trying to soften Washington's defense to help the run and more about trying to capitalize on what Minnesota thought it could.
"I thought it was important this week that we took some shots down the field and even if you don't hit them, that's not necessarily a bad thing," Zimmer said. "What's the difference in just missing a 50-yard shot or you gain one yard? It's 2nd-and-9 or 2nd-and-10, it's the same deal. There is a lot of strategy involved with some of those things that we are doing."
RUDOLPH GETTING CLOSER: When Zimmer was asked about a possible Nov. 16 return for TE Kyle Rudolph, who has been sidelined for the past six games because of sports hernia surgery, he said, "I don't know yet, we'll see."
"I think he's going to work a little bit tomorrow in some of the individual things so we will kind of see where he's at and where he's going to go from there," Zimmer said.
Chase Ford caught his first career touchdown (a 20 yarder from Bridgewater) and had five catches for 66 yards. Rhett Ellison added four catches for 30 yards and delivered a great downfield block on a 16-yard scramble by Bridgewater in Rudolph's absence.