Skip to main content

News | Minnesota Vikings –

Vikings Roundup 12/8: Zimmer Sees 'Intestinal Fortitude'

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said Monday's film review of the day before's game showed frustrating mistakes, but also a "lot of heart and a lot of fight."

Zimmer said he told players and media he was disappointed in the way the team played moments after a 30-24 overtime victory against the New York Jets because he is "trying to develop a mentality here of a championship football team."

The longtime defensive coordinator, who is in his first year at the helm, appreciated his team improving to 6-7 on the season, but knows repeating some mistakes in future games could prevent wins.

Minnesota has three games left in the regular season that start with a visit to NFC North foe Detroit (9-4) Sunday in a game that has been flex-scheduled to 3:25 p.m. and will be televised on Fox.

Zimmer said he thought the Vikings rallied to play better in the fourth quarter and overtime than it did in the second and third quarters against the Jets.

"I think this team, through all of the things that we've had to overcome throughout the course of the season, it shows some resiliency, it shows some intestinal fortitude that we've been able to establish and trying to continue to get this thing going in the right direction," Zimmer said.

McKINNON UPDATE: Rookie running back Jerick McKinnon, who was placed on season-ending injured reserve Saturday, has undergone a procedure on his lower back, Zimmer said Monday.

View GoPro images shot during the Vikings-Jets game. Photos from Ben Krause.

"Well it had been bothering him for a little while and he did come back and play a couple of games and then the two weeks and we just decided that it was time," Zimmer said. "It needed to be fixed, and we just couldn't prolong it any further."

McKinnon's first season ended with him leading the Vikings with 538 rushing yards on 113 carries (4.8 yards per attempt) with a long of 55 yards. In his absence, Minnesota was able to rush for 114 yards on 28 carries against a defense that entered the game allowing 85.2 per game.

Matt Asiata led the way with 54 yards on 19 carries, recent waiver claim Ben Tate added 15 yards on three attempts and Joe Banyard gained 9 on his one carry of the game. The Vikings also struck with a **gain of 23 on a reverse** to Jarius Wright and a gain of 6 on a jet sweep with Cordarrelle Patterson.

Zimmer said the Vikings would like to divvy up a few more of the carries going forward.

WRIGHT WAY: Zimmer said he was happy for Wright, who delivered the game-winning 87-yard touchdown catch-and-run on a short pass from Teddy Bridgewater, who changed the play at the line of scrimmage after recognizing the Jets were in an "all-out blitz."

"It's just great him for him because he works real hard," Zimmer said. "I think he continues to get better each week. He's got a lot of speed, and I think someone in here asked me at the beginning of the year we had one receiver that's caught balls in NFL games or something, that's why these guys come in and play and they get these opportunities to show what they can do. Those are the kind of success stories you like to have – guys when they get the opportunity – and he made a great run on it and we did a good job blocking it. Teddy did a nice audible with it too but he made a guy miss and from there it was pretty much to the house. He had a nice run on that reverse as well. It's great for him."

RESERVES FORCE TURNOVERS: Gerald Hodges, who started in place of Anthony Barr (knee), and special teamer and reserve safety Andrew Sendejo each forced a turnover by the Jets.

Hodges intercepted QB Geno Smith with a one-handed grab on the first play of the game and returned it 27 yards for a touchdown, setting a Vikings record for fastest defensive score in team history.

Hodges has the versatility of filling any linebacker spot, and Sendejo showed similar quality in filling in a few snaps for Harrison Smith and Robert Blanton against the Jets. Sendejo forced a fumble by Chris Ivory that was recovered by Captain Munnerlyn at the Minnesota 4-yard line to protect a 21-12 lead in the second quarter.

"It looked like I was just lucky I hit the ball, that's really it," Sendejo said. "I guess it's bad on his part for not securing the ball. I was just going to try to tackle him. I wasn't thinking about getting the ball out because we were right there near the goal line. You just want to stop them, and I happened to hit the ball so it came out. It was lucky for us."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.