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Vikings Use Mistakes as Motivation, Promise to Improve

After a performance that Head Coach Mike Zimmer called "embarrassing" and an ensuing **first loss of the season**, the Vikings have vowed to review the tape, make corrections and learn from their mistakes.

Sports Illustrated's Ben Baskin wrote about **Minnesota retaining its identity** after a 21-10 loss to Philadelphia on Sunday.

Basking described the attitude of the team to be "more emboldened than despondent." He wrote:

*The Vikings pride themselves on (excuse the clichés) their grittiness, the ability to grind teams down and win ugly. They know they do not have much offensive firepower (especially after losing their starting quarterback and franchise running back to injuries), and that means their margin of error is always going to be small, despite having the NFL's most smothering defense. *

*[…] *

Following their first loss of the season, the urgency has returned.

"We just didn't do the things that we have been doing well, and that's not how we win games," safety Harrison Smith told Baskin. "We definitely can't make that who we are as a team. We have to get rid of those things. The good teams are the ones that, when you lose one, you bounce back. You don't lose two in a row. So that's what we have to do."

Baskin said the Vikings expect to win every week, and that hasn't changed.

This is not a team that was patting itself on the back after starting 5-0, and it won't be a team that throws in the towel after dropping to 5-1. Despite the fusillade of injuries that have beset them so far this year, the Vikings have much bigger plans for the rest of this season.

Vikings aiming to better protect Sam Bradford

After Sunday's loss in Philadelphia, Zimmer **listed a number of things executed poorly** by the Vikings, and he heavily emphasized the offensive line's performance.

Mike Coppinger of USA TODAY delved into Minnesota's **offensive line and yesterday’s difficulties**.

Bradford, who was acquired to replace the injured Teddy Bridgewater, admitted that he had less time than usual to throw Sunday. He was out of rhythm from the start and passed for just 224 yards on 24 of 41 with a 71.6 passer rating.

The injury-plagued offensive line (starting tackles Matt Kalil and Andre Smith are on injured reserve) couldn't handle the Eagles' aggressive and uncharacteristically blitz-happy defense, which harassed Bradford all afternoon and sacked him six times.

Bradford took ownership for a lackluster offensive performance, however, and said a variety of factors should have been better.

"We have to figure out a way," Bradford said after the game. "It involves all of us. I've got to figure out a way to get it out quicker. We've got to do a better job with staying on guys. I think there are a lot of answers to that problem."

Coppinger called Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox a "disruptive force" against the Vikings offense and also pointed to short-yardage situations Minnesota found itself unable to capitalize on.

Longtime starting guard Brandon Fusco acknowledged the line "couldn't get a push" and said it was frustrating the team failed to pick up a half-yard when necessary. The ground game averaged just 3.4 yards per carry on 27 rushes.

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