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Zimmer Lists Areas for Vikings to Fix After 1st Loss

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer's list of annoyances after Minnesota's first loss of the season was lengthy.

Uncharacteristic turnovers. Some ineffective plays by the offensive line. Dropped passes. Poor execution in the red zone. Mistakes on special teams.

"It was … embarrassing, really, is the word, in at least two of the phases," Zimmer said of the offense and special teams. "I'm very disappointed in the performance in this game today.

"If you're going to do those things, you have no chance to win," he added.

The Vikings suffered a 21-10 road loss to the Eagles in Minnesota's worst performance and first loss of the season, falling to 5-1.

Zimmer said one of his biggest issues was a lack of protection for quarterback Sam Bradford, who was sacked six times and was coerced into fumbling four times, losing two of them.

Zimmer said the Vikings knew pressure was coming but couldn't stop it as Philadelphia improved to 4-2 and 3-0 at home this season.

The Vikings rotated Jeremiah Sirles, T.J. Clemmings and Jake Long at the tackle spots. Sirles started at right tackle. Clemmings started at left tackle, then moved to right tackle when Long came into the game. The usual starters of the interior offensive line — Alex Boone, Joe Berger and Brandon Fusco — did not change. 

Zimmer said it's up to the unit to find it within themselves to improve.

"We need to do a better job," Zimmer said. "We're not going to go down the street and pick up a bunch of guys, we need to get these guys better, and we need to do it quickly.

"I'm disappointed that we allowed (pressure on Bradford) to happen," he added. "You kind of know going into the game they're going to come after Bradford. I didn't go to Harvard but I can probably figure that out. We didn't get it done."

Added Boone: "We kept shooting ourselves in the foot. If we want to be the team we think we can be then we have to be way better."

The Vikings also faltered inside the red zone.

Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo returned an interception to the 2-yard line early in the first quarter.

But Minnesota couldn't find the end zone after a run of a yard, a false start penalty, an incompletion and a Bradford interception.

"It's frustrating because our defense is playing so well," said Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen. "We need to have their backs and start faster."

The Vikings later trailed 18-3 to start the fourth quarter but had the ball on the Eagles 6-yard line.

Minnesota faced third-and-1 and ran for no gain before being stuffed again for a turnover on downs.

"You're on the 2-yard line and you don't score," Boone said. "It's unacceptable … that's terrible football.

"The offense needs to pick their (stuff) up, bottom line," he added.

Zimmer also lamented poor play on special teams, a unit that had helped the Vikings get off to an unbeaten start.

Minnesota allowed a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and fumbled during a punt return that led to a Philadelphia field goal.

Zimmer did praise the defense on a day they forced four turnovers and limited Eagles rookie quarterback to a passer rating of 52.4.

The Vikings now have an extra day of preparation as they get ready to travel to Chicago for a Monday Night Football matchup on Oct. 31.

Zimmer vowed to have his team ready to play for the NFC North battle.

"I'm going to put my finger on some things this week," Zimmer said.

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