What The Vikings Said Following Their Loss To The Seahawks

VIKINGS HEAD COACH MIKE ZIMMER

(Thoughts on Seattle defense…) “They were aggressive and fast and did a nice job of not allowing us to maintain much consistency with our offense.”

(How much was it your team’s lack of execution on offense…) “I don’t know, it’s hard to tell. They played well. I don’t know if it was lack of execution or them playing well.”

(How do you go about fixing the offense…) “That’s a good question. Keep at it, keep trying to find things we are good at. We didn’t score very many points tonight. We didn’t score very many points last week. Part of it is being better on third downs. Part of it is being better in the red zone. We had the ball on the two yard line and we did not score. So you keep doing things like that and you’re not going to score too many points.”

(Would you like to see more balance…) “I don’t know what the balance was tonight of how many runs and passes we had. Some of those were late in the half and some were late in the game. So it was probably close. But if you’re going to do that you have to convert on third downs and we didn’t do that tonight. So that’s why time of possession got away from us and obviously when you get a field goal blocked. I think special teams were just average tonight.”

(How much of it is the way teams are defending Diggs and Thielen…) “They got a lot of double tonight so that’s a part of it.”

(What happened on the blocked field goal and what did the officials say…) “I don’t know, they didn’t tell me. I just asked if I could challenge it and they said no.”

(Do you think it should have been a penalty…) “Quite honestly I didn’t see it. I didn’t see what happened. I was told what happened. You’re not supposed to be able to pull guys down if that’s what they did.”

(On the third and fourth down short yardage plays, were you getting what you wanted or did you want to see something different…) “There were a couple we didn’t execute well enough. There were a couple where we could have probably called something better.”

(What was the problem with the run defense…) “Honestly I know it was a lot of yards but the quarterback had 60 or something. The one run we had bottled up and he ran back the other way. That was probably 20 or 30 yard run. They had a lot of second and five’s. After halftime it was second and eight and second and nine. Honestly I didn’t think we were playing the run that bad. They are a good running football team. These are good, hard, running backs. If you don’t get in there and get physical with them, they’re going to gain some yards.”

(What happened on the long Wilson run…) “I guess he broke containment.”

(What made Wilson so successful on play action…) “He had 70 yards didn’t he? So he wasn’t real successful passing.”

(How tough of a game was that for your defense because you weren’t getting into the end zone…) “I thought we played our rear ends off on defense tonight. So yeah, its was disappointing and discouraging.”

QB KIRK COUSINS

(On what the main issue with the offense was tonight…) “I don’t think it was any one thing. A combination of not converting third downs, Seahawks making plays, they had a great pass-rush, and we just had to sustain drives. We didn’t have a lot of explosive plays. Again, credit the Seahawks for limiting those.”

(On if he can judge his own performance yet…) “I’ll have to go back and watch the film to be able to tell you. I think what I felt coming off the field is there is always a balance. A really hard balance to find between sitting in the pocket, going through your read, staying patient, and then getting out of the pocket, giving up on the play, and playing off-schedule. I think that is something I am going to go back and watch as to when do I want to quit on a play and get out and scramble and try to make something off-schedule. I think I have the athleticism to do that. I think that’s in my game. I don’t think it’s something I do a lot or enough, maybe. When you have a pass-rush like the Seahawks tonight getting in there and influencing the plays, coverage is pretty sound, maybe there were some times where I could have done that. That’s probably my first thought coming away from it. But, outside of that, I thought I saw coverage, and threw with accuracy, and got the ball out of my hand, avoided sacks, and avoided interceptions. There were positives, but when you don’t come away with the field goal, don’t come away with the touchdown on the four downs in the red zone, then you obviously don’t get the points that you want from the day.”

(On not being able to score with the first and goal late in the game…) “Well, certainly it was a combination. They covered us well on second down and fourth down. Those were plays where I just felt like they had pretty good coverage. Could have probably fit it in there to somebody else, but where I was looking to go with the ball was well-defended. Then on third down we ran the ball, didn’t get there. First down ran the ball, didn’t get there. You ran twice, threw twice. They covered the passes well and stopped the run enough to prevent us from getting in.”

(On coverage of Thielen and Diggs this season…) “The only piece I noticed is truly different from the first three, four games of the year would be there were two third downs early where they truly were doubling Adam (Thielen) and Stefon (Diggs) in a way that they’re not going to get the ball. Shouldn’t get the ball. And, that was one down the middle to Aldrick (Robinson) where I was trying to work him down the middle in one-on-one because the safeties are so enamored with Diggsy and Adam that literally it’s like cover zero for Aldrick. Just right down the middle of the field, you can take it down the shoot. One other one on the Microsoft Surface picture they literally dropped, it appeared nine defenders. If they didn’t drop nine then they dropped eight and Diggsy was triple-teamed. So they really were saying ‘we’re going to dare you to work somebody else and we’re going to give you the time back there, but we’re going to cover everybody,’ and, let’s be clear, when it’s third and three they aren’t going to do that. I think it was third and twelve. So, it’s going to be pretty hard to take off and run or get the first down with a check down. Probably more important is staying out of third and twelve, let’s get the third and three. In the second half we had pretty manageable third downs and didn’t see that scheme from them.”

(On what the key is to having the right feel for when to give up on a play or stay in the pocket…) “If I had the answer I would be probably the best quarterback in the league and probably would be standing up here after a victory. If you guys have the secret, let me know. If you give up on plays too often or too early your coaches the next day are going to be looking at you saying ‘what are you doing? You need to trust the protection, you need to go through the read, you can’t just quit on the play we designed and that works.’ On the flipside, plays aren’t always going to be there. Defenses cover stuff and protection can be loose, and things happen. So, finding that balance is something you work on. Let’s be clear, there are a lot of quarterbacks who really can’t move well. So their game is not to run out of the pocket and they still find a way to be very prolific. It doesn’t mean that I have to do that more, I just think it’s something I find myself thinking about coming away from the game that maybe there are some times that I could tap into my athleticism maybe more than I was tonight. But, I do feel like I moved around a little more in the second half and made some plays, as well, too.”

(On the level of frustration after scoring 10 points last week and seven this week…) “I don’t know how to give you a measurement. I don’t know what the scale is for that level, but certainly when you’re not putting as many points on the board as you know you’re capable of or you’ve shown in past games it is disappointing. I think the added piece of the disappointment is when your defense is playing so well. Our defense, I feel the last couple weeks or the last several weeks, really, has played playoff football, high level football, and put us in a position where we should and can be in the playoff conversation as a result of the way they are playing defense. You know that if our offense would bring it the way that we brought it in the earlier weeks of the season, we could be pretty dangerous. Unfortunately, we haven’t put the whole complimentary football together enough this season to really be the team that I think we know we’re capable of, and that will be the challenge these last three weeks.”

(On the challenge of a short week ahead of playing Miami…) “You go to the east coast and you play at New England, who is no slouch, and then you come to the west coast and you play in one of the toughest environments in pro sports. Now we get to come back home, which we are looking forward to doing. Certainly, yeah, it’s a short week. There’s travel involved and time changes, but if you want to be a great football team, and we do, you’re going to play on primetime games in tough environments, and that’s the way it will always be. We want these challenges, we welcome it because it comes with the territory of being a good football team.”

RB DALVIN COOK

(On how frustrating the game was) “It was a loss. It’s frustrating. When you don’t win, it’s always frustrating. We all come to the NFL to win games and win championships. It’s going to take time. We just have to put it together and tonight we didn’t put it together.”

(On how he felt the series when they failed on fourth and one) “It’s frustrating. When you don’t execute it’s frustrating. After all that, we didn’t execute. We have to put it together. We have to go back to the drawing board and we have to figure out what we need to do. Every situation that we didn’t execute is frustrating. We want to execute every situation. We practice so hard. Coach Zimmerman tells us the right things we need to do. He puts us in the right place, all the coaches put us in the right place, we just didn’t execute. Every situation that we failed, at the end of the night, is frustrating. We just have to go and fix it and watch film. We just have to get it right.”

DE STEPHEN WEATHERLY

(On the Seahawks only having three points at the end of the first half) “We were still down but it was a very close game. Once again, we needed to played better on all three phases. The defense was playing strong. We needed the special teams to come through and the offense to do a little bit better. At the end of the day, we weren’t playing as a true team.”

(On having a short week ahead and still being in the hunt for playoffs) “It’s time to learn from what happened and forget about it as quick as possible so we can into next week with the Dolphins at home, and get back on the right track. We have to and need to win these last three games. Control our destiny.”

S ANTHONY HARRIS

(On holding Seattle to just three points early…) “I felt we weathered the storm a bit. They came out and tried some misdirection stuff, and once the game settled down we were able to come together and play some good football and hold them to three points.”

(On if this was the most physical game of the year with so much emphasis on the ground game…) “We pride ourselves on going out there and being a physical team and dominating up front. Coming into the game we knew they were going to want to run the ball and we were going to have to be successful stopping them.”

(On the frustration level the team is feeling…) “We’re not performing the way we want to perform right now, so obviously that can be frustrating. But looking at where we are now, we still have a chance to compete in the conference. It’s all about coming together, continuing to push through and find a way to put it all together.”

(On staying unified when things are not going as hoped…) “We’re all in one group. Obviously there’s going to be a little bit of frustration sometimes, but at the end of the day we all look at each other as brothers, and we’re all trying to accomplish one goal, so the only way we can do that is help each other get better each week.”

WR ADAM THIELEN

(On if the offense is struggling to find a rhythm…) “As an offense, we’re trying to get something going. We just need a spark. We need a spark, and we need it fast. I think we have a bunch of fighters on this whole team, and we have a bunch of guys on this offense that want to win and want to make plays. We haven’t found that rhythm. But it’s there. It’s there. We’ve just got to keep fighting.”

(On if the team needs to go back to what was working earlier in the season…) “I think defenses are just playing us different than they were back then. But at the same time, we’ve got to make those adjustments and we’ve got to make plays, and when we get opportunities, you have to make plays. You’ve got to move the sticks. We’ve got to start fast. We’ve got to start fast. I feel all of our losses, as an offense we start so slow, and our defense is keeping us in games and we’re not pulling our side of the bargain. So we’ve got to start faster. We’ve got to move the ball early in games and get momentum. Otherwise, this is the result.”

(On why he did not make a catch until the third quarter…) “I have no idea. I’ll have to go look at the film. I really don’t know what it was.”

(On not getting past their own 41 in the first half and how much of that is attributable to Seattle defense or offensive struggles…) “It’s a little bit of both. That’s a great defense. They’re flying around, they’re rushing the passer, they’re creating havoc in all levels of their defense. We knew that coming in. They’re playing at a high level. That’s why they’re winning games. Obviously their offense is good as well but that defense is playing really good, and we knew that coming into this game. But that’s not an excuse. We’ve got to play better. We’re too good of an offense; we have too many guys on this offense that can make plays to not move the ball and not to score points. The first thing to do is to self-reflect and see what you can do better as an individual. When everybody does that, hopefully you can continue to get better. But we’ve got to do it fast.”

(On if he felt the offense let the defense down…) “Yeah, when you have games like this and the defense . . . man, they definitely pulled their side of the deal, and when you don’t move the ball really the whole first half as an offense, you feel like you let the team down. We’ve got to figure it out, and we’ve only got three games to do it. We’re going to go back to work. That’s a good thing. We’ve got a bunch of guys that want to win, and we want to be successful. Now we’ve just got to go out and do it.”

WR STEFON DIGGS

(On if he’s frustrated by getting open but not getting the ball…) “No, there’s a lot of men working to get open. I’m not the only one. And I draw a lot of attention at times. Sometimes I get triple-teamed. So there are other guys open, and they’re working hard, too, and Kirk is doing his best. That happens in games. You can’t see everything all the time. So I’ve just got to continue to get open.”

(On what needs to happen to get the offense back on track…) “It’s just small things, situational football. I’m not going to point the finger. I don’t do none of that. Personally, I’ve got to make all of my plays. You’ve just got to make the plays that come to you. You jut have to control what you can control moving forward.”

(On if the offense let the defense down…) “It’s tough. We’ve got to score points, we’ve got to move the ball, we’ve got to stay on schedule. We can’t get behind the chains. It’s simple things. We can’t get behind the sticks.

Fan photos from the Seattle Seahawks' Week 14 Monday Night Football matchup against the Minnesota Vikings at CenturyLink Field.

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