As they enter Week 17, the Minnesota Vikings have nothing to play for when they host the Chicago Bears on Sunday. The Vikings are locked into the second wild-card spot after their 23-10 loss to the Packers on Monday night.
Minnesota struggled badly on offense against Green Bay. The Vikings had only 139 yards of total offense and were held to seven first downs. It was not a great day for the offense, which Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer acknowledged on Tuesday.
“Yeah, I was definitely disappointed with how the offense played,” Zimmer said. “They played really good almost every game all year. We get three turnovers to start the first half or end the first half, and we come away with 10 points, and two of the three turnovers were on their end of the field. We had way too many three-and-outs. Yeah, that part was very disappointing.”
While Vikings QB Kirk Cousins(16/31, 122 yards, TD, INT) did not play well on Monday, Zimmer doesn’t just blame the eight-year veteran for the team’s issues on offense.
“I think it was a combination of things,” Zimmer said. “I thought Green Bay did a good job in coverage. They played a lot of coverage last night. They changed up some of their rushes and so they were kind of getting in his lap. The combination of that and not running the ball, I think it was really a whole bunch of different areas. It wasn’t just Kirk (Cousins). We didn’t block him up front very well, and they did a good job in coverage.
Conversely, Minnesota’s defense played well on Monday night. They forced three Packers’ turnovers, which led to Minnesota’s 10 points, and according to Zimmer, the defense was solid against the Packers.
“Defensively, I thought, for the most part, we did a good job as far as eliminating the big plays. Played decent in coverage and at times we still had some mistakes,” Zimmer said. “I thought we did a decent job on third downs, and then in the red zone, we were okay. It kind of got away with us there at the end.”
In fairness to Cousins, his offensive line did not play very well. Cousins was sacked five times against the Packers. Also, Pro Bowl RB Dalvin Cook did not play on Monday night, which had an impact on the offense.
Fortunately for the Vikings, they have two weeks to get ready for the playoffs, but if they want to advance, the offense has to play better than it did against the Packers.