As “good problems to have” go, the Vikings have a pretty good one. They’re building huge leads, but they’re having trouble holding them.
In each of their last three games, the Vikings have established leads of 18, 17, and 17 points, respectively. In two of those games, the Vikings had to sweat out a possible collapse.
“You look back at the success that we’ve had the last couple years,” Rudolph said. “Traditionally, we’ve gotten the game to the fourth quarter and it’s been close and we know how to win close games. Playing with these double-digit leads in the second half is something that not only us as players are learning how to handle and deal with but our coaches as well. I think that’s obviously a good problem to have that we’re learning how to play with these leads, but as players you can’t worry about the scoreboard.”
So what is the mindset of the players on offense?
“Each time we go out there and possess the football we have to have the mentality that it’s a tie game and we need to go down and score,” Rudolph said. “You know, each and every time that you go out there that we just needed one more score and that our defense would take care of the rest.”
Griffen spoke to the mindset of the defense in those situations.
“I feel like we just need to stay locked in and stay more focused on finishing the opponent,” Griffen said. “Don’t ease up and just keep on putting . . . our foot on their throats. Just don’t ease up. We’ve got to be great finishers. I think we started a little better [on Thursday]. We started better, so that’s a good sign. We started better on both sides of the ball on offense and defense. We’ve got to be great starters and great finishers. I think that’s the next step that we’ve got to take. We’ve got to still be able to lock in for four quarters and pay attention to the details and get it done so the game doesn’t have to be close.”
Again, it’s a good problem to have. But it’s a problem that can eventually rear its ugly head at the worst possible time, as Minnesota’s next opponent (Atlanta) knows very well.
For more from Rudolph and Griffen, check out Friday’s PFT Live at Apple Podcasts, where you should subscribe to the show, rate it, and review it.