Mike Zimmer will spend offseason studying Vikings’ postseason defense

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The Vikings weren’t the same defense in the postseason that they were in the regular season. Minnesota led the league in total defense and scoring defense in the 16-game regular season. In two playoff games, it allowed an average of 31 points and 407 yards.

“There’s some things that I really want to look at in this offseason,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said Tuesday, via Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. “There’s some other teams I want to study that have done a good job. I want to go back and evaluate a lot of our rush situations to see if we can improve in some of those areas, go back and see why we were good on third downs.”

The Vikings led the league in third-down conversions in the regular season, allowing conversions only 25.2 percent of the time. But the Eagles converted 10 of 14 third downs on Sunday.

Zimmer, who calls the defensive plays, said in postgame interviews he could have “called a lot better game.” He reiterated that Tuesday.

“Sometimes when you’re sticking with things, and it’s been successful for you, you continue to do it, and maybe I did it a little bit too long,” Zimmer said. “That’s all a part of the process of self-scouting, evaluation and things as you go forward.”

44 responses to “Mike Zimmer will spend offseason studying Vikings’ postseason defense

  1. I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Vikes and their fans on a great season. The NFC Championship game is nothing to sneeze at.

  2. Out coached, out schemed, out played…yeah its time to reevaluate. But the real reason they lost was those mean fans!

  3. It sounds like he’s saying that he went to the well too many times. I would like to think he would mix things up a bit each week, depending on who they are playing.
    C’mon!

  4. They don’t need to change anything. One game doesn’t define a team. Add depth and work on technique and assignments.

    That said, they won’t be able to keep the team intact. That is nearly impossible these days with the salary cap. The best thing to do is keep the system and make sure the players buy into that system. Trying to fix something that isn’t broken will make players doubt the lesson.

  5. Seeing how I can’t write what I really think for fear of getting my comment deleted, I’ll just say this, “I thought your defense played great!”

  6. Zimmer is in way over his head as a head coach. He’s a decent coordinator when he’s got a defensive minded head coach to bail him out. Maybe some of his defensive players will sit him down and have a talk with him again this off season and try to straighten him out. They’ll finish atnthe bottom of the division next season, get the last place schedule, make the playoffs in 2020 and get humiliated again. When your defense is historically great on 3rd down and are shredded by a team that really hasn’t mustered much offense since Wentz went down you know the coach is in way over his head.

  7. Simple. On 3rd and 5, don’t play off receivers by 10 yards especially when you are sending an obvious blitz. Eagles picked them apart on 3rd down all game. I haven’t seen the Queens blitz that way since the Frasier days. Usually, when the Vikes send a blitz, they aren’t giving the receivers free releases. No idea what Zim was doing there. Watch the dang film. I’ve torn that game apart trying to figure out where the Vikes went wrong. That defense was out of position all game. They either played a really loose zone or played REALLY off in man. They didn’t do that all year. They weren’t even lining up like they normally do. Unless Zim totally changed their defense scheme for the Eagles and went away from what got them there, they were out of position before the ball was even snapped ALL GAME. Hunter and Griffen were lined up so far outside the tackle that they were taken out of most plays. They dang near were lined up on the slot receivers. For the football gurus, compare the tape of the Vikings/Falcons game to the Vikings/Eagles game. I chose that one because both teams have good run/pass balance with RBs that can catch/run and big WRs that play physical. Rhodes owned Julio Jones at the line and dominated Jones all game. And he gives Jeffrey free releases in their most important game of the year? Jeffrey is good, but he’s no Jones. Just look at the difference in defensive formations. DEs kicked way out on passing downs. All Foles had to do was step up in the pocket and the Vikes DEs were out of the play. It shouldn’t take Zim long to see the problem. They lost most plays before the ball was snapped. That’s on you coach. Easy to say the queens missed tackles. That happens when you are constantly out of position to make the tackle. That’s on you coach. Sending 7 or 8 on a blitz when your corners are off 10-12 yards, yeah, they are gonna pickup 7+ yards every time. That’s on you coach. Not getting Smith the “Fixer” on the line the second you start giving up yards like you did all year. That’s on you coach. Zim got spanked in this one. How he didn’t see this all game, I have no idea. Great job Eagles for exposing the obvious flaws in that game plan.

  8. marvin1958 says:
    January 23, 2018 at 7:11 pm
    I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Vikes and their fans on a great season. The NFC Championship game is nothing to sneeze at.
    ___________________

    Seriously?
    The Barneys were lucky to even make it to Philly.
    If it wasn’t for the Minneapolis Missed Tackle Miracle they would have been home watching the Championship game like everyone else.
    It’s really too bad the Saints choked away their opportunity to play against the Eagles last Sunday.
    It probably would have been a better game!

  9. I think the Vikings blew there chance to win the NFC and will not be back next season. I mean you look at there division & the NFC in general and Green Bay will be back with Aaron Rodgers, Trubisky will be better as will the Lions under Patricia, in the NFC-W SEA is falling apart and the 49ers are 1-2yrs away but Arizona will be back next season with an elite top 5 defense that is loaded with talent and will have their offense back fully healthy including elite All-Pro RB/WR David Johnson & Arizona will find a good solid QB in the draft or free agency, though they are highly likely to trade for QB Alex Smith which would make them instant contenders. The Rams will be back, Dallas will be a lot better, Eagles will contend again, the NFC South will have 3 true title threats in NO, ATL and Carolina all looking to contend . Given how tough the NFC North will be with MN highly likely to lose Jeenum and Bridgewater to F/a I just dont think they will be back.

  10. The offense didn’t hold up it’s end either. Lots of blame to go around, but remember before the season started this was a team that was supposed to win less than 8 games according to the critics. The team and coaches did a heck of a job but we need to give credit to the Eagles. I heard depth was a problem and the defense was tired and worn out by year end. Not sure but makes sense.

  11. wafflestomp says:
    January 23, 2018 at 8:09 pm
    marvin1958 says:
    January 23, 2018 at 7:11 pm
    I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Vikes and their fans on a great season. The NFC Championship game is nothing to sneeze at.
    ___________________

    Seriously?
    The Barneys were lucky to even make it to Philly.
    ————-/
    And there is the Gumby fan standard.
    Should we apply this Gumby fan standard to the packers?

  12. The Saints cracked the code in the,2nd half. The Eagles copied them. The long drag routes , the multiple level slugo and hooks…
    Over the last 12 seasons the Saints have been,on average,the #1 offense.
    The Saints Offense is one of the most underrated groups in the NFL, and Brees may be the most underrated player in history.

  13. The Saints had the Vikings beaten.
    On the last snap, The Vikings had a 3% Chance of winning the game.
    3% Chance!
    Marcus Williams missed 6 tackles in 90 attempts as a rookie.
    (Source: PFF)
    It took an unrepeatable miracle to get that TD
    No way do the Eagles shut down Brees/Payton

  14. Uhhhhh……….reality check: The Vikings WERE lucky to advance to Philadelphia. Unless of course you live in Bizarro World.

  15. Foles did nothing special. It was ridiculous how wide open his receivers were on almost every play. Not to mention the mismatches were brutal at times. I thought the pass rush looked tired. The problem with playoff football is that some coaches don’t know when to switch it up, make tweaks here and there. They stubbornly stick to the same game plan again and again. No wonder Belichick always seems to win. He coaches situational football while other coaches follow a script. Brees decoded them in the second half and all Foles had to do was copy what Brees did. That’s on Zimmer.

  16. After that embarassing decimation in the NFC championship game, he may need the entire year to figure it out.

  17. The Vikings overachieved all season and it looked like it just finally caught up with them. Getting to the NFC Championship game after losing your QB and top rookie is nothing to sneeze at. They will be stronger next season.

  18. Goggles Potbelly….first thing you might wanna consider is why your guys don’t play for you. In the big game, I am amazed that Linvall Joseph and the rest of the defense can’t get off blocks and that Barr and Kendrick’s are non factors in the game. At times watching the tv copy Barr is standing watching the play downfield. Might as well bring Greenway back – at least he could line the boys up.

    Coming off annmotional Saints win…the boys needed to get grounded and back to work. Seems as if everyone was on the Kolb aid to long in Eden Prairie….

    I can’t understand why a player as talented as Harrison Smith is out of position on many of the plays against Philly. Makes no sense. To me that’s coaching and falls on Zim. As a fan, we know that we are built to stop the run and get after the QB, of which the defense did not do. The number one defense…in the National Football Leauge.. I guess all we can do is hope that Goggles figures it out for 2018. My gut tells me otherwise.

  19. Do you think he cowered away from doing the post game press conference because the Philly fans said mean things to him , or do you think he was still having trouble processing being dismantled by Nick Foles and Doug Pederson ?

  20. Big time players make big time plays the Vikings had no big time players make big time plays , very simple , the Vikings number 1 defense performed worse than the Packers defense did with 3 rd stringers last year against the Falcons . Not much to study , what is Barrs biggest play of the season ?the cheap shot on Rodgers that’s what Barr will be judged on . Now with coaches bailing and no franchise QB the Vikings not looking to good right now , the Lions and Bears may do better next year not to mention the Packers with a healthy Rodgers and an improved defense .

  21. I’m glad he is acknowledging that things need to be looked at. The comments about the DL wearing down are very true. The pass rush was good, but there is definitely room for improvement there. More depth, and another top-flight DT to replace Shariff Floyd (whose career is unfortunately over) are needed. A better pass rush leads to more turnovers, and as good as the Viking defense was in the regular season, they still only had 14 INTs and 22 total takeaways. There is much room for improvement there.

    The important thing is that Zimmer sees that and addresses it. Unlike most past Viking HCs in recent years, who often were satisfied with less than optimal performances.

  22. Easy…Zim is stubborn and a bit arrogant. He thinks week in and week out his same scheme will defeat everyone. His front 4 will win their battles. Sometimes you run into an OL that is equal or better than your DL Zim. NO and Philly have 2 of the best 5 OL’s in the league. Combine that with no depth on the DL for rotating guys and you get tired and beat. They won’t play Brees every week next year, nor will teams decide to include 3-4 flea flickers in their game plan each week. And most QB’s won’t have 7 seconds to stand in the pocket. Sunday Philly came out with the “unexpected” game plan of airing it out with Foles, Zimmer simply game planned for the expected. They were outplayed though too…Philly deserves some credit, they have a great team. I hope Zim pays close attn. to Belichick’s plan on D to slow down the Eagles now that Foles is rolling and their playbook is wide open again. BB will have a plan and not just expect his guys to beat their guy.

  23. Let’s not forget how they racked up that ranking in the regular season. Half their games were against the Bears with a rookie QB, Packers without Rodgers, the Lions, Cleveland and Tampa Bay. No one was mistaking these offenses as being stellar this year!

  24. Remember when all these Vikings fans said that the Packers were a one man team, and without Rodgers they’d lose every game?

    Well…

    I honestly believe without Rhodes the Vikings are worse than the Packers without Rodgers. That was next level bad.

    >

  25. tokyosandblaster says:
    January 24, 2018 at 9:56 am

    I honestly believe without Rhodes the Vikings are worse than the Packers without Rodgers. That was next level bad.
    ______

    We know you honestly believe that. And we weep for you.

  26. ducks4remi says:
    January 24, 2018 at 9:53 am
    Let’s not forget how they racked up that ranking in the regular season. Half their games were against the Bears with a rookie QB, Packers without Rodgers, the Lions, Cleveland and Tampa Bay. No one was mistaking these offenses as being stellar this year!

    _________

    And let’s conveniently dismiss the other half, Vikings without Cook, etc., etc. Trolling at it’s finest.

  27. He stuck with the same defensive scheme too long and said it was all his fault. Yes it was because he’s the head coach not the D coordinator. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the best game they played last yr on D was against Dallas when he was out. He let’s his hubris take over & stubbornly sticks with what works for him and not what he’s playing against. Chilly had the same problem and now he’s retired.

  28. Zimmer can study all he wants to, he needs to put it in context. Its in the Vikings DNA to lose in the playoffs. Usually it is something cruel like a missed FG from 26 yards or a FB kicker who didn’t miss a single attempt all season but this Viking squad choose to follow Denny Green’s method for losing in the playoffs, just get blown out by a wide margin so that all the suspense is gone by the 3rd quarter.

  29. ahzroc says:
    January 23, 2018 at 8:51 pm

    The Saints had the Vikings beaten.
    On the last snap, The Vikings had a 3% Chance of winning the game.
    3% Chance!
    Marcus Williams missed 6 tackles in 90 attempts as a rookie.
    (Source: PFF)
    It took an unrepeatable miracle to get that TD
    No way do the Eagles shut down Brees/Payton

    ——————————-

    If the Saints were that good and the Vikings are as bad as you claim, the game wouldn’t have been that close to begin with.

  30. Foles had all day to stand in the pocket and no defense can cover as long as they were forced to at times. The game was lost on 3rd down period.Also Griff’s foot should heal up should help the defense, the second half of the season he just wasn’t effective enough. Hopefully the Vikings can build on this season but as we know nothing is guaranteed.

  31. tokyosandblaster says:
    January 24, 2018 at 9:56 am
    Remember when all these Vikings fans said that the Packers were a one man team, and without Rodgers they’d lose every game?

    Well…

    I honestly believe without Rhodes the Vikings are worse than the Packers without Rodgers. That was next level bad.

    ————————————

    Nope, not even close. The Vikings would be seriously hamstrung, without Rhodes for a long time, but, nowhere near as bad as the Packers without Rodgers.

    Wasn’t it just last season you were still telling us all just how horrible Rhodes was? Even calling him a bust.

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