Some teams that win on Sunday enjoy a “Victory Monday.” The Vikings, who play the Lions on Thursday, aren’t getting that luxury.
“I had ‘Victory 10 minutes,'” coach Mike Zimmer told reporters after Sunday’s 30-24 win over Arizona. “Now it’s time to get on to Detroit. I mean, I feel good about winning. It’s been a long month. It’s been a long, long, long month. It’s good to feel this again. It’s good to see the fight that the players had, to see that hard work.
“I talked to the team a lot the past few days about, it’s a long season, there’s going to be a lot of ups and downs. There’s going to be a lot of different things that can go on. If you just keep fighting and keep your nose to the grindstone and keep going and keep working and paying attention to the little details of your work, we can pull out of this. So it was nice to see them have some reward of being able to get some of that. Because there’s a lot of negativity when you lose four games. It’s actually a credit to our football team that we didn’t let it seep into us because it can go south really fast.”
The Vikings hadn’t won in six weeks, since stretching their record to 5-0 with a win over the Texans. A bye week and four straight losses followed.
After giving up more than 260 yards in the first half, the Vikings put the clamps on the Arizona offense in the second half. A 100-yard interception return for a touchdown from cornerback Xavier Rhodes didn’t hurt. Neither did the four sacks, especially after the defense hadn’t been getting many.
“They didn’t max protect very much today,” Zimmer told reporters. “They had a couple. They let us rush. I think that’s why a lot of teams don’t let us rush, because we can rush the passer. Everybody has their own way of playing the game. Once we got up by 13 or whatever it was, then it was a lot easier to lay our ears back and go.”
They’ll be hoping to do that on Thursday, when the 6-4 Vikings and the 6-4 Lions get together in a battle for first place in the NFC North. The following Thursday, the Vikings host the 9-1 Cowboys.