Mike Zimmer expects run game to be “more of a factor” in cold weather

Getty Images

The Vikings posted 128 rushing yards against the Lions in Week Nine, which represented their best total since a Week Six win over the Cardinals and their second-highest total of the year.

Head coach Mike Zimmer believes that improvement is right in time. The Vikings play on the road in three of their next four games and there’s a good chance that it will be chilly for their matchups with Chicago, New England and Seattle, which is something that Zimmer thinks will increase the importance of making plays in the ground game.

“I do think with some of these games as it starts to get colder, it is going to be more of a factor,” Zimmer said, via KFAN. “I think we’re getting better at a lot of the areas in the running game. We have to continue searching for more ways to pound the ball.”

The spike in productivity against Detroit came with Dalvin Cook back in the lineup and contributing 89 yards to the effort. With the rest afforded by the bye week, the hope in Minnesota is surely that the second-year back’s health won’t be an issue any longer and that he’ll help provide the kind of success that Zimmer is looking for over the second half of the season.

37 responses to “Mike Zimmer expects run game to be “more of a factor” in cold weather

  1. The Vikes never seem to play well at Soldier Field, even when the Bears had crappy teams — and now the Bears don’t have a crappy team. Should be a tough game running and/or passing.

  2. He’s right on about that. If they’re going to keep that pass rush off of Cousin’s this Sunday night, they’ll need that running game to continue to perform well.

    The other issue that I haven’t heard anything about yet is the health of the injured players who have missed part of all of the last few games. Between Reiff, Sendejo, Barr, Rhodes and Diggs, these guys need to be healthy if the Vikings want to make a run at the division title. I hope they’re all back Sunday night.

  3. tokyosandblaster says:
    November 13, 2018 at 11:54 am
    They’re playing a winning team.

    Bears 34, Vikings 22
    //////////

    Hate to break it to ya bro, The Vikings do not make up the schedule have have no control over other teams records.

  4. Focus! One play at a time, one game at a time.
    Gotta block Mack Vikings!
    And for the love of it all equipment manager:
    BRING ALL THE CLEATS to that sloppy Soldier Filed! SKOL! Get the W Vikings

  5. Well thank you, Capt. Obvious.
    Though, in reality, the cold really shouldn’t affect the passing game too much, at least not nearly as much as wind conditions do.
    Which are always a wildcard coming off the lake at Soldier Field.

    The Vikings aren’t facing another rookie QB, so I suspect they’ll struggle on the road this weekend.
    I do hope they pull off the upset though.
    And I’ll be rooting for them.

  6. This game is pretty important for both the Bears and Vikings. I think whoever wins this game is gonna win the division. Bears have a soft schedule the rest of the way and so if they win, they control the North. If Vikes win, they’ll still have a tough hill to climb since they still have to play patriots, bears, and packers. I love late-year football. Should be a good game.

  7. tokyosandblaster says:
    November 13, 2018 at 11:54 am

    They’re playing a winning team.

    Bears 34, Vikings 22

    ÷÷÷÷÷÷÷

    The Bears have only played one team that currently has a winning record and they lost to that team.

  8. Detroit and Arizona have terrible run defenses. Chicago is #2 in the league against the run. We might need to wait another week to really let loose with the running game. I’d like to see the return of the screen game now that Cook is back. Whatever it takes to win this week.

  9. “It’s easy to want to sling the ball around with Cousins, Diggs and Thielen but running the ball makes life easier for everyone. Especially keeping the defense fresh”.

    When running the ball leads to consistent three and outs the defense is not kept “fresh”. To the contrary, when a team is better at methodically moving the ball via the pass that keeps the defense rested.

    Who do you want to rely on, two of the top receivers in the league, a proven tight end, and the highly compensated QB; or a banged up second year RB and a Raider reject?

  10. tokyosandblaster says:
    November 13, 2018 at 11:54 am
    They’re playing a winning team.

    Bears 34, Vikings 22

    ———–

    How many teams with a winning record have the Packers beat? Zero? Ok. How many winning teams has the Bears beaten? None…ok. The fact is no one besides the Lions…who are the worst team in our division…have beaten a team with a winning record so that reasoning is stupid.
    That said as a Vikings fan I am scared of this game. I’m more worried about this game instead of the Packers game at US Bank. The Vikings play bad at Soldier field as it is, but have had recent success there under Zimmer. The only thing that really scares me is Mack vs our bad offensive line. I think trubisky has played very well, I do think the MN defense could make him have problems, but I still think he could have a good game. Cousin’s plays good outdoors, so as long as he doesn’t turn the ball over he should play fine. I think this will be a low scoring game, and whoever plays the best defense and runs the ball the best wins. I wouldn’t be surprised if either team wins. I have mad respect for this Bears team.

  11. erinrodgersreachednirvana says:
    November 13, 2018 at 12:02 pm
    We always struggle at Soldier Field. Our defense will need to be lights out.
    //////////
    Vikings have won 2 out of last 3 at Solder Field.

  12. conormacleod says:
    November 13, 2018 at 12:49 pm
    erinrodgersreachednirvana says:
    November 13, 2018 at 12:02 pm
    We always struggle at Soldier Field. Our defense will need to be lights out.
    //////////
    Vikings have won 2 out of last 3 at Solder Field.

    ——————

    Those Bears teams sucked. This team is pretty good. Don’t count on it. I hope your right.

  13. Alan Light says:
    November 13, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    Trubinski in for a rude awakening…and Bear fans in general.

    __________________________

    Y0u’re such a m0r0n! Not one Bear fan is talking smack. You can’t even spell the kid’s name right.

  14. “We always struggle at Soldier Field. Our defense will have to be lights out.”
    ________

    “We”/”Our”? Have fun on the sidelines during the game. Oh, you’re not part of team? Who could have guessed.

  15. There’s only 3 things that worry me about this game:

    1. Turnovers – if Vikes wins or tie turnover margin, they’ll win
    2. On offense- Trubiski’s running on 3rd down. Zimmer needs to use Barr (if healthy) as a spy on 3rd downs, much like he did against Packers last year.
    3. On Defense – Mack! Must have a plan to double team him on every passing play, period!

  16. @Tokyo

    The Vikings played the Eagles in week four.

    Had the Eagles been able to beat the Vikings, they would have been 3 and 2.

    The following week the Eagles did win.

    If not for losing to the Vikings, they would have been 4 and 2.

  17. Bears’ fans know that this team isn’t a championship team right now. The timetable is moved up because of the Mack acquisition, but it’s still about Trubisky’s development in a new offense, which still isn’t fully installed. The Vikings’ are the better team. The Bears haven’t played a team with this many offensive weapons and haven’t seen a defense like this yet. It will be a tough day for Trubisky, and the Vikes have a good rushing defense. Trubisky struggles to be accurate with even a clean pocket and time, so it will be interesting how Nagy game plans for this. This is a tough two-game stretch for the Bears, playing a jelling Vikings’ team coming off of a bye and then playing the Lions within 90 hours of the completion of Sunday’s game on Thursday morning.

  18. tokyosandblaster says:
    November 13, 2018 at 11:54 am
    They’re playing a winning team.

    Bears 34, Vikings 22
    ———————————

    The Packers can’t win on the road. Regardless if it’s a winning team or not.

  19. ajzinnecker says:
    November 13, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    conormacleod says:
    November 13, 2018 at 12:49 pm
    erinrodgersreachednirvana says:
    November 13, 2018 at 12:02 pm
    We always struggle at Soldier Field. Our defense will need to be lights out.
    //////////
    Vikings have won 2 out of last 3 at Solder Field.

    ——————

    Those Bears teams sucked. This team is pretty good. Don’t count on it. I hope your right.
    ___________

    A lot of those Viking teams were pretty bad too. The fact is, none of those games played in the pre-Zimmer era really have any bearing on this game. Thinking that losing a game played in 2001 has an effect on this week’s game is like thinking winning a championship during the Harding administration has an effect on how your team will do this season.

  20. @rob brzezinski-

    The Vikings teams that won in 2015 and 2017 went a combined 24-8. The team that loss went 8-8.

    But those soldier field games were way closer than they should have been, given the relative disparity between the talent levels of the team at the time. And the Bears have given the Vikings lots of trouble over the years at Soldier Field. They lost with much better teams quite often in the OOs, then would wax the Bears in the Dome or TCF.

    This year’s Bears team is no joke and could easily beat the Vikes if they don’t come prepared to play.

  21. Rob Brzezinski is a Magician says:
    November 13, 2018 at 3:22 pm
    forgetaboutitbro says:
    November 13, 2018 at 2:38 pm
    I bet he’s on pace for rushing yards by a qb also in chi town
    __________
    Those of us who have been around for a while remember Bobby Douglas, who played for the Bears from 1969 to 1975. He set the all-time record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 968 in 1972. He had 141 rush attempts and 198 pass attempts, completing 37.9% of them. His yards per pass attempt was 6.3 and yards per rush was 6.9.
    =========================================================================================
    Bobby Douglass had a huge arm and zero touch. He’d fire a five-yard pass to a back over the middle and hit him in the helmet and nearly knock him down, and then chuck a 50 yard pass 10 feet over a receiver’s head with nearly the same velocity. Here are the other QB’s on the Bears during his tenure in Chicago: Jack Concannon, Virgil Carter, Kent Nix, John Huarte, Gary Huff, and Bob Avellini. The only noteworthy thing that Douglass did was marry a Playboy centerfold.

  22. screamingyellowzonkers says:
    November 13, 2018 at 3:16 pm
    And the lights dim in Green Bay on a Vikings story, and the packers post here.
    It must be the love of the Vikings team that packer fans can’t get out of their heads.
    ///////////////////

    Wow. I didn’t realize we were THAT deep inside your head. “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.”

    Thank you.

  23. Whichever QB turns it over the least will win.
    Both teams should be scared with that.
    Vikings’ QB lead the league in lost fumbles.
    Chicago’s QB has not faced a D like the Vikings this year.
    Also which team can avoid 3rd and longs the most whether they get it via run or pass.

  24. Vikings have 3 outdoor games left in the regular season.Back to back road games with the Pats & Seahawks. LA & the Saints aren’t cold weather teams but okay Mike you need to run the ball consistently after the bye. Having Cook back will help this out. And so will getting the offensive line healed up during the bye week. I look forward to the rest of the season.

  25. Bears fan here, So the plan is to run against the Bears D, 2 problems with that, 1. nobody has been successful with that, 2. That will go away when your down by 14 or more at the half.Got a plan B. The reason you have problems at Chicago is the weather? it’s called football not basketball, get out of the big gymnasium and get your uniform dirty. Go Bears
    Bears 34 Vikings 20

  26. I’ve read in these posts about maybe putting Barr on as a spy for Trubisky , that will leave a hole for short passes, It’s all about match ups in Nagy’s offence, and that is one we will take any day. No doubt a big game for both teams, I’ll take Nagy over Zimmer on this one

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!