Kyle Rudolph explains the Vikings’ recent struggles in prime time

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During last year’s 8-7-1 season, the Vikings lost prime-time games against the Rams, the Saints, the Bears, and the Seahawks. This year, the Vikings have five more night games on the schedule.

So why do they suddenly struggle under the lights?

“I think it’s just because when you play in prime time everything’s magnified,” tight end Kyle Rudolph recently explained, in a visit to the #PFTPM podcast. “Unless you’re going out there and winning every game in prime time, which is difficult because if you’re playing in prime time you’re probably playing against somebody that’s pretty good. For us under Coach Zimmer we’ve been pretty good in prime time games over the course of the last five years. You do so much to try to keep your routine and whatnot but at the end of the day it’s just football. We’re going out whether we’re playing at noon or 7:30 at night. You go out there and play football and try to be better than that team that night.”

Rudolph has a point about the quality of the competition; the Vikings four prime-time losses in 2018 came against playoff teams, including the two NFC finalists.

This year, the Vikings have some time to get their footing before playing football at night. The first prime-time game happens on a Thursday night against Washington, after seven regular-season games have been played.

Then comes a Week 10 visit to Dallas, followed by a Week 13 trip to Seattle, a Week 16 trip to L.A. to face the Chargers (subject to flexing), and a Week 16 Monday night game against the Packers.

By the time the Vikings hit that stretch, the team will have developed its identity. And that’s another point Rudolph made: In 2017, the Vikings had a clear identity. In 2018, they didn’t. This year, they won’t have to worry about playing in prime time while they establish one, or while they don’t.

34 responses to “Kyle Rudolph explains the Vikings’ recent struggles in prime time

  1. They did beat the Packers in prime time, but I guess that’s no great feat.

  2. “If you are playing in prime time you are probably playing against somebody that’s pretty good.”

    Ok, so what is your point Kyle? You are just admitting what most already know, the Vikings are not “pretty good.”

  3. So his excuse for losing in prime time is playing good teams. Hahaha. So hes admitting they are not a good team then. Good teams can beat other good teams. The proper answer is to say let’s see what happens next year.

  4. My team lost because of a few lucky tipped interceptions, a few dozen blown calls, a few key injuries, and because my dog ate my homework.

    I have lots of excuses for everything.
    Want to hear them?
    No, I’m not surprised, no one does.

    Either produce or remain silent, don’t offer lame excuses.

  5. Wow! The whining and excuse making out of this guy is truly pathetic.
    Just own it, you just aren’t that good. Period!

    Into year six of a coaching tenure that has produced just 2 postseason appearances, and 1 very lucky, excuse me, Missed Tackle Miracle win.

    Led by a QB that struggles (4-26) against .500 teams at kickoff regardless of the time of day.
    And you have a clear recipe for an 0-5 run in prime time for 2019.
    Maybe 1-4, that is, if they find their identity and all that.

  6. tokyosandblaster says:
    July 5, 2019 at 11:45 am

    This guy sure loves to hear the sound of his own voice.
    ___________

    Or maybe he likes to answer questions when he’s asked them on video. I guess you would prefer that he sit there in silence?

  7. The Packers also played five prime time games last year. They won the opener because of a dropped interception and because Khalil Mack wasn’t in shape to play the whole game. Then they barely beat the lowly 49ers and their backup quarterback. Then they lost the last three, including to the Vikings who have been described as “not very good” in this comment section. So how do these Packer fans have the temerity to come in here and criticize the Vikings’ prime time record?

  8. Rob Brzezinski is a Magician says:
    July 5, 2019 at 10:55 am
    They did beat the Packers in prime time, but I guess that’s no great feat.
    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    No great feat! A victory over the Packers is as close to the level of satisfaction a fan feels when their team of choice wins a SuperBowl as they have ever gotten! That’s a “SuperBowl” for a Viking fan. Don’t ever diminish the importance!

  9. Rob Brzezinski is a Magician says:
    July 5, 2019 at 11:54 am
    The Packers also played five prime time games last year. They won the opener because of a dropped interception and because Khalil Mack wasn’t in shape to play the whole game. Then they barely beat the lowly 49ers and their backup quarterback. Then they lost the last three, including to the Vikings who have been described as “not very good” in this comment section. So how do these Packer fans have the temerity to come in here and criticize the Vikings’ prime time record?
    Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Because the Packers accomplished the exact same as the Vikings last year. Nothing.

  10. Hard to think of a franchise that’s lost more big games, and shrank in big moments, than the Vikings. Their overall playoff record is 20-29 and they have a losing record in every round of the playoffs. 6-7 in WC. 10-12 in Divisional round. 4-6 during conference round. And of course 0 for 4 in the SB.

    And yet their fan base acts like they’re some kind of standard bearer for NFL franchises. Well, at least they aren’t the Bengals.

  11. Rob Brzezinski is a Magician says:
    July 5, 2019 at 11:50 am
    Or maybe he likes to answer questions when he’s asked them on video. I guess you would prefer that he sit there in silence?
    ———————
    Why not? That’s what Vikings fans expect from Aaron Rodgers.

  12. Kyle, the Seahawks are 25-5-1 in prime time since 2010 (.800). What was your excuse again?

  13. “Packers fans have the temerity to come in here and criticize the Vikings”

    =======

    We are sorry for our forwardness in waking you from your delusional dream that your precious Vikings are/were a great team.

    We can admit the Packers sucked last year and they made the changes needed to make sure that never happens again. Vikings fans focus on Packers fans a lot, but never seem to learn anything.

  14. As a Viking fan, I hate to say this, but Rudolph’s comments don’t get to the heart of the matter. The real problem isn’t folding in prime time (though that happened last season), but folding against tougher competition.

    In five of the seven losses last season, the Viking offense was completely inept, and either didn’t produce at all, or only in garbage time after the outcome was decided. We saw that in both losses to the Bears, along with defeats at the hands of Buffalo, Seattle and New England. You can’t win games if you can’t score more than 10 points, or if you wait until garbage time to start moving the ball. That was the problem with the Viking offense last season, and if it doesn’t change this season, they’ll be looking up at the Bears again at season’s end. How does it change? With a better running game, hopefully led by an improved OL. We’ll see.

  15. We can admit the Packers sucked last year and they made the changes needed to make sure that never happens again.
    ___
    Wait, Packer fans said the same exact thing in here last year at this time. ?????

  16. freefromwhatyouare says:
    July 5, 2019 at 12:53 pm

    …we can admit the Packers sucked last year and they made the changes needed to make sure that never happens again. Vikings fans focus on Packers fans a lot, but never seem to learn anything.

    ****

    Seeing as how you are responding to a Viking story AND predicting the future it might be a good idea to rethink your position. Maybe too much to ask. As for Kyle and the rest of the squad I join many Vikings fans in wondering how and why things will be different for Minnesota in 2019. I can predict most/all of the Packer trolls repeatedly posting in the offseason will not be here by early November. The past proves that.

  17. Why does it also seam they nearly always play the night games on short schedules and away, Who makes up these schedules. Traveling to the wast coast to the Rams for a Thursday night game, after playing Sunday night last year was crazy!

  18. 4-26 is the main reason.
    Cousins is garbage. At least we’re honest.
    He gift wrapped pick-6’s vs the Saints and Bears in primetime that we lost by less than 5 points in each game. Did nothing vs Seattle when the defense controlled the Seattle offense the entire game minus one scramble by Wilson. Oh, wow, we beat the Packers when Rodgers was clearly throwing the game to get McCarthy fired… yippee.
    Unless Kubiak works magic nothing will be different this year.

  19. kingthielanscourt says:
    July 5, 2019 at 3:48 pm

    Why does it also seam they nearly always play the night games on short schedules and away, Who makes up these schedules. Traveling to the wast coast to the Rams for a Thursday night game, after playing Sunday night last year was crazy!
    ________

    Just more whining and pathetic excuses.
    Zimmer was doing the same thing leading up to the Ram game.
    Boo Hoo!
    The Packers had to play in Seattle on a short week too, yet you never heard Mike McCarthy or Packer fans cry about it.
    Looking forward to the Barneys going back to their Rolodex of excuses this season again.

  20. “Will not be here by early November. The past proves that.”

    =============

    Who from the regular posters who are Packers fans here on PFT, who wasn’t here in November and after last season?

    We all witnessed you guaranteeing Joe Philbin would be hired as head coach. We all witnessed you all the sudden claim Matt LaFleur was Aaron’s choice all along. When hired, Matt LaFleur suddenly struck LaFEAR in you and you then started to constantly knock him down out of your own insecurity. Still doing it to this day.

    Nope, we were all here watching you have total meltdown after total meltdown. Just like you are now. Highly entertaining stuff.

    #GoPackGo!🏈

  21. Rob Brzezinski is a Magician says:
    July 5, 2019 at 11:54 am

    The Packers also played five prime time games last year. They won the opener because of a dropped interception and because Khalil Mack wasn’t in shape to play the whole game. Then they barely beat the lowly 49ers and their backup quarterback. Then they lost the last three, including to the Vikings who have been described as “not very good” in this comment section. So how do these Packer fans have the temerity to come in here and criticize the Vikings’ prime time record?
    _________

    This is all too easy.
    The Packers beat the Bears opening weekend, stop taking after your lame TE and making excuses for it.
    There’s no such thing as a dropped interception, it’s simply an incomplete pass.
    Those kind of things happen all the time. Deal with it.
    And as far as Mack being out of shape for that first game, he had a much bigger impact that night than he had in their 2nd meeting in December. What’s the excuse for that?

    And as far as Packer fans coming on here to criticize the Vikings?
    Why not.
    These two teams we’re basically the same last season.
    Oh, you’ll all protest, but it’s the absolutely the truth.
    A better question might be, why are the Barneys so sanctimonious about last year’s team?
    It’s quite clear to anyone with eyes, with even a sliver of football acumen that they just weren’t all that good.
    It’s honestly quite doubtful they were even marginally better than Green Bay.
    Go ahead, take a moment to throw a fit.

    And the fact that they’ve worked so hard to lock up all of that 8-7-1 talent and have kept the same underachieving coaching regime in place, absolutely nothing is going to change for the foreseeable future.

    Well, with the possible exception of a (Get Your Popcorn Ready!!!) Gary Kubiak schism/takeover erupting about the time we’re all carving up our November turkeys.
    Much to the chagrin to the rest of the NFC North.

  22. Wow for a bunch of people who say they don’t care about the Vikings the trailer park boys in WI sure are typing away this weekend. Multiple comments some longer than any book Rashaan Gary is capable of reading on almost every MN article.

  23. Funny how Packer fans have watched Zim effectively end the McCarthy era and now think a green horn nobody coach can come in and right the ship. It may be a good change for the Packas, but it also could go terribly wrong. Get that chest thumping in for whatever reason because we will all watch it go south in a hurry.

  24. Wafflestomp says:
    July 5, 2019 at 11:39 am

    And you have a clear recipe for an 0-5 run in prime time for 2019.
    Maybe 1-4, that is, if they find their identity and all that.
    ___________________________

    They won’t go 0-5 in prime time this year, they get the Packers in 1 of those games…….

  25. Rob Brzezinski is a Magician says:
    July 5, 2019 at 10:55 am
    They did beat the Packers in prime time, but I guess that’s no great feat.

    ===

    But that’s all that matters to you Vikings fans.

    Have fun watching Khalil and the Bears destroy your season once again.

  26. dirtdawg53 says:

    July 5, 2019 at 12:04 pm

    And yet their fan base acts like they’re some kind of standard bearer for NFL franchises.///////

    The Vikings are the only NFL franchise to play in a championship game every decade of their existence in the Super Bowl era.

  27. Oh heavens no but it fun seeing the Vikings and the entire North division roll over the Packers last year after blowhard , full of themselves cheese eaters claimed the division would run through Green Bay all last year. 🤣

  28. free or stella –

    “you then started to constantly knock him down out of your own insecurity. Still doing it to this day”

    Please stop with the psychoanalysist here. You do that way too often.

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