Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer elected to try a quarterback sneak from the team’s 34-yard-line on a fourth-and-1 with the Vikings up 16-9 and just under three minutes left to play in the third quarter.
Kirk Cousins was stopped short of the first down, which set Washington up with great field position. Anthony Harris intercepted a pass a couple of plays later, so turning the ball over on downs didn’t wind up biting Zimmer in the rear end on Thursday.
That didn’t make him feel any better about the call when he spoke to reporters on a conference call Friday.
“Well, honestly, it was a mis-executed play, but it was probably the dumbest decision I’ve made since I’ve been here,” Zimmer said.
The decision-making process behind going for the first down was the same whether the play worked or not, but it seems unlikely Zimmer would be quite so critical if Cousins had gotten the yard he needed. Thanks to the interception and the defense shutting Washington out the rest of the way, the Vikings can ponder such hypotheticals in a happier frame of mind.