Mike Zimmer: Fourth-and-1 non-punt was “dumbest decision I’ve made” here

AP

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.

32 responses to “Mike Zimmer: Fourth-and-1 non-punt was “dumbest decision I’ve made” here

  1. Didn’t mind the decision alone as I hated the decision with that play call. a sneak if to get inches not a full yard. regardless itsa great to see a coach take responsibility for his mistake and own up to them. that’s how you learn. You will never see that type of ownership from coach Rodgers

  2. Everyone thought MN should blow out Washington, and it just wasn’t happening, I think largely because of the desire of Keenum and AD to win it there. Zimmer and the rest of us were getting impatient to get the rout out. Luckily Harris bailed Zimmer out.

  3. I disagree. I loved the call, when pressed always be the aggressor. Being aggressive wins 9 times out of 10 and even though they did not get the first down the defense stepped up and made a play a few plays later to get the ball back.

  4. Kicking a field goal at the end of the game would have been nice for those of us with a 10.5 point spread.

  5. That and the bomb to Diggs on third down were the only aggressive calls made all night. Compare that to how aggressive they were against the Lions and you see why they scored 42 in one game and 19 in the other. They’ll say they could win playing conservatively but I say you’re going to beat Washington if you play aggressively too, so go ahead and do it.

  6. the position on the field and the score at the time made it a bad decision in my opinion. inside the opponents 50 or behind in the score with time running out makes sense -this didn’t. if you were going for it a fake punt with a snap direct to someone in the backfield would have made more sense.

  7. A. I agree with Zimmer.
    2. If you are going make a dumb decision, let your NFL leading back carry the ball and not your tentative QB.
    D. Stop playing down to the competition, they should have squashed them in the first half and this post would have been moot.

  8. Like how he had to preface it by saying how the play was “mis-executed”. Basically meaning it wasn’t entirely his fault. Typical Zimmer.

  9. I like the call to go for it. But the play call was terrible and obvious once they put the FB in motion and went to the single back formation. I’d take my chances running Cook or Ham over Cousins any day.

  10. pkrlvr says:
    October 25, 2019 at 3:09 pm
    Like how he had to preface it by saying how the play was “mis-executed”. Basically meaning it wasn’t entirely his fault. Typical Zimmer.

    You’d have a point if he was wrong about the mis-execution, he wasn’t.

  11. Dear Zimmer,

    As a Vikings fan, it was nice to see some aggression as you too often play not to lose. It wasn’t a dumb decision…

    It was, however, poor execution, which sadly your team is known for from time to time… clean that up please… and keep the aggression.

    Thanks,

  12. Against a weak team like that; didn’t mind it actually. It gives confidence to the defence to stop them and that is what the Vikings did. If it was against a stronger team, i would punt! No biggy as it didn’t work out.

  13. It’s too bad Cousins isn’t smart enough or confident enough or experienced enough to know a poor call when he sees it, and thusly changes it to something better he knows would work.

    Elite quarterbacks, like Rodgers, can make intelligent decisions like that. We already know Cousins is a “yes-man,” not a leader.

  14. It was very dumb. Are you kiddin me? You have a 7 point lead late in the 3rd quarter, playing a rookie QB… who isn’t very good. You punt the darn ball! Make the kid drive the field. All you did was give them momentum. He’s very lucky it didn’t bite them in the behind.

  15. Love seeing all the insecure Packer fans commenting on here. Nice to see how you’d rather comment here than on your team stealing two victories because of officials. Now that you’re on on the road let’s see the Golden Boy actually win some games himself, last week notwithstanding.

  16. fbpeterson says:
    October 25, 2019 at 7:40 pm
    Love seeing all the insecure Packer fans commenting on here. Nice to see how you’d rather comment here than on your team stealing two victories because of officials. Now that you’re on on the road let’s see the Golden Boy actually win some games himself, last week notwithstanding.
    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    I’m here reactively, only because of the unnecessary and proactive Packer-bashing that I read in this thread first. When I don’t see it, you don’t see me.

  17. Yep. We lost to the Eagles, and only the Eagles as of now.

    How many have you lost? Might want to worry about your record, and what the teams you’ve won and lost to look like before bashing a team that both beat yours and has a better record gained by beating better teams.

  18. Excluding the old “I need to do a better job” mantra many coaches recite after a loss, a head coach being candid about his own specific mistakes (if it indeed even was one) is a rare and refreshing thing. More, please.

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