The 1-5 Vikings began the year with a home loss to the Packers. On Sunday, Minnesota tries to turn a lost season around by returning the favor to Green Bay at Lambeau Field.
On Friday, veteran tight end and offensive captain Kyle Rudolph reflected on the first six games of 2020 during a visit to PFT PM.
“I think if I had to describe this season in one word it would be ‘frustrating,'” he said. “And I would say frustrating because when you look at the body of work that we’ve had over the last six weeks here, you sit here at 1-5 but you look at the fact that we’ve played three teams that were three of the last undefeated teams. We were in each of those games lost two of them by one point.”
Specifically, the Vikings lost to the 5-1 Packers, to the 5-1 Titans, and to the 5-1 Seahawks.
“You are what your record says you are,” Rudolph said. “That’s the business we’re in. It’s about wins and losses. But at the same time I think we’re much better than a 1-5 football team. Thankfully for us, we had the opportunity over the bye week to evaluate things that we’ve done well. Obviously there are things that we’re doing to cause us to lose football games and we’re able to address those. If we can eliminate those and continue to do the things that we’ve done well over the last month and a half and we’ve got a chance to win football games and see where we’re at.”
The narrow, disappointing loss to the Seahawks was followed by a confounding loss to the Falcons. Rudolph was asked whether defeat in Seattle contributed to the outcome a week later.
“No doubt,” Rudolph said. “We’ve struggled with that big time here over the last few years. Whether it’s emotional wins — I think back to the 2017 playoffs, the 2019 playoffs. You win big games at the end, and then have a letdown the following week. Then it’s no different when you have an emotional game and you’re on the losing side. Like I said, for us we were able to kind of go back over the bye week and believe it or not for us as an offense we found nine or 10 things that we’ve top five in the league in. Then you go and figure out, ‘Why are we still 1-5?’ And you look at our turnovers and our play in the third quarter. We can’t put ourselves in those situations and beat teams week in and week out.”
If it happens again and if the Vikings lose on Sunday, could Rudolph end up being traded before Tuesday’s deadline?
“I joked around a couple times this week that I feel like I’ve been on the trade block for the last three years and I’m still here in Minnesota,” he said. “I love it here. I hope to finish my career here. But as you know when you’re around this business long enough, it is a business and people have to make decisions. I can’t control that. All that I can control is going out to practice and doing everything I can to prepare myself to play well against the Green Bay Packers.”
Rudolph also can control how he uses his platform and influence for good. Currently, he’s auctioning several items foe the benefit of Kyle Rudolph’s End Zone at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital. The End Zone gives patients and their family members a place to engage in various activities outside of their hospital rooms or in-between clinic visits.