(KMSP) - The saying goes “defense wins” championships, but that also goes for games too with the Vikings defense.
Minnesota started slow on defense and ended with a fantastic finish in Tennessee. Two turnovers for two touchdown and a second half shutout until the final 32 seconds of the game are examples of how this defense has matured in year number three under Mike Zimmer.
“We got patient and went back to the basics,” Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen said. “We played our style of ball and we never got stressed out.”
The offense, on the other hand, allowed no turnoversand also no sacks. That “zero” also goes for how many points they put up on the scoreboard, so expect an emphasis on the endzone moving forward.
“It’s definitely important and we have to do some different things,” Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs said. “We’re working as hard as we can. We’ll correct the things we did wrong and just hit the plays when we can.”
A problem with production also falls on the running game. Adrian Peterson and company struggled to get yards all game long against stacked defensive fronts, but head coach Mike Zimmer says his offense needs to find ways to run no matter how many defenders are in the way.”
“There are times when we will have to run the ball against extra guys in there,” Zimmer said. “We understand that. It’s not going to go away. That’s how it was a year ago and when you have Adrian (Peterson) in the backfield, you’re going to get those things.”
There is room to improve heading into Week Two and a game against Green Bay to open U.S. Bank Stadium. Fans can expect Sunday to be another pressure packed game against the Pack.
“I think it’s great for the fans,” Zimmer said about the historic match-up between the Vikings and Packers. “We need to beat them a lot more often for it to be a rivalry.”