Despite a 1-3 start to the season, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer is giving himself a vote of confidence. Ignoring the writing on the wall and his scorching hot seat, Zimmer still thinks his squad has a chance to be “pretty darn good” this year. And they’ll need to be just that if Zimmer wants to see a ninth season in Minnesota.
ZIMMER WE HAVE A PROBLEM: The Minnesota Vikings run defense this season has been… TERRIBLE. 🤬😡 pic.twitter.com/zCMP3CSCup
— SKOR North (@SKORNorth) October 5, 2021
Zimmer admitted his team was overmatched in the home loss to Cleveland on Sunday, but he remains optimistic.
“Number one, each game is going to be a little bit different. Did we get pushed around today? Probably,” said Zimmer. “I’m telling you now, they know how to run the football, and those two backs run hard. I still believe offensively, we can look like we did a week ago, and two weeks ago as well.”
Part of the reason the Minnesota defense was pushed around could be related to the fact that stud linebacker Anthony Barr missed a fourth straight game because of injury. This week, Zimmer expects the former All-Pro to return, which should allow the defense to get more creative. “I think he’ll play this week,’’ Zimmer said following practice earlier this week.
“Anthony Barr has been in the system for a long, long time, and there’s certain things we can do with him that we haven’t been able to do in these first four ball games,’’ Zimmer added. “You know, he’s feeling better every single day.’’
With Barr out of the lineup, Minnesota ranks 29th in the league with 30 missed tackles. Additionally, they’re giving up more than 135 rushing yards per game, good for 25th in the league, which has aided in their lousy start. Nevertheless, Zimmer is undeterred:
“I’ve been doing this 27 years, I know good teams and I know bad teams. I know that this team has a chance to be pretty darn good. We may not look like it right now, ’cause we’re 1-3.”
If he wants a vote of confidence from someone other than himself, Zimmer would be wise to right this Vikings ship.