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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Zimmer admits, ‘in retrospect,’ Vikings could’ve made different call or kicked field goal

By Andrew Krammer

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — In hindsight, Mike Zimmer admitted the Vikings’ final play call on Thursday in Arizona didn’t put them in the best spot, though he felt that way when the decision was made.

It was a matter of probability, and Zimmer said he initially ‘felt good’ about his decision to let offensive coordinator Norv Turner run another play, in range for a 48-yard field goal with 13 seconds left and no timeouts. The particular play call, however, doesn’t necessarily sit well with him the day after the Vikings’ 23-20 loss in Arizona.

Teddy Bridgewater dropped back and said he didn’t have enough time for his receivers to get near the sideline before Dwight Freeney slapped the ball out of his hand, the Vikings’ third fumble of the night in Cardinals territory.

“Well yeah, you know, if I knew that was going to happen, I probably would’ve done something different,” Zimmer said Friday. “I thought about kicking the field goal with the 13 seconds left on the clock. If we missed the field goal, I’m wrong, we should’ve got closer. I did the best I thought we could do at that particular time. We studied that situation many times.”

At that point of the drive, Bridgewater had completed four passes for 46 yards to put the Vikings in range of a game-tying field goal. Overtime, at least, seemed inevitable when Bridgewater connected with Jarius Wright for a 22-yard gain down the right sideline at the Cardinals’ 31.

Two incompletions and 10 game seconds later, Turner decided to go for more yardage to ease the distance on kicker Blair Walsh, who had made a season-long, 54-yard field goal earlier in the game. The play did not appeared designed to take a shot at the end zone, and Zimmer said as such when indicating the goal was to get out of bounds.

“I felt good about that,” he said. “And if we didn’t get it, we could try the field goal from there. And take the shot.”

Unlike the 22-yard gain, which saw the Vikings line up in a trips right formation with routes toward the right sideline, this play call inherently took longer to develop as Wright and tight end Kyle Rudolph lined up on the left side of the field and ran routes across the field, to the right sideline.

In the end, left tackle Matt Kalil was beat by Dwight Freeney and Bridgewater didn’t get the ball out before Freeney caused the game-losing sack and fumble.

Zimmer, who was much more critical of the play call to the Vikings’ flagship station, KFAN, said looking back on the play, it might not have been their best option.

“In retrospect, we could’ve probably called something else or kicked the field goal or whatever,” Zimmer said.

“You know it’s a play we practice every week for a situation like that. They had more people rushing in that particular play than normally when that happens. So, that was a little bit different. So, then we got beat.”

The post Zimmer admits, ‘in retrospect,’ Vikings could’ve made different call or kicked field goal appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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