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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Zimmer, Harbaugh both enduring rollercoaster seasons

By Matthew Coller

Every team in the NFL goes through injuries and the ups and downs of a regular season, but the Minnesota Vikings and Baltimore Ravens are at the top of the list of teams that have face peaks and valleys.

You know about the Vikings’ crazy start to the season. From losing Sam Bradford to Dalvin Cook’s torn ACL to Teddy Bridgewater’s return to practice.

After a 26-9 loss to the Steelers, you would have said the Vikings couldn’t win behind Case Keenum, only to have them take three of the next four, including two division games.

Baltmire’s season has been all over the map. Through two games, they looked like the 2001 Ravens, shutting out the Bengals and beating the Browns 24-10, but got stomped in London 44-7 by the Jaguars. Coincidentally, Baltimore also lost to the Steelers 26-9, then beat the Raiders, breathing life back into their season. But a major letdown against the lowly Bears (which included a running back throwing a touchdown) has the Ravens at .500.

They’ve also dealt with injuries with 14 players currently on Injured Reserve and another 10 who went into last week’s game against Chicago either out or questionable.

Super Bowl-winning quarterback Joe Flacco has been among the league’s worst, averaging just 5.4 yards per attempt and tossing eight interceptions.

On Wednesday, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, who is 88-62 as a head coach and has appeared in 15 playoff games, talked about how he manages the rollercoaster ride of an NFL season.

“It’s really the key to the whole thing in this week-to-week lead. There are always going to be injuries, we’ve been especially hit hard this year, but that’s not even part of the conversation,” Harbaugh said. “You just have to believe in your guys, you have to go to work.

“The tightness, the one-accord, unified mindset. The family atmosphere, the brotherhood. That’s something you have to make sure your guys embrace and believe in because you’re going to get a career’s worth of adversity in a football season. That’s just the way it is. That’s what makes the sport so compelling, that’s what makes our league so compelling. Embrace it and try to win the next game.”

The Vikings are favored by 5.5 points this weekend, but Zimmer pointed out that part of handling the ebbs and flows of the season is viewing every opponent as a team that can win at any time.

”That’s part of the NFL,” Zimmer said. “I was talking to the players today, you know, every team in this league is good. That’s why they call it ‘any given Sunday.’ That’s how it is. You go out and you play your best and some you win, some you lose. You just have to try to stay as steady as you can and try to get better. What we’re trying to do is respect every team we play….I get it, the fans go up and down, but inside the building it’s a different deal.”

The post Zimmer, Harbaugh both enduring rollercoaster seasons appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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