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Bleacher Report – Vikings

After wild win, Mike Zimmer focused on cleaning up mistakes

By Matthew Coller

As Minnesota Vikings players and fans danced to the tune of one of the wildest victories in NFL playoff history, Mike Zimmer was in his office thinking about the way a 17-0 lead had disappeared in the second half.

“I actually didn’t see the extra point because I was in my office in the locker room,” Zimmer said Monday. “I was already sitting there. [Director of PR Bob] Hagan was the most excited guy in the building, I think. He came into my office and gave me a bunch of fist pumps. But I always think about those things and what we could have done better, how we could have not had to be in that situation to win the football game.”

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees went 17-for-22 with three touchdowns in the second half and led a go-ahead drive with less than 30 seconds remaining. The Saints’ future Hall of Famer wouldn’t have had the opportunity if the Vikings hadn’t made several errors in the second half. Those plays were the ones that ran through the head coach’s mind.

“We threw a bad interception and we had a punt blocked to give them short fields twice,” Zimmer said. “We took a sack in field goal range on third down, which knocked us out of field goal range. We made a couple of mistakes defensively in the red zone. There were quite a few things that we needed to clean up from this past ball game, but we got a bunch of fighters on this team>

“I told them basically the same thing; we can’t make these mistakes in playoff games or we’ll be going home,” the Vikings’ head coach added.

On the defensive side, Zimmer credited Brees with making incredible throws to bring the Saints back, but he bemoaned other times where he felt the defense wasn’t as sharp as expected. The Vikings allowed 358 total yards to the Saints, which marked only the second time this year that an opponent cleared 350 yards (394 at Washington).

“There were times when we didn’t end up covering them quite close enough, or we were two steps too short of where we were supposed to be and they took advantage of it,” Zimmer said.

As for the magical final play, Zimmer won’t be running it on a loop in his office at Winter Park. Instead he plans to watch that back with his defense so they can go over end-of-game situations.

“That one is done and gone with,” he said. “We’re moving on to Philadelphia now.”

The post After wild win, Mike Zimmer focused on cleaning up mistakes appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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