Mike Zimmer on Vikings after ugly loss: ‘Just not ready for prime time’
The Minnesota Vikings, a team may pundits pegged to be a potential sleeper team heading into the 2015 season, were everything but that in their season opener against the San Francisco 49ers Monday night, instead putting the team’s fans to sleep with an ugly, sloppy and embarrassing 20-3 loss.
Head coach Mike Zimmer, who has gone to great lengths over the past few months to downplay the notion that the Vikings warranted being considered a trendy pick to make the playoffs, was highly — and deservedly — critical of the team in his postgame comments, suggesting the team is nowhere as good as the experts believe.
“Maybe we’re just not ready for prime time yet,” Zimmer said after the game, via the Pioneer Press, acknowledging the Vikings’ playing in the back end of the “Monday Night Football” doubleheader.
Zimmer suggested that perhaps the players were starting to believe the hype themselves, and the manner in which they lost should serve as a sobering reminder that the team has much work to do to take the next step after a 7-9 2014 campaign.
“They’ve basically been talking about us for 11 months, and maybe we thought we were a little bit better than what we were,” he said.
The fiery head coach, in his second season with the Vikings, acknowledged the 49ers were hungrier and outclassed and outperformed his team.
“San Francisco was much more physical,” Zimmer said. “They played faster, they executed better, and like I told the team afterwards, that the two years here and 17 ballgames I’ve been here, that did not look like the football team that I know.”
One loss obviously does not make a season. The run defense was porous, Teddy Brigewater’s play was erratic at best and offensive coordinator Norv Turner clearly was having difficulty trying to figure out how to reintegrate Adrian Peterson back into the offense. And with a game against the similarly 0-1 Detroit Lions coming Sunday, the Vikings have a lot of work to do if the team hopes to avoid stacking the deck against making good on all the preseason hype.