Mike Zimmer on undefeated Vikings: ‘This team is kind of special’
Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer, not one for hyperbole, made the bold but understandable assertion that his undefeated team might be on the cusp of something big.
Following Monday’s 24-10 dismantling of the New York Giants, the third-year Vikings coach acknowledged that sitting at 4-0 despite the potentially devastating setbacks the team has endured already this season is pretty impressive.
“I thought our team did a lot of good things last year, but I didn’t know if we were ready,” Zimmer said after the game, via ESPN. “I don’t know if we were really ready to go that far. This year’s team? I don’t know how far we can go, either, but this team is kind of special.”
The Vikings without a doubt boast one of the top defenses in the NFL, although Zimmer conceded he’s not sure if the Vikings are “as good as Denver was defensively last year.”
The Vikings are among the leaders in the NFL in takeaways and sacks and have spent the last three weeks making Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton and Eli Manning look pedestrian, so there’s no question now that the defense is dangerous.
The Vikings were heading into the 2016 NFL season with high hopes and many pundits believed the team was among the best in the NFC. But a devastating knee injury to Teddy Bridgewater in a non-contact drill before the season seemed to dampen that notion.
Vikings general manager Rick Spielman then pulled the trigger on a risky trade, bringing in Sam Bradford in exchange for some high draft picks in coming years. But the gamble has paid off so far, as Bradford arguably is enjoying the finest stretch of football in his career, leading the team to three victories after sitting out Week 1.
Add in serious injuries to Adrian Peterson, Matt Kalil and Sharrif Floyd and the Vikings once again were left reeling.
But Zimmer and his staff never allowed the team to feel sorry for themselves, and now the Vikings can make the case they are the team to beat in the NFC.
And to Zimmer, that’s “kind of special.” Indeed.