On Sunday, Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer received a dose of his own medicine.
Zimmer stood there watching the Cleveland Browns, led by former Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski, win 14-7 thanks to a dominant ground game and imposing defense. The Browns dominated time of possession 35:32 to 24:28, giving up a season-high 183 rushing yards to the Vikings. “Mike Zimmer’s blueprint for success is alive and well in Cleveland, but nowhere near reality in Minnesota.”
Zimmer’s dream game plan was turned against him by Kevin Stefanski, who called more runs than passes and dominated time of possession, according to ESPN’s Courtney Cronin. “Stefanski didn’t break out the playbook against his former team, but he didn’t need to after figuring out how to consistently gash the Vikings on the ground. ”
While the Browns’ offense didn’t produce many notable gains, one in particular irritated Zimmer and proved to be the game’s deciding factor in a low-scoring affair.
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! Despite the Vikings’ 1-3 record, Zimmer remained upbeat in his postgame press conference on Sunday.
Zimmer remained upbeat in his postgame press conference on Sunday. Zimmer said of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, “I’m telling you now, they know how to run the football and those two backs run hard.” “The fact that I haven’t been able to stop the run hasn’t deterred me in the least.” However, Zimmer brought up Hunt’s 33-yard run on 3rd and 20 in the final minute of the first half without prompting. Hunt’s run set up a 48-yard field goal by Chase McLaughlin, the Vikings’ former practice-squad kicker, which was the Browns’ biggest offensive gain of the day. “I’m disgusted about that, but there were a lot of good things that happened today,” Zimmer said.
“I’m disgusted about that, but for the most part, there were a lot of good things that happened today,” Zimmer said.
That field goal put the Browns up four points, setting the tone for the rest of the game’s haphazard pursuit of a touchdown by the Vikings. Are you a die-hard Vikings fan?
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Kirk Cousins’ season came crashing down after an impressive first three games.
In the second half, the offense failed to score and only had three drives of four or more plays. The Vikings offensive line folded far too often against an aggressive Browns pass rush that tied for the highest pass-rush win rate in the NFL (58%). According to Cronin, Cousins had a season-high 16 pressures on 41 dropbacks and was 2 for 13 passing when pressured. On the game-opening drive, Cousins was only pressured on one of seven dropbacks, which he capped with a touchdown pass to Justin Jefferson. “It was certainly a frustrating loss..”
There weren’t enough points on the board. We got off to a fast start with a great first drive, but we didn’t put in enough effort the rest of the way. “It was a letdown,” Cousins said. “We need to do more at home..” We must learn from it and watch the film in order to be critical, correct mistakes, and move forward.
Zimmer said he saw encouraging signs on defense and believes he still has a good team if the offense’s potential is taken into account. “At the end of the day, they only scored one touchdown against us,” Zimmer said, “and I still believe we can look like we did a week ago offensively.” “I’ve been doing this for 27 years,’ I told the team. I’ve worked with both good and bad teams. I believe this team has a good chance of succeeding.