Deep inside Gillette Stadium on Sunday night, receiver Stefon Diggs sat alone on the floor in the entrance of the visitors' locker room following the Vikings' 24-10 loss in New England.
It was the empty calm following a low the Vikings hadn't experienced in 27 games. The Patriots defense had just held Diggs and receiver Adam Thielen to the duo's worst production (a combined 10 catches for 77 yards and a touchdown) in a losing effort since last year's Week 2 trip to Pittsburgh, where quarterback Case Keenum made a rusty first start for the Vikings.
Tempers flared in every direction: at opposing coaches, players, officials and teammates. Diggs, with a brace on his knee, was shadowed by Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore nearly everywhere he went. Thielen was doubled on key plays by the McCourty twins.
That game plan, combined with creative pre-snap disguises and defensive fronts, helped attack the Vikings' strength.