Coach Mike Zimmer knows his players don’t provide the “Greatest Show on Turf.” Instead, they’re still the guys in the “low-rent district” he said, despite their 6-2 start for a share of first place in the NFC North.
Most of the Vikings’ wins don’t have a lot of flash, including Sunday’s 21-18 overtime victory against the St. Louis Rams. The past two victories had game-ending field goals, and the combined margin of victory during the current four-game winning streak is just 21 points.
“I’d much rather have some big wins, but hey, a win is a win,” Zimmer said. “I think the more you win, the more you learn how to win. It’s important.
“The last three or four ballgames, this kind of shows what kind of team we are as far as how we are on offense, how we are defensively, and how we are on special teams. We’re probably not going to go up and down the field like the ‘Greatest Show on Turf.’ This is how we’re built to win right now.”
How the Vikings win games shouldn’t matter to the players once the new week starts, Zimmer added. He continues to tell his team that one of the things he admires about the New England Patriots is how they approach each game whether they win or lose by 40 points the previous Sunday.
“They concentrate on what they have to get done, and that’s what we have to do,” Zimmer said. “We can’t sit and think about the future, and we can’t sit and think about the past. We’ve just got to think about how we can get better this week.”
Rookie tight end MyCole Pruitt played 19 snaps in Sunday’s victory and had one reception for 6 yards to set up Adrian Peterson’s 6-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.
Against Chicago, he played 28 snaps and had two catches for 15 yards while filling in for injured Rhett Ellison.
“Anything I can do to help, I’m glad to do,” Pruitt said. “We talked about it all week that there was going to be a lot of tight ends in the game plan, and I think we executed it well.
“It’s great just to be more involved with offense and just know that [offensive coordinator Norv] Turner is trusting me more and Teddy [Bridgewater] is trusting me more. … The opportunities are rare, and you just have to take advantage of them when you get that chance.”
Vikings tight ends combined for five catches and 47 yards on Sunday.
Blair Walsh made his 15th consecutive field goal on Sunday and has back-to-back game-winners. However, Walsh wouldn’t commit to saying this is the best stretch he’s ever had in his kicking career.
“I won’t look at that until the end of the year,” Walsh said. “I’m just trying to stay in a rhythm of what we’re doing right now and our special teams unit is playing really, really well right now. … It’s the attention to detail we put on special teams. Not every team in the NFL cares about special team as much as this organization does, and I think it pays off.”
Walsh put together a Pro-Bowl season during his 2012 rookie year with a 92.1 percent field goal conversion rate. He has a 90.5 succes rate through eight games this season.
Veteran linebacker Chad Greenway played every defensive snap Sunday and had 10 tackles, one for a loss. It’s the first time this season Greenway has played every down, and he even moved to middle linebacker late in the game to fill in for injured Audie Cole.
Zimmer said he asked his 32-year-old linebacker if he could handle the extra load.
“I told him during the week, ‘Hey, you might have to play a whole game, so can you handle this or not?’ I thought he played well,” Zimmer said. “He made a lot of tackles, which is good. He orchestrated things very well in there.”