Asked about Kirk Cousins after his 15.9 passer rating in the 28-11 loss in Indianapolis on Sunday, coach Mike Zimmer said the Vikings are expecting better from their quarterback — and his blockers and receivers after a “combination of things” undercut the offense.
“Kirk’s a veteran guy that has had a lot of success in this league,” Zimmer said. “We expect him to come back and play better this week. But we expect everybody to come back and play better.
“There was times in the game where we get an 11-yard run and we get called for holding. We dropped a lot of balls, which you wouldn’t expect from the receivers that we have.”
Keeping morale up
Zimmer said he will sit down with team captains Tuesday, the players’ day off, to “get their feelings on where things are and where we’ve got to go from here.”
Veteran players need to make sure a young locker room doesn’t get too down on itself amid an 0-2 start, according to receiver Adam Thielen.
“That will be the message to this team in our own position groups,” he said. “‘Hey, keep fighting. Keep working. Don’t change anything you’re doing. Just keep going at it, and it will click as long as you have that right mind-set and don’t sulk and get down on yourself or this team or this offense.’”
Interior DL emphasis
The Vikings allowed 148 rushing yards and a touchdown on 36 carries, but they “had some good plays” against the run, Zimmer said.
Colts running back Jonathan Taylor was limited to 2 yards or fewer on six of 26 carries, but Zimmer called for more consistency from interior defensive linemen after Shamar Stephen, Jaleel Johnson and Armon Watts formed the rotation.
“Shamar’s done a good job,” Zimmer said. “We’ve got to get the other tackles playing better.”