On Wednesday last week, Mike Zimmer was in the midst of some pretty short answers during a press briefing when he latched onto a question about Xavier Rhodes to deliver a message.

"I know everybody wants to evaluate everybody after four weeks, but I think if you remember last year or early in the year Xavier had some penalties early in the year. We cleaned them up. This isn't a time for "woe is me,' " Zimmer said. "If people remember we were 2-2 this time last year. We finished 13-3. We were 5-0 the year before and we finished 8-8. We were 2-2 the year before that and we finished 11-5, so all the predictors, this isn't a good time to predict."

It was a message to all those preparing to write off the Vikings, who were 1-2-1 and struggling mightily on defense heading into one of their toughest games of the season at Philadelphia. If it seemed a bit desperate or wishful at the time, it seems more prescient in the wake of Sunday's 23-21 victory.

Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. michael.rand@startribune.com.