Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said Friday, in retrospect, he would probably make another call on the team’s final offensive play of Thursday night’s 23-20 loss at Arizona.
The Vikings had third-and-10 at the Cardinals’ 21 with 13 seconds left when quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was sacked and fumbled, ending the Vikings’ chance for a game-tying field goal.
“If I knew that was going to happen I probably would have done something different,” Zimmer said. “I thought about kicking the field goal with the 13 seconds left on the clock, if we missed the field goal, I’m wrong, we should have got closer. I did the best that I thought we could at that particular time. We’ve studied that situation many times; to clock the ball in-bounds it’s approximately 12-14 seconds, so we were right on the verge.
“I didn’t feel like there was any way we could throw the ball in-bounds and still get another play off. We were trying to get a little closer, a play designed to get the sideline. Actually, the play before was a very similar play there was 18 seconds left on the clock, we knew we had time to clock it at that point, but we tried to get the ball to the sideline and it wasn’t there and he threw it out of bounds, it took five seconds, so then it went to 13. I felt good about that and if we didn’t get it I figured we could try the field goal from there and take a shot.”
Zimmer was happy with some things his team did in the Arizona game after a 38-7 home loss to Seattle on Sunday.
“I feel like our team did a good job on preparation of understanding the way we have to go out and fight. I think our veteran leaders did an outstanding job this week as far as taking the initiative of what this football team needs to play like and needs to prepare like,” Zimmer said. “I really want to credit the players the way they attacked the situation, especially coming after the loss we had the week before.
“I said I’m not into moral victories. We didn’t do enough things to win the football game. We played with the heart, the desire and the fight and all those things I want, but we turned the ball over three times. We dropped an interception, we made an interception and we were offsides. You’re not going to be able to do that and beat a good football team.”
It will also be tough for the Vikings to continue to win games without injured defensive standouts Smith, linebacker Anthony Barr and nose tackle Linval Joseph.
Zimmer offered some good news about their status, but provided no specifics for when they might return.
“I know that I got a pretty good report this morning,” Zimmer said. “That they’re all moving in the right direction. I’m hoping. These guys want to play bad. That’s one thing about this football team, they want to fight for each other. These guys want to get back in there and fight as soon as they can.
“Sendejo would probably be the quickest back, I would guess. But the others, talking about Barr, Joseph and Harrison, they’re all kind of right in the same vicinity.”