MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Vikings did not score in the second half Sunday in Detroit. They dropped their record to 6-8 and moved to 0-5 in their division.

And they found a lot of hope for the future?

A day after a narrow loss, on the road, to a playoff team, Mike Zimmer sounded upbeat.

“We did a lot of good things in the ballgame,” Zimmer said. “We executed. A lot of times, very, very well.”

Though he didn’t expressly say it, Zimmer seemed the happiest he’s been with a loss this season. Maybe even more than a few of the wins.

That’s because while the Vikings might not be making the playoffs, they are making progress.

“We’re doing so many [good things],” Zimmer said. “I know people probably just blow smoke up my behind–but I get calls and texts from people and coaches, and they say what a good football team we look like, and the things we’re doing right and things that we’re doing. And maybe they’re just telling me to be nice – I don’t think that – but we’re doing so many good things, that if we can get over the hump, just get over the hump to win.

“The biggest progress I’d like to see is getting some wins.”

Defensive end Brian Robison said the loss to the Lions was “too little, too late, almost.” But he sees progress too.

“The bottom line is it shows the direction where this team is going,” Robison said. “I think it shows the direction that Zimmer’s taking us, and if we keep moving in that direction, maybe next year we’ll be one of those teams that the rest of the teams in the division have to reckon with.”

Zimmer vowed to keep the team working hard until season’s end.

“My mentality has not changed, my mindset has not changed,” he said. “As I told the team, we’re going to stick with it, keep working on getting better, because we’ve got something to build for the future.”