Zimmer Is On A Mission To Fix The Vikings DefenseThe Minnesota Vikings entered Sunday's loss to the Miami Dolphins as a vastly improved defense from last season. However, in the loss, the team was embarrassed by the performance and head coach Mike Zimmer was still upset 24 hours later. He vowed that he will fix the unit. The Vikings face the Chicago Bears in their season finale on Sunday at TCF Bank Stadium with draft positioning on the line.
Opponent Profile: Vikings Playing Final Game Against The BearsThe Minnesota Vikings play their last game of the season Sunday against the Chicago Bears at TCF Bank Stadium. The Bears are one game behind the Vikings in the NFC North Division standings and would move out of the cellar with a victory. They have lost four straight games overall and three consecutive on the road.
Bridgewater Is Learning Best By Playing Says Vikings Head CoachTeddy Bridgewater has learned on the fly since taking over as the Minnesota Vikings quarterback after Matt Cassel was injured in Week 3. Head coach Mike Zimmer is happy with the progress the rookie first round draft pick has made in his 10 starts. The Vikings are 0-5 in divisional games this season. They have one game left to get Zimmer's first win against a division-rival. Linebacker Chad Greenway is one of eight finalists for the inaugural NFL's Sportsmanship Award.
Opponent Profile: Vikings Finish Their Road Schedule Against The Dolphins On SundayThe Minnesota Vikings travel south to play the Miami Dolphins in their last road game of the season. The Dolphins are 7-7 and still alive for a playoff spot in the AFC. They are led on offense by quarterback Ryan Tannehill and wide receivers Mike Wallace and Jarvis Landry. On defense, they are led by pass rushing specialist Cameron Wake.
Vikings Want To Use Running Backs Differently The Rest Of The SeasonThe Minnesota Vikings enter the final three games of the season with two running backs that did not start the season on the active roster. Head coach Mike Zimmer would like to see more of what Joe Banyard and Ben Tate can bring the offense after the two combined for four carries in Sunday's win over the New York Jets. Also, after 97 scoreless NFL games, Jerome Felton scored his first career NFL touchdown.
Opponent Profile: Vikings Set To Battle The Lions With Slim Playoff Hopes AliveThe Minnesota Vikings play two of their last three games on the road, beginning with the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on Sunday. The Vikings lost to the Lions at TCF Bank Stadium in Week 6, 17-3. The Lions did not have most of their offensive weapons on the field or at 100 percent. The Vikings remain in the playoff picture, but need to win-out and get some help.
Patterson Slipping On The Vikings' Depth ChartCordarrelle Patterson had limited playing time in Sunday's winning over the Carolina Panthers. The second-year receiver failed to catch the one ball thrown his way and his he was on the field for just three plays on offense. Charles Johnson, who was claimed just before the season started from the Cleveland Browns, had the most playing time of any receiver on Sunday. On the other side of the ball, Xavier Rhodes is becoming one of the league's best cornerbacks.
Opponent Profile: Vikings Set To Finish Home Stand Against The New York JetsThe Minnesota Vikings complete a three-game home stand against the New York Jets on Sunday. The Vikings just completed a lopsided victory over the Carolina Panthers at TCF Bank Stadium. The strength of the Jets, on both sides of the ball, is running the ball. They are third in rushing yards and rushing yards allowed per game heading into their Monday night game. The Vikings will be favored.
Vikings OT Matt Kalil's Frustrating Season Reached A New Height SundayMinnesota Vikings offensive tackle Matt Kalil had more problems than just the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. After the game ended, he did not talk to the media and then had an incident with a fane just outside TCF Bank Stadium. Kalil apologized for dodging the media and called the incident afterward "no big deal." The Vikings lost their other starting tackle Phil Loadholt for the rest of the season with a torn pectoral muscle.
Opponent Profile: Vikings Face Panthers In Only Home StandThe Minnesota Vikings face the Carolina Panthers in the middle game of a three-game home stand on Sunday. The Panthers are not living up to expectations after finishing with the second best record in the NFC last season. They have struggled with injuries on offense and poor play on defense. It is highly unlikely that either team will compete for the playoffs, but a win on Sunday will be a big momentum building moment toward next season.
Clock Malfunction Factors Into Vikings QB Bridgewater’s Last Minute InterceptionThe Minnesota Vikings are not blaming the fourth quarter clock malfunctions on their 21-13 loss to the Chicago Bears Sunday at Soldier Field. But, they are saying it factored into the play that denied them a chance to tie the game. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater threw a long pass to the end zone with plenty of time remaining in the game, but thought the clock was running out. The interception allowed the Bears to take a knee for the remainder of the game. Tight end Kyle Rudolph returned to the lineup, but he was a non-factor.
Opponent Profile: Vikings Bounce-Back Game Comes Against Red Hot PackersThe Minnesota Vikings face the red hot Green Bay Packers fresh off an embarrassing loss to the Chicago Bears. The Packers enter the matchup after posting back-to-back 50+ point games. They are one of the hottest teams in the NFL. The Packers will be heavy favorites to win the game.