The Vikings’ offense was the best effort by the team in Mike Zimmer’s 8 seasons as head coach, according to the Minnesota head coach.
Mike Zimmer says Vikings’ effort on offense in Week 3 best he’s seen in 8 years in Minnesota.
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Coach Mike Zimmer made a significant statement about his team’s offensive after the Minnesota Vikings won their first game of the season, 30-17, against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.
Zimmer stated, “I told the guys that was the greatest offensive effort I’ve seen in the eight years I’ve been here.” “Kirk Cousins performed well. I felt (Alexander) Mattison did a good job running the ball, and the offensive line did a fantastic job blocking. Tight ends and receivers both block well in the run game and the passing game. They should be extremely pleased of how they performed today.”
Zimmer made his remarks on a day when the Vikings (1-2) were missing standout running back Dalvin Cook, who was out with an ankle injury. In Cook’s absence, third-year running back Mattison rushed for 112 yards and added 59 yards receiving, his second career 100-yard performance (the first came against Seattle in 2020).
Mattison said he learned about Cook’s inability to participate in Week 3 “earlier than everyone else” and had to prepare his body differently throughout the week for an increase in first-team practice repetitions and the 32 touches he accounted for on Sunday.
The performance of Kirk Cousins, who has eight throwing touchdowns to zero interceptions and a 73.9 percent completion rate in three games, is arguably the most remarkable aspect of Minnesota’s comeback.
Adam Thielen, a wide receiver, stated, “Kirk has been a different Kirk.” “He’s simply locked in and on time, and he’s putting his faith in it. Our offensive line, and the way they block and give him enough time to sit back and make his reads, I believe, is a huge part of it.”
Cousins was 30-of-38 for 323 yards and three touchdowns versus Seattle, with a passing rating of 128.4. The quarterback tossed three touchdown passes in the first half for the second week in a row, giving him 13 touchdowns and zero interceptions in his last ten games.
Cousins’ 200 throw attempts without an interception, according to Elias Sports Bureau, are one short of the Vikings’ club record of 201, which he established in 2019. He’s the sixth quarterback in NFL history to have 14 or more throwing touchdowns and zero interceptions in a five-game regular-season span, and the first since Lamar Jackson was named MVP in 2019.
Cousins had the Vikings in position for back-to-back walk-off victories despite losses to Cincinnati and Arizona. Cook’s fumble in overtime enabled the Bengals to come back and score the game-winning field goal, and kicker Greg Joseph’s 37-yard try in Week 2 went wide right.
Cousins came through against the Seahawks, keeping the offense on the field for almost 36 minutes and converting 9 of 14 third-down attempts. Cousins’ 918 passing yards in the first three games of the season are the third most by any quarterback in club history.
Zimmer remarked, “I believe he’s performing great.” “Not just that, but he’s also playing with a lot of self-assurance. I’m very impressed with the way he’s been leading recently. It’s been so much better, and he’s been working on it. He’s done a fantastic job on it. He’s certain of where he’ll toss the football. He has a lot of faith in these receivers. I believe the offensive line has also aided him in accomplishing some of these goals.”
Justin Jefferson caught nine receptions for 118 yards and a score, and Cousins sent a highlight-reel 15-yard ball to K.J. Osborn while fending off a Seattle blitz — a highlight-reel play that was the focus of the postgame media availability.
“It was an amazing play,” Zimmer recalled, “because he knew he was going to be rocked.”
Throughout the Vikings’ up-and-down start to the season, there has been a lot of talk about Cousins’ leadership differences in his fourth season in Minnesota.
What are the implications of the quarterback’s changes?
“This year he has a bit more flair about him,” Mattison remarked. “Being in the locker room with Jet (Jefferson) causes the lockers to be moved about a little.” He exudes a bit more swagger. He’s always been that way, one of those playmakers. He’s simply become even better at perfecting his trade and making everyone around him better. Kirk deserves a lot of credit for the way he performed today and led us.
“Some of the things he says are very amusing simply because they come from him. He’s certainly become more open, which is fantastic to watch. Even the way he sprints and scrambles is different now than it was before. He’s just recently taken the reins, yet he’s already a fantastic leader.”
Cousins describes his “swag” differently from those around him, despite his teammates’ admiration for his leadership and attitude.
Cousins said, “(Former Washington offensive coordinator) Kyle Shanahan used to say that my swag was having no swag.” “As a novice, he advised me to never change. He claimed my jersey appeared so large when I walked out for my first preseason game that it looked like I was wearing a Halloween costume. ‘You should buy a new face mask and a nicer jersey and this or that, wear your socks differently,’ someone remarked, and Kyle stopped him off, saying, ‘No, his swag is having no swag.’ That’s how I like it. I chuckle because the joke has a grain of truth to it.”
The minnesota vikings logo is a football team from Minnesota. Mike Zimmer, the head coach of the Vikings, said that the effort on offense in Week 3 was his best he has seen in 8 years with the team.
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