Vikes lackluster in 36-17 loss to TB, Players react 26 Oct 12

Vikings DE Brian Robison

Q: Did anything surprise you about their running game?
A: No. They were running simple lead plays, simple downhill plays. We were just not making
the plays we need to make. Guys were out of their gaps. Bottom line is the running game
the last two weeks has outplayed us. There is no other way to say it. They just outplayed us.

Q: Any surprise you were able to contain their big receivers but not their little
running back?
A: When they can run the ball the way they did, it opens up the play action passes, which
will eventually open up the passing game, It’s just Football 101. In order to win games in this
league, you need to be able to stop the run, bottom line. We got lucky last week because
we played well early and got a lead on that team. We made them have to pass on us but
this week was the total opposite. They jumped out to a lead. When a team jumps out to a
lead on you, you’re not going to get them in passing situations. They want to run the ball
and they are going to do what they have to do. They got big chunks at a time. We just have
to play better.

Vikings QB Christian Ponder

Obviously it was a tough loss. It’s no fun when you get beat that way, especially on the
offense. The way we started, with three three- and- outs, we started out really slow. We
obviously have to play better. I have high expectations of myself and high expectations for
this team. 6-2 would have sounded a lot better than 5-3. Going into this weekend we have
to take a look at ourselves. There are a lot of things we can do better, a lot of things I can
do better, and a lot of things that we can fix. Hats off to Tampa Bay. They came out from
the very first play and played extremely well. They took it to us and they’re a good team;
but we’re a good team too. We just have to re-focus and re-evaluate ourselves and go into
the second half of the season. All of our goals are still achievable. It’s halfway through the
season. We’re looking to make the playoffs. We still control our own destiny. We have only
played one NFC North game. We’re looking forward to moving forward and learning from
this tape, the good and bad. We’ll look to Seattle next week and move on.

Q: What happened in those first few drives of the game?
A: We’re going to have to go back and look at the film. We just couldn’t get things clicking.
Couldn’t really get a completion, it’s something we have to look at and obviously fix. It’s one
thing we always talk about, we’ve got to start fast. When we start slow and they go up 10
points, 17 points, whatever it was, it’s hard in the NFL to catch up from behind.

Q: Were you surprised on the amount of pressure you faced from Tampa Bay?
A: We knew that their front four were really aggressive and that they were going to get back
and apply the pressure, they played well up front tonight.

Q: Describe that fade to Simpson, were you trying to hit him deep as a game plan?
A: Yeah, we were trying to hit him deep and we were trying to take advantage of the
matchup. We have to keep taking advantage of it; I have to keep the ball in bounds. Two
throws out of bounds, that’s not what an NFL quarterback does. I have to get better.

Q: Is there one specific thing that the offense needs to do better?
A: I think everything goes back to the execution. All of our problems go back to that. We
have to play better, we have to execute better. Coach Musgrave comes up with a great
game plan; it’s just our job to execute them. We’re going to have to look at the film and see
what we can be better at and how we can fix those things.

Q: After Jared’s sack, was it frustrating to go three- and- out?
A: It is frustrating. It’s frustrating any time you go three and out. When you have the
momentum on your side, you have to seize that opportunity and we didn’t. It’s frustrating,
and it’s frustrating for an offense to perform the whole time, the whole game, the way we
did.

Q: Do you think, like last week, that you were trying to do too much?
A: I don’t think I tried to do too much. I thought I did a better job of getting out of the pocket
and trying to get the ball down the field. We just have to continue to progress from week
to week. That’s our biggest goal, to progress from week to week. As an offense, we have
to keep running the ball well and take advantage of the passing game. It’s a learning
opportunity after this game. It’s a frustrating loss and obviously there are a lot of things we
need to get better at.

Q: Earlier in the season you were saying that it felt like the game was slowing down,
do you feel that your game has regressed?
A: I think I definitely have to play better. I don’t think I’m playing as well as I should, or can.
Defenses are always going to be scheming against us. We have to make adjustments, and
we will make adjustments. Coach Musgrave comes up with a great game plan; we just have
to play better. It comes down to me. I have to play better, I think that’s obvious to everyone.

Vikings Running Back Adrian Peterson

Q: It was a tough game for you guys?
A: Yeah, it was. We didn’t come out and get this win as planned, but just have to put this
game behind us tomorrow and bounce back.

Q: Did you think it would be a turning point after your touchdown?
A: It was, and the defense came right out, got a three-and-out, maybe not three-and-out, but
we got the ball back and offensively, we just couldn’t take advantage of two opportunities to
really change the game and change the momentum and it hurt us.

Q: It looks like it was Ronde Barber who forced the fumble on you. Can you talk
about that play?
A: He made a good play. That’s all I can say. I just remember the safety coming up and
spinning off him and as I was spinning, Barber stuck his hand in there and got the ball out.
We preach about protecting the ball, so I will make sure that doesn’t happen again.

Q: You’ve had two 100-yard games. Is this a good sign going forward that you’re
hitting your stride?
A: I guess you could say that just singling out my effort in the game, but I’m not really
worried about that right now. We lost and that’s definitely more important.

Q: Is that as much blitzing as you guys have seen from a defense this year?
A: Probably so, but I feel like we did a good job of handling them. Those guys made plays
but I feel like we held our own as well.

Q: Is there a sense of frustration you guys are feeling on offense?
A: It can get frustrating sometimes, but you can’t show that during the game. You have to
stay focused, stay resilient, and I feel like we did that but we just weren’t able to continue
staying on a roll with it, so we’ll go back to the drawing board and try to continue to improve
each week and learn from this game and we’ll come back a better offense.

Q: Is it frustrating when you’re having good games but the offense isn’t in-sync?
A: Not at all. I’m all in it until that time runs out, 100 yards, over 100 yards, means nothing if
you don’t get a victory, so that’s what I’m all about.

Q: When Jared Allen gets that sack and the dome is loud, what are you thinking as an
offense?
A: Let’s come out and get seven. Let’s come out and turn this momentum around; let’s win
this game. Let’s get back into this game, and we weren’t able to do it. That’s what it boils
down to.

Q: What does it to you when you have that emotion and it’s lost?
A: It’s tough, it’s tough. Swings during the game, you got caught up in the emotions and
bam, just to blow that opportunity and come back out, like God, the time’s still ticking. You’re
just anxious to get something going, so it can be frustrating but you’ve got to be able to

overcome adverse situations and continue to fight. I thought we continued to fight, so I
guess that’s one good thing.

Q: Do you feel there are fundamental issues on the offensive side of the ball?
A: I don’t know. We’ve just got to sit back, and we’ll evaluate the tape. But I know that we
can improve in a lot of different areas. I feel that we will do that.

Q: Do you treat this kind of like a mini bye week?
A: Oh, yeah. For me personally, it hurts. But I’m just going to have to forget about the
game. We’re still 5-3 and have a big game coming up against Seattle. Just let the body rest,
rejuvenate and come back focused.

Q: What’s it going to take against this tough second half schedule to become a
playoff team?
A: Just to continue to improve and learn from our mistakes and correct those things. And
just continue to take it one week at a time. The game we’re playing that week is the most
important thing. That’s all we can do.

Q: Is there one thing you can point out that will take you guys to the next level?
A: Just being more balanced. There’s a lot of things that we’ll be able to correct. I can’t really
just point out one thing.

Vikings DE Jared Allen

Q: What happened out there with Buccaneers OT Donald Penn?
A: I came around the edge, kind of stumbled on the ground. He came over and tried to hit
me while I was on the ground so we got into a little altercation – my helmet came off and it
sliced my nose.

Q: So it was the helmet that cut the nose?
A: Yes, I didn’t get punched. I was bobbing and weaving. I just pushed his facemask back.
After the pushing and shoving, I just had his facemask back. It’s whatever, just two people
competing, trying to get back.

Q: A few words?
A: Nothing vulgar though. I know Donald from back at Utah State. He’s playing hard and I’m
playing hard. Sometimes tempers get going.

Q: And the next play, obviously?
A: A sack. Unfortunately it wasn’t a sack fumble so we didn’t get any points out of it. Hats
off to them. They came in here and kicked our butts. I don’t even know how many rushing
yards we gave up. That’s uncharacteristic. They were able to play action. If we can’t stop
the run, we aren’t going to have a chance to get after the quarterback like we wanted. They
play actioned, three step dropped, and threw fades, threw jump balls. We knew what they
were going to do but we just didn’t stop it. We turned the ball over too many times. Top to
bottom, I don’t know if we overlooked them or not but it’s an embarrassing game for us. One
thing I know for sure, we will come back and we will learn from this and we’ll be a better
team for it. One thing about this game, it will humble you. Week in and week out. You can
never read the clippings. You can never believe the hype. You can never believe the game
is just a “gimme”. Hats off to them. They came in here and took care of business. We have
a tough part of our schedule ahead and we need have to take care of some business.