What the Vikings Said After Overtime Loss to Ravens

Vikings QB Kirk Cousins

Head Coach Mike Zimmer

(Opening Statement) "I thought we played hard. I thought our guys that came in for some other guys played well, but we just didn't play well enough to win." 

(on wearing down defensively in the second half) "Yes, they started pounding us pretty good." 

(on injuries affecting the defense) "We tried to prevent the big plays, and for the most part, we did that. But then they hit [Marquise] Brown for a couple of big plays." 

(on potentially going for the 2-point conversion after the late touchdown) "Yes, I thought about it. But they have a heck of a kicker, and there was still a minute left. So, I thought we just needed to play some defense." 

(on making big plays early in the game but what happened late in the game) "We got away from it a little bit. We were trying to get the ball to [Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook] some more. But [the Ravens] started loading up on us and bringing a lot of different pressures. We hit early on some pressures and C.J. [Ham]'s catch was great on a pressure." 

(on being frustrated on the sideline when Baltimore has the ball for a long time) "I thought we were actually playing pretty well on defense. And then, we got kind of worn down on defense. We didn't convert third downs in the second half – and that was a pretty big thing." 

(on the third-and-15 late in the game) "We pressured them, and they threw a wide receiver screen. The guy that was in charge of containment jumped inside the box, and that fueled the play. Yes, we had some success early on third downs and then some struggles after that." 

(on if the unsportsmanlike conduct on the Vikings bench was proper) "I thought it was a proper call when I saw it on the replay. Those guys that aren't in uniform need to stay away from the pipes. They need to get their [butts] back." 

(on defending Baltimore's RPO) "You know, it's hard. Is it really play action or not? You try to force a decision. There are different ways to play it, but [Lamar Jackson] is so good at it." 

QB Kirk Cousins

(opening statement) "It's a disappointing loss. We didn't do enough offensively. Too many negative plays and too many three-and-outs. Too many second-and-longs and too many third-and-longs, and we find ourselves where we are."  

(on the unlikelihood of losing a game after getting two interceptions, a kickoff return for a touchdown and not turning the ball over) "You know, it was a tremendous play by Anthony [Barr], and to get the ball back in that position was a great opportunity for us. It's disappointing that we didn't make the plays necessary to go down and score to win the game there." 

(on if there was a concerted effort to get WR Justin Jefferson the ball early in the game) "It's probably just how it played out. Snap in, snap out; we were more concerned about what the Ravens are doing and what they are giving us, and you know who that could be as a result can vary." 

(on if things changed after the 50-yard touchdown) "I think when teams play two deep and drop underneath a lot when we get in long-yardage situations, that invites them to play that. It makes it difficult to target receivers down the field on some longer passes. The reason we hit Justin [Jefferson] on the post is because the free safety settles his feet and is jumping the route underneath. Justin also caused the corner to jump a route and as a result of the way he ran his post. I think after that, they backed up and kept things in front of them for the most part." 

(on if the Ravens were trying to get a call in from the sidelines on the long touchdown pass) "You know, it was coming out of a TV timeout, so I think they had time to get their call. But we did quick count and that creates a little bit of, hopefully, you know, unsettles them a bit. But I did think when we got in long yardage situations, they played pretty soft and kept things in front for the most part." 

(on what changed on the offense after their hot start) "It's never any one thing, but I do think it was a combination of penalties and negative plays. When in long yardage situations that allowed the Ravens to keep everything in front of them. It kind of puts us in tougher spots." 

(on the leaping catch by FB CJ Ham) "Yes, I felt the corner, and rightfully so. The corner is trying to play smart and say, 'You know, I'm going to jump the inside route, because it's a fullback and you're not going to throw to a fullback.' It's a fair move by the corner to do that and be aggressive, and thankfully, we had enough time for me to be able to feel that and get the ball to CJ. I just wish I'd put more out there for him. Easy. So, he could have just scored right there. Tremendous job by him holding on to it and making a play. It's kind of vintage CJ Ham and what he's capable of doing." 

(on the last drive in overtime) "Yes, the first down they played two deep again and said just check it down. We got about three yards. Second down, we had a run, didn't get anything. In third and long, and they draw pressure, they hit a free runner. We had longer developed routes, they brought one more that we could block and didn't really have the ability to hang on to the longer developing routes, and it led to the incompletion." 

RB Dalvin Cook

(on the offense's troubles after his 66-yard run) "They kept us off the field quite a bit. We were doing a pretty good job of moving the ball, but they just kept us off the field. I can't tell you right now." 

(on his 8-yard loss on a play) "Nothing. It was nothing. It was a loss. [Patrick Queen] made a good play. That's football. It was a good play." 

LB Eric Kendricks

(on QB Lamar Jackson in overtime) "We think the defense wore down as the game progressed, for sure. You know, they have an extra guy when he is running the ball. To get in pullers on play, you know it's late in the game, overtime, and we had injuries in the secondary. He holds the ball and kind of scrambles around." 

(on if the game plan was to take away the deep shots) "First half, especially, we feel like we shut them down. We did a really great job matching up, communicating and talking beforehand. On that play that they called the interference play, that was ridiculous, and then they came out and scored on the next play. Other than that, I thought we did really well on pass defense in the first half. Then they came out in the second half and just kind of said, 'You know, we are going to run the ball and put the ball in our guy's hands.'" 

(on not taking full advantage of turnovers) "I feel like the first drive we had a fumble recovery that we couldn't take advantage of because they called a horse-collar tackle. That hurt for sure, but we know we can only control what we can. We can only go out there and fight. And then they ran the ball too much on us in the second half. They played volleyball and it was a physical game for sure. It was long drives for them. They kept us on the field. It seemed like sometimes you would go to the sideline and then have to run right back out because they are still on offense. How tough is that? It feels like you don't get much time to catch up on the sideline. But it is what it is. We got to do our job on defense. We can only control what we can control. We have to make plays on third or fourth down. That's crucial, especially in a game like this when it comes down to a war. They are going to play with a tight end and a fullback for sure." 

(on FB Patrick Ricard's touchdown) "The touchdown was just like a breakdown of communication. Who was supposed to be covering him? We've got guys coming in and out and we have to make sure we are all on the same page. You know, we try to communicate things and some things happen quickly. But we have to get back to work. I mean we have been fighting every single game. It seems like every single game we lose, it's either in overtime or very close; something like that. But there is only one thing to do, and it starts on Wednesday. We have to let this hurt, feel it, come back to work with a different new attitude, and just do it again and get back in the grind." 

(on defending Jackson) "I remember the one play where I kind of took a risk and jumped to make the play and almost made the tackle. But I missed the tackle and it's tough. You know they've got their pullers going one way and the running back going the opposite way, and Lamar [Jackson] has the chance to run the ball with the puller. So, it's a little bit of everything. They have an extra man, and with him running the ball like that, it's up to us to make a play. You know you've got to make this play in this situation, I've got to make the play. But I didn't make it. They have more moving parts on offense, and he is an active runner. He's running the ball back there and with the ball in his hands, it gives them an extra guy. You anticipate that going in knowing you have to keep your eyes focused on more people than you've done before. You know you just have to play aggressive and be physical, first and foremost. But when an opportunity presents itself, you have to break down, take a shot, and make a tackle."

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