Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer had a strict directive for his players Monday after the team's 30-13 loss to Green Bay.
"It's OK to be upset today, but ... when they come in Wednesday they better be smiling. Because it's time to get going," Zimmer said he told the Vikings players. "The biggest mistake that we make, is that we let that loss become more than one."
The loss moved the Vikings and Green Bay into a tie atop the NFC North (and gave Green Bay a one-game advantage in the head-to-head, tie-breaker matchup). One game, with six games left in the season, including another against Green Bay.
As veteran cornerback Terrence Newman said Monday,
" target="_blank">according to Viking Update, people were acting like the team had just lost 10 games.
Players were "down" when coming in Monday, but Zimmer called it a "good thing" because it shows they care.
Zimmer said he's disappointed in the performance – noting there were "too many mistakes" to win the game – but is not discouraged by the team's future.
"I still believe in this football team and i believe in everything about us," he said. "We just have to figure out who we are, and stay true to who we are, and not let outside influence affect us and go out and play."
Linebacker Chad Greenway was already looking forward Monday morning, tweeting: "Back to work we go."
"It's important that we move on and not let this linger."
A couple other notes
Zimmer called the penalties against the Vikings – eight of them, giving Green Bay 110 yards – "uncharacteristic" of how they've played.
"There were too many times that we shot ourselves in the foot mistakes in crucial situations," he said. "And I think that they [the Packers] played well."
Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater finished 25-of-37 for 296 yards, 1 touchdown and no picks – but was sacked six times for 48 lost yards, and hit or knocked down even more.
Zimmer said of the injury-riddled offensive line his "expectation is they go in and do their job," then continued:
"But it wasn't all the offensive line last night. There were times Teddy didn't get the ball out on time. There were times we didn't block them ... Their defensive front did a good job."
Zimmer also said he's concerned about how many times Bridgewater took a hit – but added he's got a lot of concerns right now.