Though the Minnesota Vikings entered their 2015 season opener as a potential breakout team, Mike Zimmer’s squad has some soul-searching to do following the 20-3 beatdown at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers.
According to Matt Vensel of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Zimmer said he entered the contest confidently, but that quickly changed.
“It was a poor performance. Disappointing. We did not play together as a team in most all phases, and we’ve got a lot of soul-searching to get done.”
The well-covered return of Adrian Peterson didn’t go as planned, Teddy Bridgewater struggled behind an offensive line missing two starters and reliable kicker Blair Walsh even missed a field goal.
Additionally, Minnesota’s should-be-stout defense struggled to stop the run against what was expected to be one of the league’s worst offensive lines. San Francisco’s Carlos Hyde shredded the Vikings for 168 yards and two touchdowns, while Colin Kaepernick added 41 rushing yards.
Minnesota certainly didn’t look like a team capable of competing with the Green Bay Packers—with or without Jordy Nelson—for the NFC North crown, let alone challenging some combination of the Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions for a wild card berth.
The Vikings’ season will be made or broken throughout the next five weeks, because the Lions, San Diego Chargers, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs and Lions wait on the schedule.
Zimmer’s team better not waste time finding its football soul.