Whether it was the Chicago Bears shutting down the Rams a couple of weeks back, or the Los Angeles Chargers limiting the Chiefs last week, the potent offensive performances are fewer and farther between.
“It’s adjustments, really,” Zimmer said. “You know, football has always been real cyclical.”
“I go back to like Tampa 2, right?” Zimmer added, referencing the defense popularized by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1990s.
“Everybody in the world ran Tampa 2 because the offense couldn’t figure it out. Then they figured it out and then everyone had to start doing something else.”
It’s the same with offenses nowadays, Zimmer said, pointing out how some of the gadget plays derived from the college game have become easier to snuff out over time.
“When I’m watching plays on other teams I just see like, ‘All right, this play showed up, this play showed up, this play showed up,’ ” Zimmer said. “You see people copying everything.”
“No one could figure it out and then everyone started doing it,” Zimmer added. “Everything kind of catches up to everything in time. That’s part of it.”
That said, as far as Zimmer is concerned, offenses always will have the advantage over defenses in the modern-day NFL.
“Well, the rules are geared toward the offense,” Zimmer said.
“If I touch a guy like this after five yards then it’s an automatic first down. I don’t think that’s ever going to change because the league wants scoring.”
No scoreboard watching here
No matter what happens across the NFL this weekend, the Vikings still control their own playoff destiny with two games to play.
If they won both games, they’re in, and that’s the only thing tight end Kyle Rudolph cares about at this point.
“It’s all about getting hot,” Rudolph said.
“You can got 13-3 and get in the playoffs. You can also go 9-7 and get in the playoffs. Everyone that’s in the playoffs has a chance to win it. It boils down to who’s playing the best football. Everything that’s happened to this point is irrelevant.”
Does that mean no scoreboard watching this weekend?
“We don’t have to scoreboard watch,” Rudolph said.
“The only scoreboard I’ll be watching is ours. If we take care of our business, it doesn’t matter what else happens. We have to go out and worry about beating the Lions on Sunday afternoon.”
No limit for Cook
Dalvin Cook joked earlier this week that he doesn’t feel like it’s the end of the season considering he missed so much playing time early on with a hamstring injury.
In fact, to this point Cook has only played 392, or 42 percent of, offensive snaps, and looks to be rounding into form after a career-high 136 rushing yards last week.
“I’m not worried about his injury or anything like that,” Zimmer said.
“I think he looks fresh to me in the practices and games, so it’ll probably be similar to what it has been.”