Brett Duke/Associated Press
Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer didn’t have any positive things to say about his team after a 52-33 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Christmas Day at the Superdome. And he was blunt about his defense’s performance.
“This is a bad defense,” Zimmer said. “Worst one I’ve ever had.”
Entering Week 16, Minnesota had allowed 378.0 yards and 27.7 points per game, both bottom-10 marks in the league. The Saints torched the Vikings for 583 yards on Friday and converted six of seven red-zone conversions as tailback Alvin Kamara scored an NFL record-tying six rushing touchdowns in a single contest.
It was the first time Minnesota had given up 50 points since 1984 and the most points the franchise allowed since 1963, according to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio.
Asked how the defense can improve with one game remaining, Zimmer didn’t have many answers.
“The good players we have, they need to be back,” Zimmer said, referring to Danielle Hunter, Michael Pierce and Anthony Barr, who have combined for just two games this season.
It should be a pivotal week of practice for co-defensive coordinators Andre Patterson and Adam Zimmer, with the unit likely needing to show major improvement in the final game. The Vikings were officially eliminated from the NFC playoff picture with Friday’s defeat.