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Mike Zimmer calls out “soft” offensive line after “embarrassing” loss

Sunday's ugly loss to the Eagles was Minnesota's first of the season. If the Vikings don't turn things around Monday night in Chicago, they will have a much different path to the playoffs.

Notoriously blunt Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer had little to be blunt about through five straight wins to start the season. After Sunday’s 21-10 loss at Philly, Zimmer had plenty to be blunt about.

The primary target of Zimmer’s candor was the offensive line, which was repeatedly overrun by the Eagles’ defense.

“We didn’t block anybody,” Zimmer told reporters after the game, via Matt Vensel of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “We were soft. We got overpowered.”

It could have been worse, but for the performance of the team’s defense.

“It was embarrassing in at least two of the phases, and I’m very disappointed in the performance that we gave today,” Zimmer said. “We turned the ball over offensively, we didn’t block people, we dropped balls, we got the quarterback hit, we [need] two inches and we can’t convert on third down or fourth down, we got three shots in the red zone in the first half, we throw an interception, we gave up a 98-yard kickoff return, we fumbled a punt. If you’re going to do those things, you have no chance to win.”

As to the offensive line, a lack of cap space prevents the Vikings from making further upgrades.

“We’re not going to go down the street and pick up a bunch of guys,” Zimmer said. “We need to get these guys better and we need to do it quickly.”

The Vikings next play in eight days, at Chicago on Halloween night. The good news is that, at 5-1, the Vikings are tied with the Cowboys for the best record in the conference. The bad news is that the most recent game was the team’s worst loss in a long time.

And if the Eagles provided the blueprint for shutting down the Minnesota offense, it could be a long season over the Vikings over its final 10 weeks.