Emotions were running high during the Vikings’ 37-35 loss to the Dolphins. Under first-year head coach Mike Zimmer, the Vikings have been a disciplined team for the most part, but they let their emotions get the best of them on multiple occasions Sunday.
Both defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd and linebacker Gerald Hodges committed personal fouls that haven’t been commonplace this year, and Zimmer was not happy with his players after the game.
“Ridiculous. Riduculous,” said the head coach. “That’s how you get beat, by doing stuff like that.”
After a late hit on Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill toward the end of the first half, Floyd got into it with one of Miami’s offensive linemen and ended throwing a punch at the player. Luckily for Floyd, he was not ejected and the Dolphins ended up punting the ball just four plays later.
After the play, veteran defensive end Brian Robison, seemingly in disbelief that Floyd would do something like that, was going over and talking to Floyd about it. Floyd is in his second year in the NFL and is only 23 years old. But he let his emotions get the best of him.
Hodges is another young player on the Vikings roster who is also in his second year in the NFL. He, too, let his emotions get the better of him toward the end of the third quarter when he had an unnecessary roughness penalty called on him. However, his penalty proved to be more costly than Floyd’s was.
It was second-and-7 and Tannehill threw a short pass to Jarvis Landry that Hodges stopped for a gain of only 2 yards. After the play, Landry started saying something to Hodges, prompting the linebacker to get up in the Landry’s face while bumping his chest into Landry’s chest, as well as bumping his facemask. Hodges was flagged, adding 15 yards to the play.
That penalty gave the Dolphins a new set of downs and they took full advantage of it. They ended up driving down the field and punching the ball into the end zone five plays later. That touchdown gave the Dolphins a 21-17 lead, their first lead of the game.
“Our offense hit all the keys, hit all the points. We just came up short on defense,” Hodges said. “This is one of the poorer games we played on defense. It’s just unacceptable.”
In the end, the Vikings lost by two points, making that penalty was a costly one. Without the penalty, it would have been third-and-5 and the Vikings defense would have had a good opportunity to stop the Dolphins and give the ball back to their offense.
For the game, the Vikings had eight penalties, their fourth-highest total of the season, for 74 yards, their third-highest total.
“Stop making penalties,” cornerback Xavier Rhodes said when asked what the defense needs to focus on. “I made a few crucial penalties that kept their drives alive. I got to minimize those.”
Young players will make mistakes as they continue to mature and learn the game. But in Sunday’s game, two of the Vikings second-year players let their emotions get the best of them and committed uncharacteristic penalties. Unfortunately for the team, one of those penalties ended up leading to a Dolphins touchdown.
“It’s not a good day for us. We didn’t play well enough to win,” Zimmer said. “We made way too many mistakes. We had penalties in crucial situations of the game. All the things I’ve been trying to preach for 11 months we didn’t do today. Critical errors in the field – red zone, third downs. It just wasn’t a good day.”
Floyd, Hodges commit ‘ridiculous’ penalties
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