Stafford took only one sack but was hit eight other times, as the Minnesota Vikings sent one blitzer after another.
“One hundred and ten percent,” Tate said Monday when asked if he thought there were cheap shots taken at Stafford. “After watching the film, there were several holds, late hits I thought should have been called. A couple of them, I wouldn’t be surprised if we turned them in.”
Zimmer said Tate’s accusation didn’t bother him because he doesn’t believe the Vikings played that way. They were called for only one late hit or roughing the passer, on Anthony Barr and Zimmer said an NFL official told him Tuesday night even that shouldn’t have been called.
“That doesn’t bother me. I know what kind of team we are. We’re not dirty,” said Zimmer, who called Barr’s penalty for a late hit “dumb” on Monday but retracted that on Wednesday. “I probably owe Anthony Barr an apology because I talked to the official last night and these quarterbacks now, they’re starting to slow down as they go out of bounds and kind of egging these things on. That was one of the things (the official) talked about and he said, ‘Yeah, it probably should not have been called.’”
The Lions might not have much success if they are lobbying for Vikings players to be fined if Zimmer’s conversation with the NFL official is any indication.
“I was talking to him specifically about other situations that occur. We try to coach within the rules. We try to do things the right way,” Zimmer said. “We want to be a football team that’s known (that) we’re teaching proper technique. We’re not trying to cheat the rules. I don’t want our football team to be put at a disadvantage because other people are trying to cheat the rules. I want our guys to know the rules, play by the rules and play fair.”