The Seahawks were the last team the Vikings played a year ago, knocking them out of the playoffs in the first round. The two teams are now meeting up again in the second week of the preseason and many people are trying to paint it as some “revenge” game for the Vikings, but the truth of the matter is that they all seem to be over it.
It was truly a heart-breaking loss for players, coaches and fans, with Blair Walsh missing a 27-yard field that would have given them the lead with just seconds remaining in the game, but the players know this game is completely different than that one. Their last meeting was a playoff game, winner moves on and loser goes home. This one is a preseason game that has no real implications on the regular season or the playoffs.
Instead of a revenge game, most of the players and coaches are looking forward to playing Seattle simply because they are a good football team and it will be a good chance for them to get better.
“I wouldn’t compare it to last year, because of what you said; it’s a preseason game, and to me, it’s a lot different,” said offensive coordinator Nrov Turner. “It’s a chance for us to go on the road, have to deal with the crowd noise, have to deal with the environment and play against a very good defense. All this stuff we’re doing – whether it’s practicing with Cincinnati, playing them, going and playing Seattle – it’s getting us ready for the regular season. So, that’s what we’re using it for.”
“I think they know that this is a good football team, and just like last week, we had a playoff team. This is a playoff team, won the Super Bowl a couple years ago and the NFC Championship game a couple years ago,” head coach Mike Zimmer reiterated. “So, our guys know the competition that they’re facing. I don’t think of it as like this is the Wild Card round or anything like that, but I think it’ll be good competition.”
The players seem to feel the exact same way as their coaching staff. They just want to be able to use this opportunity to work on their fundamentals, and do so against a very talented team.
There isn’t much planning that goes into preseason games. It’s more an opportunity for the returning players to kick off the rust and for the younger players to prove to the coaches that they deserve a spot on the 53-man roster. But it’s still possible they get cut, so the game tape from the preseason also asks as an application as they try to find work with another team.
This preseason is also the start of an entirely new season. What’s in the past is in the past and there is nothing anyone can do to change it. One of the Vikings’ vocal leaders, defensive end Everson Griffen, may have summed up best how the players feel as the get ready for Thursday’s game.
“I’m over Seattle, I’m over what happened last year,” he said. “That’s in the past and everyone’s 0-0 now; you can’t live in the past. I’m going to go out there and do my job and that’s all that it’s all about. Seattle’s been a long time away. This is the preseason, the beginning of the season, everybody’s 0-0, so it really don’t matter what happened last year. I’m over last year, that’s it.”