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Minneapolis St. Paul News, Weather, Traffic, Sports | Minneapolis, Minnesota | kare11.com

Zimmer praises wide receivers, defense in win over Panthers

Head Coach Mike Zimmer says Dalvin Cook felt 'good' today, still unsure of Thielen's status.
Credit: AP
Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Shamar Stephen (93) celebrates after Carolina Panthers kicker Joey Slye (4) (not pictured) missed a field goal attempt in the fourth quarter during an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, in Minneapolis. The Vikings defeated the Panthers 28-27. (AP Photo/David Berding)

MINNEAPOLIS — Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer on Monday admitted he was impressed with Chad Beebe's resiliency in the team's 28-27 win over the Carolina Panthers yesterday, but he's not taking too much away from one touchdown catch. 

"Probably shouldn't put him in Canton yet," Zimmer joked. 

Zimmer said he's been more impressed with how Beebe has helped the offense move the chains, by getting open on third down.

"I don't think 'cause you catch one touchdown pass, you earn more playing time. It's an accumulation of what he does on 3rd down and how we use him in different packages. He's been helping us on 3rd down a fair amount," he said. 

Wide receiver Justin Jefferson said the nature of the guys in his position group is what makes any of them capable of being successful.

"That's the thing I like about us, none of us are selfish or about ourselves, whatever happens, we go with the flow and when our name is called, we are prepared and make plays. (Bisi Johnson's) name was called this week and he showed up, he did exactly what he was supposed to do." 

The game-winning drive, which started with 1:51 left in the fourth quarter and ended one minute and five seconds later, featured long throws from Cousins to Jefferson and Kyle Rudolph, and eventually, Chad Beebe. Cousins completed passes to seven different teammates in the absence of Adam Thielen, who missed the game because he could not clear the NFL's COVID protocol in time. 

"The preparation that we do every week, we do the two minute drill every week. We do different plays, walk through different stuff. We called the right plays against the right looks and took the ball down the field," Jefferson said.

"I think the big thing was, we fought like crazy. When I'm talking about learning how to win, I'm talking about situations of the game. Two minute drills, the 4th and 6 a week ago against Cowboys, when to take chances and when to be smart about it. You put yourself in those situations and typically it helps you when you can recall it. Kirk made some great plays, the pass to Chad for the touchdown but he also had a great throw to Kyle," Zimmer said.