The Vikings are riding high after winning three of their first four games of the season, and this week many figure they will prolong the positivity because they return home to face a team that has lost three of its first four games to start the season and has an average margin of loss that sits at 24.3 points, third-worst in the NFL.
But Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier is not one to allow his team to overlook an opponent. After all, he leads a group of players who were largely overlooked before the season started, and now they sit atop the NFC North with Chicago after a quarter of the season.
“Our guys are focusing in on a big ballgame for our football team against the Titans,” Frazier said at the beginning of his customary Wednesday press conference. “Playing at home in front of our fans is always something we look forward to. When our fans get into it, like they often do, it’s difficult for opposing teams.
“And we’re going to need great fan support on Sunday against a team that, despite their record, they played some very good teams, they’re a much better team than their record shows. Our players know that from watching tape, and we’re going to have to play our best game of the season in order to be successful at home on Sunday.”
Frazier makes a good point. While the Titans have won just one of four games to this point, they’ve played a difficult schedule – New England, San Diego, Detroit and Houston. Three of those teams made the playoffs last year, and it won’t surprise if at least three of them make the playoffs this year, too. Three of those four teams rank in the Top 10 in margin of victory and points allowed, and two of those teams – New England and Houston – are Top 5 in offensive points.
The Vikings have won two of their three games this year as underdogs, so you can be sure that this group of players will not overlook any opponent, regardless of record. Frazier pointed to veteran leadership as a reason he thinks the Vikings will be able to avoid complacency.
“I think we have good leadership on this team,” Frazier said. “We have veteran guys who know how quickly can change in our League. You have to seize the moment, and they’ve done a good job of explaining to our young players that we have to seize this opportunity.
“It’s so early in the season, and we’ve all seen teams that have gotten off to good starts and they’re nowhere to be found when December rolls around. We don’t want to be one of those teams. We know we have a lot of work to do, we know we have a lot of improvement to make. But all of us have been around long of us to know that there are no champagne bottles being popped in September. We have to be smart.”
Tags: Leslie Frazier
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