This is the time of year when you want to be talking playoffs. If things have broken your way for most of the season and you’ve been able to collect enough wins, you’re in the playoff conversation and often times it’s hard not to look ahead to figure out who you’ll be playing and where you’ll be playing them once the second season rolls around.
That’s not the case for the Vikings, however. They have indeed played well enough and collected enough wins to be one of the teams involved in the playoff conversation, but Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier has determined that in order to stay there, his team must keep its focus on the “now” instead of on what might happen if the Vikings can fight their way into the postseason.
“We did talk about scenarios, but the most important thing we talked about was the Rams and what we had to do to win that game and it won’t be a whole lot different this week,” Frazier explained. “We’ll talk at length about what it will take to beat the Texans in Houston. They’re a very good football team. That’s where our conversation and our focus has to be, on the team that we’re playing.”
If the last two weeks are any indication, Frazier’s philosophy is paying off. The Vikings have won two straight games, defeating a Chicago Bears team that came in with a superior record and then hitting the road to blitz a St. Louis Rams team that was also fighting to stay alive in the NFC playoff chase.
“That win yesterday was huge for our team in the month of December,” Frazier said. “To go on the road, and as we all know, we’ve struggled on the road this season, to go out and play as well as our team played against a team that was fighting for a playoff spot just like we are, for our guys to go out and jump out early the way we did, made all of us very proud of our players. The effort they put into the week’s practice and their preparation as well. It really paid off.”
Since taking over as head coach of the Vikings, Frazier has preached to his team the importance of playing smart, tough and disciplined football. The kind of football most playoff teams feature this time of the season. And that’s the kind of football the Vikings have played coming down the stretch.
“One of the things I was most impressed with about our football team [Sunday] was the discipline they showed throughout,” Frazier said. “We talk all the time about what our team characteristics should be and what we want to look like for opponents and fans as well, but to play smart, tough, disciplined football, that was something we needed to do on the road and we got that done. It was truly Viking football in so many ways.
“Kudos to this group of guys for just focusing on the now and not the past or the future, just the now, which is good.”
Tags: Leslie Frazier
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