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By Nick Ehrenberg
Special to KFAN.com
After a bruising 38-26 loss to the Washington Redskins, the Vikings returned to Winter Park and regrouped for a Sunday date with Arizona. Head coach Leslie Frazier greeted reporters on Monday with a more sober analysis of his team's performance.
Frazier lauded Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III, who torched the Vikings defense for 136 rushing yards and two touchdowns to supplement his work in the air. The Washington phenom left some lingering questions about Minnesota's run defense, and Frazier looked to calm nerves.
"I don't think we took a step back at all," Frazier said. "We played a quarterback who was a little different than what we've seen." Frazier added that Griffin's skills forced the Vikings to play more zone defense than they originally planned.
Frazier also addressed Minnesota's red zone issues, which prevented the Vikings from building a strong first-quarter lead. Three straight red zone trips netted three field goals, and the offense couldn't find the end zone until the fourth quarter.
Frazier specifically mentioned that third red zone drive, which began after Antoine Winfield intercepted Griffin in Washington territory. The drive stalled nine yards short of the goal line, forcing another Blair Walsh field goal. Frazier noted that the momentum from Winfield's interception was lost when the offense stalled once again.
Washington would use the newly gained momentum to score 24 unanswered points.
Frazier noted that no new injuries occurred during yesterday's game. WR Jerome Simpson, who sat out yesterday's game with a back injury, told Frazier he is ready for Arizona.
"He feels like he’s going to be ready to go," Frazier said. "Told me just to watch the tape and that’ll prove it."
Frazier, however, sounded skeptical. "Hopefully he's ready to go this week," Frazier said.
Right guard Geoff Schwartz saw 11 snaps in yesterday's game in relief of Brandon Fusco, and the Vikings are looking to experiment with Schwartz in weeks to come. Schwartz missed all of last season with a hip injury, and didn't play in the preseason.
Nick Ehrenberg is the Digital News Director for Twin Cities News Talk, and a contributor to KFAN.com.