Rudolph On Vikings' 2-2 Start: "Nobody Was Happy"

Minnesota, which has won five of six, has come a long way since the first month of the season

Tiki and Tierney
November 13, 2019 - 5:57 pm

Four weeks into the NFL season, the Minnesota Vikings were not in a good place. They had just lost 16-6 to the Bears in Chicago, failing to find the end zone until the final three minutes of the game.

Afterward, Adam Thielen wasn’t happy. Neither was Stefon Diggs.

“That’s the nature of competitive guys,” Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph said on Tiki & Tierney. “When you’re 2-2, if we didn’t have anybody frustrated, that would probably be a bad sign for the rest of our season. At 2-2, nobody in this locker room was happy with where we were.”

The Vikings beat the Falcons, 28-12, in Week 1. Kirk Cousins threw for just 98 yards on 10 pass attempts.

“I think the last time I played a game with 10 pass attempts, I was in middle school,” Rudolph said. “It was just an unusual game. When you’re 2-2, guys are going to be way more frustrated than (when) you’re 4-0. If we would have been 4-0 and we would have won those two games on the road in the division, you wouldn’t hear a word from Adam. You wouldn’t hear a word from Stefon. But we got competitive guys in this locker room, and they just want to win football games. That competitiveness, that frustration, is what has moved us to 7-3.”

Indeed, the Vikings have won five of their last six games, with the only loss coming by a field goal in Kansas City. They beat the Cowboys, 28-24, in Dallas this past Sunday.

As for Cousins? He’s been on fire since apologizing to his teammates for his subpar play. He has 15 touchdowns and one interception in his last six games.

“We all know the type of person Kirk is and the player that he is as well,” Rudolph said. “Probably one of the things I was most excited for was this past week, going down to Dallas and getting a win – just because of all the outside noise about Kirk and not being able to win big games on the road against playoff contenders is put to rest. We had to go down there, and it’s not just on one player. There’s 11 guys out there on offense that have to do their job so we can all be successful.”

Of course, Rudolph, a nine-year vet, knows that’s now how outsiders perceive it.

“That’s the nature of this league,” he said. “ The media, all the attention goes to these franchise quarterbacks. A quarterback can’t go out there by himself and win those games. There’s 10 other guys on the field that have to go out and make plays, and we got to put him in situations to be successful. I think this past week was a huge stepping stone for our team because we’re going to have to win in that kind of atmosphere down the stretch to get to where we want to be.” 

The Vikings host the Broncos (3-6) this Sunday. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. ET.