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MINNEAPOLIS -- Mike Zimmers team lost a second straight game by a double-digit margin, with a depleted offense sputtering badly.The next day he needed eye surgery.The following morning, his offensive coordinator came into his office at Minnesota Vikings headquarters to inform him of his resignation.All this after overcoming the absences of several injured starters to take the NFLs only 5-0 record this season into the bye week.I feel the roller coaster ride, Zimmer said, flashing a smile thats been rarely spotted on his grizzled face lately.Thats the life of a head coach. Even for assistants. Zimmer took some time after a recent practice to recall his second year in the league, 1995, when he was defensive backs coach for a Dallas team that won the Super Bowl trophy.Beaten by then-rival San Francisco in the previous NFC championship game and again that regular season, the Cowboys slumped a bit in December and needed a win and a one-point loss by the 49ers on the final weekend of play to gain home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Green Bay knocked off San Francisco in the division round, and the Cowboys took down the Packers for the NFC title before beating the Pittsburgh Steelers for the championship.At the end of the year, regardless of what happens, I went in the locker room at the end of the game and said, `My God, that was a long season, Zimmer said. So I get it. Thats just how this thing works. Were not the only team to have ups and downs.Hey, its the NFL.The Vikings (5-2) host Detroit on Sunday, eager to return to raucous U.S. Bank Stadium where theyre unbeaten in three games. The Lions (4-4) know all about those ups and downs, of course, looking back to last years 1-7 start that rendered a 6-2 finish meaningless. This season, every game has been close, winning by four points or fewer each time for a cumulative margin of victory of 11 points. Four defeats, all by a touchdown or less, have come by a total of 18 points.Just take a look at it, and youve always got a chance at this point in time, right? Lions coach Jim Caldwell said. Goals are still in front of you.Here are some key angles to know about the game:MIDSEASON SWITCH: After losing to Minnesota 28-19 in Detroit last year, watching Matthew Stafford take seven sacks, Caldwell fired offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi and both offensive line coaches. Quarterbacks coach Jim Bob Cooter took over the play calling, and Stafford and the Lions were far more effective after that. Theyve kept up that success on offense this season.What we had to do was work extremely hard. You had to little by little kind of piece something new together that we wanted to do, and go from there, Stafford said, recalling the challenge of the change.Though the circumstances are different, the Vikings would love a similar boost for their offense after Norv Turner left and was replaced by Pat Shurmur.Its not on coaches. Were the ones out there. Were the ones that need to play better, tight end Kyle Rudolph said. Moving forward, weve just got to get everybody to do their job. We have the talent and ability to make that happen.PROTECTING THE PASSER: Theres no question about Shurmurs top priority in taking over the offense. Bradford needs better protection than he received the last two games if the Vikings are going to get back on track. Bradford was not only sacked 11 times but hit hard on several other throws, sending him out of sync after playing so crisply and effectively before the bye.I dont think its a good thing, Bradford said. I think weve got to figure out a way to bring that number down.GETTING THERE: Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah, who missed three earlier games because of a sprained ankle, is still without a sack. Ansah, who finished 2015 with 14+ sacks, has five sacks in six career games against the Vikings.Maybe the first week or so he got maybe a little bit rusty, but I think without question hes still who he is, Caldwell said.STOPPING THE RUN: The issues with the offense had already been exposed before the loss at Chicago on Monday night, so the ease with which Bears rookie Jordan Howard ran through Minnesotas front seven and secondary was more alarming. Howard rushed 26 times for 153 yards and caught four passes for 49 yards.Thats inexcusable for us on defense, linebacker Chad Greenway said. Thats what we pride ourselves on and have for a long time.STAFFORDS SURGE: Over the last 16 games, mirroring Cooters move into the offensive coordinator role, the Lions are in the top three in the NFL in passer rating, touchdown-to-interception ratio, completion percentage, passing touchdowns and offensive points scored among other categories.---For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL Cheap College Stitched Jerseys . Already owning gold from competition in Vancouver in 2010, Loch posted a combined four-run time of 3:27.526. That included a track-record third run of 51. Authentic Stitched NHL Jerseys . -- Derrick Rose shook off poor shooting early to hit clutch shots late and Carlos Boozer had 20 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 104-95 preseason victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night. http://www.stitchedjerseyscheap.com/ . Kuznetsov, who was selected by the Capitals in the first round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, has been playing for his hometown team Chelyabinsk Traktor of the KHL. Stitched Soccer Jerseys Online . Louis Cardinals. Victorino is batting sixth and playing right field after missing two games because of back tightness. Wholesale Stitched NBA Jerseys . Jason Zucker and Matt Cooke also scored for Minnesota, which has won five of six. Kuemper made five saves in the first, nine in the second, and nine in the third. The rookies best save came with 2:17 left in the third period when he denied former Wild forward Matt Cullen from just outside of the crease on the right side. BERLIN -- Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng received no sympathy from club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge despite going off injured in his sides 3-2 defeat at FC Rostov in the Champions League on Wednesday.Rummenigge told Sky TV, Jerome needs to find a bit more quiet again. Its a bit too much for me since the summer. It would be in his interest and the whole clubs if he came a little down back to earth.Bayern says Boateng suffered a muuscular problem in his thigh and that a proper diagnosis will be made on the teams return to Munich on Thursday.dddddddddddd The Germany international hobbled off after almost an hour against the Russian side.It was Bayerns second defeat of the season, days after its first to Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga. cheap falcons jerseys cheap ravens jerseys cheap bills jerseys cheap bears jerseys cheap bengals jerseys cheap cowboys jerseys cheap lions jerseys cheap texans jerseys cheap colts jerseys cheap jaguars jerseys cheap chiefs jerseys cheap rams jerseys cheap dolphins jerseys cheap vikings jerseys cheap saints jerseys cheap giants jerseys cheap jets jerseys cheap eagles jerseys cheap steelers jerseys cheap 49ers jerseys ' ' '
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