Bill Parcells, Hall of Famer and mentor to Mike Zimmer, has been known to inadvertently call Zim while the Vikings coach is in the middle of a news conference.
The man who popularized the phrase "You are what your record says you are" might want to pick up the phone again this week and flag his protégé for violating that classic Parcells mantra not once but twice after Sunday's wrenching 34-33 loss at Arizona.
On Sunday evening, Zimmer said, "We were probably two plays away from being 2-0." That's a reference to Dalvin Cook's fumble in overtime at Cincinnati in Week 1 and Greg Joseph's 37-yard missed field goal as time expired at Arizona.
Monday, Zimmer added, "We're probably two plays away from being 2-0 on the road, but it'll be good to get back to U.S. Bank Stadium in front of our fans this week."
The Vikings are 0-2. Not almost 2-0. Parcells might need to stage an intervention before Mike reaches the hat trick on saying what the Vikings record could be if not for two plays.
Zimmer, of course, knows there is no coulda, woulda, shoulda column in the NFL standings. He's simply trying to encourage a winless team and a sucker-punched fan base whose loud voice is vital to winning home games.
Zimmer is spot on for lauding his team's effort and execution in Week 2 compared to Week 1. The offense was exceptional. Kirk Cousins was fantastic. Dalvin Cook was, well, Dalvin Cook. And the defense took some haymakers and still played well enough to win.
So, kudos to all for the effort. It shows the Vikings can play a crisp, turnover-free game offensively, and still fight like mad for Zimmer defensively. The season isn't over. Chin up heading into a three-game homestand.
Just don't claim to be two plays from 2-0.
Not in this league. Not when a large chunk of the teams in this paragon of professional parity could make the same claim nearly every week. Especially this year.
The NFL has staged 32 games through two weeks. Twenty of them (62.5%) were one-score games in the fourth quarter. Ten were decided by three points or fewer. Three went into overtime.
In Week 2 alone, 11 of 16 games were one-score games in the fourth quarter. Seven were decided by three points or fewer.
The Vikings, of course, have two losses by four points total, including one in overtime. They've been beaten by two last-second field goals inside 40 yards – one the opponent made and one the Vikings missed.
Six games have been decided on the final play — five field-goal attempts and Derek Carr's overtime touchdown pass in the Raiders' Monday night upset of the Ravens in Week 1. Two other games were decided by field goals with 10 and 2 minutes remaining.
One game actually was decided after time had expired. On Thursday, Washington's Dustin Hopkins missed a 48-yard field goal. But Giants lineman Dexter Lawrence jumped offsides. Hopkins then made the 43-yard mulligan for the 30-29 victory.
The Cowboys' Greg Zuerlein has the longest walkoff field goal. His 56-yarder beat the Chargers in Los Angeles 20-17 and saved coach Mike McCarthy from being sized for a set of goat horns.
McCarthy had let more than 20 seconds tick off the clock before attempting the 56-yarder. He said the game clock he was looking at disappeared.
"I've never had a clock go off the board on me like that," he said.
A week earlier, Zuerlein had missed two field goals and a PAT. He did make a 48-yarder with 1:29 left. Then Tom Brady strolled down the field, setting up Ryan Succop's winning 36-yarder in the closing seconds.
That was how the NFL kicked things off in 2021. It set the tone for another season of games being decided by one or two plays.
There are seven 0-2 teams heading into Week 3. The Vikings are the best of those teams. But they're still 0-2, not almost 2-0.