Shoulda, coulda, woulda for Vikings after loss to Bears

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 17, 2013 - 6:35 AM

The coaches and players put on a united front a day after late-game confusion led to a disheartening defeat and left the team 0-2.

 

The raw emotions of a stinging last-minute defeat subsided Monday as the Vikings attempted to put their defensive collapse and any friction over coaches’ play calls behind them.

Leslie Frazier accepted blame again for not being more assertive on the Chicago Bears’ game-winning touchdown drive, but the Vikings coach also noted that his team’s execution faltered at that critical moment.

A number of Vikings defensive players were angry over play calls and some confusion on the final drive in Sunday’s 31-30 loss at Soldier Field, but a day later, veteran leaders projected a unified tone.

“We lost the game and we’re all in this together so we lost together,” defensive end Brian Robison said.

Said linebacker Chad Greenway: “The mantra in here has to be move on, move past. Obviously we understand in every game there’s things that happen that can be explained within our room and has to stay within that room.”

Frazier’s explanation over his role in the frenetic final drive lacked specifics, but he reiterated that he wishes he had managed the situation better.

“I kind of kicked myself on that,” he said. “That was an opportunity for me to interject and to maybe help in a way, like I do with our offense, like I do with our special teams. I just have to do some things better from my standpoint in those situations.”

Asked if that meant him taking play-calling duties from defensive coordinator Alan Williams in that situation, Frazier said, “No, not at all.”

Frazier acknowledged he probably should have used a timeout in the final sequence, presumably to make sure his players understood the plan and their assignments.

“We kind of got away from some things that we would ordinarily do in that situation,” he said. “But that’s nothing to do with our coaches. That’s more to do with me because that’s something that if it’s our offense, if it’s our special teams, I’m on the headsets and I’m saying, ‘Let’s do this, let’s do that, whatever,’ and I could have helped with some strategy there.”

The defense appeared to have miscommunication on two of the final four plays. The first came on first-and-20 with 43 seconds left. Tight end Martellus Bennett lined up in the slot on the right side. At the snap, he cut across the field in front of middle linebacker Erin Henderson, who bumped Bennett but held his position, clearly expecting help from a teammate on that side of the field.

Except no one was there, leaving Bennett all alone for an easy catch and 23-yard gain to the Vikings 16-yard line.

Three plays later, the Vikings showed more confusion against Chicago’s four-wide set. Cornerback Chris Cook motioned for help from safety Harrison Smith before the snap. Cook drifted slightly toward Earl Bennett on the inside route before breaking on Martellus Bennett on the outside. That gave Bears quarterback Jay Cutler enough opening to hit Martellus Bennett for a 16-yard touchdown pass with 10 seconds remaining.

Cook, who declined to speak to reporters after the game, said Monday that he should have made the play regardless of the confusion.

“We were just a little bit off,” he said. “It was a play that I could have made, should have made. I’ve made it before.”

Henderson said in the postgame locker room that he was surprised by the play call, but Frazier and several players noted on Monday that Williams used that same call earlier in the game.

“It’s the same call, we just didn’t execute it as well and it cost us,” Frazier said. “It’s something we worked on, it’s something that we executed well in the first half, but we didn’t get it executed there.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Baltimore 2 FINAL
Detroit 15
NY Yankees 5 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Northeastern 1 FINAL
Boston 2
Miami-Fla 1 FINAL
Miami 7
Pittsburgh 8 FINAL
Toronto 7
San Francisco 4 FINAL
Oakland 9
Cleveland 0 FINAL
Cincinnati 10
Boston College 0 FINAL
Boston 1
Arizona State 0 FINAL
Arizona 4
Boston 36 3rd Qtr
Cleveland 61
LA Lakers 50 3rd Qtr
Charlotte 50
Sacramento 61 2nd Qtr 1:54
New York 33
Houston 42 2nd Qtr 8:24
Atlanta 32
Utah 2 1st Qtr 9:14
Memphis 2
Washington 2 1st Qtr 8:47
Chicago 7
Milwaukee 8:00 PM
Denver
Nashville 1 2nd Prd 11:20
New Jersey 2
Calgary 2 2nd Prd 12:53
Philadelphia 0
Washington 3 2nd Prd 14:25
Columbus 1
Buffalo 0 1st Prd 1:11
Tampa Bay 1
Toronto 0 1st Prd 3:51
Florida 0
Ottawa 0 1st Prd 16:11
Minnesota 0
NY Islanders 7:30 PM
Dallas
Anaheim 8:00 PM
Arizona
Los Angeles 8:30 PM
Edmonton
San Jose 9:00 PM
Vancouver
Ole Miss 36 2nd Half 15:32
Alabama 40
Eastern Mich 37 2nd Half 16:52
Ball State 29
Kent State 47 2nd Half 17:45
Bowling Green 41
Ohio 35 2nd Half 17:36
Buffalo 51
Georgetown 34 2nd Half 15:25
Butler 30
Toledo 44 2nd Half 14:55
Central Mich 50
Rhode Island 30 2nd Half 17:35
Dayton 40
Youngstown St 41 2nd Half 17:04
Detroit 37
North Carolina 49 2nd Half 12:54
Georgia Tech 27
Loyola-Maryland 20 2nd Half 17:26
Holy Cross 38
Iowa 32 2nd Half 19:29
Indiana 28
Akron 33 2nd Half 15:28
Miami-Ohio 26
Army 29 2nd Half 16:42
Navy 31
Maryland 41 2nd Half 15:24
Rutgers 30
Kennesaw St 19 2nd Half 18:48
USC Upstate 47
Jacksonville 36 2nd Half 17:50
Fla Gulf Coast 45
Lipscomb 37 2nd Half 17:53
Northern Ky 38
Stetson 28 1st Half 1:42
North Florida 41
Wright State 6 1st Half 15:52
Ill-Chicago 4
Western Mich 11 1st Half 15:21
Northern Ill 9
Nebraska Omaha 14 1st Half 15:59
North Dakota 7
Houston Baptist 2 1st Half 15:58
Abilene Christian 9
NC State 8:00 PM
Clemson
Texas A&M 8:00 PM
Florida
Kentucky 8:00 PM
Georgia
West Virginia 8:00 PM
Kansas
Auburn 8:00 PM
Missouri
Michigan 8:00 PM
Northwestern
Villanova 8:15 PM
Creighton
Longwood 55 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 63
Charleston Southern 39 FINAL
Presbyterian 47
Coastal Carolina 54 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 68
NJIT 30 2nd Half 13:00
UMass Lowell 43
West Virginia 6 1st Half 16:10
Kansas State 4
TCU 4 1st Half 15:00
Texas 8
Fresno State 8:00 PM
Air Force
San Jose St 8:00 PM
Boise State
Nevada 8:00 PM
Colorado State
UNLV 8:00 PM
San Diego State
Wyoming 8:00 PM
Utah State

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Wild finish out the season?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close