Frazier preaches the basics of football

  • Updated: September 27, 2011 - 8:50 PM

Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier in the second quarter. Detroit beat Minnesota by a final score of 26 – 23 in overtime.

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune

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When it comes to sustaining second-half drives, Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said two things have to happen: The team needs to avoid third-and-long situations, and the team needs to avoid costly penalties.

Actually, the two go together. Consider the second half of the Vikings' loss to Detroit on Sunday. The team's first third-quarter possession ended on a third-and-5 incompletion. The Vikings also were called for an illegal shift on the play, but the Lions declined the penalty.

The Vikings' second third-quarter possession began with an illegal formation penalty that was declined after an incomplete pass and ended with a failed conversion on third-and-18. In the fourth quarter, the Vikings failed to convert on third-and-9 and third-and-14.

And then there was the unnecessary roughness penalty on Kenny Onatolu on a Lions punt with the score tied 23-23 late in regulation. Instead of having the ball at the Detroit 45 with 11 seconds left -- with the possibility of a quick, 10-yard gain setting up a field goal attempt of 52 yards -- the Vikings had to start at their 40.

"When you have an opportunity to make plays on offense, defense or special teams, make those plays," Frazier said. "Play smart football, don't do things that are going to hurt the team with costly penalties. ... That's Football 101."

Tickets still available

About 6,500 tickets are available for the Vikings' next home game, Oct. 9 vs. Arizona, according to Steve LaCroix, the team's vice president of sales and marketing.

KENT YOUNGBLOOD

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