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.
|St. Louis - LP: T. Lyons||5||FINAL|
|Boston - WP: J. Lackey||10|
|Chicago Cubs||0||Bottom 1st Inning|
|San Francisco||2||Bottom 2nd Inning|
|Colorado||0||Top 3rd Inning|
|LA Angels||0||Bottom 2nd Inning|
|Chicago WSox||0||Bottom 2nd Inning|
|Cleveland||0||Bottom 2nd Inning|
|Oklahoma City||7:00 PM|
|LA Clippers||9:30 PM|
|Holy Cross||6:00 PM|
|Aug 9 - vs. Houston||7 pm||X||27-13|
|Aug 16 - at Buffalo||6 pm||X||20-16|
|Aug 25 - at San Francisco||7 pm||X||34-14|
|Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee||7 pm||X||24-23|
|2013 regular season|
|Sep 8 - at Detroit||Noon||X||34-24|
|Sep 15 - at Chicago||Noon||X||31-30|
|Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland||Noon||X||31-27|
|Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London)||Noon||X||34-27|
|Oct 6 - Bye|
|Oct 13 - vs. Carolina||Noon||X||35-10|
|Oct 21 - at. NY Giants||7:40 pm||X||23-7|
|Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay||7:30 pm||X||44-31|
|Nov 3 - at Dallas||Noon||X||27-23|
|Nov 7 - vs. Washington||7:25 pm||X||34-27|
|Nov 17 - at Seattle||3:25 pm||X||41-20|
|Nov. 24 - at Green Bay||Noon||26-26|
|Dec 1 - vs. Chicago||Noon||X||23-20|
|Dec 8 - at Baltimore||Noon||X||29-26|
|Dec 15 - vs. Philadelphia||Noon||X||48-30|
|Dec 22 - at Cincinnati||Noon||X||42-14|
|Dec 29 - vs. Detroit||Noon||X||14-13|