Those are the breaks: Five miserable Vikings moments

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 6, 2011 - 12:34 AM

Five key moments that led to the Vikings' miserable first half:

1 McNABB IN, McKINNIE OUT

The Vikings traded for quarterback Donovan McNabb on July 28, wrongly surmising his veteran leadership and savvy could keep them in the playoff picture. Six days later, the release of Bryant McKinnie left the team vulnerable at left tackle. One veteran turned out to be way past his prime. The other is a key contributor on a Super Bowl contender. The Vikings came out on the wrong end.

2 MISERY REPEATED

Picking the one moment that doomed the Vikings in their Week 2 collapse against Tampa Bay is difficult. It takes a series of blunders to blow a 17-point halftime lead at home. But even as the Buccaneers pierced the Vikings defense on their final drive, coach Leslie Frazier was not proactive in stopping the collapse. With all three timeouts in his back pocket, Frazier allowed Tampa to use 3:41 on its final series with LeGarrette Blount's game-winning 4-yard touchdown run coming with just 35 seconds left. With so little time left, the Vikings never had a prayer of answering.

3 GOING, GOING, GONE

The decision to go for it on fourth-and-1 from the 17 early in the fourth quarter against Detroit was bad enough. A 35-yard field goal would have provided a 23-17 lead. But then, the call to give Toby Gerhart the ball instead of Adrian Peterson registered as doubly mystifying. Gerhart was stuffed for no gain. The Lions tied the score soon after and won 26-23 in overtime with the Vikings blowing a double-digit halftime lead for the third consecutive week. An 0-3 start never hurt so bad.

4 BUMBLING AND STUMBLING

The Vikings' game-losing play in Kansas City came with 13:51 left when Chiefs receiver Dwayne Bowe ran a simple hitch-and-go route. Cornerback Cedric Griffin slipped. And Bowe's 52-yard score gave Kansas City a 22-10 lead. Both teams were 0-3 at the time. The Chiefs, however, seized confidence and momentum from their first victory and haven't lost since.

5 BEAR-LY BREATHING

The lasting image from an embarrassing prime time loss in Chicago in Week 6 was of McNabb lying face down after taking a first-quarter safety. Immediately before, it was Marcus Sherels' fair catch at his own 5 that pinned the Vikings deep. Then, center John Sullivan whiffed on a block, Adrian Peterson was late compensating, and McNabb was sacked in the end zone. After that, the Vikings' confidence tank was empty. A 39-10 loss was labeled "humiliating" inside the locker room.

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Cincinnati - A. Simon 1:20 PM
Chicago Cubs - J. Samardzija
St. Louis - M. Wacha 6:05 PM
Washington - G. Gonzalez
Milwaukee - K. Lohse 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - C. Morton
Toronto - D. Hutchison 6:05 PM
Cleveland - J. Masterson
LA Angels - J. Weaver 6:08 PM
Detroit - D. Smyly
Atlanta - A. Harang 6:10 PM
NY Mets - J. Niese
Baltimore - C. Tillman 6:10 PM
Boston - J. Lackey
NY Yankees - H. Kuroda 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - E. Bedard
Seattle - C. Young 6:10 PM
Miami - N. Eovaldi
Chicago WSox - F. Paulino 7:05 PM
Texas - M. Perez
Minnesota - R. Nolasco 7:10 PM
Kansas City - J. Vargas
Philadelphia - J. Pettibone 7:40 PM
Colorado - T. Chatwood
Houston - J. Cosart 9:05 PM
Oakland - S. Gray
San Francisco - M. Cain 9:10 PM
San Diego - T. Ross
Arizona - W. Miley 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke
Montreal 6:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Detroit 6:30 PM
Boston
Dallas 9:00 PM
Anaheim
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2013 preseason     
Aug 9 - vs. Houston 7 pmX27-13
Aug 16 - at Buffalo 6 pmX20-16
Aug 25 - at San Francisco 7 pmX34-14
Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee 7 pmX24-23
2013 regular season     
Sep 8 - at Detroit NoonX34-24
Sep 15 - at Chicago NoonX31-30
Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland NoonX31-27
Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London) NoonX34-27
Oct 6 - Bye
Oct 13 - vs. Carolina NoonX35-10
Oct 21 - at. NY Giants 7:40 pmX23-7
Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay 7:30 pmX44-31
Nov 3 - at Dallas NoonX27-23
Nov 7 - vs. Washington 7:25 pmX34-27
Nov 17 - at Seattle 3:25 pmX41-20
Nov. 24 - at Green Bay Noon26-26
Dec 1 - vs. Chicago NoonX23-20
Dec 8 - at Baltimore NoonX29-26
Dec 15 - vs. Philadelphia NoonX48-30
Dec 22 - at Cincinnati NoonX42-14
Dec 29 - vs. Detroit NoonX14-13

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