Hartman: Blown lead further dims Vikings' season

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 25, 2013 - 6:05 AM

Vikings could have made a move with Chicago and Detroit losing, but a 16-point lead vs. Packers didn’t last.

Packers quarterback Matt Flynn was pressured by Vikings defensive end Brian Robison (behind) in the fourth quarter.

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune

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Leslie Frazier wasn’t completely out of his mind the other day when the coach said the Vikings could still finish 8-8 and make the playoffs if the team played its best football.

After all, a year ago, the Vikings won their final four games to earn a postseason spot.

So why would it be impossible to start against a beat-up Green Bay team Sunday and go on a six-game winning streak that would even the Vikings’ record and give them a chance to make the playoffs? Frazier talked about how there wasn’t any dominant team in the NFC North and the way things were going, anything could happen.

Some of the right things happened for the Vikings in the division Sunday. The Bears got walked over by the Rams 42-21 and the Lions lost to the Buccaneers 24-21, so they are both 6-5. The Packers were 5-5 going into Sunday’s game against the Vikings at Lambeau Field.

The Vikings still have home games with the Bears and the Lions and were in a position to help their own situation if they played like they did in the first three quarters at Green Bay. They led 23-7 early in the fourth quarter, but they blew the 16-point lead and wound up tying the Packers 26-26 in overtime.

Flynn steps in

Yes, it is hard to figure out the Vikings. They couldn’t stop quarterback Matt Flynn, who was traded by the Seahawks to the Raiders in April and released; picked up by the Bills in October and again released; and picked up by Green Bay in November. Flynn was looking for a job when Packers starter Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone earlier this month, otherwise he still would be unemployed.

Flynn, who previously backed up Rodgers with the Packers from 2008 to ’11, replaced Scott Tolzien midway through the third quarter and proceeded to complete 21 of 36 passes for 218 yards and one touchdown. He found a way to lead the wounded Packers to 16 fourth-quarter points to send the game into overtime and keep the Packers from defeat.

“[Flynn] gave them a spark,” Vikings defensive end Jared Allen said. “I think he knows the offense a little bit, obviously, and he is familiar with us. They went to their no-huddle hurry-up [offense], but penalties are what really killed us. I think we had a third-and-10 offsides and then a pass interference. We had two penalties that kept drives going.

“In the fourth quarter, that hurry-up got them into a rhythm and we shot ourselves in the foot with some penalties. We fought back, got it to overtime, and obviously ended with a tie.”

The Vikings would have had a much better shot at the playoffs had they not blown other big fourth-quarter leads, losing in the final 10 seconds to the Bears, with 51 seconds left to the lowly Browns and with 35 seconds remaining against Dallas. The Vikings are 2-8-1, with three losses more than the division-leading Bears and Lions.

Seattle made the playoffs in 2010 with a 7-9 record, winning the NFC West and becoming the only team with a losing record to make the playoffs in a regular-length season. So it’s not impossible, but it is unlikely.

Respects Badgers

In losing 20-7 to Wisconsin at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday, Gophers football coach Jerry Kill described the Badgers as the best team the maroon and gold has played this year.

“No disrespect to anyone else, but they’re that good,” Kill said. “I really believe in the next week or two, you’ll see them in the top 10 in the country. They’re playing very well at the right time, we’re playing very well.”

After studying video of the game, Kill said: “We played hard and we did some great things, but at the end of the day, as I go back over and over, the second quarter was a big quarter that we didn’t take advantage of. We had the ball inside the 50-yard line and we turned the ball over.”

Kill also talked about having the ball inside the Badgers 35 and turning it over.

“We had three turnovers, and that’s three possessions where you could get 80 to 100 yards,” he said “And in a game like that, you’ve got to be able to have that. Because the momentum shifted there in the second quarter. And then you’re down, they come out and score, you’re down two scores, and then you press a little bit.”

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Houston 16 4th Qtr 11:47
Pittsburgh 24
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 98 FINAL
Cleveland 107
New Orleans 88 FINAL
Washington 84
Milwaukee 120 FINAL
New York 107
Philadelphia 88 FINAL
Brooklyn 99
Charlotte 114 FINAL
Atlanta 117
Sacramento 93 4th Qtr 2:57
San Antonio 97
Memphis 99 4th Qtr 1:40
Dallas 106
Tampa Bay 1 2nd Prd 6:17
Edmonton 1
Arkansas State 10/21/14 7:00 PM
Louisiana
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
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(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
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(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
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UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
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TX-San Antonio
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Colorado State
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(21) Clemson
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ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
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Tennessee
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(5) Auburn
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Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Ottawa 6 FINAL
Hamilton 16
Montreal 20 FINAL
Toronto 12
Calgary 33 FINAL
Winnipeg 23
Edmonton 24 FINAL
Saskatchewan 19
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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