Sid Hartman has been a major voice on the Minnesota sports scene for several decades. He writes a column four days a week, and has a weekly radio program on WCCO830 at 9:30 a.m. Sundays. He also can be heard at 7:40, 8:40 and 9:20 a.m. on weekdays.

Blowing leads hurts Vikings again

Posted by: Sid Hartman under Vikings off the field Updated: December 8, 2013 - 6:26 PM

I thought the Vikings had hit the all-time high for blowing leads in losing in the last minutes to the Bears, the Browns and the Cowboys, and letting the Packers tie them late.

Sunday’s game at Baltimore was probably harder to take than the others because the Vikings scored two touchdowns in the final minutes, taking the lead both times.  But a very questionable interference call helped the Ravens pull a miracle and win the game in the final seconds, 29-25.

The Vikings' record today is 3-9-1. With a decent defense they could be 8-5, with a good chance to win the NFC North and make the playoffs.

Personally, I think coach Leslie Frazier will return for his final year of his contract next year and won’t become one of three coaches fired by the Wilfs in eight years.

Rest assured, however, there will be some changes in the defensive staff, with both coaches and players.

If you are looking for something positive about today’s game it was the performance of Cordarrelle Patterson, who had 141 receiving yards and also had a great day returning kicks. He has proven to be worth the player he replaced, Percy Harvin.  And the player the Vikings got in the draft with Seattle’s pick, obtained in the Harvin deal, has also been very good – that’s cornerback Xavier Rhodes.

In fact, a lot of people think Harvin’s hip injury is worse than he claims.

And if you want my opinion of the quarterback position, you couldn’t judge Matt Cassel today with the snowy field and wet weather, but I thought he did a decent job considering the handicap he was under.

And the loss means the Vikings will get a higher draft choice.  They have three games left – Philadelphia and Detroit here, and Cincinnati on the road.  They should be the Eagles, but the other two games will be tough ones.

The team has 13 free agents and a lot of holes to fill.

Rob Brzezinski, who negotiates the contracts for the Vikings, has a real challenge if he wants to keep players like Jared Allen, Everson Griffen and Toby Gerhart here.  Today’s game showed how valuable Gerhart can be when Adrian Peterson gets injured, which is likely to happen more as Peterson gets older. Gerhart will probably get a chance to improve his market value in the next three games, too, as Peterson might not play.

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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 NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

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