2015 DRAFT GUIDE
Vikings trying to regain winning touch

By DAVE CAMPBELL - AP Pro Football Writer
    2013-09-16 17:49

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) - The winless Minnesota Vikings, fresh from their second defeat, are facing plenty of pending problems that must be fixed if they're going to return to the playoffs.

The day after losing on a last-second touchdown pass in Chicago, though, the focus was inevitably still hovering around that final sequence and what could've been done to prevent the collapse.

Their performance in the 31-30 loss to the Bears on Sunday was better overall than the opening defeat in Detroit, but there's no consolation for that in the NFL.

``We're a resilient group. We've got a lot of veteran guys in here, and we've just got to keep trucking, man,'' cornerback Chris Cook said.

``It's a long season. Fourteen games left. You know? It can be all uphill from now. It can all go downhill. I'm definitely, definitely, sure that we're going to go uphill from here.''

Last season, the Vikings went 5-1 in games decided by seven points or fewer. The grit was clearly there on the rainy afternoon in Chicago, but the late-game touch was missing.

Jay Cutler led the Bears to the go-ahead score, going 66 yards in 10 plays and 3 minutes, 5 seconds, using up all but the 10 seconds that were left. He completed four passes of 10-plus yards on that march.

After forcing two fumbles, two interceptions, two punts and one field goal over the seven previous possessions from the second quarter on, the Vikings defense watched all that good work go to waste.

And coach Leslie Frazier was still trying to take the blame for it, mentioning at least a half-dozen times during his 20-minute news conference on Monday that he should've interjected with a different scheme before two of those four significant passes.

``I could've helped with some strategy there,'' Frazier said.

He declined to specify for competitive reasons. He also said he didn't need to take over the play calling from defensive coordinator Alan Williams.

``Alan and our defensive staff, they've done a very good job. They did a good job a season ago and they're doing a good job now,'' Frazier said.

Up next is their first game at home, against also-winless Cleveland. The Vikings, in 2008, are actually the last NFL team to make the playoffs after losing their first two games of the season.

``It's nice to know you're the last team to do that,'' linebacker Chad Greenway said. ``But you can't look ahead and say we're just going to do it or the past is going to repeat itself. You have to put the work in and make the plays on Sunday.

``We're doing the right things during the week. Now, on Sunday when it comes down to crunch time, make the plays when they come to you.''

Confusion in the back seven of the defense was apparent on the two plays in particular Frazier wanted to take the blame for, and both of them went to tight end Martellus Bennett.

The first one netted 23 yards on an underneath pattern on first-and-20 from the 39. Then the winner came on a sideline route when Cutler put the ball over Cook and into Bennett's hands near the pylon.

``A few guys were off. And when guys are off, other guys try to cover it to help them out, and things happen. It's football, man. It's a fast game,'' Cook said, adding: ``Those guys on offense get paid, too, and they practice against the same looks that we give `em. They just made plays in the game when it counted, and we didn't.''

The offense can't be ignored, either.

Christian Ponder had a productive second half, but he threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown before that.

Adrian Peterson finished with 100 yards rushing, but some of his ball-carrying decisions, Frazier said, could have been better.

The decision by offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave to run Peterson on third-and-goal at the 4-yard line stood out, too, because the Vikings had to settle for the field goal that stretched the lead to 30-24 with 3:17 remaining.

Rookie wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, who returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, was on the field for only six plays on offense. He took five snaps the week before.

That, too, prompted a promise from the coach to insert his opinion in the strategic process.

``We're well aware of his talents. He doesn't get lost. But we'll get it rectified,'' Frazier said.

---

AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org

---

Dave Campbell on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/DaveCampbellAP

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Carlos HydeJul 29 11:13a

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde is not believed to be injured and shouldn't be on the non-football injury list for long. Hyde suffered a calf injury during spring [ More ]

Tom BradyJul 29 09:23a

Updating previous reports, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady posted on Facebook that he replaced his broken phone with a new one after his attorneys told the NFL 'my [ More ]

Tom BradyJul 29 01:53a

Updating a previous report, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady could have had his suspended reduced based on a series of conditions. According to a source with knowledge of [ More ]

Eric BerryJul 29 01:43a

Kansas City Chiefs SS Eric Berry (illness) has been cleared to take the practice field with the team Wednesday, July 29. He was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in December [ More ]

Geno SmithJul 28 08:03p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith could be benched if he struggles early in the season, according to head coach Todd Bowles Tuesday, July 28. 'If you feel that [ More ]

Ryan WilliamsJul 28 05:53p

Dallas Cowboys RB Ryan Williams (knee) was placed on Reserve/Injured Tuesday, July 28.

Brodrick BunkleyJul 28 05:43p

New Orleans Saints DT Brodrick Bunkley (undisclosed) was released with a failed physical designation Tuesday, July 28.

James WrightJul 28 05:33p

Cincinnati Bengals WR James Wright (knee) was waived with an injured designation Tuesday, July 28.

Darrin ReavesJul 28 05:33p

Carolina Panthers RB Darrin Reaves was waived Tuesday, July 28.

Tom BradyJul 28 05:13p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady is facing a four-game suspension, but the Patriots have done fairly well without him. In games Brady has missed since he became a [ More ]

Tom BradyJul 28 04:53p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has given permission to the NFL Players Association to appeal his case in federal court, according to a source. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell [ More ]

Lamar MillerJul 28 03:43p

Miami Dolphins RB Lamar Miller may see an increase in carries in 2015, according to head coach Joe Philbin. 'If he's cranking and he got it 24 times a [ More ]

Le'Veon BellJul 28 03:03p

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell's original three-game suspension has been reduced to a two-game suspension Tuesday, July 28.

Tom BradyJul 28 02:53p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's four-game suspension has been upheld by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell Tuesday, July 28.

Victor CruzJul 28 02:23p

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) is supposedly faster now than he was before he tore his patellar tendon last season, according to teammate CB Prince Amukamara. Amukamara [ More ]

Ryan WilliamsJul 28 11:53a

Dallas Cowboys RB Ryan Williams (knee) was waived/injured Tuesday, July 28.

Josh FreemanJul 28 10:43a

Free-agent QB Josh Freeman (Dolphins) was re-signed by the Miami Dolphins Tuesday, July 28, according to his agent, Ron Freeman.

Tom BradyJul 28 10:13a

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady is expected to have his four-game suspension upheld, a source told ESPN's Stephen A. Smith. Smith said on 'ESPN First Take' Tuesday, July [ More ]

Chris CooleyJul 27 10:42p

Free-agent TE Chris Cooley (Redskins) is still considering a comeback, although he said Monday, July 27, in a radio interview that he does not anticipate a team signing him [ More ]

Josh McCownJul 27 10:32p

Cleveland Browns QB Josh McCown enters training camp as the team's starting signal caller, but head coach Mike Pettine said Monday, July 27, that McCown is not guaranteed of [ More ]

Markus WheatonJul 27 07:12p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Markus Wheaton is believed to have performed the best among the wide receivers during offseason workouts.

Brandon LaFellJul 27 05:22p

New England Patriots WR Brandon LaFell (foot) was placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list Monday, July 27.

Jadeveon ClowneyJul 27 05:12p

Houston Texans LB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) was placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list Monday, July 27.

Kevin BrockJul 27 05:02p

Free-agent TE Kevin Brock (Bengals) signed with the New Orleans Saints Monday, July 27.

Matthew TuckerJul 27 05:02p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Matthew Tucker (undisclosed) was waived from the Non-Football Injury list Monday, July 27.

Da'Quan BowersJul 27 04:52p

Free-agent DE Da'Quan Bowers (Buccaneers) signed an undisclosed deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Monday, July 27.

Jonathan MartinJul 27 03:02p

Carolina Panthers OT Jonathan Martin (back) has chosen to retire. Martin will need surgery on his injured back.

Tom BradyJul 27 02:02p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's appeal of his four-game suspension still has not been announced, and the NFL is now open to talking with the NFL Players Association [ More ]

Doug MartinJul 27 12:02p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin could be in line for a big, bounce-back year, in the opinion of beat writer Roy Cummings.

Casey MatthewsJul 27 09:12a

Minnesota Vikings LB Casey Matthews (hip) was placed on season-ending Injured Reserve due to a hip injury Sunday, July 26.

Casey MatthewsJul 26 02:52p

Minnesota Vikings LB Casey Matthews (hip) has been placed on injured reserve due to a hip injury that occurred during the team's offseason program.

Blair WalshJul 26 02:32p

Minnesota Vikings PK Blair Walsh signed a four-year contract extension Sunday, July 26, worth $14 million. The deal includes $5.25 million in guaranteed money.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group