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

Kirk CousinsAug 31 09:32a

Washington Redskins QB Kirk Cousins was named the starting quarterback Monday, Aug. 31, over QB Robert Griffin III, according to a source.

Ryan BroylesAug 31 09:12a

Detroit Lions WR Ryan Broyles was cut Monday, Aug. 31.

Gerell RobinsonAug 31 08:52a

Miami Dolphins WR LaRon Byrd, WR Kevin Cone, WR Tyler McDonald and TE Gerell Robinson were waived Sunday, Aug. 30.

Kevin ConeAug 31 08:52a

Miami Dolphins WR LaRon Byrd, WR Kevin Cone, WR Tyler McDonald and TE Gerell Robinson were waived Sunday, Aug. 30.

LaRon ByrdAug 31 08:52a

Miami Dolphins WR LaRon Byrd, WR Kevin Cone, WR Tyler McDonald and TE Gerell Robinson were waived Sunday, Aug. 30.

David PaulsonAug 31 08:42a

San Diego Chargers TE David Paulson, QB Chase Rettig, TE Logan Stokes, WR Titus Davis and RB Jahwan Edwards were waived Sunday, Aug. 30.

Daniel ThomasAug 31 08:32a

Chicago Bears RB Daniel Thomas, TE Kevin Greene, WR Jeremy Kelley, WR Levi Norwood and TE Chris Pantale were cut Sunday, Aug. 30. WR John Chiles (undisclosed) was waived/injured.

Menelik WatsonAug 31 08:22a

Oakland Raiders OT Menelik Watson (Achilles') said on Twitter that he is out for the season with a ruptured Achilles.

Vaughn MartinAug 31 05:22a

Kansas City Chiefs CB Aaron Hester was among 11 players cut by the team on the weekend of Aug. 30-31. Other players included WR Kenny Cook, T Anthony Dima, [ More ]

Amari CooperAug 31 12:02a

Oakland Raiders WR Amari Cooper had four catches for 62 yards in a preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals Sunday, Aug. 30.

Brandon BostickAug 30 11:42p

The Minnesota Vikings cut TE Brandon Bostick Sunday, Aug. 30.

Joe BanyardAug 30 11:42p

The Minnesota Vikings cut RB Joe Banyard Sunday, Aug. 30.

Tim JenningsAug 30 07:22p

The Chicago Bears have released CB Tim Jennings Sunday, Aug. 30, according to a source informed of the team's plans.

Randall CobbAug 30 04:42p

Updating a previous report, Green Bay Packers WR Randall Cobb (shoulder) has been diagnosed with an AC joint sprain, after undergoing further tests Sunday, Aug. 30, according to a [ More ]

Tandon DossAug 30 02:32p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Tandon Doss, TE Connor Hamlett and QB Jeff Tuel were waived Sunday, Aug. 30. The team also waived/injured WR Greg Jenkins (undisclosed).

Jeff TuelAug 30 02:32p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Tandon Doss, TE Connor Hamlett and QB Jeff Tuel were waived Sunday, Aug. 30. The team also waived/injured WR Greg Jenkins (undisclosed).

Saalim HakimAug 30 01:52p

New York Jets WR Saalim Hakim, WR Austin Hill, WR Jonathon Rumph and TE Matt LaCosse were released Sunday, Aug. 30.

Sam BradfordAug 30 10:12a

Philadelphia Eagles QB Sam Bradford completed all 10 of his passes for 121 yards and three touchdowns during the preseason game against the Green Bay Packers Saturday, Aug. 29. [ More ]

Joique BellAug 30 10:02a

Detroit Lions RB Joique Bell (knee, Achilles') has ramped up his return-to-play workouts in recent weeks and said he is 'getting close.' Head coach Jim Caldwell said Bell looks [ More ]

Denard RobinsonAug 29 02:12p

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Denard Robinson might be the Jaguars' starting running back to start the season, according to Mike DiRocco of ESPN.com.

Stevie BrownAug 29 01:22p

Houston Texans SS Stevie Brown was released Saturday, Aug. 29.

Andre BranchAug 29 12:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars DE Andre Branch (knee) has been diagnosed with a sprained medial collateral ligament and will miss significant time.

James DevelinAug 29 10:12a

Updating a previous report, New England Patriots FB James Develin (leg) suffered a broken tibia during the third preseason game Friday, Aug. 28, according to a source. It is [ More ]

Matthew StaffordAug 29 09:52a

Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford completed 11-for-15 passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns during the preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars Friday, Aug. 28.

Blake BortlesAug 29 12:12a

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles completed 20 of 29 passes for 245 yards and a touchdown and ran for 35 yards in a 22-17 loss to the Detroit Lions [ More ]

Alex SmithAug 29 12:02a

Kansas City Chiefs QB Alex Smith went 16 of 18 passing for 171 yards and two touchdowns in a 34-10 win over the Tennessee Titans in the preseason Friday, Aug. 28.

Darren McFaddenAug 28 10:12p

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle will share reps with RB Darren McFadden and RB Lance Dunbar because the Cowboys 'intend to take a committee approach,' according to Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Bishop SankeyAug 28 01:22p

Updating previous reports, Tennessee Titans RB Bishop Sankey has impressed his coaches with improvement this preseason. 'I think Bishop made significant improvement last week in practices as far as [ More ]

Jake BequetteAug 28 08:52a

New England Patriots TE/DE Jake Bequette (undisclosed) was waived/injured Thursday, Aug. 27.

Miles AustinAug 28 08:32a

Philadelphia Eagles WR Miles Austin hasn't stood out, or received many chances to stand out, thus in training camp. His role is undetermined as he could start on the [ More ]

Nelson AgholorAug 27 10:22p

Philadelphia Eagles WR Nelson Agholor should be the 'second-most productive receiver on the team when the season ends,' according to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Ryan MallettAug 27 07:52p

Updating a previous report, Houston Texans QB Ryan Mallett missed practice Thursday, Aug. 27, because he overslept. Mallett was present for meetings later on, however. He will also be at practice Friday, Aug. 28.

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