Three plays that cost Minnesota
Most games are won or lost on a handful of plays. Sunday, there were three plays that ultimately led to the Minnesota Vikings' 13-10 defeat at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs. The first was a blown call that was upheld after review; the second was an overthrown pass intended for receiver Robert Ferguson, who was wide open in the end zone; the third was a sack taken by Vikings quarterback Kelly Holcomb with 25 seconds remaining in the first half. That particular sack took Minnesota out of field goal range.
Early in the second quarter, already up 7-0, Minnesota ran a halfback pass on second-and-goal from the Chiefs' 8-yard line. Reserve running back Mewelde Moore took the handoff, faked the stretch play to the right and floated a pass to tight end Visanthe Shiancoe, who was open in the end zone. Shiancoe made a diving catch, but the play was ruled incomplete on the field. Vikings coach Brad Childress challenged the call; somehow, though -- to the chagrin of Minnesota and its fans -- the ruling on the field stood, despite seemingly irrefutable evidence that it was in fact a reception.
Instead of taking a 14-0 lead, Minnesota was forced to settle for a 22-yard field goal.
Later in the second quarter, leading 10-3, the Vikings mounted another drive. After pushing into Kansas City territory, it looked as though Minnesota would score again before the half. With 34 seconds left in the second quarter, wide receiver Ferguson got behind the defense and was left open in the end zone, but Holcomb overthrew him.
"When it left my hand, I thought it was good. That's one of those plays you've got to make," said Holcomb.
Then, on the next play, things would get worse. Holcomb was sacked by Chiefs defensive end Jared Allen for a 10-yard loss, effectively placing the Vikings out of kicker Ryan Longwell's range.
Those three plays epitomize the Vikings' offense in a nutshell, but in different ways. The blown call was just another example of how the Vikings can't catch a break -- even when they catch the ball.
Another overthrown ball to a wide-open receiver down the field showed the poor quarterback play that has characterized Minnesota over the past year.
And finally, the sack took the Vikings out of field goal range, which is typical of the recent Vikings teams.
Had any one of the three key plays gone in Minnesota's favor, it would be in good shape with a 2-1 record instead of being in a 1-2 hole.