Notebook: Vikings repeat mistakes, results

The Vikings had been trying to correct a few common themes in their first three losses, but they returned to contribute to their fourth straight defeat. The loss marred Jared Allen's return to the Chiefs, but he had several interesting marks attached to his name.

For three weeks, the Vikings have talked about their errors being correctable, their problems being because of execution and penalties, and even changing Donovan McNabb's mechanics in hopes that would help improve his accuracy. After their fourth game, many of those same issues remain.

Minnesota is now 0-4 after losing to a previously winless team, the Kansas City Chiefs, 22-17, in a game that featured many of the same mistakes they claimed were correctable. McNabb was, once again, inaccurate too often. Penalties, once again, hurt the Vikings' effectiveness on both offense and defense. And the missed tackles that were so prevalent in Week 1 returned.

The Vikings are who they have been during the first month of the season – a group that still maintains the talent to be effective but keeps making the same errors.

Primary among those mistakes are penalties. They entered the weekend as the second-most penalized team in the league with 27. On Sunday, the Vikings were assessed six penalties and had three more declined.

Once of the most costly was a facemask on a third-down sack by Everson Griffen on the Chiefs' first drive. It extended Kansas City's drive and allowed the Chiefs to kick a field goal and put the Vikings behind in the first half of a game this season.

"We've had some penalties that have hurt us throughout this year. The one with Everson was an aggressive play, reaching out trying to get a sack. Might happen," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. "It's something that we're harping on and trying to correct. We have to get it right because it has definitely hurt us throughout this season."

The Vikings actually overcame two penalties from their offensive tackles on their first drive of the game – a false start by Charlie Johnson and a holding penalty by Phil Loadholt – and still gained first downs after those.

Whether it was a flaw in mechanics, not strong enough blocking in front of him or just good defensive plays, McNabb had two straight passes batted at the line of scrimmage in the Vikings' final drive, when they were trying to drive for the go-ahead touchdown. That left McNabb facing third-and-10, and another pressure from Tamba Hali and, on fourth down, an overthrow to Visanthe Shiancoe.

"They did a great job in that last series of getting their hands up and knocking the balls down twice, which put us in a tough position," McNabb said.

But even the quarterback who shows little emotion during press conferences at least admitted that it's the same theme weekly.

"It's frustrating to the point where we have to go back and do the same thing we've been doing the last couple of week and try to find a solution and a solution soon. We have the players," McNabb said.

"Once this thing gets changed, a snowball effect happens and we'll be playing the way we expect to be playing."

ALLEN'S RETURN RUINED

The player that showed the most emotion in the locker room after last Sunday's loss was returning to the team that traded him away four years ago.

Jared Allen talked last week about how he appreciated getting away from former Chiefs general manager Carl Peterson. On Sunday, he continued his pass-rushing streak. He has 6.5 sacks on the season, second in the league behind Philadelphia's Jason Babin, and has at least one sack in each of his last six games dating back to last season.

Allen's first sack Sunday officially moved him past his Kansas City mark. He had 45 sacks as Chief and entered Sunday's game with 44.5 as a Viking. He now has 46.5 with Minnesota.

MORE NOTORIOUS HISTORY

The Vikings had already made NFL history by giving up consecutive halftime leads of 10 points or more, but the Detroit Lions helped keep Minnesota in the unflattering spotlight despite no halftime lead for the Vikings on Sunday.

Detroit became the first team to record consecutive victories after trailing by 20 points or more. The Lions beat Dallas 34-30 after trailing by 24 points in the second half, and that followed their win in Minnesota when the Lions washed out a 20-0 halftime deficit to the Vikings in Week 3 with a 26-23 overtime win.

Lions receiver Calvin Johnson also tied former Viking Cris Carter's record from 1995 with two touchdown catches in four consecutive games.

The Lions are 4-0 for the first time since 1980 and are only the fifth team in NFL history to start a season 4-0 after a 0-4 start the previous year.

IT'S HIS LINE

Former Minnesota Gophers coach Tim Brewster was the sideline "reporter" for the Vikings-Chiefs game, but was actually more analyst/pep talker than anything.

He used the phrase, "Are you hungry or are you starving?" before the game in describing the urgency for two 0-3 teams, sounding like he was back talking to his college players. Apparently that was a catch phrase for him, as he returned to that exact line during his halftime assessment.


Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.



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On Sunday, the Vikings were assessed six penalties and had three more declined. Once of the most costly was a facemask on a third-down sack by Everson Griffen on the Chiefs' first drive. It extended Kansas City's drive and allowed the Chiefs to kick a field goal and put the Vikings behind in the first half of a game this season. \"We've had some penalties that have hurt us throughout this year. The one with Everson was an aggressive play, reaching out trying to get a sack. Might happen,\" Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. \"It's something that we're harping on and trying to correct. We have to get it right because it has definitely hurt us throughout this season.\" The Vikings actually overcame two penalties from their offensive tackles on their first drive of the game – a false start by Charlie Johnson and a holding penalty by Phil Loadholt – and still gained first downs after those. Whether it was a flaw in mechanics, not strong enough blocking in front of him or just good defensive plays, McNabb had two straight passes batted at the line of scrimmage in the Vikings' final drive, when they were trying to drive for the go-ahead touchdown. That left McNabb facing third-and-10, and another pressure from Tamba Hali and, on fourth down, an overthrow to Visanthe Shiancoe. \"They did a great job in that last series of getting their hands up and knocking the balls down twice, which put us in a tough position,\" McNabb said. But even the quarterback who shows little emotion during press conferences at least admitted that it's the same theme weekly. \"It's frustrating to the point where we have to go back and do the same thing we've been doing the last couple of week and try to find a solution and a solution soon. We have the players,\" McNabb said. \"Once this thing gets changed, a snowball effect happens and we'll be playing the way we expect to be playing.\" The player that showed the most emotion in the locker room after last Sunday's loss was returning to the team that traded him away four years ago. Jared Allen talked last week about how he appreciated getting away from former Chiefs general manager Carl Peterson. On Sunday, he continued his pass-rushing streak. He has 6.5 sacks on the season, second in the league behind Philadelphia's Jason Babin, and has at least one sack in each of his last six games dating back to last season. Allen's first sack Sunday officially moved him past his Kansas City mark. He had 45 sacks as Chief and entered Sunday's game with 44.5 as a Viking. He now has 46.5 with Minnesota. The Vikings had already made NFL history by giving up consecutive halftime leads of 10 points or more, but the Detroit Lions helped keep Minnesota in the unflattering spotlight despite no halftime lead for the Vikings on Sunday. Detroit became the first team to record consecutive victories after trailing by 20 points or more. The Lions beat Dallas 34-30 after trailing by 24 points in the second half, and that followed their win in Minnesota when the Lions washed out a 20-0 halftime deficit to the Vikings in Week 3 with a 26-23 overtime win. Lions receiver Calvin Johnson also tied former Viking Cris Carter's record from 1995 with two touchdown catches in four consecutive games. The Lions are 4-0 for the first time since 1980 and are only the fifth team in NFL history to start a season 4-0 after a 0-4 start the previous year. Former Minnesota Gophers coach Tim Brewster was the sideline \"reporter\" for the Vikings-Chiefs game, but was actually more analyst/pep talker than anything. He used the phrase, \"Are you hungry or are you starving?\" before the game in describing the urgency for two 0-3 teams, sounding like he was back talking to his college players. Apparently that was a catch phrase for him, as he returned to that exact line during his halftime assessment. 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