Tice Blitzed And Embarrassed

Not surprisingly, the Vikings' fifth loss in six games didn't sit well with head coach Mike Tice. This time it was the coach who was embarrassed.

Vikings coach Mike Tice wasn't in a good mood on Monday, less than 24 hours after his team's 48-17 loss to St. Louis.

"I am embarrassed for the organization, for me, for ownership, for the fans, and for you the media that follows," Tice said. "We will do the best job that we can do to fix whatever area we can and have a great December."

Tice made one thing clear: The Vikings aren't going anywhere if they don't improve their pass protection against blitzes. The Rams went heavy on blitzes and came up with eight sacks, three turnovers and a 90-yard fumble return for a touchdown.

"Blocking hurts and you have to understand that as a player," Tice said. "When they are coming at you like they did [Sunday] you better [block] them. You better hold your ground and give people a chance to make plays. That is your J-O-B. Each guy has to do his J-O-B."

The Vikings (7-5) have lost five of their past six games, but still lead Green Bay (6-6) by one game going into Sunday's game against Seattle (8-4) at the Metrodome.

The Vikings' pass protection should improve at home. Blockers were bothered by the noise inside the Edward Jones Dome. Of the Vikings' 11 penalties, six were for false starts.

"If you can't win the battle of the line of scrimmage, you are not going to win a lot of games," Tice said. "You might not win any."

One of those at the line of scrimmage is center Matt Birk, who wasn't pleased the game either.

"When you lose by 30 points, it's embarrassing. When you lose by 30, you don't feel like a first-place team."

TUESDAY NOTES
* LB Chris Claiborne was inactive against the Rams because of a sore Achilles' tendon. Claiborne said Monday he would play this week against Seattle.
* TE Jim Kleinsasser suffered a hip flexor against the Rams, but isn't expected to miss any playing time.
* LB Raonall Smith was inactive for the eighth time in the past nine games because of a hamstring injury.
* WR D'Wayne Bates was inactive for the second consecutive week because of a hamstring injury. He has missed six games this season because of hamstring and foot injuries.
* QB Daunte Culpepper has 14 turnovers after committing two more against the Rams. He threw an interception and lost one of two fumbles. He now has eight interceptions and has lost six of 12 fumbles. He had 23 interceptions and lost nine of 24 fumbles in 2002.

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