Even in what generally become ugly games at the end of the preseason schedule, coaches still expect the backup players and those on the bubble to make the roster to play up to the level that would be expected of the starters.
With a six-point lead and the ball with 12:48 to play Thursday night, Seattle showed that its players were more ready for action than the Vikings — willing the turning point of the game in their favor.
The Vikings had a chance to put one long drive together to salt away a road victory, but they couldn't get it done. The offense went three-and-out and turned the game over to the defense. Seattle's backup quarterback, Seneca Wallace, completed four straight passes to get the Seahawks to the Vikings 20, and Minnesota caught a break when a 20-yard touchdown by Kerry Carter was called back. But enough damage had already been done that kicker Josh Brown was able to notch a 41-yard field goal to cut the Vikings lead to 21-20 with less than five minutes to play.
To win, the Vikings needed only two first downs to run out the clock, but the offense again went in and out without gaining a first down.
With 2:57 play, Wallace was back at work. He picked at the Vikings defense, which allowed players to run out of bounds on short pass plays to stop the clock and, once in field goal range from the 28-yard line, allowed Carter to break a 15-yard run up the middle to the Vikings 13-yard line. The Seahawks then laid on the ball and, as time ran out, Brown hit a 28-yard field goal to give the Seahawks a 23-21 win.
While only the history books will remember this game, the inability of the Vikings' third-team offense and defense to put away what should have been a victory may well lead to the last game for a dozen or more of those players. It created the turning point of the game, but it could creat the turning point of those players' lives.
Turning Point: Failed Fourth Quarter
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