This game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Philadelphia Eagles should have gone into overtime. While the Vikings were en route to losing 27-16, they left 11 easy points out on the field.
The Vikings made their mistakes and the officials made others, adding even more opportunity for the Vikings to reverse their loss. The officials missed a call on a touchdown that Terrell Owens did not catch and earlier made a very questionable pass interference call on Antoine Winfield when the Vikings had stopped the Eagles. But the Vikings' own missed opportunities were the ones that hurt them the most.
The top three teams in the National Football League are the New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles and the Minnesota Vikings. I know that when you play a good football team — obviously the Eagles are very good, having played in the last three NFC Championship games — on the road you must take advantage of every opportunity given to you in many different situations. These Vikings had many missed opportunities, especially in the red zone (they could change it right now and call it the dead zone because the Vikings sure seemed to be snakebit once they were inside the 20).
The Vikings offense had the ball almost twice as much as the Eagles, and the Vikings defense only made the Eagles punt once. But despite a productive offense led by Daunte Culpepper, the Vikings missed probably the easiest 11 points they will see on the road. If Culpepper goes into the end zone instead of fumbling on the quarter-inch line (or was it the eighth- or sixteenth-inch line), they would have had their first touchdown instead of fumbling the ball away and leaving seven points off the Vikings' score. On their next drive, Culpepper scampered in for a 12-yard touchdown, but All-Pro center Matt Birk was called for holding. So instead of that touchdown, the Vikings settled for a 39-yard field goal by Morten Andersen. Eleven easy points.
As far as the team played, it was probably one of the worst games I've seen from the offensive line in quite some time. On the other side, I thought the Vikings' defensive front seven was non-existent at times. Still, after all the frustration that fans are feeling, they still have to realize how good the Eagles are, and how easily the Vikings could have won the game.
Many people have complained about how conservative the play-calling was, but I wouldn't worry about the play-calling. I'd be more upset with the missed opportunities the Minnesota Vikings had on this Monday night. The worst situation they should have put themselves in was overtime, but 11 easy points (along with 10 penalties on the road) will keep any team from getting there.
Lurtsema's Reaction: 11 Points
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