After scoring touchdowns on all five of their trips inside the 20-yard line in the season opener, the Vikings stumbled in the red zone against Philadelphia, putting the ball into the end zone on just one of five drives that crossed the Eagles' 20-yard line. But that frustration doesn't mean the Vikings came away from last Monday's loss completely empty-handed.
"One thing that did come out of that game is that if they ever put down another seven-man box in the end zone, we have to run the ball," guard David Dixon said. "That's a clear-cut goal, because everybody's double matched-up on the outside and the offensive linemen are the only ones who are single-covered, so we've just got to run that ball."
The Vikings tried to run the ball three time in a row from inside the 3-yard line against Philadelphia, but Onterrio Smith was denied twice and quarterback Daunte Culpepper once.
Head coach Tice tried to keep an eye on the big picture when explaining the difference between the season opener and the game against Philadelphia.
"It's a 16-game schedule. Each week, one team is trying to outdo the other, one team's trying to outperform the other," he said. "Some weeks you outperform your opponent, some weeks they outperform you, and some weeks it's a dead-even deal."
For the record, the Vikings' five red-zone trips in Philadelphia resulted in one touchdown — a pass from Culpepper to Randy Moss; one turnover — a Culpepper fumble at the goal line; and three field goal attempts, two of which were converted by Morten Andersen, while the third fell short from 44 yards. The Vikings also got to the 24-yard line on the game's opening drive and got a 42-yard field goal out of it.
Wide receiver Nate Burleson said that getting into the end zone is a mix of execution and attitude, and being better than the opposition on a given day.
"Goal-line offense is a tough deal. You've got a defense that's as hungry to stop us as we are to get in and score," Burleson said. "It's one of those things that you have to work on in practice each day and not take lightly. Just because you get into the red zone it doesn't mean you're going to score.
"We've got to be hungry enough that once we get to the 20, 10 and 5, to get into the end zone. So, it falls upon our shoulders. Great calls are made by the coaches, and we as players have to step up and make it happen."
Players Take Responsibility For TD Failures
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