Turning Point: Turnover Placement

The Vikings and Seahawks each had two turnovers, but it was the timing and placement of the Vikings' turnovers that killed their chances at a win Sunday.

Turnovers always make coaches gray or, in a worst-case scenario, bald. Few statistics are more indicative as to who will win a game as turnovers — especially those deemed more heinous than others.

When they come at critical times and at critical areas of the field, they're doubly deadly. The Vikings had both work against them Sunday, making turnovers the turning point of the game.

If you were to ask a coach which turnovers are worse than others, most would say turnovers in the red zone and turnovers in the fourth quarter. The Vikings were victimized by not one, but both — contributing greatly to the 27-23 loss.

The first came on a standard handoff play. Onterrio Smith made the mistake of looking for his hole before he secured the ball from Daunte Culpepper and, as a result, took a handoff off his elbow that he fumbled. Seattle recovered and added a field goal — making what could have been a Vikings victory with a field goal late into them needing a touchdown.

That came into play as the Vikings tried to regain the lead later in the quarter. Knowing a field goal would do no good, the Vikings had a first down on the Seattle 20-yard line. Instead of going with their bread and butter on the drive of the season, the Vikings went for trickery — a wide receiver pass from Randy Moss that was underthrown into double coverage for an interception.

Seattle had two turnovers early in the game that let the Vikings take control away from Seattle, but it was the timing and placement on the field of Minnesota's turnovers that proved deadly for the Vikings.

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