Game 15: Highlights, Lowlights And Notes

The Vikings were beaten by another last-second field goal after the defense allowed a game-winning drive. It's a scene all too familiar this year, especially against the Packers. Plus, find out which official's call had Mike Tice fuming this week, which players came to play and which ones were held at bay.


This scenario has become far too familiar this year. The Vikings score the game-tying touchdown, only to leave too much time on the clock … or have too bad of a defense to get off the field and generate another opportunity.

On Nov. 8, against Indianapolis, the Vikings tied the game 28-28 with 2:54 left in the game. Peyton Manning drove the Colts into scoring position and Mike Vanderjagt kicked a 36-yard field goal with 2 seconds left for a 31-28 Vikings loss.

In Lambeau Field, the Vikings never led, but they tied the game 31-31 with 1:20 to go. Brett Favre rallied the Packers down the field before Ryan Longwell kicked a 33-yard field with no time remaining.

On Friday, the storyline was nearly identical to that first Vikings-Packers game of the season. The Packers got the ball with 1:35 left and the game tied at 31. Favre drove the Packers 76 yards before Longwell kicked a 29-yard field goal with no time remaining.

Does déjà vu suck for the Vikings, or what?


In their first meeting this season, the Packers and Vikings combined for the same 65 points in the same 34-31 result.

In the first meeting, Favre and Daunte Culpepper each threw four touchdown passes. This time, Favre and Culpepper each threw three TD passes. Ahman Green added a touchdown run (although Donald Driver nearly had a fourth TD pass for Favre before Green's 1-yard plunge) and Chris Claiborne added an interception return for a touchdown for the Vikings.

Favre upped his Metrodome record to 4-9.


The first quarter has been the worst scoring quarter for both teams this year. Green Bay has scored 50 points in the first quarter, 47 points behind their 97-point output in their third quarters this year, their next highest quarter.

The Vikings have only scored 56 points in the first quarter this year, with their third quarter output of 66 points next in line.

So it figured that neither team would score in the first period. However, the Vikings did dominated the quarter, 124-46 in total net yards, despite the Packers receiving the opening kickoff.


The Vikings' battle for field position in the first quarter led to a touchdown early in the second quarter. The Vikings had the ball at the 12-yard line at the start of the second quarter and made quick work of putting it in the end zone. They needed only two plays from the 12-yard line — an incompletion to Randy Moss and a touchdown to Moss — to take a 7-0 lead 11 seconds into the second quarter.

After a scoreless first quarter, the teams combined for 38 points in the second quarter — a Vikings record. There were several oddities in the way the second period went down.

First, the Vikings scored three receiving touchdowns on four passes. The first pass of the second quarter went incomplete to Moss in the end zone. The next pass was a 12-yard touchdown pass to Moss. The third Vikings pass of the second quarter was a 68-yard TD pass to Nate Burleson. The fourth Vikings pass of the second period was a 38-yard screen pass to Michael Bennett for Minnesota's 21st point of the quarter.

They also scored touchdowns on three straight offensive plays, the first time that has happened in Vikings history.

That also meant that the Packers had absolutely no defensive tackles in 15 minutes of play.


While throwing for 285 yards and three touchdowns, Daunte Culpepper became the team leader in a number of categories. He now has a team-record 37 touchdowns this season and a team-record 4,418 yards passing.

Finally, Culpepper had a career-best 151.3 passer rating.


DT Chris Hovan, who has been inactive for three of the past four games because of poor play, was active against the Packers. Coach Mike Tice likes the way Hovan has responded to his demotion from starter to sometimes bit player. Plus, Tice believed Hovan's well-known distaste for the Packers would give him extra motivation.

That didn't exactly pan out. Hovan had zero tackles in extensive playing time, especially on third downs. His replacement as a starter, Spencer Johnson, tied for the team lead with 10 tackles.


Packers cornerbacks Al Harris and Ahmad Carroll, whined several times this week about the officiating.

"It's getting to the point where you can't play," Harris said. "Somebody has to be responsible for bad calls and unjustly

Ironically, it was the Packers who got the fortunate call on an onside kick recovery in Lambeau Field during the first meeting this season between the two teams. It appeared former Viking Derek Ross recovered the ball, but the officials allowed a scrum for the ball and awarded that one to Green Bay's Ben Steele.

In this game, Tice was especially upset with an official's decision at the end of the first half. The Packers were driving into field goal position with no timeouts remaining. When Donald Driver was tackled in bounds and the clock was running with seven seconds left, Favre asked for a measurement. The officials allowed the measurement, giving Green Bay time to bring on its field goal unit and score three points when the clock resumed winding. That turned out to be the margin of victory.

"I don't' understand why there needed to be a measurement because there was only seven seconds left, so there was no — what was he measuring for? They were going to go for a first down? I didn't understand it," Tice said. "They were either going to kick the field goal goal or what? I didn't understand the logic behind giving them a timeout for a measurement when the clock was running. They were out of timeouts. What were they measuring for? To go for a first down?"


Despite being sacked 42 times already this season, Culpepper managed to escape the Packers rush every time in this game. While Culpepper wasn't sacked at all, the Vikings only got to Favre once — a 15-yard sack by Lance Johnstone that forced a fumble.

Tice said this week that the Vikings ideally want to limit their sacks to two per game on offense. Under that guideline, the ideal number heading into Friday's game against the Packers was 28.

Culpepper was sacked 37 times last season when the Vikings started the same five offensive linemen in every game. This season, the line has been patched together because right tackle Mike Rosenthal was lost for the season in Week 2 because of a broken foot and center Matt Birk missed four games because of hernia surgery and most of another game because of a sprained ankle.


The Vikings were unable to unleash Randy Moss because the Packers committed cornerback Al Harris to him on every play and always had a safety over the top to help. Moss had only two catches for 30 yards.

"The deep play hurt them in the first half," Tice said of the Packers. "In the first half, we scored on a lot of one-play drives."

They did score on two one-play drives in the second quarter, but each of those passes were the short to intermediate variety, helped along by broken tackles.

— Syndicated content contributed to this report

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