Mistakes Kill Vikings

Sunday's loss to the Eagles was a reflection on what the Vikings did too often in 2004 -- make mistakes that dug themselves a hole a little too deep to get out of.

When the Vikings took the field yesterday for their matchup with the Eagles they were one of just six NFL teams that still had a shot at winning the Super Bowl. Three hours later, they showed that, for several reasons, they didn't belong in the remaining dance.

Mistakes, penalties and turnovers killed the Vikings from the early point of the game until the very end. Some highlights (or lowlights):

* The Vikings went three-and-out on their first two drives of the game.

* On the Eagles' first TD drive, the Vikings defense had them stopped, but Dontarrious Thomas got called for a holding penalty on a receiver not being thrown at to keep the drive alive.

* Allowed a 52-yard completion to wide receiver Greg Lewis in the drive that had them fall behind 14-0.

* After getting back within 14-7, allowed J.R. Reed to return the ensuing kick 48 yards into Vikings territory, where the Eagles would score again to take a 21-7 lead.

* Botched a fake field goal attempt in which Randy Moss walked off the field to avoid a 12 men on the field penalty.

* Appeared to recover a fumble in Eagles territory only to have it overturned on a challenge.

* Threw two interceptions on the first two drives of the second half -- both in Eagles territory.

* Brian Russell dropped an easy interception that could have kept the game 21-7. Instead, the Eagles were able to kick a field goal and make it a three-possession game early in the fourth quarter.

While the loss was painful, it was more so because of how the Vikings lost, not the fact that they simply lost.

MONDAY NOTES
* No. 1 seeds are now 9-0 in the divisional playoffs vs. No. 6 seeds.
* From the Moss File comes this: When Randy Moss made his first reception of the game, he got into a scuffle with a couple of Eagles players and, in the melee, the play clock continued to run -- forcing the Vikings to burn a time out.
* DE Kenechi Udeze suffered a hip pointer in the first quarter and didn't return.
* After testing his ankle in pregame warmups, Moe Williams was de-activated.
* In an NFL rarity, both the Vikings and Eagles challenged critical plays and both won -- showing why replay has a purpose in the NFL playoffs.
* By virtue of the loss, the Vikings will retain the 18th overall selection in April's draft.

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