With the offense struggling Monday, the Vikings needed a boost when they were trailing 17-0. But despite getting a huge lift from the special teams, it was the reciprocation of the Patriots that created the Turning Point of the Game in the 31-7 loss to the New England.
The Vikings had forced the Patriots to go three-and-out on their first drive of the second half and forced a punt. Mewelde Moore took the punt on his own 29-yard line and, after making a move to the right sideline, broke free for a 71-yard touchdown, cutting the Patriots lead to 17-7 and getting the Vikings crowd on its feet for the first time since early in the game.
With momentum turning for the first time since the first quarter, the Metrodome was rocking. The Vikings were back in the game … until the ensuing kickoff.
On that play, former Gopher Laurence Maroney took the kickoff on his own 9-yard line and found a seam up the sideline. He got slowed up by kicker Ryan Longwell, but, by the time he was finally taken down, he was all the way down to the Vikings 20-yard line.
From there, the Patriots came out with five-receiver sets and it took Tom Brady just three plays to pick up the needed yardage for a touchdown and a 24-7 Patriots lead – once again turning the Metrodome into a quiet morgue.
In a game where the Vikings desperately needed a break when their offense was sputtering, they got it from the special teams. But one play later, they gave it all back and, in the process, inadvertently created the Turning Point of the Game.
Turning Point: Quick Returns
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