In a tight game, there are always a number of critical plays that turn the tide of a game. Sunday's 23-16 loss to the Eagles was no exception, as the offense, defense and special teams all contributed from turning a 7-3 lead into a 17-7 deficit in less than one quarter of game time.
Things were looking up for the Vikings as the second quarter began. The team had scored a touchdown and was driving to midfield. But, facing a third-and-12, the Vikings opted not to try passing, instead taking a safe running play to Chester Taylor up the middle. Chris Kluwe did his job, pinning the Eagles on their own 7-yard line, but with a chance to keep the Eagles deep in their own territory, the defense faltered.
Donovan McNabb was forced into a pair of third-down situations, but converted both of them with passes to Reggie Brown – one of 13 yards and another of 30 yards on a third-and-12 play that got the ball to the Vikings 17-yard line. From there, McNabb and running back Brian Westbrook sliced through the Vikings defense, capping the drive on a 6-yard shovel pass to Westbrook for the TD that gave the Eagles a 10-7 lead.
On the ensuing drive, the Vikings offense didn't have an answer – going three-and-out and forcing a punt. Kluwe hit a 41-yard punt that Reno Mahe returned 27 yards when he found a seam on the return that got the Eagles beyond midfield.
With a short field to work with, the Vikings came on a first-down blitz that McNabb worked through. He threw a short slant to Kevin Curtis, who broke away from Cedric Griffin for a 33-yard gain. Two plays later, Westbrook would score again to give the Eagles a 17-7 lead.
Philadelphia hadn't scored a touchdown prior to that outburst and didn't score another one after that. But thanks to mistakes and missed opportunities in all three facets of the game, the Eagles scored 14 points and created their own Turning Point of the Game.
Turning Point: 15 Minutes of Mistakes
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