"If you want to be the best, you've got to beat the best and when you get to the top you've got to stay on top. For me, I like it. Put all the pressure on us in the world. Expectations should be high. … We expect to go to the Super Bowl and we expect to win and we expect to win our division and do well in the playoffs. We expect to win. That cannot be put on the backburner anymore, not to say that it has. But I came here because I expect to win and that's the attitude this organization has. It's a winning attitude – do whatever it takes to win and that's all that matters. Let's win," Allen said in June.
Two weeks into the regular season, Allen isn't about the hold back on his feelings of being winless.
"It sucks. It sucks right now. We've got to get on the winning road and get on the right track. We've got to put one together before we get two," Allen said after Sunday's18-15 loss to Peyton Manning and the Colts. "We're 0-1 at home, which is nonsense. We're not supposed to lose at home. Our crowd was great (on Sunday) and we're going to need them again this week. We're going to get after the Carolina Panthers.
"It's one those games where you look at the scoreboard and you think it's going to say 28-7 or 28-6 and it's 18-15 and you just lost. It sucks."
While Manning was limited to 86 yard passing in the first half, he rebounded to finish the game with 311 yards. Tarvaris Jackson passed for only 130 yards, but Allen said he hopes the loss sticks with the players so they can remember how they felt Sunday and not let it happen again.
"Hopefully this sits in everybody's craw, sits in people's guts and people are pretty pissed off about this and they remember this at the end of games that they don't like this feeling and we're going to finish people and we're going to put their flame out when it's dying," said Allen, who said the quality of the two opponents who beat the Vikings, the Colts and Packers, isn't any consolation.
"No, because I think we're a quality team. Moral victories are for losers and I don't think there is a dang loser on this team. I think we're a hell of a team. I think we've got talent. I just don't think we're using it right. We've got to go out there and we've got to play."
Wide receiver Bobby Wade agreed that the Vikings take little solace in knowing who they lost to. The fact is they are 0-2 and face a similar predicament as last year, when they started the season 1-4 and even 3-6 before going on a five-game winning streak. "Last year we faced a lot of adversity early and we were able to battle back by midseason. To be able to start fast really gives you a head start so we've got to figure it out next week," Wade said.
Last year, the Vikings' opponents at the beginning of the season weren't nearly as formidable as they are this year, and they still faced at 3-5 record at midseason.
"There are a lot of guys in this room with a lot of character and I think right now that's where it's going to show up. You've got to have that will to finish people," Allen said. "It's a big hole, deep, and we've got to get out of it. No more. You cannot lose at home."
Cornerback Antoine Winfield said he wasn't going to touch a question about the offense not scoring a touchdown in Sunday's game, and head coach Brad Childress said he isn't worried about a fractured locker room.
"Are there bound to be frustrations? Sure there are. That's part of football. When your emotions are high after a football game, there are bound to be emotions like that. I'd be worried about it if there weren't emotions like that. ‘Fractured' is a little bit strong," Childress said.
PLAYS OF FRUSTRATION
The Vikings felt there were several critical calls late in the game that weren't made.
With the game freshly tied at 15-15 and the Vikings having a chance to at least milk some time off the clock with just more than 5 minutes to play, Bobby Wade picked up a first down on the first play of the drive. Two plays later, he was trying to cut back inside and catch a ball for a would-be first down, but he was held up by the defensive back.
"The ball was thrown and he was still holding me. I tried to make a play on it, but at that time it was tough to do. I thought it was a tough no call. A very tough point (of the game)," Wade said.
The Vikings ended up punting when Bernard Berrian was tripped up on the ensuing third-down pass play, but the Minnesota defense forced another punt before the offense allowed Indianapolis to get the ball back one last time.
With less than a minute to play, the Colts were facing third-and-9 and before the snap Chad Greenway was pointing at the Colts offensive line and trying to get the officials to throw a flag.
"The tight end jumped that they didn't call, they make the pass, they kick the field goal and win the game. What can you do as a defender?" Greenway said. "You gave up the points, but to give up 18 points to that team is not bad. With a couple of bodies that they had out, we could have done better.
"You don't get those calls, it is what it is. You've got to keep playing ball. We can't sit and dwell."
On that play, Manning connected with Reggie Wayne for 20 yards, the Colts spiked the ball and Adam Vinatieri finished it off with a 47-yard game-winning field goal with 3 seconds to play.
TAPEH'S LACK OF PLAY
Fullback Thomas Tapeh, one of the Vikings' free-agent acquisitions this year, said he played mostly special teams against the Colts. The other active fullback on Sunday, Naufahu Tahi, ended the game with no carries and two catches for minus-2 yards, including a 5-yard loss on the Vikings' final offensive play of the game.
"That's all they told me, it w as a mismatch game," Tapeh said of Tahi getting more time. "There were no ifs, ands or buts."
Rice put a sleeve on his knee and returned for what he estimated were 10 to 15 plays before he decided he wasn't good enough to continue. "Once I'd get to full speed, it was shifting around a little bit," Rice said.
"We continue all of the multiple sales efforts, including group ticket programs," said Steve LaCroix, vice president of sales and marketing.