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News » Tom Powers: Vikings make same old mistakes in playoff loss to Eagles

Tom Powers: Vikings make same old mistakes in playoff loss to Eagles

Tom Powers: Vikings make same old mistakes in playoff loss to Eagles
The Vikings couldn't be merciful and just lose the Football game. Oh no, they had to make sure they pushed every last hot button before walking off the Metrodome field for the final time this season.

En route to a 26-14 playoff loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, the Vikings got a poor effort from quarterback Tarvaris Jackson. They suffered from a couple of screwy decisions by their coach. And they proved that they still are capable of making mental and physical mistakes at the worst possible times.

In other words, they opened up every old can of worms and tossed them directly into the crowd.

It was an odd way of saying, "Thanks for coming."

"They had a chance to have a chance," coach Brad Childress said. "Twenty other teams were at home. But then you've got to take care of business. We didn't take care of business."

I didn't really expect them to win. But I was hoping to at least avoid another offseason of the long-running soap opera "The Young and the Senseless," starring Tarvaris Jackson.

Jackson was awful, and afterward even he wasn't willing to speculate as to whether he'd be Minnesota's starting quarterback next season.

"I'm not going to get into that," he said. "I'm going to relax with my family, sit back and look over how things went, and take it from there."

"Suffice it to say we evaluate the whole roster," said Childress, being as noncommittal as possible.

We had our ghastly Tarvaris moment in the second quarter when he floated a pass right into the arms of Philadelphia's Asante Samuel, who returned it 44 yards for a touchdown, giving the Eagles a lead they never relinquished.

"Soft and off," Childress said of the pass.

Which is exactly what I was thinking about Childress early in the game. Anyone watching Philadelphia's first score had to be dumbfounded. Childress gave the Eagles a field goal. Here, merry Christmas.

On third and 9 from Minnesota's 26-yard line, Donovan Mc-Nabb passed incomplete. But the Eagles were called for holding. That would have brought the ball back to Minnesota's 36 and made it third and 19.

Childress declined the penalty.

That led to a rather easy 43-yard field goal by David Akers on fourth down. There is such a thing as being an overly congenial host. Maybe next time Chilly will hold the ball for the opposing kicker, too.

Rather than let the Eagles' offense have the ball again on third and 19, he opted to let them have an easy field goal. That's nuts. And it's a kick in the fanny to his defense. Maybe his defense makes a play. Maybe the Eagles gain few or no yards on the do-over. Then the ensuing field-goal attempt, if any, is much longer than 43 yards.

"You're giving up something to get something," Childress said. "Glass half-empty, glass half-full."


"I talked to our special-teams guy, and he said, 'He'll make it from there. He'll make it from back here, too,' " Childress said, referring to the Eagles' kicker. "So, rather than give them another swing at that down, we kind of have an idea where he can knock it from."

Again: What?

Then there was the clock management at the end of the first half. First down at Minnesota's 13, and Chester Taylor carried for no gain. Fine, run the clock out, even if the crowd is booing. But after sauntering up to the line on second down, Jackson tried a short pass -- and made a poor throw -- stopping the clock. Then the Vikings handed off to Taylor again.

Bottom line is that the Eagles got the ball back and darn near got into field-goal range before time expired.

Meanwhile, I thought for sure we'd see Gus Frerotte in the fourth quarter when Jackson was struggling like the T-Jack of old. Nope, Childress stuck with Jackson.

Tarvaris Jackson and Brad Childress are the two names that get Vikings fans all shook up. And those two names will be ringing in their ears for several months. Minnesota's penchant for untimely mistakes also reappeared front and center. Even reliable Matt Birk had a mis-snap that cost the Vikings their final chance to get close.

Well, it's up to each individual to decide if this was a successful season. The Vikings did win the division. But they clearly weren't the best team money could buy. Perhaps they found a few answers in 2008.

Unfortunately, they'll be entering the 2009 season with the same old questions.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: January 5, 2009

Hank Baskett Name: Hank Baskett
Position: WR
Age: 25
Experience: 3 years
College: New Mexico
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