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By: Sam Ekstrom | KFAN.com
If you are walking away from the Vikings’ Week 2 loss with a familiar bad taste in your mouth, it’s because the Vikings have made an annual habit of losing Week 2 heartbreakers.
Since 2007, Minnesota has lost six of seven Week 2 contests. In those defeats, they’ve lost by an average of three points.
Need a painful refresher on the Vikings’ Week 2 woes? Here you go…
2007 – Vikings @ Lions (20-17 L/OT): After a Week 1 victory, the Vikings came just inches away from a 2-0 start. Then-kicker Ryan Longwell clanged a 52-yard field goal off the upright to end regulation that would have won the game. Quarterback Brooks Bollinger then fumbled in overtime to set up a Lions game-winning kick.
2008 – Vikings vs Colts (18-15 L): For nearly three entire quarters, the Vikings’ defense shut down Peyton Manning and the Colts’ potent offense. However, Minnesota settled for five field goals and failed to put Indianapolis away. The Colts scored once at the end of the third quarter, again late in the fourth, and imposed their will in the closing seconds to set up Adam Vinatieri for a game-winning field goal.
The loss dropped the Vikings to 0-2, and they benched Tarvaris Jackson the following week. Gus Frerotte entered and helped the Vikings to a 10-4 finish and an NFC North title. You hear that, Christian Ponder?
2010 – Vikings vs Dolphins (14-10 L): It was the game where Vikings fans’ worst fears were realized: the Favre magic was gone. Favre fumbled once and threw three interceptions, including a second-half pick near Miami’s goal-line. Adrian Peterson was also stopped on a fourth-and-goal play at the 1-yard line in the fourth quarter, and the Vikings turned the ball over on downs near Miami’s redzone to end the game.
2011 – Vikings vs Buccaneers (24-20 L): This was the loss that set the tone for the Vikings’ 3-13 season. Minnesota led 17-0 at halftime and appeared to be on their way to a rout in the home-opener. Then the offense stopped functioning under Donovan McNabb and the Bucs staged a massive comeback. Tampa scored two touchdowns in the final seven minutes, including a LeGarrette Blount touchdown run with 31 seconds remaining. Minnesota fell to 0-2 and never recovered.
2012 – Vikings @ Colts (23-20 L): Fans likely remember Week 2 of last season when Christian Ponder staged a comeback of his own to tie Indianapolis with 31 seconds to go. It looked like Kyle Rudolph’s touchdown reception in the final minute would send the game to overtime, but rookie Andrew Luck only needed three plays to put the Colts in field-goal position for Adam Vinatieri, who daggered the Vikings again with a 53-yard boot.
2013 – Vikings @ Bears (31-30 L): Sunday’s defeat may be the bitterest of them all. The Vikings took the ball from Chicago four different times, but couldn’t capitalize as they settled for three field goals in the second half. Jay Cutler threw a touchdown with 10 seconds remaining to give the Bears a one-point victory.
So when next year’s schedule comes out, Vikings fans might be wise to make different plans during the team’s Week 2 game.