KFAN is your Radio Home for Vikings Football. During the 2013 Season, tune in to Vikings programming KFAN 100.3 all week long.
By: Aj Mansour | KFAN.com
While the path taken from beginning to end for the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday may have looked a little different, the impending disaster was all too familiar. By the time that the final whistle blew at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX, the Vikings had dropped their seventh game of the season by the score of 27-23 and frustrations within the locker room were starting to boil over.
According to reports coming from the Vikings locker room after the game, players were beginning to verbally question the play calling and complacent nature that the Vikings had adopted down the stretch of Sunday's game. Brian Murphy of the Pioneer Press and Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune both tweeted from the locker room reporting that both offensive and defensive players were spouting off about play calling after the game.
It's weekend's like these, losses like these and player reactions like these that can send seasons into a downward spiral. When the players start publically questioning the coaching staff, trouble is sure to follow.
One of the reasons that this game hurt more than the others was likely because for most of the game against the Cowboys, the game plan was proving successful. But eerily reminiscent of the first few weeks of this season, the Vikings went conservative late in the game only to let the victory slip between their fingers once again.
Given yet another chance to start after last weekend's debacle, Christian Ponder took the reins and threw up an admirable 25-for-37 passing for 236 yards and a TD, a passer rating of 82.7. But still there was the interception. The defense found ways to put pressure on Tony Romo most of the afternoon and even got him to cough it up in the form of an interception. But still there was the last minute collapse that led to a Cowboys win. No matter how hard they tried, or how much they changed, the Vikings continue to revert to the errors that have plagued them this season and have led to their 1-7 record.
"It will be difficult [to bounce back from this one]," head coach Leslie Frazier told KFAN after the game. "We've had a few of these type of losses and each one hurts. It will not be easy but I trust the character of the guys on our football team. They're still fighting and I won't doubt that they'll fight again on Thursday night."
Unfortunately, the players feel the same way.
"This has kind of been the story of the season," starting quarterback Christian Ponder said. "The opponent making one more play than us and that's how it was today."
If you're looking for a silver lining, Adrian Peterson was able to get back on track a little bit this weekend. AP was able to crack off 25 runs for a total of 140 yards and an impressively gritty touchdown run.
If you're looking for the depressive reality of the situation, adding insult to injury the Vikings have lost a handful of starters for an unknown period of time. Left tackle Phil Loadholt left the game in the second half with a concussion, rookie corner back Xavier Rhodes hobbled off the field with an apparent leg injury and tight end Kyle Rudolph couldn't finish the game after injuring his left foot on his touchdown reception from Ponder. With the Vikings already short-handed and preparing for a Thursday night game against the Redskins, these injuries come at a bad time for a team struggling to the extent of the Vikings.