In Red Zone And 2nd Half, Vikings Need To Finish The Job

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 19, 2011 – 7:53 am

The biggest source of frustration for the Vikings and fans coming off a pair of disappointing losses to open the season is the fact that the Vikings held leads at halftime of both games. The inability to finish games in the 2nd half has cost the Vikings two losses against two very good teams.

Yes, the Vikings need to do a better job of finishing games in the 2nd half. Before that, though, the Vikings need to do a better job of finishing off drives in the 1st half.

Against the Chargers in Week 1, the Vikings began a drive late in the 1st quarter on their own 8-yardline. They drove down to the San Diego 19 and had a 1st-and-10. From there, though, the Vikings gained just 4 yards and had to settle for a FG. Against the Buccaneers on Sunday, the Vikings had four 1st-and-goal situations but were able to score TDs on just two of those opportunities.

Do the math in all three of those situations, and you can see how easily the outcomes in both games could’ve been different had the Vikings executed properly in the red zone and near the goal line.

“That’s one that gets frustrating for us because getting in the red zone area is big for us and everything that we did to get there we need to solidify by scoring touchdowns instead of field goals,” QB Donovan McNabb said after the game. “It would have been a different ballgame if we were able to score a touchdown instead of kicking field goals in the second half.”

The good news is the Vikings have the personnel in place to execute on the goal line. We know Adrian Peterson can bang his way through for scores – he did it twice on Sunday. And we know Michael Jenkins can wiggle open in the end zone and make a play – he did that against the Chargers in Week 1. Now it’s a matter of the Vikings working on this facet of their offense and going out this weekend against Detroit and making plays.

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