Believe me. . .you have absolutely, positively no idea how much it hurt me to type that title.
So there we all were yesterday. . .and thanks, by the by, to everyone that participated in the game thread. . .watching the Beloved Purple battling tooth and nail with the Detroit Lions. After a Detroit punt had Minnesota set up with 1st and 10 from their own 14-yard line, the Vikings came out in a four-wide receiver, no back formation with Gus Frerotte lined up in the shotgun. Frerotte zipped a pass to his right to Bernard Berrian about seven yards down the field. . .and #87 proceeded to do the rest on his way to an 86-yard touchdown and the second-longest pass play in Vikings' history.
What happened after that is something that has been a bone of contention among folks in the comments here on the site.
At that point, the score was 10-8, due to Dan Orlovsky falling through a hole in the space-time continuum and completely forgetting where he was. Or something like that. Anyway, the folks at FOX were showing clips of the Berrian reception and some of the outstanding blocking that he received along the way. . .
. . .and when we went back to the game, Ryan Longwell was booting the extra point to make the score 10-9 in favor of the Lions.
I was a bit confused at the time. Why didn't the Vikings line up and go for two points and the tie right then and there? They had momentum, and with as crazy as things had been up to that point, nobody knew for sure if the Vikings would have another opportunity to take the lead. Heck, nobody knew for sure that the Lions wouldn't go downfield and tack on more points, either. And therein lies the reason for Childress' decision.
And, after further review, it's one of the few decisions that Brad Childress has made in his tenure as Vikings' coach that I agree with. There were three potential scenarios that could have happened at this point.
Scenario A. . .the Vikings go for the two-point conversion there and succeed. In that case, yes, it's a tie football game. It really doesn't make things any different to what they were after kicking the extra point. At that point, we're looking at Vikings 10, Lions 10 and the chance to be down by no more than one score had the Lions gone down and scored again.
Scenario B. . .the scenario that happened. Longwell lines up, knocks through the extra point, and the score goes to Lions 10, Vikings 9. Keep in mind, at the time of the Berrian touchdown, there were still about 20 minutes of game time left (NFL.com shows the play ending with approximately 4:29 left in the third quarter). Yes, I realize that the offense that the Vikings were facing was not a terribly good one. But that same offense also opened up the third quarter by, basically, shoving the ball down our throats and going 69 yards in 10 plays, concluding with a TD pass to Calvin Johnson. Another such drive would have made the score Lions 17, Vikings 9. Still, at that point, it would have remained a one-possession game, as a touchdown and a two-point conversion would have tied it for Minnesota.
Scenario C. . .the Vikings go for the two-point conversion and fail to convert (or Longwell misses the extra point. . .yeah, right). The score remains Lions 10, Vikings 8.
See where I'm going here?
At that point, had the Lions gotten the ball and scored another touchdown, the score would have gone to Lions 17, Vikings 8. . .and, unless my math is bad, you can't get nine points on one possession in the National Football League. Under this scenario, we'd be betting that an offense that had managed to put together one whole scoring drive (that lasted all of one whole play) in the first forty minutes of football was going to be able to put together two such drives in the remaining twenty. . .AND keep the Lions from scoring again.
Yes, there would have been way more bravado and far more cojones shown by Childress had he gone for two there. But, in this case, while bravado and cojones are nice. . .winning is nicer. And, frankly, the decision to go for the extra point (which has a conversion rate of about 99%) rather than going for two (which has a conversion rate of between 40 and 45%, depending on your source) was the best decision.
Don't get me wrong. . .I still don't like the guy as our coach, and there's a part of me that hopes a scenario develops where the Vikings can win AND fire Brad Childress at the same time. But, in this one particular instance, I can't get terribly angry at Major Dad for the call he made.