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It Comes Down To Four Plays. And Penalties. And Coaching. But Mostly Four Plays.

Hi folks.

So, as we gaze across this 0-4 start, there are a few things that stick out, and for me, it's basically four plays, or sequence of plays--one from each game, that have defined this season, and this 0-4 start.

Week 1, at San Diego.  Third quarter, the Vikings have just gotten a huge turnover off of a Jared Allen interception.  The Vikings run Adrian Peterson two times and get a first down.  Momentum feels like it's shifting back to Minnesota, and Peterson's getting a hot hand.  Sooooo.........

the Vikings bring in Joe Webb to run a Wildcat, and he loses three yards on a run option.  Percy Harvin gets no yards on the next carry, and a hapless passing attack can't complete a pass and make a third down.  Chargers get the ball back, and it's pretty much over.

Week 2, Tampa Bay.  The Vikes are hanging on by their fingernails, but have held off the building tsunami.  They've intercepted Josh Freeman in the end zone, and now have field position flipped.  Brian Robison blasts across the line, strips Freeman from the ball, and the Vikings recover at the Tampa Bay 20, and a Vikes TD could very well put the game away.  Buuuuuuuuuuut.....

Robison jumped offsides on the play, and on the next play Freeman connects on a 55 yard play, and you can feel that momentum has almost irreversibly swung for the Buccaneers.

Week 3, Detroit.  Minnesota finally has a second half drive going, and it's third and 5 from the Detroit 31.  All they need is five yards for a first down to keep the drive going and keep running the clock.  They're down by three, and with just over a minute left, a TD means they escape with a win.  Noooooooooope....

Donovan McNabb airmails a deep pass to Bernard 'I'm Tryin', Man' Berrian.  I mean, it's a good five yards out of bounds, no one could have caught that.  4th down, Vikings have to settle for a game tying field goal, and they never see the ball in overtime.

Week 4, at Kansas City.  Two minutes left, Vikings down 22-17, and a TD can win it.  They have the ball at the KC 41, and have already run 4 plays to move from their 15.  This is a very winnable situation.  Buuuuuuuuuuttttt....

McNabb airmails four straight passes, including a 4th down pass intended for Visanthe Shiancoe that wasn't even close.  But if it had been on the money, Phil Loadholt would've been called for holding anyway.

So there you have it, folks.  Four plays, four moments in time that have defined this season.  Good football teams convert on third down, make the key stop on defense, and don't make ridiculous penalties at the most inopportune times.

The Minnesota Vikings have a nucleus of good football players, but they are not a good football team.  Why that is, I don't know.

I'm willing to listen to suggestions.