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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    Vikings: Virtues of clock control are starting to sink in

    [size=18px]Vikings: Virtues of clock control are starting to sink in[/size]

    Successful late-game rallies have taught the Vikings the wisdom of leaving the opponent no time to answer. back.

    Kevin Seifert, Star Tribune
    Last update: November 25, 2005 at 6:08 PM


    The wheels were turning as soon as the ball landed in Koren Robinson's hands. Two divergent lines of thinking emerged on the Vikings sideline late Monday night at Lambeau Field, symbolizing a notable elevation of the team's end-of-game intelligence this season.

    As Robinson caught Brad Johnson's pass near Green Bay's 30-yard line on the Vikings final possession, coach Mike Tice said, "Half of the sideline was yelling at Koren to 'Score, score, score.' And we had the other half of the sideline yelling, 'Go down, go down, go down.' "

    Ultimately, Packers defensive back Jason Horton caught Robinson from behind at the 6. Had Robinson scored to give the Vikings a 24-17 lead, Packers quarterback Brett Favre would have had 52 seconds and three timeouts to lead a potential game-tying drive.

    A year after they scored "too fast" in late-game road losses to the Packers and Indianapolis, the Vikings stayed calm Monday night. The Packers called a timeout after Robinson's catch, and Johnson kneeled on first and second downs to force Green Bay to use the remainder of its timeouts.

    Rather than try to score a touchdown -- at the time, kicker Paul Edinger had missed six of nine kicks on grass this season -- Johnson calmly kneeled on third down and let the clock drift to three seconds before calling a timeout to set up Edinger's 27-yard game-winning field goal.

    "There are a lot of different ways to win ballgames and be successful," Johnson said. "Sometimes, like the other night, you don't want to score too fast. Maybe that was the best thing that could have happened, getting tackled, killing the clock and kicking with no time left on the game clock. There is a lot of different ways to skin a cat."

    Before this season, the Vikings hadn't found many ways to skin the late-game cat under Tice. In his first three seasons as coach, the Vikings were 3-6 in games decided by a score either on the final play or within the last five seconds.

    Midway through last season, the Vikings tied consecutive games against Indianapolis and Green Bay in the final three minutes only to watch the Colts and Packers consume the remainder in methodical game-winning drives.

    After Onterrio Smith's 24-yard run tied the score at 28 in Indianapolis, the Colts used the final 2 minutes, 54 seconds to get in position for Mike Vanderjagt's 35-yard field goal for a 31-28 victory. The following week in Green Bay, Moe Williams' 17-yard touchdown reception tied the Packers at 31 with 1:20 remaining.

    A 37-yard kickoff return from Robert Ferguson, however, got Green Bay in position for Ryan Longwell's game-winning 33-yard field goal.

    The lesson: Devote at least some thought to extending late-game possessions rather than making a dash for the end zone.

    This season, the Vikings have won three of their five games on Edinger field goals in the final seconds. Although the games were tied when they gained possession, the Vikings have put together two game-winning drives against Green Bay and another against the New York Giants.

    Tice, in fact, took the calculated risk Monday night of kneeling on third down rather than sending Edinger out with 34 seconds remaining. If a miscue occurs on a third-down kick -- a bad snap or bad hold -- a team can re-kick on fourth down. But Tice trusted Edinger, long snapper Cullen Loeffler and Johnson (the holder) enough to place a greater priority on consuming time.

    "We had been in that situation before," Tice said, "where we've had players in a rush. [When Robinson was tackled], I told guys maybe it was an omen. ... But we did the right thing. We knew our guy is going to make that kick about 100 percent of the time. We weren't in any rush."

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
    6-KINGS Guest

    Re: Vikings: Virtues of clock control are starting to sink in

    Good article Singer.

    Thanks

  3. #3
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings: Virtues of clock control are starting to sink i

    I think we needed a new topic tonight. :wink:

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  4. #4
    mnvikes61's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings: Virtues of clock control are starting to sink in

    i'm happy that the Vikings found a running game last week against the packer. I just hope they continue to be able to run the ball and control the T.O.P and give our defense all the rest they need.

    Thanks Josdin

  5. #5
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    Re: Vikings: Virtues of clock control are starting to sink i

    Hopefully we can keep this trend up. I do believe it's helping us dearly in winning games.
    The best part of my day is when I get down on my knees, with my head in my hands, and thank GOD for everything he has given me.

  6. #6
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    Re: Vikings: Virtues of clock control are starting to sink in

    Maybe Dr. Frankenstein finally took that Abby Normal's brain out of Frankentice's head and put a normal one in! Whatever has happened, it's working...so keep it up, Tice!!!
    BANNED OR DEAD...I'LL TAKE EITHER ONE

  7. #7
    umaguma1979's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings: Virtues of clock control are starting to sink in

    I think the worst Viking coach we ever had with time management was Denny Green........

    Remember the "DeKnee" in the 1998 NFC Championship game?

    Or how about the lucky win against the Giants in the 1997 NFC wildcard game - we sure got lucky in that one.

    Although Randall Cunningham was never a good game manager either.

  8. #8
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    Re: Vikings: Virtues of clock control are starting to sink i

    there isnt much I liked about Green...I'll leave it at that

    "I choose my company by the beating of their hearts, not the swelling of their heads"

  9. #9
    mnvikes61's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings: Virtues of clock control are starting to sink in

    "umaguma1979" wrote:
    I think the worst Viking coach we ever had with time management was Denny Green........

    Remember the "DeKnee" in the 1998 NFC Championship game?

    Or how about the lucky win against the Giants in the 1997 NFC wildcard game - we sure got lucky in that one.

    Although Randall Cunningham was never a good game manager either.
    please don't bring up that game man. it's still too painful to talk about :sad:

    Thanks Josdin

  10. #10
    Lotza's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings: Virtues of clock control are starting to sink in

    all i can say is that Tice is doing some damn good coaching the half of the season. ya got to give the man credit for the turnaround

























    Go vikes!!

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