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In an effort to turn things around with the current season, the Vikings have a multitude of short-term corrections they can make. First things first, the Vikings need to finish games. In both of the losses the Vikings have compiled to start the year they have forfeited substantial halftime leads in practically giving away games.
Whether the defeats can be credited to a non-existent second-half offense, ill-timed penalties, lack of focus, missed tackles or a combination of all four, the Vikings have no one to blame but themselves for their late game meltdowns. Forfeiting 41 second-half points in two losses is simply unacceptable.
In Week 1, despite a dismal 37 passing yards from quarterback Donovan McNabb, as well as an interception on his first snap of the game, the Vikings somehow lead the San Diego Chargers 17-7 at halftime, appearing posed for the upset.
Unfortunately for Minnesota though, there are two halves in a football game, and they only showed up for one. Spearheading the downfall, McNabb threw for just two yards in the second half which resulted in the passing game being a non-factor and the running game being ineffective.
Meanwhile, the Chargers' offense heated up as they slowly took a 24-17 lead. Then, with the Vikings facing a last-ditch effort in the final few minutes to get the Chargers offense off the field to give their offense one more shot, the defense was called for three penalties, sealing Minnesota's fate.
In Week 2, this time with a dominant 17-point halftime lead, the Vikings once again fell victim to their own suicide. This time though, the offense displayed an impressive balanced offensive attack of running and passing, the defense was making plays, highlighted by an incredible Jared Allen interception, and it seemed almost certain the Vikings were on their way to victory.
Instead, it was deja vu. The Vikings' offense failed to capitalize on opportunity, the defense once again lacked mental focus, racking up late game penalties, and Bucs' quarterback Josh Freeman picked apart Minnesota's secondary while running back LeGarrette Blount slipped through tackles like he was covered in baby oil.
In neither of these defeats did Minnesota's opponents pull off anything heroic or out of the ordinary to get the wins, but rather the Vikings made numerous mistakes to get the loss. Therefore the solution is simple, show up for two halves, maintain concentration and finish a game.