The most inexplicable moment during Minnesota’s loss Sunday wasn’t Adrian Peterson’s last fumble, Bernard Berrian’s fumble or Brett Favre’s throw.
It was the 12-men on the field penalty called after a Brad Childress timeout with 19 seconds left. The Vikings head coach tried to explain after the game.
“We just had a fullback in there and we changed up and broke the huddle
with 12,” coach Brad Childress said. “You can’t call back-to-back
timeouts either. I thought we slipped up there.”
The fullback was Naufahu Tahi, according to Yahoo’s Mike Silver. But we hope Childress isn’t trying to redirect blame to a player, because that is a brutal mistake by the coaching staff in a huge spot.
Silver was reminded of last season, when Vikings players said the team’s sideline was in “total disarray” in their playoff loss to the Eagles.
Favre’s interception will get the headlines, but we have more sympathy with a player trying to do too much. Coaches should be in control of the situation better.
Childress learned how to botch clock management from the master, Andy Reid. We thought the Vikings played far too conservatively leading up to the penalty, draining the clock to set up a long field goal at a time when the Vikings offense was pushing a tired Saints defense around. (The Vikings had 82 plays to 45 before overtime.)
We feel for Vikings players and fans this morning, but less so for Childress. He let them down.