Some of his players were alarmed that Leslie Frazier was giving the Redskins time.
But he was trying to give his guys a break, too.
The Vikings coach, who used just 42 players because of injuries that depleted his roster, called a pair of late timeouts as the Redskins were driving for a potential game-tying touchdown.
“I wanted to make sure for one, our guys were getting a little fatigued,” Frazier said, via Chip Scoggins of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “But also if they were to get a score, I wanted us to have a chance to go back and respond. I didn’t want then to be able to run the clock out and us not have a chance on offense.
“Fortunately for us, because our guys were gassed, they got their breath and made some big stops at the end.”
After the second one, wide receiver Greg Jennings was shown on television to be puzzled by the move, but Frazier said he couldn’t worry about reactions to his decisions.
“I’ve learned in my short time as head coach that you better do it the way you believe in doing it because you don’t have a chance to do this for very long,” Frazier said. “You don’t want to have any regrets. Our players, they’re thinking about what they need to think about. But I need to think about the total picture. So no big deal.”
It wasn’t a big deal because it worked. If his defense didn’t make the stops, it would be one more log on the fire which is smoldering under the chair Frazier sits in.