EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — The winless Minnesota Vikings, fresh from their second defeat, are facing plenty of pending problems that must be fixed if they're going to return to the playoffs.
The day after losing on a last-second touchdown pass in Chicago, though, the focus was inevitably still hovering around that final sequence and what could've been done to prevent the collapse.
Their performance in the 31-30 loss to the Bears on Sunday was better overall than the opening defeat in Detroit, but there's no consolation for that in the NFL.
"We're a resilient group. We've got a lot of veteran guys in here, and we've just got to keep trucking, man," cornerback Chris Cook said.
"It's a long season. Fourteen games left. You know? It can be all uphill from now. It can all go downhill. I'm definitely, definitely, sure that we're going to go uphill from here."
Last season, the Vikings went 5-1 in games decided by seven points or fewer. The grit was clearly there on the rainy afternoon in Chicago, but the late-game touch was missing.
Jay Cutler led the Bears to the go-ahead score, going 66 yards in 10 plays and 3 minutes, 5 seconds, using up all but the 10 seconds that were left. He completed four passes of 10-plus yards on that march.
After forcing two fumbles, two interceptions, two punts and one field goal over the seven previous possessions from the second quarter on, the Vikings defense watched all that good work go to waste.
And coach Leslie Frazier was still trying to take the blame for it, mentioning at least a half-dozen times during his 20-minute news conference on Monday that he should've interjected with a different scheme before two of those four significant passes.
"I could've helped with some strategy there," Frazier said.
He declined to specify for competitive reasons. He also said he didn't need to take over the play calling from defensive coordinator Alan Williams.
"Alan and our defensive staff, they've done a very good job. They did a good job a season ago and they're doing a good job now," Frazier said.
Up next is their first game at home, against also-winless Cleveland. The Vikings, in 2008, are actually the last NFL team to make the playoffs after losing their first two games of the season.
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