Red-zone troubles continue to haunt Vikings

Associated Press

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Moving the ball isn't a problem for Minnesota's high-powered offense, but the Vikings realize that doesn't matter if they don't finish their drives.

"Yards mean nothing," coach Mike Tice said Tuesday. "It's all about points for and points against."

That was painfully clear for Minnesota on Monday night in Philadelphia. The Vikings gained 410 yards and held the ball for nearly 38 minutes, but the Eagles won 27-16.

Here's why:


Minnesota didn't score a touchdown until 3:32 remained in the game, a 4-yard pass from Daunte Culpepper to Randy Moss that cut Philadelphia's lead to eight.

The Vikings had first-and-goal at the Eagles' 2-yard line twice in the second quarter and wound up with one lousy field goal.

"When we get down there, we want to come away with some points," center Matt Birk said.

All three of Minnesota's possessions inside the Dallas 20-yard line yielded touchdowns in a 35-17 season-opening victory. In Philly, the five drives that reached the red zone led to just 13 points. Tight end Jim Kleinsasser (knee) and Moe Williams (ankle) were dearly missed in short-yardage situations, but the Vikings also beat themselves several times.

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