The Vikings had their chances to beat the Jets on Monday. So, whom to blame?
It would be easy to dog-pile on Brett Favre. First, for putting himself and his team in a bad situation with the allegations about his off-field behavior (assuming there's any truth to them). Second, by starting the game miserably. And third, by throwing the game-clinching pick.
But Favre brought his team back after a miserable start. He's not the one to blame.
Head coach Brad Childress should take more of the responsibility for this loss.
Things started to unravel when the Vikings made the score 15-13, Jets. They waffled on their decision to kick the extra point or go for two, a decision that Childress needs to make about four plays earlier. Instead, they called a timeout that you just knew at the time would come back to bite them.
After the timeout, they come back on the field for the two-point conversion, even though there were nearly 13 minutes left, the rain had stopped and his offense clearly had the Jets reeling somewhat at that point. On the play, Randy Moss was on the sideline. It failed, and the Vikings trailed by two.
There were mistakes prior to that, such as sticking with the inside zone game early for too long with a backup (and then third-string) center in the game and with some pass-protection problems. Those belong to coaches and players alike. But the decision to have Moss run a trick play to open the game certainly was curious and had little chance of succeeding. Childress also took the blame for his team's offensive failings early.
"It starts with me," he said. "I didn't think we were ready to play, coming out of the locker room, at least offensively."
Childress actually showed great restraint in not benching Favre when he got off to an awful start. He let his QB work through his problems, and it resulted in a close game that could or should have been won.
But the decision to go for two, and burning the timeout in the process, really hurt. Did it cost the team the game? Impossible to say. But it didn't help, and it went against the idea of not chasing points. All the momentum was with the Vikings at that point, and leaving a point on the field made it a two-possession game late when Favre's INT was run back.