Two plays, two awful calls, and a handful of successful predictability have led to an early 7-0 Vikings' lead at New England, but Minnesota Vikings' head coach Brad Childress is doing his level best to undermine that effort.
On Minnesota's second drive, Vikings' running back Adrian Peterson clearly crossed the endline for a touchdown. Childress, however, declined to throw the challenge flag and the Vikings lined up for a second-down play from the one-foot line.
The second-down play led to a Peterson touchdown that should not have been. New England Patriots' head coach Bill Belichick threw the challenge flag and the review official blew the review. Just as clearly as Peterson had crossed the endline on first down, he did not pierce the line on second down. Justice was served, on the whole, though that did not remove the taint of Childress having failed to challenge a clear error on first down--a failure on Childress' part that, had the officials made the proper call on second down, might have thwarted yet another Vikings' touchdown that should have been.
Childress followed-up on his poor decision on drive two, with a horrendous challenge on the Patriots' subsequent drive. With Madieu Williams missing an easy pick and allowing the Patriots' receiver to haul in an otherwise awful pass from Tom Brady, Childress deliberated, then threw the challenge. The challenge was so ridiculous that even the normally focused play-by-play analyst, Troy Aikman, wondered whether he had missed something. There was, of course, but one thing that could be challenged, and that was whether there was a catch. That the catch was so apparent, made Aikman think otherwise, however.
Unfortunately, Childress' challenge was on the reception, and the officials took little time rejecting the challenge.
Childress also has opted to make his offense nearly one-dimensional on the first two drives, giving the ball almost exclusively to Adrian Peterson. Fortunately for Minnesota, Peterson remains in overdrive mode and has destroyed the Patriots' 3-4 defense through two drives.
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