10 Vikings plays that shaped season: No. 8

January, 14, 2014
Jan 14
8:00
AM ET
Welcome back to our chronological look at the 10 plays that most shaped the Minnesota Vikings' 2013 season. Today: Play No. 8.

WHEN: Nov. 24, 2013

WHERE: A 26-26 tie with the Green Bay Packers.

THE PLAY: Matt Flynn's 28-yard completion to James Jones after Everson Griffen jumped offside.

WHAT THEY SAID: Linebacker Chad Greenway: "It’s that same shoot-yourself-in-the-foot kind of feeling we’ve had before. We get in a position where we need some stops and we can’t get them. Or we get them and then there’s a penalty.”

IMPACT OF THE PLAY: The Packers had turned a 23-7 deficit into a three-point game once Flynn replaced Scott Tolzien in the second half, but they were still facing fourth-and-6 from the Vikings' 40 with just over a minute left when Flynn barked a hard count and got Griffen to jump. The backup quarterback bought himself a free play, just ahead of Audie Cole's blitz, and lofted a jump ball to receiver James Jones, who separated from Marcus Sherels and came back for the pass. It put the Packers in field goal range, allowed Mason Crosby to tie the game and set up the Vikings' fifth last-minute blown lead of the season. The Vikings would give the Packers another reprieve in overtime when Robert Blanton was called for defensive holding on third-and-9 (on a call coach Leslie Frazier and many Vikings fans disagreed with), and Flynn drove the Packers to a field goal. While the defensive breakdowns were a constant theme of the Vikings' season, this one was particularly galling because it was directly enabled by penalties, which typically aren't among the Vikings' biggest problems.

Ben Goessling

ESPN Minnesota Vikings reporter

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