Vikings Clock Management

Photo of a football Scoreboard

Vikings Clock Management

The following is a guest post by Dan Lind, Managing Director of the Minnesota Newspaper Association and Minnesota Vikings Fanatic. Follow Dan on Twitter: @DJLindJr.



Let’s talk about clock management in the last three minutes of the game.

Tampa Bay was driving on us easily and reached the red zone with just under two minutes to play. Both teams had three timeouts. Tampa Bay proceeded to run the ball to drain the clock, knowing worst case, they could call a time out and tie it up with a short field goal.

Why did the Vikings not call time outs to conserve the clock? There were three probable conclusions to the game at that point:

  1. Tampa Bay hits a field goal to tie and the Vikings get the ball back for at least a few plays, needing only a field goal to win.
  2. Tampa Bay scores a touchdown to take the lead and the Vikings get the ball back needing a touchdown to win.
  3. The Vikings stop Tampa Bay from scoring and Minnesota kills clock and wins.

We let the last two minutes of the clock run out without stopping it once. Why?

Who couldn’t figure out that we (most likely) would need time left to drive for the win as the Bucs were¬†marching on us and we could not come up with a momentum changing play to save ourselves?

Sloppy clock management on our part. The Vikings did not give themselves a chance to win the game, knowing full well that Tampa Bay would tie it up or take the lease in the final minutes.

Matthew Deery’s Take

Minnesota Vikings Chat subscriber Matthew Deery gives his take on the Vikes loss to the Bucs and previews the match up against the Detroit Lions. Check out Matthew’s YouTube channel and follow him on Twitter @MatthewDeery.