A Not-So-Fun Fact for Minnesota Vikings Fans
Attention, Minnesota Vikings fans! Brace yourselves for a not-so-fun fact: Averages always average out, and regressions to the mean are sometimes unavoidable.
Last season, our beloved Vikings had an incredible 11-0 record in close games (with a score differential of eight points or less). However, this year has been a different story. The team has stumbled out of the gate with an 0-2 record, and both losses have come in close games.
Now, let’s dive into the reasons behind this unexpected turn of events. The simplest explanation is that close games are often decided by random chance. When it’s just one possession separating teams, anything can happen. It could be as unpredictable as a slick patch of turf on the field, a referee’s mood during a potential penalty play, or even a mere inch of turf on the field. Yes, even a polarizing snippet of the NFL rule book can make a difference.
And speaking of the rule book, it played a significant role in our recent 34-28 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on “Thursday Night Football.”
Picture this: Late in the second quarter, we had just given up a touchdown and the lead to the Eagles. But our quarterback, Kirk Cousins, and superstar receiver Justin Jefferson quickly marched back down the field, determined to take the lead right back before halftime.
With under 40 seconds left, Cousins connected with Jefferson, and it seemed like a go-ahead touchdown was imminent. However, the joy was short-lived. Jefferson was ruled out at the 1-yard line… until he wasn’t.
— NFL (@NFL) September 15, 2023
As Jefferson made a play for the endzone, he lost control of the football. Initially, it was ruled out at the 1-yard line, but upon further review, it was revealed that the ball went over the goal line.
Now, you might wonder why that yard-and-a-half difference matters. Well, it was the difference between us retaining the ball and losing it.
According to NFL rules, if a football is fumbled out of bounds before and without crossing the goal line, the fumbling team retains possession. However, if it crosses the goal line, it’s considered a touchback, and we lose control of the football. The opponent gets the ball at the 20-yard line.
Yes, it feels aggressively arbitrary. And yes, most fans and pundits abhor this rule.
NFL reporter Ari Meirov didn’t hold back, calling it “the dumbest” rule in the sport:
This will always be the dumbest rule in football.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) September 15, 2023
Another NFL reporter, Albert Breer, shared the sentiment:
Oof, that’s a touchback. (This rule continues to suck.)
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) September 15, 2023
Even announcer and radio host Grant Paulsen chimed in, expressing his frustration with the rule:
There is no dumber rule in football than the goal line fumble touchback nonsense.
You lose possession despite the defense not recovering. AND they get the ball. AND they get 20% of the field marked off. Has never made sense. Insane it’s still a thing.
— Grant Paulsen (@granthpaulsen) September 15, 2023
Now, let’s address the elephant in the room. The rule is far from perfect, but finding a clear solution is no easy task. Should an offense be rewarded for losing a fumble out of the endzone? Should they get the ball back at the 20-yard line?
(And let’s not forget that defensive players might argue that offensive players already have enough advantages when it comes to the rules, making this concession seem minuscule in comparison.)
Regardless, it’s unlikely that the rule will see any significant change in time for our next game against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sept. 24.
So, brace yourselves, Vikings fans. Costly endzone fumbles might just play a role in yet another example of our team’s regression to the mean this season.
The post Fans Furious After NFL’s ‘Dumbest’ Touchback Rule Probably Costs Vikings a Touchdown appeared first on The Western Journal.
How can the Minnesota Vikings stay focused and resilient despite the frustration caused by the NFL ruling
Er, also expressed his frustration with the rule:
The Fumble touchback rule in the NFL has to be changed. Absolutely horrendous way to determine possession of the football.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) September 15, 2023
Unfortunately, this rule ultimately played a crucial role in our loss to the Eagles. Instead of scoring a touchdown, we turned the ball over and lost an opportunity to take the lead before halftime. This shift in momentum proved to be costly, as the Eagles went on to win the game by a narrow margin.
So, what can we take away from this? It’s essential for Minnesota Vikings fans to remember that despite the disappointment and frustration that comes with these close losses, this is just a small setback. It’s a long season, and we have plenty of time to regroup and turn things around.
Looking ahead, it’s crucial for the team to stay focused, learn from their mistakes, and continue working hard to improve. Close games are always a challenge, but if we remain resilient and keep fighting, there’s no doubt that we can still have a successful season.
In conclusion, it may be disheartening for Minnesota Vikings fans to see the team struggle in close games after enjoying a perfect record last season. However, it’s important to understand that close games are inherently unpredictable, and random factors can have a significant impact on the outcome. The recent loss to the Philadelphia Eagles due to an unfortunate rule only serves to magnify this reality. Nevertheless, it’s crucial for fans to maintain their support and for the team to remain focused and resilient. With determination and hard work, there’s no doubt that the Minnesota Vikings can overcome this setback and have a successful season ahead.
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