For all that has gone right for the Minnesota Vikings in the thick of their first two games, their defense has revealed a crucial flaw in those critical closing moments that determine success in the NFL.
When the intensity has picked up for the offense on the other side, Minnesota's defense has been glaringly vulnerable to giving up scores.
The Vikings were at their worst during the two-minute drills by Indianapolis and rookie quarterback Andrew Luck in Sunday's 23-20 loss. The Colts drove for a touchdown with 7 seconds left in the first half to stretch their lead and then won on a field goal with 8 seconds remaining in the game.
And though quarterback Christian Ponder and rookie kicker Blair Walsh saved them with a late surge to beat Jacksonville in overtime in the opener, the Vikings let the Jaguars move 76 yards in six plays and less than a minute to take the lead with 20 seconds remaining in regulation.
''We got into this last year: `Well, we did this good and that good. We ...