Editorial: Advice: Always kick the field goal

Published 10:36 am Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sure, this criticism is in hindsight, but it is advice that could be helpful for the Vikings through the season:

When it is fourth down and within range, kick the field goal — no matter the opponent.

Brad Childress should not have allowed quarterback Brett Favre to wave the field-goal unit off the field in that fourth-down situation in the first quarter.

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Sure, the Vikings have stellar running back Adrian Peterson.

Sure, the Vikings have a good defense.

Sure, the Vikings have a fair — not great, not bad — offensive line.

But points are golden. Having three more points would have allowed the Vikings to take the lead on a field goal near the end of the game.

And, yes, the Miami Dolphins aren’t expected to be good this year, but they still are an NFL franchise. Teams they play still must respect their professional football skills.

It seems the Vikings on Sunday were playing at or beneath the level of their opponent.

If they expect to be a force within the NFL this year, they need to remember it must be earned. Last year’s record proved the Vikings were a great team in the league. This year, that record doesn’t mean anything. They have to earn it all over again.

Let’s hope the Vikings come out meaning business against the hapless Detroit Lions.

And let’s hope the Vikes always — unless they are down by 4 points or more near the end — kick the field goal on fourth-down situations within range.