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Rapid Reaction: Minnesota Vikings

A few thoughts on the Minnesota Vikings' 37-35 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday at Sun Life Stadium:

What it means: In a game that looked like it would turn the Vikings' way because of a special teams turnover, Minnesota fell for the second week in a row because of a special teams blunder. Terrence Fede blocked Jeff Locke's punt with 41 seconds left, knocking the ball out of the Vikings' end zone for a go-ahead safety that wound up providing the Dolphins' final margin of victory on a wild day in Miami. It wiped out a resilient, resourceful day from Teddy Bridgewater, and came a week after the Vikings had a field goal blocked in a 16-14 loss to Detroit. The defeat guaranteed the Vikings will finish with a losing record for the fourth time in five years.

Stock watch: The game slipped away on a blocked punt, but Mike Zimmer likely won't be happy with the performance of his defense. The Vikings gave up four touchdown drives in the second half -- three of which measured 80 yards -- and didn't get enough pressure on Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who threw for 396 yards and four touchdowns. Captain Munnerlyn got burned for a 42-yard completion in the fourth quarter, and a closely contested Xavier Rhodes pass interference penalty helped the Dolphins tie the game with just over a minute left.

Special teams turnover almost sets up a victory: The Vikings were staked to a pair of touchdowns off turnovers deep in Dolphins territory, but the second one was what put them in position for the win. After Olivier Vernon drew a 15-yard penalty on Matt Asiata's two-point conversion run, the Vikings got to kick off from midfield. That allowed special teams coordinator Mike Priefer to call for a high, short kickoff, and after Jarvis Landry's fumble on the ensuing kickoff was recovered by Antone Exum, Asiata plunged into the end zone for a go-ahead TD, 24 seconds after the Vikings had tied the game. All it did, in the end, was set up a heartbreaker because of a special teams gaffe.

Game ball: Bridgewater should get it, after a day in which he completed 19 of his 26 passes for 259 yards and a pair of scores. He threw an interception, but the ball bounced off Asiata's hands, and he connected with nine different receivers, throwing a beautiful pass to Chase Ford at the end of the first half and hitting Greg Jennings on a corner route for a TD. He played well enough for the Vikings to win, and he continued to show impressive progress while playing in his hometown.

What's next: The Vikings (6-9) return home for their season finale, hoping to end the year with their first NFC North victory of the season as they take on the Chicago Bears at TCF Bank Stadium.