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USA TODAY Sports Cincinnati defensive end Carlos Dunlap and defensive tackle Domata Peko sack Minnesota quarterback Matt Cassel on Dec. 22 in Cincinnati.

Late-game collapses haunt Vikings

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With five last-minute collapses, the Minnesota Vikings were a mere 2 minutes, 26 seconds from a 5-10-1 meltdown season being 10-6 and good enough to win the NFC North. But they weren’t close enough in general manager Rick Spielman’s mind to keep from blowing out coach Leslie Frazier and embarking on a new era that is sure to bring changes to the franchise’s core philosophies, including an eight-year devotion to the 4-3, Tampa 2-based defensive scheme.

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