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Memo to NFL defensive coordinators: You probably don't want to be covering Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin with a linebacker on third-and-long. Yet, that's exactly the situation that the Atlanta Falcons left Curtis Lofton in with Harvin streaking down the middle of the field. Predictably, Harvin caught the 39-yard touchdown in the back of the endzone to bring the Vikings to within three points.
Looking at the replay, it's hard to tell what, exactly, went wrong on that play. Defensive backDominique Franks looks to have been covering a zone that had no one in it on the play and maybe was supposed to be picking up the deep man there. But it's at least somewhat plausible that the Falcons were just expecting Lofton to get deep enough to cover the play.
Clearly, he didn't and now the Falcons' once comfortable lead is very much in danger. Early in the fourth quarter, their 17-point lead is down to three.