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Maybe there’s hope for Coach Chilly

After a misguided decision to open the game with an onside kick (fail) and the tossing of a red flag on a play that shouldn’t have been challenged via replay review (second fail), Vikings coach Brad Childress finally has made a decision that saved his team four points.

In the second quarter, a deep pass down the left sideline resulted in Minnesota cornerback Cedric Griffin mugging Browns receiver Braylon Edwards, who nevertheless made a nice catch (for a change), snatching the ball inches from the turf at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

The penalty for pass interference was declined, and the touchdown counted.

Enter Coach Chilly.

Childress challenged the play, because Edwards had gone out of bounds as a result of the interference. The FOX crew working the game erroneously believed that the ruling hinged on whether Edwards had been pushed out because of the interference. It didn’t. Even with the interference, the player must re-establish himself in bounds before catching the ball.

And so the call on the field was overturned, the Browns got the ball at the Minnesota six due to the interference penalty, the Vikings’ defense stiffened, and the touchdown became only a field goal.

Still, even with Brett Favre on the team, Chillyball (i.e., keep it close and hope for a late break) is still alive and well for the Vikings, who lead a bad Browns team by only four points late in the first half.

You can follow the action right here at NBCSports.com.

UPDATE: And just as we praise him, Chilly earns further criticism. The porous Vikings’ special teams from a season ago surrendered a punt return for a touchdown by Josh Cribbs of the Browns.