A lot of times there aren’t many concerns with 6-0 teams. In fact, the main concern might be that there aren’t many concerns. Undefeated teams might gain a sense of overconfidence. Might get complacent in preparation. Might lose their edge.
But not this 6-0 team. The Vikings are undefeated, yes. A team should never apologize for winning. They’ve done what it takes to win 6 games and they should be proud of their record. But their unblemished record comes with some, well, blemishes along the way.
Defending the pass is a concern. Baltimore marched down the field in the 4th quarter far too easily. The Ravens racked up 222 yards and 21 points in the final quarter, even taking the lead at one point and then getting themselves in position to win the game with a FG.
The injury bug is becoming a concern. G Steve Hutchinson has been dealing with a back injury, WR Darius Reynaud has a hamstring ailment, and now both WR Percy Harvin (shoulder) and CB Antoine Winfield (foot) have injuries to deal with. Every team goes through this and the Vikings are no different.
The Vikings offense began the game with 2 straight TD drives, helping the team jump out to a quick 14-0 lead. But then the next 4 drives ended in punts and 3 of the 4 drives were 3-and-out series. A pair of sacks and a penalty were to blame for 3 of the abbreviated drives; those are mistakes that will be addressed in meetings this week.
Finishing drives with TDs will be a point of emphasis this week, too. Salvaging drives with FGs is important, but it’s not often that the team with the most FGs wins an NFL game. Twice the Vikings were inside the Ravens 15-yardline and had to settle for FGs.
The Vikings kick coverage units have been sound for the most part this season. The punt coverage team was solid once again yesterday, but the Ravens found a crease or two on kickoff returns. Baltimore averaged 23.6 yards per return on 7 tries, an average that’s a bit too high for the coaching staff’s liking.
So as you can see, there are plenty of areas that require correction for the Vikings. But being a 6-0 team with the need and desire to improve isn’t such a bad thing.
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