The Vikings notched their 8th win of the season on Sunday by defeating the Detroit Lions 27-10 and now possess the NFL’s 3rd best record (Indianapolis and New Orleans are 9-0).
But based on a couple of negative statistics and some of head coach Brad Childress’ comments during his postgame press conference, you don’t get the sense that this 8-1 team will be resting on its laurels as they prepare for the Seattle Seahawks this week.
At halftime, the Vikings had 302 net yards and 10 first downs. The Lions had just 125 total yards and were just 1 of 4 on 3rd down. Yet the Vikings led just 10-3.
“We didn’t do a great job of holding onto the football,” Childress said. “I thought we did a great job of moving the football up and down the field but the ball has to come with you. That is incumbent on what you are doing. We had a chance to put some distance in there and not be sweating as you go to the locker room (at halftime).”
The Vikings lost 2 fumbles in the opening 2 quarters, at least one of which took sure points off the board because RB Adrian Peterson was dashing toward the end zone when Lions CB Phillip Buchanon punched the ball from Peterson’s arms and the play resulted in a touchback for Detroit.
But there were other factors that led to lost yardage and points as well. The Vikings were penalized 6 times for 45 yards in the 1st half and 13 times for 91 yards for the whole game. In addition, Minnesota was just 2 for 6 in the red zone on the afternoon.
“The penalty thing is disturbing to me because we are really one of the least penalized teams in the League,” Childress said. “We leaked yardage today and that is disappointing.”
We’ve talked about this a couple of times here on the blog this season, but in light of yesterday’s game and Childress’ comments afterwards, it’s worth mentioning again. Some of those statistical shortcomings could be blessings in disguise.
The Vikings have an impressive 8-1 record, but you can be sure they’ll be working this week like a .500 team trying to dig itself out of a hole.
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