There is still one regular season game to be played, but this year’s Vikings offense is already the most productive unit head coach Brad Childress has had in Minnesota. The Vikings currently have 5,587 total yards, which is more than the previous Childress/Vikings high of 5,379 (2007).
Setting the standard for total yardage this year was a product of a drastic improvement in the passing game. And that improvement in the passing game was a product of the old adage “many hands make light work.”
According to Elias Sports Bureau, this year’s Vikings team joins only the 1983 Cowboys as teams with 6 players who have 40+ receptions. Accomplishing such a feat is the product of the team’s offensive system and its steady improvement under Childress as well as the weapons in that offensive system continuing to develop.
But Childress also pointed out on Wednesday that the Vikings ability to spread the ball around so well is also due to having a veteran QB under center who knows what to do and when to do it.
“It speaks to him (QB Brett Favre) being an equal-opportunity thrower,” Childress said. “Sometimes there’s the perception that he’s singled out Sidney Rice. Sidney’s done a great job of working himself open. He’s (Favre) relied on him to be able in one-on-one situations to put the football up and Sidney’s made a bunch of plays.
“But by the same token, he (Favre) knows his way around this system to where he knows where a backside number four (receiver) is. And that’s a huge thing, to be able to progress (through reads).”
Childress explained that progressing through reads sounds easy at face value but that often times young or inexperienced QBs struggle with this facet of the game. Favre clearly doesn’t struggle with progressing through his reads, as the 6 players with 40 receptions stat proves. Most telling in that stat, perhaps, is the fact that 2 of those 6 receivers are RBs.
It also helps that Favre has run a similar offensive system for 19 seasons and there probably isn’t a situation that’s foreign to him.
“As I always say, he (Favre) knows where all the bones are buried so you better be alive on the backside,” Childress said. “If you’re not back there working, you’re not going to see the football very often. So it keeps everybody with a stake in the action.”
Vikings players with 40+ receptions
77- Sidney Rice (WR)
53- Percy Harvin (WR)
53- Bernard Berrian (WR)
49- Visanthe Shiancoe (TE)
42- Adrian Peterson (RB)
42- Chester Taylor (RB)
Tags: Sidney Rice
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