The Vikings staged a 2nd-half comeback against the NY Jets on Monday Night Football that was fun to watch and nearly resulted in victory. But ultimately it wasn’t enough to overcome a disappointing 1st half.
So what went wrong for the Vikings? I know I don’t have all the answers and I look forward to hearing from Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress to get his thoughts. In the meantime, though, let’s look at a few things that didn’t go the Vikings way on Monday night…
Slow starts: The slow starts for the Vikings are beginning to bug me. This is such a talented offensive team and there is a good mix of veterans in the bunch, too, so that leads me to believe this group shouldn’t struggled much at all and certainly not in the 1st quarter, when many of the plays are scripted and the environment has as good a chance as any time in the game to be shaped the way the coaches want it shaped. The Vikings had just three 1st downs and 51 yards in the entire 1st half against the Jets on Monday night. In fact, the Vikings have just 7 total points in all 1st halfs so far in 2010.
Turnovers: Vikings assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier explained earlier in the week that he thought turnovers would be a huge factor in determining the winner of this game. As it turns out, he was right. The Jets were +3 in the take/give department and didn’t have a turnover all night. The Vikings, meanwhile, lots 2 fumbles and had QB Brett Favre throw a game-deciding INT to help the Jets seal the deal.
The Vikings must eliminate this problem. They are now -6 in the take/give department, boasting 5 turnovers but also being guilty of 11 turnovers.
Adrian Peterson touches: Though Favre and the passing offense got it going late in the game, it’s clear that right now Favre and Co. are slow-to-go out of the gates this season. Peterson carried the Vikings in Week 2 and Week 3, leading the Vikings to victory over Detroit in Week 3 thanks to 160 rushing yards. It makes sense…having Peterson shoulder the load while the offense tries to get the passing game in order. But against the Jets on Monday night, Peterson had just 18 carries (for 88 yards) and he had only 1 reception. The Vikings need to keep Peterson more intricately involved in the offense because he’s arguably their best weapon.
Penalties: The Vikings committed 3 penalties on their opening drive, including an illegal man downfield penalty on the team’s 1st offensive snap of the game, which negated a Moss-to-Favre connection. As I explained in today’s Monday Morning Mailbag: Tuesday Edition, the Vikings have been penalized 33 times so far in 2010, which puts them on pace for 132 penalties called against them this season. That’s 31 more than they had last year and it’s just far too many, no matter how you look at it. Many of the penalties are procedural penalties that can be fixed easily.
Vikings rush defense: It’s odd to me that I’m pointing this one out because the Vikings defense has been just lights out so far in 2010, allowing just 53 offensive points; that’s 2nd-best in the NFL behind only the Pittsburgh Steelers. But teams have found a way to run against the Vikings at times and it’s bugging me. The New Orleans Saints were able to run out the clock on us in Week 1, which kept our offense off the field late in the game. Then Miami RB Ronnie Brown got loose a few times and picked up big yardage. Then on Monday night the Jets accumulated 155 total rushing yards on 32 carries, which averages out to 4.8 yards per carry. That’s too much for this dominant and talented rush defense to allow, and I’m anticipating they’ll bow up here against Dallas’ terrific RB trio.
Tags: Adrian Peterson, Leslie Frazier
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