A season ago TE Visanthe Shiancoe was a go-to threat for QB Brett Favre and the Vikings offense. He had a career-high 56 catches and 11 TDs, with each of his scores coming in the red zone. This year, though, the passing attack has yet to take its true form and as a result Shiancoe hasn’t seen as much action.
Through 5 games, the Shiancoe has 13 catches for 197 yards and 1 TD. Last week against Dallas he was shutout and he now has 3 total receptions over the past 3 games. The 6-4, 250-pound TE has developed into a talented receiver for the Vikings and when the passing offense gets back on track and produces as it did in 2009, Shiancoe will be a big reason why.
While over the past 2 weeks one can argue the addition of WR Randy Moss to the offense has taken looks away from Shiancoe, an even stronger argument can be made that as the offense continues to improve and gel Shiancoe will become more of a factor. He is an exceptional technician and route runner who can take advantage of mismatches in the middle of the field and down the seam. Moss’ addition as a down-field threat who commands double-teams will assist Shiancoe in finding those mismatches.
“It’s a matter of us putting him in a position to be a prime look on certain passes,” Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress said on Wednesday. “Now I always say, you can be looking at somebody as a prime guy and if he’s gloved or he’s being covered by two people it has to go elsewhere. We can do a better job of that, putting him in better situations.”
This week’s game against Green Bay might present one of those better situations Childress referenced. Surely Green Bay’s priority will be to stop RB Adrian Peterson from establishing the run and then also prevent Moss from torching them deep down the sidelines. As a result, Shiancoe could be in-line to see some of those mismatches that led to a great season a year ago.
On top of all that, statistics indicate that Green Bay has had trouble containing opposing teams’ TEs in recent weeks. Miami’s Anthony Fasano had a 22-yard score last week, Washington’s Chris Coolley had 7 receptions for 69 yards 2 weeks ago, Detroit TEs combined for 154 yards on 14 grabs and in Week 3 Chicago’s Greg Olsen had 5 catches for 64 yards and 1TD.
Now, Green Bay is obviously aware of these facts and will scheme against Shiancoe. They’ve had mixed results against the Vikings pass-catching TE in the past, holding him to 4 total receptions in 2009 but also yielding a TD in each game.
It will be interesting to see how the Vikings try to integrate Shiancoe into the offensive attack going forward. If they can do it successfully, the offense will be one step closer to regaining its 2009 form.
Tags: Visanthe Shiancoe
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 29 Comments »