In 2009 the Vikings offense featured 6 Pro Bowlers and registered a countless number of sensational plays and performances along the way to ranking 2nd in points scored. During Sunday’s 17-13 win at Washington, all 6 of those Pro Bowl players were on the field but they didn’t take the form of that glamorous and glitzy group from last year.
Instead, they were disciplined and sound, which allowed them to grind out a 4-point win on the road and snap a 9-game road losing streak. Disciplined and sound is not how you would characterize the offense’s performance over the first 10 games of the season or over the previous 9 road games, but that’s how the group played for Leslie Frazier in his first game as interim head coach.
Even with a Hall of Fame QB under center and a pair of Pro Bowl WRs split wide, Frazier and the Vikings leaned heavily on the ground game. Adrian Peterson rushed for 36 yards and 1 TD on just 6 carries in the 1st half, but left the game in the 2nd quarter with an ankle injury. That didn’t stop the Vikings from running, though. Rookie RB Toby Gerhart stepped up and ran the ball effectively, and the Vikings finished with 137 rushing yards. Perhaps the best stretch came at the end of the game, when the Vikings ripped off a 13-play series that included 9 rushes for 37 yards and 3 kneel downs to take off the final 6:13 of regulation.
The Vikings offense played smash-mouth football, running the ball 38 times compared to just 23 pass attempts. At the same time, Favre was efficient passing the ball and was turnover-free. The Vikings tallied 17 first downs, with 8 coming on the ground and 8 via the pass (1 came via penalty).
Look at these numbers and I’m not sure there is a better illustration of disciplined and sound football: 0 turnovers, just 3 penalties for 15 yards, a 38-23 run-to-pass ratio, a 40% third-down conversion rate and a 33:05 to 26:55 time of possession advantage.
Tags: Adrian Peterson, Leslie Frazier, Toby Gerhart
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 17 Comments »