The Minnesota Vikings have now lost the last two games they have played and both were to the New Orleans Saints. The NFC Championship game was a shootout that also happened to be filled with mistakes by the Vikings. The opening game of this, the 2010 season, was hardly a shootout, but like the playoff loss last year came down to the fourth quarter(no OT needed this time).
Taking a look at the positives first, the most obvious is the turnover category. In the NFC title game Minnesota turned the ball over five times, including two Favre interceptions. Last night only one INT and that was the only turnover of the game. Offensively, Adrian Peterson looked solid if not spectacular and Visanthe Shiancoe had the best game of any offensive player for the Vikings. On the defensive side they looked better than they did eight months ago. The linebacking corps really stood out as the trio of Chad Greenway, E.J. Henderson, and Ben Lieber were making stops all over the field. Antoine Winfield continues to be the best player in Minnesota’s secondary and probably the best tackling cornerback I’ve ever seen. The defense was able to hold the Saints to two touchdowns and two missed field goal attempts. Holding the Super Bowl champs to 14 points would sound like a win.
The Vikings lost their season opener for a variety of reasons, most of them on offense. Outside of the second quarter, Brett Favre looked like a flag football quarterback that somebody loaned a uniform to. He was off target most of the night, even the touchdown pass was behind the receiver(Shiancoe made a very nice catch). While he was only sacked once, he looked panicked in the pocket several times including the play where the Saints intercepted the ball. Favre was not the only problem with the passing game last night as it was obvious that the Vikes were missing Sidney Rice. The receiving core didn’t have any kind of physical presence outside of Shiancoe and in the second half New Orleans took him away. Another problem was third down. Minnesota misses Chester Taylor, and unlike Rice, they are not getting him back. Maybe Toby Gerhart will offset that loss when he gets healthy. As mentioned before, AP looked solid, but never did break off a long run. His longest run of the day was fourteen yards. Also, in the second half Minnesota seemed to go away from the running game and at some points seemed very predictable, or Childress-like. There were some other questionable coaching decisions too. Why did it take so long to bring in Greg Camarillo? He is not Sidney, but it was apparent in preseason that Brett has some faith in him and he can make some plays in the passing game. This loss however, does not fall on Childress. The game was lost by the offense as a whole. The Vikings are going to have to score more than 9-10 points to beat anybody. That anybody includes the Miami Dolphins next week.
About the Author
Written by Sean Eckhardt
Univ of Alabama alumni. Born and raised outside Chicago, IL. Currently live in Florida. Some of my favorite teams include the Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Heat, and the Florida Panthers. My interests outside of sports include music, outdoor activities, and anything with a motor(cars, bikes, boats, etc...).