Well fans, Sunday’s loss to the Dolphins could set up a nightmare scenario, but let’s not panic just yet. The Viking defense is playing well, allowing just three TDs in two games. And, when Cedric Griffen and Chris Cook return to the cornerback position, it should be better yet. It is a team game, of course, but Lito Sheppard was largely responsible for the TD Miami scored on its first possession. It is hard to understand why he wouldn’t contest the corner of the end zone on that play.
The rushing attack is in place – the odds against losing in a game where your offense runs for 157 yards and the defense gives up only seven points are higher than against winning when you turn over the ball four times. (I just made that up, but it seems reasonable.)
It is obvious, then, that the passing game is the problem, and doubtful that it can be turned around immediately. Plainly, Brett Favre and Bernard Berrian have no chemistry, and if it isn’t there now, why would it develop later? Berrian seems tentative on the field and defensive off, bad attitudes for a football player. I don’t expect him to turn it around. Favre does trust Visanthe Schiancoe, and the two are productive, but without a deep threat from the wideouts, the tight end becomes too predictable.
Percy Harvin should take some of that pressure off, but he hasn’t seemed right yet, and now the hip injury is worse. Greg Camarillo is still an unknown, except that he doesn’t have exceptional speed, and Greg Lewis has shown nothing other than the one great catch to win against the 49ers last year. That was a stroke of luck which has eluded the Purple so far this year.
At this point it seems especially strange that the Vikes would have dealt Darius Reynaud, who had shown some flash as a wideout and, in any case, was a better than average punt returner. And why send Javon Walker away after just a cursory glance? He is big, 6’3,” speedy, (or at least used to be), and able to go up for the jump ball. Plus, he and Favre are familiar with each other, although some of that may be negative.
Walker is a head case with a strong taste for the nightlife – if he returns he should be given a locker far away from Bryant McKinnie’s. But then San Diego’s Vincent Jackson, now clamored for by all, is also heavily laden with such baggage and would cost the arm and a leg the Vikes need to keep proven players on the roster. He would be available for the Jets game Oct. 11, but how long would it take for him and Favre to develop chemistry?
Next week’s meeting with the Lions is fraught with grave peril for this season. It is problematic that Purple playoff hopes can survive an 0-2 start. 0-3 would be put them in an early grave. We will have to hope that by next week someone will emerge as the additional target Favre needs to get us through October. If the defense continues to play well, it shouldn’t take a lot of offense to get by Detroit at the Hump.