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Vikes 2-3 ...Whew! (10/20/2010)
By John Edstrom

Well fans, can anyone remember a season when it was this hard to pick up two wins five games into the schedule? The Vikes, whose offense is studded with stars, is nevertheless unable to hold the ball consistently or score many points. Particularly in the first half they just canít seem to generate any yardage.

I donít understand why this team has such a hard time picking up the blitz, especially since they face it constantly week after week. You would think a canny veteran like Favre would be able to burn teams that take extra pass rushers out of coverage play after play, but he seems hesitant to get rid of the ball and gets tracked down and whacked way too often. Would better game planning give him an extra second or two to get the ball off to quicker developing pass routes?

But this is a stodgy offense. There seems to be no appreciation for the element of surprise, or any attempt to deceive the opponent, even with such basic old dodges as the play action pass. At the end of the game when the Purple desperately needed a couple of first downs to secure the win, the handoff to Peterson and where he would run seemed obvious to the whole stadium before the ball was snapped. That is, of course, the fanís inevitable reaction to any play that doesnít work, or any unsuccessful series, but the Vikings offense just seems remarkably unimaginative.

This team has its act together way better on defense than offense, but that half of the game was also tough to watch last Sunday. It is a crying shame that weíve lost Cedric Griffen again for the rest of the season, although our butcherís bill is nothing compared to the Cheeseheads,í so donít look over there for any sympathy. His replacement, Lito Sheppard, was picked on for three TDs, giving ample evidence of why he was let go by the Jets. Look for Asher Allen to replace him, and hope that Chris Cook will be available against the Cheeseheads next week at Lambeau or the Vikes will get picked apart by Aaron Rodgers, even with his team all shot to pieces.

It would also be a good time for the Purple to rediscover a pass rush, which hasnít been at all consistent this year. Has Jared Allen gotten more than one sack yet? The Cheese has shown little ability to run the ball without Ryan Grant, so any hope they have of coming away with a win will depend on Rodgers throwing long, short, and often.

Take away a few iffy penalties and lucky breaks, and the Vikes would be 1-4 and pretty much out of it. Instead, they are very much in the NFC North race, with the Cheese and Bears both stumbling, but Favre and the Purple offense have got to start clicking or the rest of the schedule will be sheer torture.  


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