I’m trying to be charitable in describing the first half performance of Brett Favre and the revamped Vikings offense against the Browns.
Let’s just say, it remains a work-in-progress.
This became glaringly obvious on one attempted pattern to Sidney Rice in the end zone. Brett Favre thought Rice was going to go one way, Rice thought he was supposed to go another way, and the result was an incompletion leading to a made Ryan Longwell field goal.
Favre showed more rust at the very end of the half. He missed Percy Harvin on an attempted swing pass, then totally forgot to notice the corner bearing down on him on a blitz and took a sack to effectively end any chance of a 2-minute scoring drive.
Luckily, the Browns’ offense didn’t look much better. Chalk a lot of this up to conservative, sometimes confusing play-calling by Eric Mangini. Most perplexing was Mangini’s decision to run a Wildcat play with the ball on the goalline and Jamal Lewis on his team. The Vikes stuffed the third down play, holding the Browns to a field goal.
The big blow for the Vikings came on special teams: a Cleveland punt return touchdown just before the half, giving them a 13-10 lead. Viking fans got used to seeing that sort of stuff last season (remember Reggie Bush?), and were hoping a new special teams coach and some different personnel would change the situation.
Not so far.
But, like I said, work-in-progress. Whole half of football left to play.
Update: Adrian Peterson went to the locker room with time ticking down in the first half. Awaiting word on what is up with him. Things are sort of deteriorating here. Stay positive.