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10 Vikings Talking Points

Here’s what’s kicking around in my brain in the wake of the Vikings’ second road victory of the year:

It’s huge for the Vikings to be 2-0 with 1/4 of their road schedule out of the way.  They can go .500 for the rest of the year away from the Dome and still finish 5-3.  And if they go something like 6-2 at home?  Do the math.  11-5 should win the division.  And 6-2 might be conservative for a home prediction.

Ray Edwards has taken a step up.  He was all over the field against Detroit, playing like a man possessed.  The defensive line is now a complete unit all the way across.

Phil Loadholt has a long way to go.  The whiff that allowed Jason Hunter to sack Brett Favre in the first quarter was too Ryan Cook-like for my tastes.  It didn’t help that he got called for holding in his attempt to keep Hunter off Favre, and still let Favre get hit.  Second week in a row one of the Vikings’ new offensive linemen allowed a sack and got called for holding on the same play.  Offensive line could still prove to be this team’s downfall.

I await a good explanation on why the Vikings are starting so slow in games.  Brad Childress did address it in his press conference yesterday, and pointed out that the Vikings were actually off to a decent start vs. the Lions before Adrian Peterson‘s fumble.  Brett Favre chalked it up to tempo.

The fumble was Adrian Peterson’s fault.  Video clearly showed the ball being placed in his arms as nice as you please by Favre.  I think Adrian just gets over-eager.  It’s something we may just have to learn to live with.

What’s the biggest difference between the 2008 Vikings and the 2009 Vikings?  How about red zone efficiency?  Last year, the red zone was more like the Dead Zone.  Now, with Brett Favre throwing to guys like Percy Harvin and Visanthe Shiancoe, the Vikings are finishing off drives.  Last year, it seemed the only time we scored touchdowns was on long plays, but now we’re getting them from close in too.

Adrian Peterson is going to injure somebody one of these days.  The vicious hits he puts on people finishing off runs on the sidelines are ridiculous.  He had two big ones yesterday…but the play that impressed me, and Adam Schefter, was the one where he threw Julian Peterson about five yards with one arm.  AD abuses defenders.

Percy Harvin’s nickname should be Little AD.  Not only is Percy fast and shifty, he is not afraid to take people on.  He runs with some of the same abandon as Peterson.  And he always makes the first guy miss.  He is a legit weapon, especially on 3rd down and in the red zone.

Chester Taylor is looking like the odd-man-out in this offense.  He didn’t help himself yesterday by fumbling on one of his 4 rushing attempts.  I don’t know how much of a third down weapon he’ll be now either, with Favre looking to guys like Harvin and Shiancoe.  It’s still nice to have him around as a back-up if Adrian God forbid gets hurt, but I see his offensive role shrinking as Peterson gets better as a pass receiver and pass blocker.

We’re lucky we faced a rookie quarterback on Sunday.  A steady veteran guy would not have missed some of the throws Matthew Stafford missed (I’m thinking particularly of that horrible broken coverage play where Bryant Johnson ran ten yards clear of everyone and would’ve had a touchdown had Stafford just calmly dropped it in).  A veteran also probably would’ve seen Chad Greenway on those two picks and not thrown it.  Playing Brady Quinn and Stafford two straight weeks is a big part of why this team is 2-0.

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Tags: Adam Schefter Adrian Peterson Brad Childress Brady Quinn Brett Favre Bryant Johnson Chad Greenway Chester Taylor Detroit Lions Jason Hunter Julian Peterson Matthew Stafford Minnesota Vikings Percy Harvin Phil Loadholt Ray Edwards Ryan Cook Visanthe Shiancoe

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