Remember when the Minnesota Vikings actually had a KAO? A team that was capable of averaging 29 points a game. That team lined up with Rice-Berrian-Harvin-Shiancoe. Single teaming Rice meant mismatch. Double-teaming Rice meant either Berrian or Harvin sprinting down the field would likely be uncovered or Shiancoe would have a mismatch down the middle of the field. Without Rice it’s up to the other 3 to carry the load and that’s clearly not working. Favre does not trust Berrian, Harvin made some plays but also dropped a key ball in the red zone which should have gone for 6. Harvin also is also a hip, ankle, migraine, you name it from missing time. Shiancoe has been solid, but defensive coordinators know how much Favre trusts him. On the play before Adrian’s touchdown, Favre’s incompletion was immediately thrown to Shiancoe being his first read.
Would Vincent Jackson help out in solving this problem? Absolutely, but don’t forget VJax must serve two more games of his suspension. Looking ahead, the Vikings play Lions – Jets – Cowboys – Packers – Patriots. Even with VJax for 3 of those 5 games, going 4-1 or 5-0 is wishful thinking.
But not having a big play WR is just one of the Vikings problems. We have a wildly overrated offensive line. Bryant McKinnie and Steve Hutchinson were fine. However, Phil Loadholt was manhandled all day by Cameron Wake. John Sullivan and Anthony Herrera also looked boringly average. Another problem is Lito Sheppard who was burned badly on Dolphins opening drive. Hopefully both Chris Cook and Cedric Griffin come back this week and play like All-Pros. I’ve honestly seen enough of Lito Sheppard and Bernard Berrian in Purple to last me a lifetime. Never would have guessed Tarvaris Jackson would have such company so early.
And finally there’s Favre, which Dan touched upon earlier. And there are two facts that scare us at TVA. Chances of an NFL team making the playoffs after starting season 0-2 are 13%. Secondly, Favre started 0-2 three times during his tenure with the Green Bay Packers and none of those years did they make the playoffs. While we’re not at that point yet and hopefully this is a question the Vikings won’t have to deal with, but if this does become a lost season does Favre even want to play anymore? He was obviously hesitant about rejoining the team and said following the game that dealing with losses was one reason he considered not coming back. He’s also already thrown more interceptions at home this year than he did in 2009.
Alright, I’m going to quit writing before I have a coronary. Hope this team rights the ship ASAP. NFL is a week-by-week league. And as Paul Allen would say, “This is Detroit… Man.”
Jon Merckle may be followed on Twitter @thevikingpig