The Vikings tried some trickery to throw the Jets off early, running a reverse that looked like it was supposed to end with Randy Moss throwing a pass downfield. Unfortunately, the play resulted in an illegal man downfield penalty, setting a tone of ineptitude that the offense would mostly continue right up until halftime.
The stats tell the story on this one: Through the first two quarters, the Vikings managed only 51 total yards, 15 through the air. Brett Favre was sacked twice and fumbled once on the exchange from Ryan Cook, resulting in the half’s only turnover. In his first half as a Viking (this time around), Randy Moss caught only one quick pass for 7 yards. No Viking receiver managed more than one reception in the half. Adrian Peterson ran just 8 times for 34 yards. Mistakes abounded, many directly attributable to Favre.
But it could have been worse. Thankfully, the defense was able to do a reasonable job…though, truth be told, the Jets had their chances to break the game open and simply failed to capitalize. LaDainian Tomlinson has found enough holes to run for 61 yards, and Mark Sanchez has made some good throws but hasn’t been helped by his receivers.
The biggest story of the first half, though, was the weather. Rain and lightning pushed back the start of the game 45 minutes, then returned late in the second quarter, helping the Vikings’ defense to slow down a potential Jets touchdown drive. If things are going to turn around in the second half, the Vikings will have to go heavily with Adrian Peterson, and hope – hope – that Favre can get things figured out at least a little. The defense, I believe, will not hold up if the Vikes continue failing to extend drives.