3 things the Vikings need to improve heading into Week 3

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /
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(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) Stefon Diggs /

Fewer penalties

The Vikings not only started slow, but they were very sloppy and undisciplined in their loss at Lambeau Field in Week 2. Granted the refs were flag happy and seemed to target the purple, but Minnesota needs to play with more poise this week against the Raiders.

The Vikings were flagged eight times for 100 yards against the Packers. In Week 2, the defensive line was especially at fault for jumping offsides in key situations. They were better in Green Bay, but the rest of the team was much worse.

The majority of the penalties seemed to come on the offensive side of the ball. Minnesota rookie center Garrett Bradbury was struggling against Packers defensive tackle Kenny Clark and he had to hold him a couple of different times to keep Kirk Cousins from getting killed.

It also seemed like every Vikings wide receiver was flagged at least once for offensive pass interference. The refs were acting like it was the first time they could call that penalty and they were having a contest amongst themselves to see who could toss the most laundry on the field for that particular infraction.

One of the worst penalties and the one that showed the biggest lack of self-discipline was Minnesota receiver Stefon Diggs taking off his helmet after his touchdown.

While Vikings fans appreciated the emotion he showed on that play and the kind words he dropped towards the Packers faithful, he’s still got to be smarter there. His penalty pushed Minnesota’s extra point attempt back to a 47-yard attempt and naturally, Dan Bailey missed it costing the Vikings a much-needed point.

Minnesota is a better team than the Raiders. But if the Vikings play as boneheaded as they did in Green Bay, the penalties could make their Week 3 contest a much more even matchup.