Vikings Weekly Progress Report: Minnesota Gets Right Before the Week 11 Bye

Andrew Garda@andrew_gardaFeatured ColumnistNovember 13, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 11:  Christian Ponder #7 of the Minnesota Vikings is shown after a game against the Detroit Lions on November 11, 2012 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Andy Clayton KIng/Getty Images)
Andy King/Getty Images

Well, well, well, look who showed up for the Lions game.

Yes, the defense made an appearance, as did Christian Ponder's accuracy. I don't know if they were vacationing or what, but they certainly hadn't been on the field in quite some time prior to this weekend.

Just in time too, because after this bye week, this stuff gets real.

The Vikings play the Packers and Bears twice each and head to Houston as well. The only thing remotely like a breather will come in Week 15 against the Rams, but when it comes to St. Louis, you can never tell which Rams will show up.

So expect a better-than-you-think game.

In some ways, this bye week is ill-timed, since momentum is so fickle. The Vikings finally played to the level they had reached earlier in this season, and the worst thing could be time off if it risks a loss of focus we've already seen once.

That said, the sooner they get Percy Harvin back, the better.

With the bye here, they should be able to get Harvin right in time for the next game, a critical one against the Packers.

Even with Harvin back, though, they should try to keep rookie Jarius Wright active. He provided a much-needed spark to the game, and even if he merely duplicates a lot of what Harvin already does (and that's an oversimplification anyway), the Vikings need another playmaker at the wide receiver position.

The other receivers, Jerome Simpson included, haven't stepped up. Wright did, even if it was only to the tune of three catches.

Most importantly, the team needs to find a way to stay focused. As we said earlier, the next six weeks are critical. There's not any room for error.

The Vikings control their own destiny.

We'll soon see if they can reach out and take it.

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