The Minnesota Vikings offense looked like a unit that was still trying to get to know one another in last night's season-opening loss to the defending Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints. And with only 262 yards of total offense, one could argue that was most definitely the case in a surprisingly low-scoring 14-9 game.
Typically, that's what training camp is for—to iron out the kinks and get yourself ready for the regular season and to get in sync with the rest of your teammates when the games really count.
But with quarterback Brett Favre reporting late (again), receiver Percy Harvin and center John Sullivan missing most of training camp and the preseason with ailments, and top receiver Sidney Rice missing everything, the Vikings were forced into a "let's see how this goes" situation that backfired on them in the defeat.
In his postgame presser, Favre said we could call it "rusty" if we wanted to. And that's exactly the term I'm going to use. Aside from a couple outstanding throws to tight end Visanthe Shiancoe (and a nifty 29-yard toss to Greg Camarillo), Favre admittedly made a number of poor reads and threw just as many poor passes en route to a subpar (certainly by his standards) 15-of-27, 171-yard passing performance.
This was a game that should've been played a month ago—in the preseason. Favre had roughly one half and one quick drive of preseason football under his belt entering this game. Throw in the aforementioned injuries and some new faces—or at least some familiar faces in new roles—and you've got the makings of a nine-point effort.
On a positive note, running back Adrian Peterson ran well (87 yards on 19 carries) against a stout Saints defense. Oh, and the Vikings barely lost the game. But ultimately, Favre will need to perform better and get on the same page with his receivers if Minnesota is to advance into the postseason.
I believe both will happen. As far as the playoffs are concerned, the Vikes are 0-1. I think it's far too early to even discuss.