Minnesota Vikings Coaches, Give Adrian Peterson the #$%! Ball
First of all, let's not panic people. The 2010 Minnesota Vikings are not going to go 8-8 and miss the playoffs.
The offense may have looked bad in Week 1, but that's no reason to panic.
Remember Week 1 of the 2009 Minnesota Vikings season? The Vikings faced the pitiful Cleveland Browns.
In that game, Brett Favre managed just 110 yards through the air on 21 attempts. His YPA was a dismal 5.24.
In Week 2, the Vikings played the more pitiful Detroit Lions. Favre had just 155 yards on 27 attempts.
Favre didn't look very good in the Vikings opener against the New Orleans Saints last Thursday, but that doesn't mean we need to hit the panic button.
Losing 14-9 to the reigning champs is not exactly a bad start to the season. In fact, the defense was absolutely phenomenal in that game.
No team held the Saints offense below 17 points in 2009, at least not against their first team. In Week 17 last year, the Carolina Panthers held the Saints to 10 points. However, the Saints were resting their starters for the playoffs.
The defense is obviously playing at a high level and should have no problem stuffing a much weaker Miami Dolphins offense on Sunday.
Still, there are concerns about this offense. Everyone is talking Vincent Jackson and saying "the Vikings need a big receiver on the outside."
They don't. Brett Favre will get in his groove like he does every year. He will find Bernard Berrian, Percy Harvin, Visanthe Shiancoe, and Greg Camarillo. Brett Favre and the passing attack will be just fine.
There is no reason to go out and get a pain in the neck named Vincent Jackson.
What the Vikings need right now is a revised game plan.
They need to do one simple thing: Give Adrian Peterson the #$%! ball.
In the second half against the Saints, Brad Childress and/or Darrell Bevell decided to forget about the best player in the NFC.
In the first half, Peterson had 15 touches for 74 yards. In the second half, just seven touches for 27 yards. That is absolutely inexcusable. Especially in a tight game that does not require the Vikings to throw.
Peterson ran hard and did not have any fumble scares in the first half. Why did they stop giving him the ball?
Peterson himself seemed pretty upset, telling the media after the game, "I don't know if Coach heard me, but I remember walking by in the second half on the sideline saying, 'Hey, give it to me. Feed me.' I don't know if he really heard me. But there's a lot to learn from this game."
There is a lot to learn. How about taking a cue from the Tennessee Titans who boast the best running back in the AFC?
Chris Johnson of the Titans received 27 carries on Sunday, even though he was playing the lowly Oakland Raiders. Clearly, the Titans have figured one thing out: "CJ2K is our best player, we should give him the ball a lot."
Why have Childress and Bevell not figured this out?
Getting Adrian going will set up the play-action pass and allow Favre to pick apart defenses. We don't need to bomb the ball downfield to a 6'5" receiver.
The Vikings need to work with what they have: The best running back in the NFC, a great quarterback with limited mobility, and quick receivers who can break a short pass for a big gain.
They can win with the talent already on this team. It all starts with the offensive game plan. Brad Childress, the ball is in your court.
Give. Adrian. Peterson. The. Ball.
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