Struggling: Six Ways The Minnesota Vikings Can Get Back On Track
You can't start a season off any worse than the Minnesota Vikings through their first two games of the year.
Minnesota is a team that has looked out of sync, out of order, and out of options. But you can't give up already. Something must be done to get the Vikings back on track.
The majority of sports fans are already counting them out of the race. Although it's been a rough start, there are adjustments that can and will be made to improve.
The Vikings face the 0-2 Detroit Lions next week, which should be a win for Minnesota. After Week 3, Minnesota will face a bye week at the best possible time.
I will be listing several ways the Vikings can get back on track for the final 14 games of the 2010-2011 season.
Enjoy the show!
1. Brett Favre Needs to Make The Smart Throw, Not The Sexy Throw
It pained me to watch the multiple times Brett Favre threw the ball down the field to his receiver, hoping that the ball would somehow end up in his hands.
Yes, we were looking to get points, but you can't score when you don't have the ball.
I wouldn't be opposed to throws like this if Sidney Rice were the target, but the man is injured, and Minnesota is still making the silly throws regardless.
You're better off throwing quick screens for five yards rather than chucking the ball 50 yards down the middle of the field to somebody that can't catch the pass.
If somebody is open, and clearly open, I am all for the "big play." But there were times where we simply couldn't afford the ball being turned over to the Dolphins on Sunday.
Brett has not looked sharp whatsoever through Minnesota's first two games. However, he didn't look sharp until Week 3 of last year's games as well.
I still hold the biggest of hope that the legend will be able to get things going for the Vikings' deteriorating passing offense.
Adrian Is Known As "All Day" For a Reason
I recently stated that when Adrian Peterson thrives, Minnesota does as well. In nine out of 10 games that is the case.
On 28 carries Sunday, Adrian ran for 145 yards and a touchdown, which averages out to 5.2 yards per carry. Peterson was also great through the passing game, catching five balls for 41 yards.
I think he's put the questions as to whether or not he can succeed as a receiving running back to rest.
Against one of the better defenses in the league, Adrian had one of the better games of his career. This goes to show how great of a running back he is.
If Minnesota's offensive line could perform better, AP could see 200-yard games more frequently. Nonetheless, that doesn't look very likely at this point in time.
It's great to have Adrian to rely on when the passing game is struggling. The Vikings should feel much more comfortable giving the ball to him when they need a big chunk of yards.
Although we've only played two games, Peterson has yet to cough up the ball, or come even close for that matter.
Against a lackluster Detroit Lions defense, Adrian should have another great day at the office, so to speak.
Call San Diego, Trade For Vincent Jackson
While Sidney Rice is out, Minnesota will need a deep threat that the opposing defenses will have to spend a fair amount of time game-planning for.
It's clear that San Diego is willing to let Vincent Jackson go if they can get the right compensation in return for him.
A couple of weeks back, I was definitely not willing to trade for more than a third-rounder, but where we stand now, I'm willing to give up a first-round pick for one of the best wide receiver's in the NFL today.
Minnesota is throwing all of their chips into this year, which should signify that they will acquire Vincent Jackson, no matter what the price may be.
I do believe that they could even come up with a long-term extension for Jackson if they like the way he performs on the field.
A duo of Vincent Jackson and Sidney Rice would be deadly for any defense to face. Adding Percy Harvin and Visanthe Shiancoe to the mix would be a lethal offensive unit.
The Vikings have a short time-frame to trade for V-jax, so a lot of progress will have to be made over the 48 hours.
Incorportate Greg Camarillo Into The Offense
I understand that he's only been with Minnesota for a short period of time, but it shouldn't take two months for somebody to learn the offense.
Whether he's not getting the right amount of targets or he just doesn't know what to do yet, something needs to be done.
Greg Camarillo is known for having a pair of the most "sure hands" in the NFL, which means that he should be getting targeted far more often on Sundays.
Through the first two games of this season, Greg has two receptions for 32 yards under his belt. I can't be the only one that expected much more from the guy who caught 105 balls for the Dolphins in his last two years with Miami.
I'm not signaling out anybody for the blame in this, but something is clearly not going right for both parties. Camarillo was supposed to have his breakout game for the Vikings against his former team. As we all know by now, that didn't happen.
I was incredibly excited when Minnesota gave up Benny Sapp for Greg Camarillo, but now it's as though he's just another guy to return punts.
Minnesota cannot afford to drop the ball on this one. Get Greg incorporated into the offense, and target him several times through the course of the game.
Play With The Passion You Showed Last Year
It could just be me overreacting to small things, but it appears as though Minnesota isn't playing with the same passion and desire like they had during last year.
Brett Favre was a focused man in 2009, who wanted to show the rest of the world that despite his age, he could still lead a team to the promised land.
Minnesota hasn't scored first in either one of their games this season, which makes it difficult for a team to get fired-up and maintain that energy throughout.
With that said, even if you do trail early, the game is not over. The Vikings can't allow their opponent to get inside their head.
The NFL is one of the most psychological sports out there. Taking momentum from somebody early can cause that entire team to shut down.
In my opinion, it will take a blowout victory for Minnesota to get their spirits back up. If they can somehow defeat the Lions by more than 10, team morale will take a huge boost.
It's not the greatest of concerns for the Vikings, but even the little things can make a huge difference.
Get Everybody Healthy As Soon As Possible
This might be the most obvious concerns for the Vikings right now. Sidney Rice, Cedric Griffin, and Chris Cook are all currently players that have yet to see the field for Minnesota.
Although Rice isn't expected until after week eight, Griffin and Cook should make their respective debut next Sunday against Detroit.
Minnesota hasn't been terrible in the secondary without Griffin, but it's likely that Brandon Marshall would have had a much tougher time catching the long pass from Chad Henne in the first quarter.
As for Chris Cook, the Vikings likely won't need him that much right away. He could make big contributions on special teams, but not for much else.
It's also possible that Cook will be the nickel cornerback over Asher Allen when he returns from his knee injury.
Outside of these three, the Vikings are a healthy team that needs to get everything on track.
Sidney Rice was seen walking around inside of a pool without crutches, which is obviously a great sign for his health and the future.