Monday Morning Quarterback: Are the Minnesota Vikings in Trouble?

Kevin LindseyAnalyst ISeptember 21, 2010

Is this the beginning of the end for Brett Favre?
Is this the beginning of the end for Brett Favre?Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Minnesota Vikings fell to 0-2 when they lost to the Miami Dolphins 14-10 at home, and the big question looming in the Twin Cities is whether the Minnesota Vikings are in trouble.  Only three teams in the history of the NFL have started the season 0-2 and made it to the Super Bowl.

Will the Vikings become the fourth team this year to start 0-2 but finish the season in the Super Bowl?

Here are 10 questions and answers concerning the Vikings offense for your consideration leading up to the big question:

Is This the Beginning of the End for Brett Favre?

Maybe.  The camp that believes that Favre still has plenty in the tank point to the fact that Favre only had 265 passing yards last year after his first two games, and this year he has thrown for 396 yards. 

The camp that sees the sand running out of the hourglass point out that Favre was 37 of 48 at this point last year without any interceptions, whereas he is 37 of 63 this year with four interceptions.

My guess is that Favre is running out of time to get to the Super Bowl.  Favre appears slower this year in making his five- and seven-step drops.  Additionally, Brett is not eluding tackles in the pocket and getting the ball out quick enough to avoid being sacked.

The early bye week for Minnesota may allow Favre to turn back time and allow him to heal and put together one more magical season.

What Is the Deal with Bernard Berrian

Berrian muffed another punt and appears to have lost his punt returning job.  On the season, he has only three catches for 27 yards.  On Sunday, he failed to fight for two poorly thrown Favre passes that resulted in easy interceptions for the Dolphins.  Berrian averaged only 11.2 yards per catch last year, which was the lowest average in his career.

Will Sidney Rice’s Return Solve All of the Vikings Woes?

Rice’s return will definitely help the Vikings offense, but he will likely need a couple of weeks to return to form once he is cleared to play.  The Vikings, therefore, need to figure out how to make the playoffs in the event that he is not able make a meaningful contribution this year. 

Should the Vikings Pursue Vincent Jackson?

Yes, see the answers to the last two questions.  The cost for the Vikings to obtain Jackson will be high. However, when you have spent as much as Minnesota has on a 40-year-old quarterback, it is hard not to ante up at least one more time at the table to see if you can make something with the cards in your hands.

Are the Problems for the Vikings on Offense Attributable to the Playing Calling or Execution?

You can take issue with some of the play calling in the first two games. However, the main problem for the Vikings has not been the play calling, but the execution.  You can’t be successful running or passing the ball unless you can control the line of scrimmage, and so far, the offensive line has not done the job on a consistent basis.

Did the Vikings Make a Mistake with John Sullivan?  

The 6’4", 300-pound center has been pushed around this season, but in his defense, he didn’t start the season healthy.  Sullivan will, however, need to get healthy and step up his game if the Vikings are to turn things around.  The Vikings did not make a mistake with Sullivan, but it is too early to say they got it right.  

Is Phil Loadholt Suffering a Sophomore Jinx?

Loadholt has struggled in the first two games of the season, picking up holding and unnecessary roughness penalties.  Most notably, Loadholt was fined $10,000 by the NFL for two unnecessary roughness penalties that occurred in the Saints game. 

Do the Vikings Miss Chester Taylor?

No, but the jury is still out.  Toby Gerhart and Albert Young have been fine, but nothing special in the offense.   Gerhart and Young will need to become a threat to catch screen passes to slow down opponents' rush on Favre.  Chester has seen limited action for the Chicago Bears, rushing for 35 yards on 13 rushes with no touchdowns.  

Is Visanthe Shiancoe Ready for a Breakout Season?

Shiancoe has lead the Vikings in receptions for the second straight game, and with Rice out, Favre will likely continue to try and find Shiancoe.  Visanthe has 10 catches, 162 yards, and one touchdown on the season—the only down side to his game is that he has missed a couple of blocking assignments. And now, the big question...

Are the Vikings in Trouble?

No, the Vikings have time to turn things around and make the playoffs.  If they lose to the Detroit Lions this week, the Vikings will be in deep doo-doo.


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