While all is not perfect, things are much better in the land of 10,000 lakes as the Minnesota Vikings got on the positive side of the ledger before the bye with their 24-10 win over the Detroit Lions.
The 1-2 Vikings emerge from bye week knowing that they are 1.5 games behind Green Bay and Chicago, but can close the gap by having a strong October.
Each week on Monday Morning Viking Quarterback, we will examine questions surrounding the team, look back at what we saw from the Vikings in their most recent game, observe the other teams in the NFC North, and a look ahead to the upcoming game.
Is it time to stop talking about Brett Favre missing training camp?
Yes. Forget about whether Favre looked sharp in the game, because we all know he still looks rusty. All of you who can’t stop commiserating over the issue please repeat after me . . .“We can’t go back in time and scold the petulant Favre about the need to come to camp; we need to let it go, we need to let it go.”
It is time to move on from Favre missing training camp; don’t look back, look forward. If you need something to feel positive about, know that Favre is not running back to Mississippi during the bye week but is instead staying in Eden Prairie to continue working out with his receivers this week.
How ridiculous has Adrian Peterson been in the first three games?
Peterson has been crazy ridiculous in the first three games of the season. He has jumped over, run over, and stiff armed defenders into submission. At Peterson’s current pace he will rush for more than 2,000 yards and will have nearly 500 receiving yards. Satisfying his critics, Peterson has not put the ball on the turf and he is running once again with the nastiness and speed that makes him one of the most unique running backs in the league. If you want to call him the best, the first three games would make a compelling case.
Is it time to stop talking about the feud between Adrian Peterson and Chris Johnson?
Yes, because there is no “feud” between the players as neither player is putting the other player down no matter how much drama the press wishes to generate between the two players. For the record, if you ask any premier player in the NFL if he believes he is the best at his position and he tells you that he believes he is then it is not newsworthy.
If Peterson says he is the best and Johnson says he is the best, neither player is putting the other player down but rather both are stating that they have confidence in their ability. Media pundits who have access to both players need to stop asking this silly question. Enough already!
Did Chris Cook do a good job on Calvin Johnson?
Yes. Chris Cook was drafted with the idea of having him match up with big strong physical wide receivers such as Calvin Johnson of Detroit. One game does not make a season, but the 6’2", 212 pound Cook made some nice plays on Johnson and played well in nickel and zone coverage schemes.
I will be curious to see how well Cook plays when matched up with a speed receiver.
Is Husain Abdullah going to permanently replace Tyrell Johnson at Strong Safety?
Tyrell Johnson was drafted three years ago in the second round and it initially appeared that the Vikings found a potential diamond in the rough from tiny Arkansas State.
Well, the Vikings may have found a diamond in the rough, but the diamond might go by the name of Husain Abdullah. Abdullah, an undrafted player from Washington State, has taken the starting strong safety job from Johnson this season.
Abdullah is providing big hits on run and pass plays over the middle. Johnson was dressed in street clothes on Sunday and the question at Winter Park is whether Johnson has a future in purple.
How good was Ryan Cook coming in to replace John Sullivan?
Very good given the talent that exists on the defensive line of the Detroit Lions. The only obvious gaffe that Cook made was when he was called for clipping on a player that had no real shot of bringing Adrian down from behind.
Hopefully his play is a harbinger of good things during the course of the season.
What does Visanthe Shiancoe need to do to become a premier tight end?
Visanthe needs to learn how to do a better job pass blocking. As the skill level of defensive ends continues to rise, it becomes more important for the premier tight ends in the league to be able to come in and provide blocking to periodically counter-attack the speed rush. Shiancoe has whiffed on a couple of the plays this season that lead directly to sacks of Favre.
What have we learned about the Chicago Bears?
Offensively the Bears are a mess. The Bears struggle to score because they can’t consistently run the ball. Quarterback Jay Cutler suffered a concussion against the New York Giants because he refused to quickly get rid of the ball. The Bears are the most vulnerable 3-1 team in the league.
What have we learned about Green Bay Packers?
Aaron Rodgers is a dangerous and skilled quarterback but the Packers have no running game. It is hard to see Green Bay beating teams who can put consistent pressure on Rodgers. Defensive back Charles Woodson, who turns 34 on October 7, continues to play at a high level.
What have we learned about Detroit Lions?
The Lions are no longer a doormat. No the roar has not been restored but the Lions are playing well enough with their second string quarterback that teams can no longer get away with a half-hearted effort against Detroit and expect to win.
Will the Vikings beat the New York Jets?
Yes, the Vikings are 17-4 coming off a bye week. The extra rest should allow the offensive and defensive lines of the Vikings to have a solid game. As discussed above, Favre stayed in town to work on timing issues with his receivers during the time off and should be sharp.
Finally, while he won’t acknowledge it, Adrian Peterson will have some extra motivation to have a big day going against LaDainian Tomlinson on the big stage and bright lights of Monday Night Football.