5 Things for the Minnesota Vikings to Improve by Next Week
The Vikings only lost by seven and seemed to be in control of the game for the entire first half and part of the second.
Many of the problems from the game were due to the coaching staff. This is understandable due to the fact that it is a new regime. Hopefully, they can learn from their mistakes.
Here are five things that the Vikings need to improve before next week's game against the Buccaneers.
Get the Passing Game Going
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I will put the fault predominantly on the coaching staff.
Donovan McNabb only attempted 15 passes. That is incredibility low. Especially for a team that scored 17 points with a dynamic running game, it is ridiculous that there were virtually no play-action passes.
Next week, the coaching staff needs to find more creative ways to get the ball in the air. Bubble screens to Percy Harvin are not very original and are expected by the opposition.
They need to take shots downfield and the receivers need to catch the ball when it hits them in the hands.
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The Wildcat Offense is designed to surprise the defense. Unfortunately, it was no surprise that the Vikings ran the Wildcat today.
The defense was ready and looked like they even prepared for it this week during practice.
In order to make effective use of Joe Webb, who is no doubt a weapon, the Vikings need to do something new, something bold. After all, fortune favors the bold.
The only team to really effectively utilize the Wildcat was the Miami Dolphins, with Ronnie Brown.
Perhaps the Vikings could line Joe Webb up at wide receiver or even running back. He has speed and he can pass if he has to.
He should not be in during every play, but if he is brought in at different positions in regular packages, he could definitely do some damage.
Stop the Penalties
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Minnesota was penalized nine times for 78 yards. Usually, that is not terrible, but the penalties were at the most inopportune times.
The 15-yard late hit penalty was a game killer. Also, the encroachment and offsides penalty during the same drive did not help.
At the beginning of the season, penalties are inevitable. However, it is a serious problem that needs to be addressed by next week. This, again, is a coaching problem.
The coaching staff needs to instill some more discipline in the team and hopefully this will help the team for next week.
Stop the Pass
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The defense did not play terribly against the Chargers. However, there needs to be major improvements.
Getting Kevin Williams back from injury will help, but the defensive tackles need to play better and get a better rush on the quarterback.
The defensive ends played great, putting pressure on Philip Rivers, but there was virtually nothing from the tackles.
The Vikings need to implement more creative blitzes to get more pressure on the quarterbacks from positions like cornerback.
Another thing that plagued the Vikings during week one was running back receptions.
The corners played great, but the Vikings should get away from the zone defense and go to more of a man, where players can't get out into open space like Mike Tolbert was able to do.
Finish the Job
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The Vikings held the lead for most of the game. Then things fell apart. In the last Charger's drive, there were three costly penalties, one for 15 yards.
The Vikings did not have the passing game going in the first half and they did not make adjustments at halftime to fix those issues.
The Vikings need to learn to stay consistant throughout the game and finish when the fourth quarter comes around. Again, I will attribute this to the coaching staff.
Hopefully, they will learn from their mistakes to get ready for next week.