Donovan McNabb must continue to progress in Minnesota's offense if the Vikes have any shot of knocking off Detroit in Week 3.
The Minnesota Vikings can win in Week 3.
This Sunday Minnesota (0-2) draws the ever-so-hot Detroit Lions (2-0) for an NFC North battle at Mall of America Field.
Minnesota enters the game having had halftime leads of 10 or more points in each of its first two games and having blown each game in the second half.
It wouldn’t seem like Minnesota should have much of a chance in this one, but the Vikings can pull it out.
The Minnesota Vikings could easily be 2-0. Instead, they find themselves at 0-2 after blowing 10-point halftime leads in the first two weeks of the season.
What happened after halftime?
The Vikings stopped tackling in both weeks. The offense became overly predictable. And the passing game died.
Coach Leslie Frazier and his staff need to do a better job of making adjustments. They need to recognize that the same things cannot be done in the second half as were done in the first half. This is the NFL. Teams make adjustments. Minnesota needs to do so too.
Frazier is an intelligent man and he should understand that.
The Vikings have too many talented veterans for this "first half vs. second half" trend to continue. Someone needs to step up and be a leader and just get it done. In Week 3, that should happen.
Adrian Peterson’s first two performances of the year should serve as a solid reminder that he is still one of the best running backs in the NFL, if not the best.
Peterson went off for 98 yards on a San Diego defense that was fourth against the run in 2010 (93.8 yards per game). In Week 2 he ran over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 120 yards and two touchdowns.
In his fifth year in the league and at age 26, this is the prime of Peterson’s career. It’s not going to get any better for Minnesota than it is now.
Detroit’s rush defense is 13th-best (207 yards in two games) which means Peterson should be in line for another 100-yard day, at least.
The passing game may continue to struggle, but the Vikings can ride Peterson to a victory.
Without Pat, the “Williams Wall” has died, but the Vikings get the other half back for Week 3 after Kevin served his two-game suspension for use of a banned substance.
Kevin Williams has been one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL since he was drafted ninth overall by Minnesota in 2003.
The Vikings could have had a chance to tie the Chargers as time wound down in Week 1 and the Chargers driving up seven. But two offside penalties against Vikings defensive tackles gave San Diego an additional 10 yards to help chew up more clock. The Vikings never got the ball back and lost the game.
That’s not to say that Minnesota would have scored with the ball, but Williams wouldn’t have jumped. He’s a veteran. He knows what he’s doing in there.
In Week 3, the Vikings finally have their defensive line all intact. It should provide a nice boost.
Each week of the season the Vikings passing game has gotten better—that's not saying much considering where it started. But it has gotten better.
In the opener quarterback Donovan McNabb passed for 39 yards and one touchdown on 7-of-15 passing (46.67 percent) and an interception. Two of those yards came in the second half.
In Week 2, he threw for 228 yards on 18-of-30 passing (60 percent), and a passer rating of 83.6.
McNabb has shown more and more confidence and a greater comfort level in each game. In Week 3, the progress should continue.
He got the tight ends more involved in Week 2 (four catches for 43 yards between Visanthe Shiancoe and Kyle Rudolph). Receiver Percy Harvin had seven catches for 76 yards, showing progress after a two-catch, seven-yard performance in Week 1.
Minnesota needs its passing offense to be better in Week 3 for this victory to happen.