Behind Enemy Lines: Part I

Viking Update's Tim Yotter offers his opinions on questions from PackerReport.com managing editor Todd Korth on the Vikings quarterback situation, their struggling offense, and Adrian Peterson in the first part of Behind Enemy Lines.

Todd Korth: Who do you think will start at quarterback for the Vikings on Sunday?
Tim Yotter:
As of Thursday afternoon, it was looking like Kelly Holcomb would be the starter. The Vikings weren't making any announcements and probably won't until Sunday before the game, but Jackson looked like he wasn't able to really step into the throws I saw him make during individual drills on Thursday.

Todd Korth: Why have the Vikings struggled so much on offense?
Tim Yotter:
I think for a lot of reasons. They have issues in just about every area. First, the offensive line has been somewhat inconsistent, whether that is on the players or the blocking scheme not fitting the players. Their wide receivers are generally young and relatively inexperienced, with no real go-to No. 1 receiver at this point. And the quarterback situation isn't great, either. Tarvaris Jackson doesn't look like he's quite ready to be a playmaker without a strong receiving corps, so he doesn't really have anyone to take the pressure off him. The running game looks as good as ever with the addition of Adrian Peterson, so that's been the saving grace so far.

Todd Korth: What has been the most disappointing area of the offense?
Tim Yotter:
Really, the only thing that hasn't been disappointing is the running game because of what Peterson has been able to do, but forced to pick one area I'd say the inability to get the ball deep in the passing game. They have had a couple of opportunities and not connected on them, and until they prove they can do that, defenses will continue to stack the box to stop Peterson. Troy Williamson has been only marginally better with catching ball after a miserable season last year, and lately he has been out with a hamstring injury. That leaves former Packer Robert Ferguson as their best option on a deep route, and he has dropped one of them with another one being just out of his reach.

Todd Korth: How has Adrian Peterson been able to succeed when the rest of the offense has failed?
Tim Yotter:
Pure skill. He hits the hole very hard and therefore rarely loses yardage, and he has good power to put the shoulder down and get a couple of extra yards when there is very little there. However, he is also amazingly elusive for a bigger back, and therefore he often shakes the first would-be tackler and can get himself into open space on occasion. He is dangerous in a number of ways, and if the Vikings would have just one more legitimate threat, it would take a world of pressure off of Peterson, making him look even better than he has.

Todd Korth: Do you think Chester Taylor will play against the Packers?
Tim Yotter:
It's looking like he might, but I don't think he'll be 100 percent yet if he does. I think he'll be most valuable in helping in pass protection and getting chips on the defensive linemen as he goes out on pass patterns. They could opt to rest him this week with the aid of the bye the following week, but he looked like he might be able to play from what I witnessed in limited practice observations on Wednesday and Thursday.

Editor note: Read more of Yotter's responses to questions from Korth on Saturday on PackerReport.com.


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