It wasn't like quarterback Brett Favre was shying away from them – Bernard Berrian, Percy Harvin, Greg Camarillo and Greg Lewis were targeted 12 times. Yet, only four catches.
That naturally led to speculation that the Vikings would be looking for a receiver, either on the free-agent market or in a trade, but head coach Brad Childress put the brakes on that line of thinking.
"I'm not thinking that way right now. I'm not thinking about adding another body," Childress said Friday. "I know those guys weren't as involved as we would have liked them involved. But I think it had something to do with how they were kind of playing their coverage."
The Saints surprised the Vikings by going away from their aggressive defensive game plan from the NFC Championship Game. On Thursday, with the Vikings looking to max protect for Brett Favre, the Saints often dropped eight defenders into coverage and limited the one-on-one matchups with receivers.
At times, Favre looked like he was feeling pressure that wasn't there. When there were open receivers, there were times that Favre simply missed them.
"I know what he said to me and I think what he said to you was he just missed some throws that he normally makes and that's what you find to be the case," Childress said. "I didn't see him tricking his feet out or anything. I thought by and large there were pretty clean pockets. You could probably do a better job of wiggling people open schematically."
Last year, Favre found quick chemistry with Sidney Rice, but that's not happening in the first couple months of this season. Rice is out for at least the first six weeks of the regular season after having hip surgery in August.
Rice is the Vikings' big-body target that routinely out-muscled and out-leaped defenders for the ball on his way to a Pro Bowl season in 2009. It appeared the Vikings were missing that element on Thursday.
"I don't think you'd know that until you go down the road a little bit. On a one-game snapshot, hey, you never have enough good players and Sidney falls in that category. But then again I don't if there were a ton of, ton of, ton of one-on-one opportunities in that game either, and that's typically where you found him," Childress said.
There are two problems with the Vikings going the way of a trade:
First, the receiver that is most talked-about on the trade market is San Diego's Vincent Jackson and he has at least a three-game suspension that could be as much as six games – a hearing on that matter is set for next week. With Rice potentially returning in early November, it could make for a too-crowded scenario in the receiver corps without the benefit of Jackson's early production.
Then there is the issue of compensation. Jackson is reportedly looking for about $7 million a year and the Vikings aren't a big-revenue-producing team. They upped the ante with Brett Favre, who could make as much as $20 million this year, and indications are that could be their last moneyball move of the season.
The Vikings aren't completely dismissing the chances of finding some help for the roster, but it doesn't seem likely they are on the verge of a "splash" move.
"There's a waiver wire every day. If we feel like there's a guy that we can add, we will and a guy we can subtract, we will," Childress said. "That goes with our practice squad all the way through our 53. I'm not against adding a good football player that I think can add to us."
IMPRESSIONS OF THE INJURED
"I thought E.J. played exceptionally. Showed up at a lot of different spots," Childress said. "I can think of one or two instances where you would have liked him to play something a little bit differently, but I thought he was very active."
"I'd say he's close. He's close to being able to come back and get a look at that," Childress said of Gerhart. "Again, it depends on how many you're going to end up having up at that position for that week. How many tight ends? How many wideouts? We always get to see that and determine that as we go through practice during the week."
Cornerback Chris Cook had surgery to repair a torn meniscus and it's unclear if he will be ready for the Vikings' next game in eight days against the Miami Dolphins.
"Until he gets out here on Monday and moves around I wouldn't know that," Childress said. "I know how he's progressing in the training room and on land, but to play the game is a whole different thing."
The Vikings resume practice on Monday.
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.