Grading the game: Vikings vs. Dolphins

The Vikings had a variety of performances in the different aspects of the game, some good, some bad, leading to very average grades. Even with a home game, average doesn't usually cut it in the NFL and it didn't in Sunday's 14-10 loss.

PASSING OFFENSE: D — Brett Favre had his worst game since joining the Vikings in 2009, throwing three interceptions and posting a 44.3 passer rating. That was his worst since late in the 2007 season when he was a member of the Green Bay Packers. This isn't all Favre's fault. It's painfully obvious just how much Favre misses wide receiver Sidney Rice, who will miss at least half the season after having hip surgery. The Vikings are carrying only four wide receivers and Percy Harvin is now dealing with a hip injury that required an MRI on Monday. Bernard Berrian should have emerged as the Vikings' top wide receiver but that hasn't happened. Favre targeted Berrian five times on Sunday but completed only two of those passes for 24 yards. Two of the other throws directed Berrian's way were picked off by Dolphins cornerback Jason Allen. Berrian far too often appears disinterested. Favre's other interception came on a pass that Harvin tipped while falling. Tight end Visanthe Shiancoe remains Favre's favorite target — he caught six passes for 86 yards against the Dolphins — but even he dropped a pass.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B — Adrian Peterson continued a solid start to his season, rushing for 145 yards on 28 carries (5.2-yard average) and one touchdown. That came after Peterson was all but forgotten in the second half of the Vikings' season-opening loss to the New Orleans Saints. In that game, Peterson had 13 carries for 57 yards in the first half but only six carries for 30 yards in the second half, including no rushing attempts in the fourth quarter. The Vikings knew they couldn't go away from Peterson like that again and they didn't on Sunday. The issue was that the Dolphins made a huge stop on Peterson when it mattered most. The Vikings, trailing 14-10, took over the ball after a turnover at the Dolphins' 24-yard line in the fourth quarter. Peterson was handed the ball six consecutive times, but on fourth-and-goal from the Dolphins' 1 he was stopped by Miami linebacker Karlos Dansby.

PASS DEFENSE: B — Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne opened the game by going right at veteran Lito Sheppard, who was playing left corner in the Vikings' nickel package. It proved to be a good move as Brandon Marshall caught a 46-yard pass to put the ball on the Vikings' 27-yard line. Henne capped that series by finding wide receiver Brian Hartline with a 5-yard pass over Sheppard's head. But the Vikings settled down after that and a solid rush meant that Henne was less and less effective as the afternoon went along. Defensive end Jared Allen and defensive tackle Kevin Williams recorded sacks for the Vikings and Henne finished with 114 yards passing and only nine completions.

RUSH DEFENSE: C — There was a time when it was rare for the Vikings to give up a 100-yard rushing game to a team, but that wasn't the case Sunday. Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams combined for 110 of the Dolphins' 120 yards on the ground with Brown gaining 80 yards and Williams 30. The Vikings had the Dolphins pinned at their own 1-yard line after Favre threw an interception in the second quarter, but Brown got them out of trouble when he broke off a 51-yard run to the Vikings' 48 that went over left tackle. Miami did not score on the possession, but was able to punt from the comfort of midfield.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C — The punt return game drags this grade down. Bernard Berrian, who returned punts in the season opener at New Orleans, was removed from that job after muffing his first opportunity on Sunday. Berrian also muffed a punt against the Saints. This led to Greg Camarillo taking over the job, although he had never returned a punt before in his NFL career. Camarillo had two returns for 14 yards but also fumbled one that he was able to recover. That play ended up being killed because of offsetting penalties. Percy Harvin, playing with a sore hip, returned two punts for an average of 22 yards and Ryan Longwell made a 28-yard field-goal attempt. Chris Kluwe averaged 44 yards on two punts and had a net average of 34 yards.

COACHING: C-minus — The Vikings dropped to 0-2 and Brad Childress did little to keep the second-guessing away as he decided to have his team go for it on fourth-and-2 from the Dolphins' 26 on the game's opening possession. The Dolphins had won the toss and deferred, giving Childress the opportunity to put points on the board with the consistent Ryan Longwell. But he decided to try to get a touchdown, only to have Favre's pass for Greg Lewis fall incomplete. Childress went for it four times on fourth down and the Vikings were successful only once.

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