Vikings enter bye looking for answers

The Vikings got their first win of the season, but they still have areas to improve upon as they search for the magic of 2009.

The Vikings will enter their bye week hoping they can begin to solve what ails their passing game.

Fortunately for Minnesota, they will do so with a 1-2 record after beating the Detroit Lions, 24-10, on Sunday at Mall of America Field.

The Vikings won their 13th consecutive home game over the Lions and extended Detroit's road losing streak to 22, thanks in large part to a defense that continues to play very well and a big rushing day from Pro Bowl running back Adrian Peterson.

Peterson rushed for 160 yards on 23 carries with two touchdowns, including a career-high 80-yard scoring run.

In many ways the performance looked like what many expected from the Vikings when Brett Favre came aboard in 2009. But then Favre got hot, throwing 33 touchdowns and a career-low seven interceptions, and much more became expected of him. Much more.

But Favre hasn't had anything close to that kind of success this season. He already has six interceptions this season and the passing game has been so out of sync that the Vikings rarely are attempting to go deep down the field.

That game plan worked against a Lions team that might be improving but is still 0-3.

However, the Vikings won't have the luxury of facing the Lions again until their regular-season finale and after their bye they will play the Jets in New Jersey on Monday night, Oct. 11 followed by a game against Dallas at the Metrodome on Oct. 17 and road games at Green Bay and New England to end October.

"Nothing has changed," Favre said after the victory over the Lions. "It's one win. (It) sure beats the alternative. But if there's a guy in the locker room who doesn't have a sense of urgency ..."

The Vikings will have most of this week off as they get some rest, leaving a legitimate question about when (if ever) the pass game might start clicking like it did a year ago. With Sidney Rice out for at least half the season after hip surgery, it's possible the turnaround might be too late.

"We're not nearly as good as we were last year," Favre said. "I'm talking about me and the passing game, I'm not talking about anyone else. So we have to either figure out a way to do it or it's going to be a tough road. I hope we figure that out."

LINEUP WATCH: Cedric Griffin and Chris Cook, who both were recovering from knee injuries, returned Sunday and played key role. Griffin, who tore his left ACL in the NFC title game last Jan. 24 in New Orleans, was back at his normal spot at right corner. Cook played the left corner in the nickel and Antoine Winfield moved inside.

UNDAR THE RADAR: Ryan Cook, a second-round pick by the Vikings in 2006, has been a reserve since losing his starting job at right tackle after the 2008 season. But the one-time center from New Mexico found himself back at his college position Sunday after John Sullivan suffered a calf injury in the first quarter. Cook and Favre had some early issues but Cook settled down and played pretty well.


  • TE Visanthe Shiancoe appeared to suffer an injury to his right hamstring in the third quarter. Coach Brad Childress said Sunday he wasn't sure of the extent of the problem but thought Shiancoe would be all right.

  • CBs Asher Allen and Lito Sheppard were active but did not play Sunday on defense as Cedric Griffin and Chris Cook returned. Allen started the first two games and Sheppard saw extensive time in the nickel defense.

  • SS Tyrell Johnson, the Vikings' second-round pick in 2008, was a healthy inactive for the first time in his career on Sunday. Johnson lost his starting job to Husain Abdullah and is now behind Jamarca Sanford and Eric Frampton on the depth chart.

  • WR Hank Baskett caught one pass for 18 yards in his debut with the Vikings on Sunday after being signed last week. Baskett, who was released by Philadelphia, also nearly made a nice 39-yard catch of a Favre pass in the end zone but could not hold on.

  • RB Adrian Peterson's 80-yard touchdown run on Sunday was the longest by a Vikings player at Mall of America Field. Dallas' Tony Dorsett had a 99-yard run for a touchdown on Jan. 3, 1983.

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