Vikings offense faded in 2nd half

The Vikings struggled early in games early in the year, but on Sunday their scoring troubles were based more in the second half.

When the Minnesota Vikings game against the New York Jets first started it appeared it was going to be a shootout between the two clubs. At the end of the first quarter the score was 14-12, and then the Vikings scored another touchdown just under two minutes into the second quarter to make the score 21-12.

But the scoring died down a bit after that as the second quarter only saw one more score – a field goal by the Jets with 20 seconds left to play in the half. The second half also didn’t have much scoring. The Jets scored two field goals – one in the third quarter and one in the fourth quarter – and the Vikings made one field goal in the fourth quarter.

The Vikings failed to fully capitalize on multiple opportunities to score, and were not helped by two missed field goals by Blair Walsh. One of the misses was a 39-yard attempt at the end of the team’s first drive of the second half, and the other was a 56-yard attempt at the end of regulation.

Head coach Mike Zimmer did not really know why the Vikings offense struggled in the second half of the game, saying he his already focused on the team’s next game against the Detroit Lions.

“I think we missed two field goals, so there’s six points,” Zimmer said on Monday. “I don’t know. Off the top of my head I’ve already moved onto Detroit. I’m sorry. I could probably say we didn’t convert on third downs or something, but it’s hard for me to remember right now.”

Vikings wide receiver Jarius Wright is not sure why the offense seemed to struggle later in the game, but he gave a lot of credit to the Jets defense and believes that they are a good defense regardless of what the team’s record is.

“If you ask me I think the Jets have a pretty good defense,” Wright said. “I don’t know where they’re ranked, but they definitely came out and they played hard. Regardless of what the score was, even when we jumped out a little bit earlier. They played hard all day and they gave us a good test. I think it was a good test for us.”

The Jets currently have the NFL’s seventh-ranked defense – No. 5 against the run and No. 16 against the pass. Even though they did a good job containing the Vikings in the second half of the game they were not the only reason for the Vikings’ scoring woes.

The New York jets offense played a roll in not allowing the Vikings to get into a rhythm in the second half and be able to put points on the board.

“New York did a great job of keeping the ball away from us,” Wright said. “For most of the time I feel like they ran the ball pretty good at times. They kept us off the field a little bit.”

The Jets moved the ball for 422 total yards, 168 of which were rushing yards. Because New York was able to move the ball a lot and run the ball well they were able to control the game clock and keep the Vikings offense off of the field – the Jets had the ball for 35:52, compared to the Vikings who controlled it for 28:47.

In the beginning of the year, the Vikings always started off slow but would be able to pick it up later in the game. Last week was the opposite, as the team started out fast but faded in the second half. If they want to earn their first victory against a winning team this year, they will have to play a more complete game against the Detroit Lions, who have the NFL’s second-ranked defense – first against the run and 10th against the pass.

Jarius Wright

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