Offense Will Improve

The Vikings offense has stumbled and bumbled its way through five games, but coach Brad Childress remains confident that Brad Johnson and the boys can turn things around, especially in the red zone.

While the Vikings players have dispersed around the country over the team's bye week, questions regarding the team's sputtering offense remain.

Despite a 3-2 record, the Vikings have been pedestrian on offense, scoring just four offensive touchdowns (to go with three defensive TDs and one special teams TD). In last Sunday's game, the crowd was booing the offense more than it was cheering before the defense provided a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to bring the Vikings back from a 17-3 deficit for a 26-17 win.

While fans may be worried, especially about the team's red zone offense, which is at the bottom of the league with just three touchdowns in 12 red zone trips, coach Brad Childress doesn't seem too put off by the lack of finishing skill.

"It doesn't concern me more than anything else," Childress said of the offensive scoring problems. "I know that you guys (in the media) lose a lot of sleep over it. I've got tons of things that I lose sleep over. The numbers are what they are, and we'll continue to work on it. I'm as concerned about anything is that we step backwards in terms of penalties down there. I think we have the (ability) to be able to get ourselves down there. We need to be able to finish. We finished the game (Sunday), and part of finishing is that mentality that you are never out of it. I think it takes offense and defense to do that, but red zone-wise concerns me as much as a lot of different areas -- penalties, turnovers, those types of things."

The good news for the Vikings is that the toughest part of their schedule – at least as it relates to facing defenses like Redskins, Panthers and Bears – is done, and things may well improve as the likes of the 49ers, Packers (twice), Lions, Jets and Rams loom on the horizon.

* Chester Taylor was nominated for NFC Offensive Player of the Week last week – a first for the Vikings this year. The honor eventually was given to 49ers running back Frank Gore.
* While Eagles CB Lito Sheppard won NFC Defensive Player of the Week, two Vikings – E.J. Henderson and Pat Williams – were both nominated. Henderson scored the touchdown that sealed the 26-17 win for the Vikings and Williams forced the fumble that gave the Vikings a chance to tie the game at 17-17 earlier in the fourth quarter.
* Chester Taylor is second in the NFL with total touches on offense – 111 rushes and 17 receptions. He trails only Steven Jackson of the Rams (131 touches) in that category.

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