But if the Vikings can't get their offensive problems turned around in quick fashion that might not be the case much longer.
Minnesota has not scored an offensive touchdown in losing its past two games, and an upcoming three-game stretch against Green Bay, Miami and Arizona likely will tell the story of whether the 2006 Vikings are a legitimate postseason contender or a team that is in the midst of trying to reach that level.
The next three also will go a long way toward determining the mood in a locker room that appears to be showing its first cracks since Childress took charge.
An indication of the mood shift came Monday when cornerback Antoine Winfield expressed frustration with the offense's inability to score points. Keep in mind, the Vikings defense has played very well for most of the season and has accounted for four of the team's 13 touchdowns. The offense, meanwhile, has gone on streaks of 12 and nine consecutive quarters without reaching the end zone.
"You have to score touchdowns in this league," Winfield said. "Field goals? (You're) not going to win too many games doing that. After eight weeks you would like to see improvement. I don't know what it is. I don't know, whether it's the play calling, I don't know."
Obviously, Winfield is aware that Childress is the one calling the plays for a West Coast scheme that has done little to put fear into opponents. Quarterback Brad Johnson rarely, if ever, is being asked to take shots in the end zone or down field.
One of the things that has frustrated Winfield, and plenty of others who aren't willing to say it, is the fact the Vikings have had little problem moving the ball during their opening drives. In other words, the 15-play scripted portion of Childress' offense works just fine. And then it stalls.
The Vikings opened the season at Washington by driving down the field and scoring on a 10-play, 80-yard drive that ended with running back Chester Taylor's 4-yard touchdown. In the subsequent seven games, the Vikings have ended their opening drives with Ryan Longwell field goals on six of them.
Childress knows he must get things on track but that's an easy thing to say and far harder to accomplish halfway through the season.
A certain segment of the fan base wants to see Johnson benched and rookie Tarvaris Jackson inserted as the starter. But Jackson is a year removed from playing at the I-AA level in college and a move to him would be an admission that the season is essentially finished.
So what then? Tight end Jermaine Wiggins, who has proven his ability to catches passes in his first two seasons with the Vikings, has been MIA in some games this season. Receiver Troy Williamson, expected to thrive in his second season, has struggled to simply hang onto the ball of late. An offensive line that added left guard Steve Hutchinson and got center Matt Birk back from injury has been good at times but far from great the rest of the time.
And the list goes on. It's understandable that members of the defense are tired of carrying the load. A game against the 3-5 Packers would seem to be the solution but so did the game against a 49ers team that until Sunday was giving up more than 30 points a game.
Childress must find a remedy quickly or his first season in Minnesota will turn into a lost one.
DE Darrion Scott did not practice Wednesday and is listed as questionable because of a high left ankle sprain.
Thomas has proven to be a reliable backup this season at all three linebacker spots, starting both in the middle and at strong-side in Week 4 at Buffalo. It was the first time Thomas played the strong side in his career. He considers himself a natural middle linebacker so this move is no problem.
BY THE NUMBERS: 4: The number of consecutive regular-season meetings between these two that have been decided by a field goal as time ran out. Ryan Longwell hit a pair of last-second kicks in 2004 to give the Packers a sweep of the regular-season series. Last season, Paul Edinger connected twice as the clocked showed 0:00 for the Vikings.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Everybody, the so called experts, say rebuilding but I've always said anytime you've got Brett (Favre) he can score so fast that you're in every game and it's definitely a weapon to have on your side. We both have new staffs and both coming into the season with new schemes so I don't think it's shocking that we're so close." — Vikings kicker Ryan Longwell on if he is surprised that his former team, the Packers, are only a game behind Minnesota in the NFC North standings heading into Sunday's meeting at the Metrodome.