Minnesota took a significant step backward in its 20-17 overtime loss at Detroit on Sunday, committing 12 penalties and turning over the ball five times (including four interceptions). That erased many of the positive feelings that came out of a 24-3 victory over Atlanta in the opener.
An 0-2 Kansas City team that has been outscored 40-13 this season would seem like an ideal opponent for the Vikings but it doesn't figure to be that easy. This will be the Chiefs' home opener and Arrowhead can be an extremely difficult place for opponents.
As of mid-week, it remained unclear who will be the Vikings quarterback.
Tarvaris Jackson, coming off an abysmal performance against the Lions, is the starter when he's healthy, but that isn't the case. In addition to throwing four picks against the Lions, Jackson also suffered a strained groin and his status for Sunday is in doubt.
This could mean that either Brooks Bollinger or Kelly Holcomb will be under center. No matter who gets the call, they are going to need to help the Vikings start producing points on a regular basis.
So far in two games, the defense has accounted for 21 of Minnesota's 41 points.
Vikings players joked about this being a competition between the offense and defense after the victory over Atlanta, but this became a sore point between the units last year and could be an issue again if the offense doesn't start scoring.
Last season, the Vikings got off to a 2-0 start but won only four of their remaining 14 games. While no one will say it, the feeling in Minnesota after the Vikings' 10-game winning streak against the Lions came to an end is one of "here we go again."
However, center Matt Birk said it's way too early to panic about any issue, including Jackson's performance in Detroit.
"Last week everyone was saying how great we were," Birk said. "This week, everyone's down on us. That's life in the NFL. You've got to keep it in perspective. It's a long season. We're only two games in. We've got a long ways to go.
"We've got a phrase that one of my old coaches used to use which I always liked: ‘We've got to keep chopping wood.' Just keep working hard and the biggest thing is keep trying to improve. I think that's what you see from teams in the playoffs and teams that win championships is they improve during the year."
SERIES HISTORY: 10th meeting. Kansas City leads series, 5-4. The Vikings will be making their first trip to Arrowhead Stadium since 1999 and only their fourth visit to Kansas City in franchise history.
BY THE NUMBERS: 44 — Number of consecutive games Vikings guard Steve Hutchinson had gone without a penalty that had been accepted before Sunday. Hutchinson, who was called for a false start in overtime against the Lions, last had been tagged with a penalty that was accepted on Nov. 14, 2004, when he was with Seattle.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Certainly, it's one of our points of emphasis every game, especially on the road, to keep penalties to a minimum, and we didn't do a good job of that. We also didn't do a good job of protecting the football. We did those things well in Week 1 and we won, and we didn't do them well (Sunday) and we lost." — Center Matt Birk, on the Vikings' overtime loss to Detroit; the game featured five turnovers and 12 penalties by the Vikings.