Brad Childress's team enters Sunday's game against NFC North rival Green Bay with a 1-2 record and could find itself with three losses headed into the bye week unless it can find a way to beat the 3-0 Packers.
That isn't going to be an easy task for a struggling offense. Minnesota has dropped its past two games, losing 20-17 at Detroit in overtime and 13-10 at Kansas City last Sunday. Long forgotten is a season-opening 24-3 victory over the Atlanta Falcons.
The Vikings' troubles are much the same as last year. The defense continues to be solid, especially against the run, but the offense can't score. This was true with Tarvaris Jackson starting the first two games at quarterback, and it was the case again at Arrowhead Stadium as veteran Kelly Holcomb replaced the injured Jackson (groin).
It's uncertain who will be under center against the Packers, but at this point it might not matter. Childress said Monday that if Jackson can't go with his injury, then Holcomb would get the start.
The scary thing for the Vikings is that they appeared to need a strong start if they wanted to be a contender this season and wipe away the memory of a 6-10 record last year.
That didn't happen and now it could get ugly.
Coming out of the bye, Minnesota will travel to Chicago and Dallas before coming home to face Philadelphia and San Diego. That will be followed by a trip to Lambeau Field.
"It's not a good feeling, I'll tell you that," linebacker Ben Leber said after the loss to the Chiefs. "I'm frustrated, irritated. We've got to pick it up. We keep talking about it being a long season, but we have to get going now."
It doesn't appear that is going to be easy. The Vikings offense has accounted for only 30 points in three games and for the most part has been the Adrian Peterson show.
The running back had his second 100-yard rushing game of the season at Kansas City — one away from tying the Vikings' rookie record — as he went for 102 yards on 25 carries and caught three passes for 48 yards. Peterson has seen his role expanded with veteran running back Chester Taylor having missed the past two games because of a hip injury.
Holcomb threw for 165 yards in his first start as a Viking, completing 14 of 28 passes. He wasn't intercepted but was sacked five times.
"I have a hard time accepting that," receiver Bobby Wade said of the Vikings' lack of offensive production. "I feel like our offense is an offense that can move the ball. I think our offense can score.
"But we just have to find a way to maximize and capitalize on those opportunities. We can't miss them. No team can miss in the NFL, especially our team right now having a new offense. Push comes to shove, no matter what happens, we have to figure out a way to get those plays done."
Last season, there seemed to be some locker room tension between members of the offense and defense as the same type of story played out. But linebacker Chad Greenway said that isn't happening this time around.
"It's a team game and we're going to lose as a team and we're going to win as a team," he said. "Regardless of who plays well we want to win as a team. That's just a common goal. We're not going to look at who played good, who played bad or who played sideways. We're just going to keep going as a team."