VikingBuzz BLOG: 10/5

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Upon further review:  Peterson’s second-half touches

The drive-by media criticism about the Vikings not getting Adrian Peterson the ball more in the second half last week is legitimate, but a closer look might bring a little more balance to the debate.

Peterson had six touches in the second half – 2 carries, 2 passes and 2 kickoff returns.  He was the intended target on another pass attempt.  Taylor had four touches – 3 runs and 1 pass.

The reality is chances weren’t incredibly abundant for the Vikings offense in the second half.  Green Bay controlled the ball on offense for slightly more than two-thirds of the entire half (20:14 time of possession to Minnesota’s 9:46).

Leading 10-6, the Packers held the ball for nearly 9 minutes to open the half, culminating with a field goal to extend their lead to seven points.  The drive was extended by the “fake punt” run for a first down by punter Jon Ryan.

Peterson fields the corresponding kickoff, which he must take for a touchback 6 yards deep.  Minnesota’s first drive opens with Taylor in the backfield.  He has 2 carries, one for 3 yards and one for 37 yards.  Peterson gets a carry (for 2 yards) on the next play.  Incomplete pass on second-and-8.  Bryant McKinnie gets whipped for a sack and forced fumble by KGB despite also getting flagged for holding (subsequently declined).  Ryan Longwell drills a 48-yard field to keep the game within one score at 13-9.

The Vikings force a three-and-out on Green Bay’s next drive.

Vikings ball at their own 7-yard-line, Peterson gets the carry on first down but is held to just 2 yards.  Incomplete.  Incomplete.  False start.  Punt.

Green Bay starts at the Vikings 35-yard-line and chews up 2:26 en route to a field goal that opens their lead back up to 7 points.

The Vikings go three-and-out on their next drive.  Taylor gets his third and final touch of the half, a 9-yard loss on first down.  A pass attempt to Peterson on the following play is incomplete.

Green Bay gets the ball back, eats up 5:17 on the clock, culminating with a touchdown to push it to a two-score game now at 23-9.

Peterson returns the ensuing kickoff for 29 yards.  With 5:41 left in the game now, and a two-score deficit, the run isn’t much more than a token option.  With no running plays by Peterson or Taylor, Kelly Holcomb leads the offense 72 yards in 3:51 to answer with a touchdown to bring the game back to within one score.

The Packers turn the ball over on the second play of their next drive, giving the Vikings a chance with 1:40 left but no timeouts.  The run is out.  Holcomb hits Sidney Rice for 15 yards.  An interference penalty gives the Vikings 5 yards on the next play, then an incompletion to tight end Visanthe Shiancoe.  The next play is the non PI call throw to Bobby Wade that is intercepted to essentially end the game.

So, you can legitimately say that Peterson should have been on the field those final two drives.  But he returned the kickoff to begin the first and his absence was a non-factor as the offense moved the ball down the field for a relatively quick comeback touchdown.  In hindsight, he would have been a better option than the intercepted throw to Wade, but that should have been a 5-yard gain, stopping the clock and giving the Vikings first-and-10 at the Green Bay 29-yard-line with 1:11 left in the game.

In that second half, the Vikings had 27 potential “touches.”  Peterson was the intended recipient on 7, followed by Sidney Rice (4), Taylor (4), Troy Williamson (4), Wade (3), Shiancoe (3), Robert Ferguson (1) and Jim Kleinsasser (1).

In the first half, Peterson received 12-of-33 potential touches (36.4%).  In the second half, Peterson received 7-of-27 potential touches (25.9%).

For the entire game, the breakdown was thus:

1.  Adrian Peterson – 19-of-63 (30.2%)
2.  Chester Taylor – 11-of-63 (17.5%)
3.  Sidney Rice – 8-of-63 (12.7%)
4.  Bobby Wade – 7-of-63 (11.1%)
5.  Visanthe Shaincoe – 6-of-63 (9.5%)
6.  Troy Williamson – 6-of-63 (9.5%)
7.  Jeff Dugan – 2-of-63 (3.2%)
8.  Tony Richardson – 1-of-63 (1.6%)
9.  Robert Ferguson – 1-of-63 (1.6%)
10.  Jim Kleinsasser – 1-of-63 (1.6%)
11.  Unknown – 1-of-63 (1.6%)

Could they get the ball to Peterson even more?  I suppose.  But he is getting the majority of the potential touches; enough to lead the NFC in rushing and total yards from scrimmage.

No viable solution from the “fire Childress now” crowd

This “fire Childress now” talk kills me.  This column is typical of the opinion pieces written on the subject and the message board threads of the same nature.

However, they all have the same common thread:  They never offer a viable solution.

Criticism comes with the territory and Vikings coach Brad Childress can expect that, especially when the team isn’t winning.  It is fair game to say he is stubborn, inflexible, unimaginative and the like.  It’s legitimate to question getting the ball to Adrian Peterson; all that comes with the territory.

But if you’re going to call for the guy’s head, then offer a solution.

Hire Bud Grant?  I idolize Bud Grant, but the guy is 80 years old and has no interest whatsoever in coaching in the NFL again.  Can we deal in reality?  Why not simply suggest they trade for Peyton Manning?  It’s not even in the realm of realistic possibility.

Fire Childress now?  Time will tell who gets the last laugh on this one, but my money is still on Childress.  So lighten up, Francis.

Vikings offered a sixth-rounder for Moore

According to Roy Cummings, of The Tampa Tribune, the Vikings have been offered a sixth-round draft choice from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for running back Mewelde Moore.  The Vikings are asking for a first-day choice (which means a third-round pick).

A sixth-round pick is too low.  A third might be unrealistic, but Moore is better than most third-round picks, and the Vikings cannot simply give him away, even if they figure to lose the all-purpose back as an unrestricted free agent this coming offseason.

Extra Points

Vote for Sharper!  Vikings safety Darren Sharper is among 10 NFL players being nominated for a best-dressed award at CNNSI.com.  Apparently snagging interceptions isn’t his only talent.  Sharper is one sharp-dressed man.

Here’s one for the bulletin board at Winter Park:  Packers coach Mike McCarty took a not-so-thinly veiled shot at Childress when asked about how he handles officials.  During Sunday’s loss to the Packers, Childress complained repeatedly to referee Ed Hochuli and his crew about the Packers cornerbacks’ physical play.  “Call the head guy over there 10 times in one game to complain about defensive pass (interference), that’s an approach,” McCarthy replied.  “That’s not the one I take.”

Todd Lowber, who went to camp with the Vikings, could be on the bubble with the Giants practice squad.

Other stories:

>Vikings try to fix what is broken
>Peterson a natural at marketing

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