The Vikings appear to be getting less one-dimensional on offense. Wide receiver Bernard Berrian, signed to a six-year, $42 million contract this offseason, is leading the team with 517 receiving yards and is tied for the team lead with three touchdowns.
Most importantly, he provided a legitimate downfield threat that the Vikings did not previously possess. Berrian had back-to-back 100-yard receiving games in Weeks 5 and 6, marking the first time that has happened since the 2004 season.
The fact that defenses must pay attention to a passing offense now being led by veteran quarterback Gus Frerotte is key because it should enable Pro Bowl running back Adrian Peterson a little more freedom.
Nonetheless, teams are continuing to put eight men in the box on a consistent basis to try to slow Peterson, who has four 100-yard rushing games this season.
The Vikings have given up five touchdowns on special teams in seven games this season, including three on punt returns.
The tone was set in the regular-season opener when the Packers' Will Blackmon took a Chris Kluwe punt 76 yards for a score.
Coach Brad Childress and special teams coordinator Paul Ferraro need to get the special teams turned around in a hurry or that unit is going to end up costing their team another game just as it did in Week 7 in Chicago.
There is no question the Vikings have missed linebacker and special-teams ace Heath Farwell, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in the preseason.