Grading the game: Browns

The Vikings had some struggles in the first half, but they overcame most of those in the second half with a good all-around performance in most phases of the game.

PASSING OFFENSE: B-minus — Brett Favre's debut with the Vikings was nothing special, but it didn't need to be. The quarterback completed 14 of 21 passes for 110 yards with a touchdown and a 95.3 passer rating. Most importantly, Favre did not have any interceptions and his performance, while far from spectacular, was certainly efficient. Favre is still developing chemistry with his receivers but he already seems to be on the same page with rookie Percy Harvin. Harvin caught three passes for 36 yards, including a key 21-yarder on second-and-18. His third-quarter scoring catch came from six yards out. Favre's top target was running back Chester Taylor, who caught five of the seven passes on which he was the intended target.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B-plus — Adrian Peterson picked up right where he left off last season. The Pro Bowl running back, who led the NFL in rushing in 2008, ran for 180 yards on 25 carries (7.2 average) and three touchdowns in the victory. Peterson's first two touchdowns came from 1-yard out but his final one was one of the most impressive of his three-year career. Peterson broke six tackles en route to going 64 yards for a score on which he not only showed his ability to stop on a dime and make defenders miss but also displayed his brute strength by overpowering defenders. Harvin also had two carries for 22 yards as the Vikings finished with 225 yards on 37 carries as a team, an average of 6.1 yards per attempt.

PASS DEFENSE: B — The Vikings made life miserable for Brady Quinn for much of the day, giving up only 205 yards through the air and sacking him five times. Cornerback Cedric Griffin had the only interception of the game, although he also was called for a pass interference penalty on wide receiver Braylon Edwards. Edwards, though, was held to only one catch for 12 yards and Quinn's longest completion went for 26 yards. The Browns spent most of the day avoiding Pro Bowl cornerback Antoine Winfield on the left side of the field. Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier had to be pleased given that the Vikings pass defense has been a sore spot at times over the past two seasons.

RUSH DEFENSE: B — Nothing new here. The Vikings, who have had the NFL's top-ranked rushing defense for the past three seasons, held the Browns to under 100 yards on the ground. Cleveland finished with 89 yards on 20 carries, a 4.5-yard average, as a team. Jamal Lewis had 57 yards on 11 attempts. Running against the Vikings remains incredibly difficult because of the presence of Pro Bowl defensive tackles Kevin and Pat Williams. Kevin Williams had a standout performance and was all over the field. He finished with a sack, a tackle for a loss, a quarterback hurry and a fumble recovery. Pat Williams, meanwhile, got a rest at times as the Vikings used Jimmy Kennedy at nose tackle during certain series.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C-minus — This grade would be higher but the Vikings gave up a 67-yard punt return for a touchdown to Josh Cribbs. This is no disgrace considering Cribbs is one of the NFL's best return men, but the failure of the Vikings' coverage team to stop a punt return was nothing new. Minnesota gave up an NFL record seven touchdowns on special teams last season and four came on punt returns. Otherwise, the coverage units had pretty good success as Cribbs was held to 23.3 yards on six kickoff returns. Punter Chris Kluwe averaged 38.7 yards gross and 24.2 net on six punts as he worked on trying to keep the ball from Cribbs. The Vikings appear to be improved in the return game with Darius Reynaud now handling punts and Harvin returning kickoffs.

COACHING: B — Brad Childress and his offensive coaches made a key adjustment at halftime to account for safety blitzes the Browns were having success with in the first half. The Vikings coaches did a nice job of incorporating Harvin into the offense and had the speedy playmaker come in motion at times, leaving defenses to have to account for him and running back Adrian Peterson.


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