Chip Scoggins is a Star Tribune sports columnist. He previously covered the Minnesota Vikings for four years, starting in 2008. In addition, he covered college football for five years. Chip has been with the Star Tribune since January 2000. He can be followed on twitter at @chipscoggins.Find Chip on Facebook.
Vikings quarterback Donovan McNabb held his weekly press conference on Wednesday and his 39-yard passing total in the loss to San Diego in the season opener was the focus of conversation.
McNabb's passing statistics were even more alarming when you consider the league set a record for passing in Week 1 with 7,842 yards, including 517 from Tom Brady. The league average per team was 245 yards.
McNabb attempted to downplay the significance of his poor start statistically compared to his peers around the league.
"I’m not here competing with any other quarterbacks. I’m here to win ballgames," he said. "If you throw for 300, 400, 500 yards and you still lose a game, you’re still 0-1. We can look at QB ratings and everybody else’s numbers and stats, but it’s about being 1-0 at this particular point and we’re not. So now it’s just correcting it so we can possibly be 1-1."
His response was fairly predictable. But the manner in which the Vikings lost is what makes fans so uneasy. Not too many people predicted the Vikings would win Sunday. Probably fewer thought they would pass for 2 yards and have two first downs in the second half.
"You have to have short-term memory first of all," McNabb said. "You have to be patient and you have to understand it’s all about winning in this game. If I pass for 37 yards or whatever it may have been, or if I pass for 400, we lost the game."
The Vikings have so many new parts in their offense that it's probably unrealistic to think they would hit on all cylinders from the start. McNabb, however, isn't buying the "time to develop" angle.
"That’s something you say when you’re young," he said. "Do I have time to sit back and let it grow? No. I want it to happen now so that’s the way that I prepare. We prepare to win now. We have that type of team here and we expect to put it out on the field."