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.
Buried beneath the rubble of the Vikings 0-3 start and trio of second-half collapses is the fact Bernard Berrian has only one catch for 17 yards on the season.
The Vikings were hoping for a bounce-back season from Berrian, who had only 28 catches and no touchdowns last season. It's no secret that Berrian and Brett Favre never clicked or developed any kind of chemistry on and off the field.
The Vikings were hoping that would change once Donovan McNabb arrived, but so far the results are the same. Berrian remains a non-factor in an offense that's desperate for a vertical threat.
McNabb targeted Berrian four times in Sunday's 26-23 loss to Detroit. Two of those passes came on third down in the fourth quarter when the Vikings needed to make a play.
McNabb overthrew Berrian on third-and-14 after Berrian had gotten a step on his defender down the sideline. McNabb missed Berrian again on third-and-5 with 1:22 left.
There's no secret to Berrian's game and how the Vikings want to use him. They want to hit him on deep throws to loosen up the defense for Adrian Peterson and the middle of the field for the tight ends.
But whether it's a lack of timing, Berrian's inability to get open, McNabb's inaccuracy, poor pass protection or a combination of a lot of factors, it's just not working.
"There were a few times where we tried to target Bernard, but I think we’ll continue to try to work on getting him the football," Coach Leslie Frazier said. "It’s just about getting that separation and getting in situations where we feel like we have a chance to get him the football. It’s something that we’re going to need between Donovan and Bernard, especially downfield making some plays. We’ll just have to continue to work on it."