A broken record: Wishful thinking can't reverse Vikings' woeful point production

  • Article by: KEVIN SEIFERT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 2, 2007 - 12:56 AM

Green Bay's Brett Favre set the NFL mark for career scoring passes in a strong performance. For the Vikings, it was a familiar story -- an offense that struggled to score once again.

An antagonistic crowd chanted GO PACK GO late Sunday afternoon, jeering the Vikings off their home field. Coach Brad Childress was attempting to regain his composure, having hurled his headset and spiked a water cup during a sideline tantrum. Dozens of photographers surrounded the star of the game, who most certainly was not wearing a Vikings uniform.

By the time their 23-16 loss to Green Bay was official, the Vikings had endured historic embarrassment, exploded in multiple tirades -- one of which spilled into the locker room -- and listened as a pro-Packers crowd celebrated it all. Now 1-3 following the easiest part of their schedule, the Vikings can only hope their coming bye week will produce a new direction after an otherwise deflating Sunday.

"We've been having bad luck," running back Chester Taylor said. "All we can do is just come out and keep grinding and keep fighting to the end. We have to stay together as a family."

The Vikings' three losses have come by a total of 13 points, and Sunday they again missed a chance to tie on their final possession. Packers cornerback Atari Bigby ended the threat with 1 minute, 11 seconds remaining by intercepting a Kelly Holcomb pass at Green Bay's 24.

The play incensed Vikings players and coaches, who said the Packers' other cornerback -- Charles Woodson -- committed a penalty that should have nullified the play.

The sequence sent Childress into an uncharacteristic tizzy. "Clearly interference," he said afterward, but it did nothing to soften his reality: With one-fourth of the season complete, the Vikings have displayed no quantifiable improvement from their 2006 performance.

Worse, many of their problems from a year ago have continued.

Their offense still has trouble scoring touchdowns, and passes into the end zone remain scarce. Despite 382 offensive yards Sunday, their highest total since Childress arrived, the Vikings were limited to field goal attempts until Holcomb's 15-yard pass to rookie receiver Sidney Rice with 1:55 remaining. It was the Vikings' only shot into the end zone for the game.

Ryan Longwell accounted for the remainder of the scoring with field goals of 44, 35 and 48 yards. Overall this season, Longwell has six field goals; the Vikings have scored four offensive touchdowns.

They committed seven penalties Sunday -- including five for either false starts, encroachment or delay of game -- and their defense gave up at least 300 passing yards for the sixth time in its past 20 games. Packers quarterback Brett Favre threw for 344 yards and broke Dan Marino's all-time record for touchdown passes with a 16-yard pass to Greg Jennings in the first quarter.

Favre's 33-yard scoring pass to James Jones gave the Packers a 23-9 lead with 5:46 left, setting off a loud celebration from a Green Bay ticket-holding contingent that turned the Metrodome into West Lambeau Field.

"The best thing that we did is we didn't quit," said Holcomb, sounding the refrain most often heard this season. Indeed, the Vikings have had a chance to win or tie on their last drive in all three of their losses. But at what point does bad luck -- Longwell's 52-yard field goal at Detroit hit an upright, for example -- devolve into simple underperformance?

"You hope things will change," running back Chester Taylor said. "You hope that you can make some plays on offense. You hope the defense keeps playing great. You hope you can stay together."

Yes, keeping the team together appeared to be a legitimate task Sunday. The locker room was mostly silent when reporters began interviews, save for a chippy exchange between Holcomb and tight end Visanthe Shiancoe, and most players exited quickly.

The bye week arrived at the right time in at least one respect. Childress will give players most of this week off, giving everyone a cool-down period before returning next week.

It's not enough time to start over. But maybe, linebacker Chad Greenway said, it can generate some hope.

"People are going to try to split us apart," he said, "but we're not going to let that happen. We know if we keep getting better every week, we're going to win these tight games. That's how we have to think. We're 1-3, but we could be 3-1 or better.

"Football is a funny game. Maybe you can go through the first four games and struggle, and then the last 12 might be all right."

Kevin Seifert • kseifert@startribune.com

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    KICK-WHAT OFFENSE? Through 20 games of Brad Childress' run as Vikings coach, the team has produced a 7-13 record and an offense that struggles to score touchdowns. A look at the offensive ineptitude by the numbers: 12: Times the Vikings offense has scored one or no TDs in a game (four times with no TDs, eight times with one TD) 3-9: Record when scoring one or fewer offensive TDs 8: Times the offense has scored two or more TDs (two TDs four times, three TDs twice, four TDs twice)
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Buffalo 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
Toronto 110 FINAL
LA Clippers 98
Boston 88 FINAL
Washington 101
Orlando 102 FINAL
Charlotte 94
Memphis 103 FINAL
Miami 95
Indiana 110 FINAL
Brooklyn 85
New Orleans 100 FINAL
Chicago 107
Atlanta 90 FINAL
Milwaukee 85
Philadelphia 71 FINAL
Utah 88
New York 129 FINAL
Sacramento 135
Minnesota 97 FINAL
Golden State 110
NY Islanders 3 FINAL(SO)
Buffalo 4
Detroit 3 FINAL(OT)
Ottawa 2
Carolina 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
New Jersey 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 3
Boston 2 FINAL
Columbus 6
Winnipeg 4 FINAL(OT)
Minnesota 3
Washington 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
Dallas 4 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Nashville 4
Anaheim 1 FINAL(SO)
Arizona 2
Chicago 5 FINAL
Colorado 2
Edmonton 1 FINAL
Calgary 4
San Jose 1 FINAL
Los Angeles 3
Indiana 87 FINAL
Georgetown 91
Maine 43 FINAL
Seton Hall 72
UNC-Wilmington 82 FINAL
Minnesota 108
Georgia State 61 FINAL
Green Bay 78
Jacksonville St 61 FINAL
Jacksonville 75
Kentucky 58 FINAL
Louisville 50
Northern Ky 55 FINAL
Northwestern 76
UAB 58 FINAL
North Carolina 89
IUPUI 55 FINAL
Pepperdine 53
Santa Clara 60 FINAL
St Marys-CA 73
Oakland 56 FINAL
Maryland 72
Gonzaga 87 FINAL
BYU 80
Mercer 77 FINAL
Georgia 86
San Francisco 77 FINAL
Pacific 71
Wright State 55 FINAL
Ohio State 100
Presbyterian 65 FINAL
Virginia Tech 87
Brescia 42 FINAL
Western Ky 89
Tennessee St 46 FINAL
Tennessee 67
Kennesaw St 45 FINAL
Illinois 93
Colorado State 58 FINAL
New Mexico St 57
Portland 61 FINAL
San Diego 58
Wayland Baptist 63 FINAL
Utah State 75
Bristol University 59 FINAL
Weber State 109
Sacramento St 74 FINAL
Utah Valley U 49
Southern Utah 45 FINAL
UNLV 79
SD Christian 50 FINAL
San Diego St 72
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 34 FINAL
UCF 27
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Virginia Tech 33
(15) Arizona State 36 FINAL
Duke 31
Miami-Florida 21 FINAL
So Carolina 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Penn State 31
(25) Nebraska 42 FINAL
(24) USC 45
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
Tennessee
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
East Carolina 1/3/15 11:00 AM
Florida
SMU 45 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 96
UCF 64 FINAL
Houston 50
BYU 62 FINAL
Gonzaga 78
Pacific 92 FINAL
San Francisco 54
St Marys-CA 62 FINAL
Santa Clara 61
San Diego 87 FINAL
Portland 65
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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