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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San Francisco - LP: J. Peavy 2 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: K. Herrera 7
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Houston 90 FINAL
Orlando 89
Brooklyn 86 FINAL
Boston 100
Washington 100 FINAL
New York 103
Cleveland 92 FINAL
Memphis 96
Minnesota 110 FINAL
Milwaukee 91
Atlanta 117 FINAL
San Antonio 107
Portland 86 FINAL
LA Lakers 94
Phoenix 82 4th Qtr 11:02
LA Clippers 81
Toronto 0 Postponed
Ottawa 0
Philadelphia 5 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
Washington 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Buffalo 0 3rd Prd 10:13
Anaheim 2
Arkansas State 40 FINAL
Louisiana 55
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Chivas USA 0 FINAL
Real Salt Lake 2
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
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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 Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon




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