The ideal situation for the Vikings would have been to enter their bye week with a quarterback controversy. That would have meant veteran Kelly Holcomb had played well enough in his two starts that coach Brad Childress would have had to consider keeping him in that role.
Childress, though, doesn't appear to be faced with that issue after the Vikings' 23-16 loss Sunday to Green Bay at the Metrodome. The defeat dropped Holcomb to 0-2 in his stint as the replacement for injured Tarvaris Jackson (groin strain), and Jackson figures to be under center Oct. 14 when the Vikings play the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.
Holcomb's frustration was obvious Sunday, as he became the latest Vikings quarterback to discuss the team's habit of moving the ball between the 20s and then stalling out or making foolish mistakes.
"It was the same thing last week," Holcomb said, referring to the Vikings' 13-10 loss at Kansas City. "You can't run the ball up and down the field from 20 to 20 and not score. We have to score touchdowns, not field goals. Through my experiences, when you are kicking a bunch of field goals, you usually lose."
Sunday, the Vikings got three Ryan Longwell field goals and did not get into the endzone until 1 minute, 55 seconds remained, when receiver Sidney Rice caught Holcomb's 15-yard pass for a touchdown. That broke the Vikings' streak of possessions without a touchdown at 20. Their previous TD had been on the opening drive against the Chiefs.
The Vikings came out Sunday looking as if they would spend much of the day stretching the field. A favorable matchup appeared to be Rice against cornerback Jarrett Bush, who plays in the nickel package. On the second play from scrimmage, Holcomb looked deep for Rice, but Bush broke up the pass at the Green Bay 30-yard line. Six plays later, Holcomb tried going deep again but this time overthrew an open Rice.
Rice led the Vikings with six receptions for 75 yards, but his longest catch ended up being the touchdown. Holcomb said the Packers made some adjustments that took away many of the deep opportunities.
While not asked directly about Holcomb's status beyond Sunday, Childress said that he will address the major issues heading into the bye week at his news conference this afternoon. Holcomb, meanwhile, refused to speculate about what might happen once Jackson is ready to return.
"I have no clue," he said. "Right now, as a team, we have to regroup. We can't hang our heads," he said.
"Everybody's dauber is down a little bit; I know mine is. I don't know what's going to happen with the quarterback position. I really don't care. It's all about winning games, and we're not winning right now."