Vikings 2011: Offense will lull 'em to sleep, then blow a horn

  • Updated: September 9, 2011 - 1:12 AM

Basically, the Vikings' game plan on offense is to be so efficiently boring that defenses can't sense the play-action quick strike coming.

It's a run-oriented, ball-control concept that came from Atlanta with new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave. It's built to showcase running back Adrian Peterson, pass-catching tight ends, a steady supply of first downs and enough short-yardage opportunities that the defense eventually bites on the play action. If that happens, quarterback Donovan McNabb can take an unbothered seven-step drop, allow his receivers time to get downfield and then deliver the unexpected big play.

At least that's the theory.

"It's going to be an offense that's more explosive than people expect," said receiver Michael Jenkins, who came from the Falcons via free agency this year. "We can pound the ball and kind of play ball-possession, which was a big thing in Atlanta with how they wanted to control the clock. But I also think we'll stretch the field and score some points if we need to, which we will in this division [NFC North]."

The offense doesn't have a catchy name. Musgrave has some West Coast concepts, some old Air Coryell ideas that stretch the field, some power running and ... well, let's just say the guy is flexible.

"We like to tailor-make or customize our system to fit our players,'' Musgrave said. "It's not a system where we're going to sit here and say, 'Donovan didn't fit, or another player didn't fit.' "

A year ago, the Falcons set a team record for first downs while quarterback Matt Ryan established franchise records for completions and completion percentage.

"It's an identity we're getting back to," Vikings receiver Percy Harvin said. "Our identity is going to be control the line of scrimmage and let 28 [Peterson] do what he do, and that's dominate in the run game. Then the rest of us complement him by making plays down the field."

It's a theory that hinges on the offensive line and multiple tight end packages run blocking well enough to give Peterson the small creases he needs to blast into or slip through and cut to the open field. If Peterson is stuffed consistently, there will be long-yardage situations, no respect for the play action and too much pressure on pass protection.


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Kansas City - LP: B. Chen 1 FINAL
Cleveland - WP: C. Kluber 5
Cincinnati - WP: T. Cingrani 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: B. Cumpton 1
Chicago WSox - LP: J. Quintana 4 FINAL
Detroit - WP: M. Scherzer 7
St. Louis - LP: L. Lynn 1 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: B. Colon 4
Minnesota - WP: R. Nolasco 9 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: E. Bedard 7
Arizona - WP: M. Bolsinger 5 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: E. Jackson 2
San Diego - WP: A. Torres 4 FINAL
Washington - LP: C. Stammen 3
Baltimore - WP: B. Norris 11 FINAL
Toronto - LP: B. Cecil 4
NY Yankees - WP: C. Sabathia 14 FINAL
Boston - LP: F. Doubront 5
Oakland - WP: S. Kazmir 10 FINAL
Houston - LP: B. Oberholtzer 1
Philadelphia - WP: M. Adams 7 FINAL
Los Angeles - LP: B. Wilson 3
Indiana 85 FINAL
Atlanta 98
Oklahoma City 95 FINAL
Memphis 98
LA Clippers 98 FINAL
Golden State 96
Boston 3 FINAL(OT)
Detroit 2
Colorado 1 FINAL
Minnesota 2
San Jose 3 FINAL
Los Angeles 6
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2013 preseason     
Aug 9 - vs. Houston 7 pmX27-13
Aug 16 - at Buffalo 6 pmX20-16
Aug 25 - at San Francisco 7 pmX34-14
Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee 7 pmX24-23
2013 regular season     
Sep 8 - at Detroit NoonX34-24
Sep 15 - at Chicago NoonX31-30
Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland NoonX31-27
Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London) NoonX34-27
Oct 6 - Bye
Oct 13 - vs. Carolina NoonX35-10
Oct 21 - at. NY Giants 7:40 pmX23-7
Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay 7:30 pmX44-31
Nov 3 - at Dallas NoonX27-23
Nov 7 - vs. Washington 7:25 pmX34-27
Nov 17 - at Seattle 3:25 pmX41-20
Nov. 24 - at Green Bay Noon26-26
Dec 1 - vs. Chicago NoonX23-20
Dec 8 - at Baltimore NoonX29-26
Dec 15 - vs. Philadelphia NoonX48-30
Dec 22 - at Cincinnati NoonX42-14
Dec 29 - vs. Detroit NoonX14-13




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