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.

MARK CRAIG

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Diego - J. Lane 11:10 AM
Atlanta - E. Santana
Washington - J. Zimmermann 6:10 PM
Miami - N. Eovaldi
Philadelphia - A. Burnett 6:10 PM
NY Mets - B. Colon
Milwaukee - K. Lohse 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - J. Odorizzi
Toronto - R. Dickey 6:10 PM
Boston - C. Buchholz
Arizona - C. Anderson 6:10 PM
Cincinnati - H. Bailey
Colorado - Y. Flande 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - T. Wada
NY Yankees - D. Phelps 7:05 PM
Texas - Y. Darvish
Oakland - J. Chavez 7:10 PM
Houston - B. Oberholtzer
Pittsburgh - V. Worley 9:15 PM
San Francisco - M. Bumgarner
Los Angeles 9:00 PM
Seattle
Calgary 26 FINAL
Edmonton 22
Winnipeg 23 FINAL
Brt Columbia 6
Ottawa 23 FINAL
Hamilton 33
Toronto 9 FINAL
Saskatchewan 37
Indiana 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pm
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pm
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pm
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pm
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
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

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close