Vikings 2011: Three keys to success on offense

  • Updated: September 9, 2011 - 1:10 AM

THREE KEYS TO SUCCESS

1 RUN BLOCKING A MUST

The offense basically is a knockoff of the one in Atlanta, where Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave came from. To duplicate the Falcons' success, the Vikings offensive line must be a sturdy, well-coordinated run-blocking unit. The receivers also have to give maximum effort in blocking schemes. The Falcons set a team record for first downs (353) a year ago. Since 2008, they are second in the league with 45 touchdown drives of 10 plays or more. A team doesn't do that unless it's consistently in second-and-short and third-and-short situations. With Adrian Peterson's All-Pro explosion and cutting ability, the line doesn't have to be dominant to be successful. It only needs to be a cohesive unit, one that can give "All Day" the sliver of room he needs to do his thing.

2 SELL THE PLAY ACTION

If the Vikings do No. 1 above, No. 2 will make their offense more explosive than most would have imagined. If they do No. 1, teams will have no choice but to crowd the line of scrimmage with eight and nine players to stop Peterson. If quarterback Donovan McNabb and Peterson can sell the play action -- faking another Peterson run -- McNabb will have the ability to take a seven-step drop and his receivers will have extra time to beat 1-on-1 coverages downfield. McNabb still has the arm strength and Bernard Berrian and Percy Harvin have the speed to get deep. But if there's no respect for the run, play action is useless.

 

3 BE CREATIVE WITH HARVIN

If the preseason was any indication, Musgrave is going to have some creative fun with Harvin. He is one of the league's more electric players, but he doesn't have the No. 1 receiver build. So he can't just line up wide and run down the field, knowing he has the physical mismatch to his advantage. Harvin needs to move around to create confusion for the defense. All it takes is a split second of indecision for Harvin to lose a defender and be gone toward the end zone. Putting him in bunch sets, motioning him before the snap or having him line up in the backfield are ways to free up the team's second-most explosive player behind Peterson.

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Atlanta - LP: A. Wood 0 FINAL
Philadelphia - WP: A. Bastardo 1
Cleveland - LP: D. Salazar 5 FINAL
Detroit - WP: J. Verlander 7
Toronto - LP: R. Dickey 0 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: K. Gibson 7
Seattle - LP: J. Beimel 6 FINAL
Texas - WP: P. Figueroa 8
Los Angeles - WP: H. Ryu 2 FINAL
San Francisco - LP: M. Bumgarner 1
Colorado - WP: F. Morales 3 FINAL
San Diego - LP: I. Kennedy 1
St. Louis - WP: A. Wainwright 8 FINAL
Washington - LP: T. Jordan 0
Milwaukee - LP: R. Wooten 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: E. Volquez 11
NY Yankees - WP: C. Sabathia 10 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: D. Price 2
Toronto - LP: S. Santos 5 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: C. Fien 9
Boston - WP: J. Lester 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: R. Belisario 1
Kansas City - WP: J. Shields 5 FINAL
Houston - LP: S. Feldman 1
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Chicago 3 FINAL(OT)
St. Louis 4
Minnesota 4 FINAL(OT)
Colorado 5
Los Angeles 3 FINAL
San Jose 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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