Vikings turn focus to next plan: Shrugging off loss to Buffalo

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 18, 2013 - 3:40 PM

The Vikings’ blunders in Buffalo were glaring, but shrugging some of them off is part of the summer drill.

hide

Bills defenders wrapped up Vikings QB Christian Ponder after a play broke down Friday night.

Photo: CARLOS GONZALEZ, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Matt Kalil was one of the last to leave a cramped visitors locker room at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Friday night. The Vikings left tackle was a bit slower than teammates in getting dressed and gathering his belongings.

But he wasn’t exactly brooding over a 20-16 preseason loss to the Bills. No one was.

In August, indifference meets shaky defeats before anxiety can. So the Vikings won’t fret long over an effort in Buffalo that was equal parts rusty and disjointed.

Still, the bumpy night started with Kalil looking like a traffic cone — for one play, anyway. It was an unusual sight, the Pro Bowl tackle making a misstep, then watching helplessly as Buffalo end Jerry Hughes knifed by and engulfed Christian Ponder for a 7-yard loss.

Kalil shrugged.

“Just a little game rust,” he said. “It’s all right. I just moved past it and kept going. It happens. The guy made a nice move. I took a bad set. And he beat me inside.”

What can you do?

Ponder was also in shrug mode during the postgame breakdown. Asked to detail what went wrong on John Sullivan’s hasty shotgun snap in the first quarter — a wild pitch that caused a 14-yard loss after the defense created a takeaway in Buffalo territory — Ponder labeled the error an unfortunate breakdown.

“It was hard to hear,” he said. “Unfortunately it was a miscommunication. Bad play.”

And not to be forgotten in the early struggles: the pass that hit tight end Kyle Rudolph in his massive hands but then fell incomplete.

Coach Leslie Frazier shrugged that mistake off, too — but winced a little.

“All of us know that in a regular-season game, those can cost you a ballgame,” Frazier said. “A third-down play to Kyle Rudolph to keep a drive going? You’re having a chance to continue a drive and score. So those are crucial moments. And I’ve got to believe we’ll get better from watching this tape.”

For the record, the games that really count begin three weeks from today when the Vikings open the regular season. Yet with that clock ticking, it’s still hard to tell whether the offense will truly turn a corner quickly enough to be ready for a demanding September schedule that includes trips to Detroit, Chicago and London.

Through two preseason games, the offense has been without Adrian Peterson and without detailed game-planning. And quite frankly, the Vikings have been without much offensive rhythm.

The starters have been on the field for six drives. Only one has lasted more than three plays or covered more than 15 yards.

Including defensive penalties, the starters have logged 27 snaps. Of those, there have been only four double-digit gains. Eleven other plays resulted in a loss (three), no gain (seven) or a turnover (one).

Still, in accordance with preseason logic, next weekend’s game in San Francisco should be a more telling measure of the offense’s growth. For the first time this preseason, the Vikings will spend a week back at Winter Park, a week in which they’ll finally study their opponent and implement a more detailed game plan.

To this point, that level of preparation hasn’t existed. And in Buffalo, against an exotic Bills defense, it showed. Missed blocks. Mental miscues. Shaky throws. The Vikings were also 1-for-9 converting third downs before halftime, a concern but not yet a crisis.

  • related content

  • Aug. 18: Wilf inquiry adds pressure to stadium timeline

    Sunday August 18, 2013

    Any delays caused by a review of his finances would ripple through the construction schedule.

  • Matt Kalil: Tackle was torched badly for a sack Friday night and chalked it up to “a little game rust.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Chicago 17 FINAL
Detroit 34
Philadelphia 14 2nd Qtr 14:56
Dallas 7
Seattle 7:30 PM
San Francisco
Cleveland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Washington 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Tennessee 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
NY Giants 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Cincinnati 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
New Orleans 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Carolina 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Arizona 11/30/14 3:05 PM
Atlanta
New England 11/30/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Denver 11/30/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Miami 12/1/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
Edmonton 7:00 PM
Nashville
ULM 54 FINAL
Robert Morris 71
Santa Clara 57 FINAL
Tennessee 64
Oklahoma 59 FINAL
Butler 46
Austin Peay 79 FINAL
Brown 58
Princeton 56 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 62
Coastal Carolina 67 FINAL
Chattanooga 78
Kansas 76 FINAL
Rhode Island 60
Wisconsin 48 2nd Half 9:31
Georgetown 55
FIU 34 2nd Half 7:04
USC Upstate 50
Long Island 31 2nd Half 15:59
Stony Brook 45
San Diego 24 1st Half 3:02
Xavier 32
Illinois 4:00 PM
Indiana State
Western Ky 5:00 PM
Saint Josephs
Cal State Fullerton 5:00 PM
Wright State
Michigan State 5:30 PM
Rider
UCLA 6:00 PM
North Carolina
Marquette 7:30 PM
Georgia Tech
Long Beach State 7:30 PM
Western Mich
Stephen F Austin 8:00 PM
Prairie View
UAB 8:30 PM
Florida
Rice 8:30 PM
Mercer
San Jose St 10:00 PM
Washington
Washington St 10:59 PM
UC Santa Barbara
Baylor 10:59 PM
Memphis
LSU 6:30 PM
Texas A&M
(6) TCU 6:30 PM
Texas
Northern Ill 11/28/14 10:00 AM
Western Mich
Nebraska 11/28/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
Western Ky 11/28/14 11:00 AM
(19) Marshall
UCF 11/28/14 11:00 AM
So Florida
Houston 11/28/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Akron 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Kent State
Ball State 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Bowling Green
Buffalo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Massachusetts
Toledo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Arkansas 11/28/14 1:30 PM
(17) Missouri
Navy 11/28/14 2:00 PM
South Alabama
(13) Arizona State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(12) Arizona
Stanford 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(9) UCLA
(21) Colorado State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
Virginia 11/28/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
East Carolina 11/28/14 7:30 PM
Tulsa
North Texas 11/29/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio
Old Dominion 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Fla Atlantic
(16) Georgia Tech 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(8) Georgia
Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(24) Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(23) Clemson
West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Indiana
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Northwestern
Cincinnati 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Temple
NC State 11/29/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Syracuse 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Louisiana 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Troy
Utah 11/29/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Texas State 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Idaho 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Appalachian St
Wyoming 11/29/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico
New Mexico St 11/29/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
UAB 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(4) Miss State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:30 PM
USC
(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Penn State
(22) Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(14) Wisconsin
(5) Baylor 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech
Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Rutgers 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Maryland
San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Diego St
Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Memphis
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
California
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Middle Tennessee 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Fresno State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Duke
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Miami-Florida
(15) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
(25) Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
UNLV
UCF 12/4/14 6:30 PM
East Carolina
Hamilton 11/30/14 5:00 PM
Calgary
Hartford 43 FINAL
Furman 53
Clemson 77 FINAL
Ohio State 86
Idaho State 53 FINAL
San Diego State 68
East Carolina 58 FINAL
(22) Syracuse 69
Santa Clara 0 Cancelled
Texas-El Paso 0
Florida State 58 2nd Half 3:13
Washington 70
Wichita State 30 2nd Half 4:36
Fla Gulf Coast 53
Wisconsin 18 2nd Half
(1) South Carolina 31
BYU 5:00 PM
BYU-Hawaii
Charlotte 5:00 PM
Montana
Illinois 5:00 PM
(9) Kentucky
Kansas State 0 Cancelled
LSU 0
Central Michigan 7:00 PM
Richmond
Oklahoma 7:15 PM
South Florida
Princeton 7:30 PM
Wake Forest
(19) Oregon State 8:00 PM
Butler
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 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 NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
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: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close