Not many people expected the Vikings to start the season 0-2, but that's where they find themselves after losing their home opener 14-10 loss to the Miami Dolphins.
Since 1990, only 22 of 169 teams (13 percent) that started 0-2 have reached the postseason. That’s compared to 107 of 167 teams that have made it after starting 2-0 (64 percent). The Vikings rebounded from an 0-2 start in 2008 to qualify for the playoffs.
"I wouldn’t say hit the panic button just yet, but there’s a sense of urgency that has to come real quick to get this going," Percy Harvin said. "The thing about this team is we’re not scared to work."
The players might not be panicking, but they clearly were frustrated after repeatedly shooting themselves in the foot.
"You’ve got to play the game," defensive tackle Kevin Williams said. "You can’t just show up, no matter how many guys you have returning, who’s at quarterback, who’s on the defensive line, who’s at running back. It don’t fricking matter. You’ve got to play the game. When we realize that, we’ll be a lot better. We can’t just show up and think we’re going to win games."
Asked if that has happened during the 0-2 start, Williams said: "I don’t know what’s going on. Everybody needs to check themselves and we’ll go from there. You’ve got to play the game. This is the National Football League. Every team has good players. You’ve got to play the game."
Here are some notes and quotes from the postgame locker room:
Harvin said this past week that his hip injury was nothing serious, but it is bothering him enough that he will have an MRI on Monday to determine the extent of the injury. Harvin aggravated the injury when he took a helmet to his hip while trying to block on a catch by Adrian Peterson in the second quarter.
"It’s sore, it’s hurting,” Harvin said. “We’ll re-evaluate it [Monday] to see what’s going on.”
The injury was described as a bruise last week. Harvin missed practice Thursday to get treatment and was listed as questionable. Harvin was on the field for only 11 plays in the second half and clearly was having problems running normally.
“It just grabs some,” he said. “I can’t really get to the top of my speed. It kind of grabs me a little bit and it’s hard to stop and go. It’s just something I’ll keep treating and hopefully it gets better sooner than later.
Brett Favre completed only 22 of 36 passes for 225 yards with three interceptions, three sacks and fumble that was recovered in the end zone for a touchdown. He finished with a 44.3 passer rating.
"One of the biggest reasons I wanted to not play [this season] was dealing with losses," he said. "I love the guys, I love to win. ... To me, you multiply it by 10 hundred times when you lose. That’s how it feels."
Favre clearly needs more help at receiver and we posted earlier that the Vikings will discuss whether to pursue Vincent Jackson, according to ESPN.
Bernard Berrian has been non-existent the first two games. Favre underthrew Berrian down the field on his third interception, but Berrian started complaining to the officials rather than try and tackle Jason Allen, who returned it 17 yards.
"I think Bernard’s heart is in the right place," Favre said. "I believe in my mind he did all he could do. If I felt otherwise I wouldn’t throw it to him. We go to bat with who we got, me included. That’s the way it is. I’m not going to look out to my left or look out to my right and say, ‘I’m not going to throw it over there.' I’m not going to play that way. That’s the way it is."
Strong performance from Peterson
Adrian Peterson rushed for 145 yards and one touchdown on 28 carries. He averaged 5.2 yards per carry and had 80 yards rushing in the fourth quarter. But he was frustrated that he was unable to get one more yard on the fourth-down run from the 1 with 2:21 left.
“It’s very frustrating, especially when I’m put in a position to make a play on fourth and 1,” he said. “I feel like I’ve got to come through and make it happen no matter what. By all means, I’ve got to get in there. I fell short so I’m putting that on my back, on my shoulders.”
Peterson's rushing total was his highest since getting 180 yards against the Cleveland Browns in the 2009 season opener.
The fourth-down play was an outside zone run to the right. Peterson said the Dolphins kept it flat down the line, choking off the outside. He noticed a crease inside and cut it back, but linebacker Karlos Dansby and cornerback Vontae Davis converged for the tackle at the line.
“I feel I still have to get that in there,” Peterson said.
The Vikings gave the ball to Peterson six consecutive times on that drive after forcing a turnover at the Miami 24. That equaled the number of carries Peterson had in the entire second half against the New Orleans Saints in the season opener.
“If I have to carry it 50 times, I’m in for that,” he said. “Whatever it takes for this offense to win and be productive, I’m all in. That’s my mentality. If they want to give it to me 10, 15 plays in a row I’m going to do my job and be productive.”
Favre was asked about the playcalling down the stretch.
"I’m not going to sit here and play Monday morning quarterback," Favre said. "Do I think other plays would have worked? Who am I to say? We tried just about everything in the playbook during the course of the game."
-- Running back Toby Gerhart, who made his debut after sitting out the season-opener because of a knee injury, gained 10 yards on four carries and caught one pass. Albert Young was inactive.
-- The Dolphins rushed for 120 yards, but 51 came from Ronnie Brown when the Vikings had them pinned at their own 1-yard line in the second quarter.
-- Berrian muffed a punt for the second straight game and the Vikings moved Greg Camarillo into that role after that. Camarillo fumbled a return in the fourth but he recovered it.
-- Erin Henderson filled in for Ben Leber (back injury) in the second half and recovered a fumble at the 4-yard line that was caused by his brother, E.J.
-- Favre said he wanted to avoid throwing at Vontae Davis because of his respect for the Dolphins cornerback. However, Jason Allen took advantage of all the action and finished with two interceptions, 11 tackles and three pass breakups.