Vikings fans have complained incessantly about the the Vikings' offense since Brad Childress' first game. They've said it was too predictable, too reliant on short yardage plays and unable to put points on the board. They were right.
On Sunday, the Vikings ran 26 plays on first down, including one play that was negated by an illegal shift by Jeff Dugan. Of those 29 plays, 12 came in the first half and 14 came in the second half. Of those 26 plays, the Vikings ran the ball 21 times, eleven times in the first half and ten times in the second half. Those numbers also include two first down plays on the final drive, where the Vikings had to throw. And even including those two plays, the Vikings still ran the ball 72.4% of the time on first down. I wonder if the Chiefs noticed? (Let's see here...36 total yards in the second half? I think the Chiefs adjusted.)
If the Vikings had realized the Chiefs were planning on flooding the box with 8 or 9 defenders (something you think they'd have noticed), they should have been able to torch them on first down. Instead, they kept pounding Adrian Peterson into the line, which, surprisingly enough, didn't work too well. The Purple got an 12 yard run and a 9 yard run out of Peterson on first down and one 11 yard run from Mewelde Moore, but also got carries of -1 yards, -5 yards, -2 yards, 0 yards and 3 yards. That's 4 plays that, considering the Vikings lack of big play makers, basically doomed drives and one carry that helped a little.
Here's the really infuriating thing: the Vikings weren't having a lot of success running the ball on first down in the first half either, where they ran the ball for -4 yards, 16 yards, 11 yards, -1 yards, 10 yards, 1 yard, 0 yards, 5 yards, 1 yard and 3 yards. Out of ten rushing plays, they got first downs three times, got a good gain once, an average gain once and got one yard twice and had no gain or lost yardage three times.
My guess is that Childress and Bevell ran the ball so many times because they didn't want to get into second and long situations due to failed passes. I hope that they knew their offensive players aren't good enough to convert 2nd and 3rd and longs and so they ran the ball on first down in order to create manageable 2nd and 3rd downs. And, if so, that, at least, makes sense. That doesn't mean they were right to do so. Anytime you have such a predictable pattern in the NFL, you are going to fail. And the Vikings were about as predictable as you can get on first down. And thus, the offense failed miserably.
And that's enough of that awful game. I'm going to be kicking off Packers Week later this afternoon/this evening. I don't really think the Vikings are going to win, but they only need to pick off Farve twice to get him to 277 and tie him with George Blanda for most interceptions thrown.