Vikings look lackluster in 29-20 loss to jubiliant Jets

Favre’s return to the Big Apple was anything but delicious

The Big Apple takes a bite out of Brett and the sputtering Vikings.

There were many high profile storylines coming into Monday night’s game against the New York Jets, but none were bigger than that of Brett Favre.

Following the Vikings 29-20 loss at the New Meadowlands, Favre will continue to be the hot topic.

Thanks to the Jenn Sterger fiasco, Favre’s case of tendinitis was overshadowed as the game approached, but it was the injury that seemingly had the bigger impact on this game.  How else can we explain away his awful performance?

Favre was 14 of 34 in the passing game, throwing for 264 yards.  He had three touchdowns, one interception, and three fumbles, two of which were lost.

The positive is that Moss (4 catches, 81 yards, 1 TD) was not only productive but had the desired affect when it came to the production of Percy Harvin.  Harvin led the team in catches (5), led the team in receiving yards (97), and touchdowns(2).  Harvin potentially could have had one or two more big plays possibly resulting in scores had Favre not been way off the mark on those throws.

Visanthe Shiancoe looked utterly ineffective out there after being limited in practice due to a hamstring injury.  Shiancoe had two catches for 28 yards but was the target of Favre’s ill-advised fourth quarter throw which was picked off by safety Dwight Lowery.  The interception wasn’t Shiancoe’s fault, but when he attempted to pursue Lowery who ended up scoring, it was obvious just how much the hamstring was bothering him.

Both Greg Camarillo and Bernard Berrian were unable to register catches, and were pretty invisible in the passing game as a whole.

Adrian Peterson continued to produce on the ground with a 4.9 yards per carry average tonight.  Unfortunately, the game circumstances and coaching schemes prevented Peterson from getting many carries towards the end of the game.  He ended up with only 18 carries and a single catch.  I have harped on it for well over a year now, but in a close and physical game, Peterson getting anything less than 25 carries is inexcusable and should be fixed by the Vikings coaching staff.

With that being said, one has to be objective and point out that Peterson was absolutely miserable in pass blocking when the Jets blitzed, resulting in more pressure on Favre.  Toby Gerhart does a better job blocking than Peterson, but having Gerhart on the field is an obvious downgrade when it comes to playmaking.  Gerhart had seven yards on two carries and dropped an easy ball in the passing game.

Despite having an arm that appeared one hit away from falling off, Brett Favre’s passing game did look improved tonight.  However, I would contend that if Favre’s arm is going to continue to be an issue, if favre is going to continue to struggle and make big mistakes, that perhaps the Vikings coaching staff should consider benching him.

It is hard to get too down on this defense.  Did they show some uncharacteristic inconsistency in stopping Ladanian Tomlinson and the run game?  Sure.  Did they miss out on some big plays?  Yup.

However, the fact that they held this Jets offense to a field goal on five different occasions despite the offense’s inability to move the ball in the first half showed that they are still a dominant unit.  They only gave up one touchdown (Favre’s pick went for six) and that was after what had to be an exhausting first half.

While the injury to Brian Robison shouldn’t be overlooked (check back for updates this week!), the biggest injury concern is the one suffered by Cedric Griffin.  It appeared (I stress APPEARED) like Griffin might (I stress MIGHT) have reinjured the ACL that kept him out of the first two weeks of the game.

After Griffin exited the game, the Jets made a point of picking on second year corner Asher Allen and found pretty consistent success.  Allen was outmatched by the Jets receivers, particularly Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes.

Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the Vikings defense so far has been their inability to get to the opposing quarterback.  Jared Allen did not register a sack.  Ray Edwards had one solo sack and he also split one with Jimmy Kennedy.

Another blown opportunity came from the coaching staff.  The Vikings apparently had no faith in their offense to score a touchdown in the third quarter when they were down by eight points.  The lack of faith was obvious, because after Harvin took a pass for 34 yards and a score, the tema did not know if they were going for two points or not.

I lean towards just kicking the extra point that early in the game, but it is arguable.  In the midst of the Vikings confusion, the play clock ticked down.  Instead of just taking the delay of game penalty and kicking the extra point, the Vikings wasted a timeout which, in a close game, we all knew would come back to haunt them… which it did.

Luckily a similar clock management mistake from Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez, hope was not completely lost, even with under two minutes remaining in the game.  Brad Childress and his staff spent the bye week supposedly doing a lot of “self scouting,” but I have to say I am not impressed with their progress.

As was repeated in the post game press conferences, the Vikings have plenty of positives to build on.  But time is getting short, as the 1-3 Vikings prepare to face the 1-3 Cowboys.  A loss next week would almost assuredly end the Vikings hopes of being a serious playoff contender.

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