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Monday Morning Mailbag

Posted Nov 12, 2012

Do you have a comment or question? Send it to the vikings.com Mailbag! Every Monday during the season we’ll post several comments and/or questions as part of the vikings.com Monday Morning Mailbag feature. Although we can’t post every comment or question, we will reply to every question submitted.

To submit a comment or question to the mailbag, send an email to Mike Wobschall at wobschallm@vikings.nfl.net. Remember to include your name and town on the email.

 

Great bounce-back win against the Lions. Of course RB Adrian Peterson was a big factor with the long touchdown run. I was impressed with WR Jarius Wright, and I think he is that one extra receiver that can improve our passing game. I think we should find a way to use him even after Percy Harvin comes back. What are your thoughts?
-- Alex B.
Phoenix, AZ

I share in everyone’s optimism about Wright following his terrific start on Sunday. There’s no question he provided an early spark for the Vikings offense with two receptions for 57 yards and a touchdown on the first series. We’d be wise to keep things in perspective because he had just one catch after that, but the bottom line is we saw yet another flash of explosiveness from him and that’s a good thing. Remember, he displayed that same explosiveness in the preseason finale at Houston when he had six receptions for 122 yards, including a 59-yard touchdown. The Vikings might be on to something with the rookie wide receiver.

I’d be interested to see how the Vikings offense would operate with both Wright and Harvin available.

It was said by the commentators several times that the Vikings did well with spreading the ball around without Harvin available. Is this something you think will continue to happen even when Percy returns? I don't want to take anything away from Percy because he is a beast, but this is proving to us that the offense consists of more than our dual threat with Percy and Adrian.
-- Miah H.
Sioux City, IA

Christian Ponder completed 24 passes to 10 different receivers, so there’s no question that he did a great job of spreading the ball around. It’s not a coincidence that Ponder had a bounce-back performance on the same day he spread the ball around to so many different receivers.

I see the point Miah is making – the Vikings were able to spread the ball around so well on Sunday because they weren’t relying on Harvin so much. But there’s no rule that says the Vikings can’t continue the philosophy of spreading the ball around once Harvin returns. Perhaps the key to the Vikings offense taking another step forward is continuing to spread the ball around efficiently with Harvin in the lineup.

Apart from Ponder's play, what do you think was the biggest improvement in the Vikings win?
-- Harry C.
England

Improvement from Ponder was one of the major highlights from Sunday’s win, and it was a major factor in the win, too. He took care of the ball, didn’t take too many sacks, and spread the ball around to his playmakers.

A few other improvements the Vikings made included: sustaining drives (nine-minute time of possession advantage); pass protection (one sack allowed); ball security (no lost fumbles); tackling; Chris Kluwe’s punting; and limiting penalties (one called against).

That was a very important win. The team can now go into the bye week with a lot of confidence.

Another big day for Adrian Peterson. What do you think the possibility is of him getting 2,000 yards? If you're not sure it's possible, how close can he get to it?
-- AJ C.
Greenville, PA

I learned a long time ago to never doubt Adrian Peterson. I’m sure a lot of others are learning that right now, as he’s come back from major knee surgery to lead the NFL in rushing and put himself in position to rush for a career-high yardage total. Through 10 games, Peterson has 1,128 yards, which puts him on pace for 1,804. In order to get to 2,000, he’ll need to pick up the pace a bit. But he’s showing no signs of slowing down and appears to actually be getting stronger as the season goes on. I think he can get there.

It was great watching Ponder and Kyle Rudolph getting back on track, and also a great debut for Wright, who among others really stepped up. However, I feel we should have closed the game earlier. The offense executed poorly on 3rd down, which might have been the cause. How can we fix that before the game at Soldier Field?
--Steffan L.
Aarhus, Denmark

Steffan raises an interesting point. The Vikings rank 23rd in 3rd-down offense, converting 33.9% of their tries, and the Bears ranks 2nd in 3rd-down defense in permitting 1st downs just 31.6% of the time. I think coaches will tell you that the key to converting 3rd downs is staying ahead of schedule after 1st-down and 2nd-down plays so that the team remains in manageable 3rd-down scenarios. The Bears defense thrives on getting teams in 3rd-and-long situations so they can rush four defensive linemen and drop seven defenders into coverage. Often times, this causes one of two things to happen: 1) the quarterback forces a pass downfield into coverage, or 2) the quarterback is forced to check down to a receiver underneath and the Bears defense rallies to the ball-carrier to stop him short of a 1st down.