Monday Morning Mailbag

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Monday Morning Mailbag

Posted Oct 28, 2013

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.

 

Another tough game to watch and to lose. Adrian Peterson had only had 13 carries again, two weeks in a row. I feel like this has got to change. The MVP of the League should be utilized as much as possible, especially with us struggling so much at quarterback. What are your thoughts on AP not getting a lot of carries?
-- Kyle S.
Hampton, VA

I’m as frustrated as the next person at this issue and I’m sure Peterson and the offensive coaching staff is frustrated with it, too. I don’t blame play calling for this. Obviously the Vikings offensive staff isn’t going into the game with the intention of ignoring Peterson. To me, the problem here is a larger one than play calling – it’s the inability to sustain drives. The Vikings ran the ball with Peterson on their first three plays of the game and then four more times on the second offensive possession. But after those two drives, the Vikings offense couldn’t sustain a drive. Here are the total plays of the Vikings final six drives – 4, 8, 3, 3, 5, 5. How are the Vikings supposed to get Peterson a high rushing attempt total with drives that short? Green Bay’s time of possession advantage was 40:54 to 19:06 and the total plays run was 73 to 43 in favor of Green Bay. With Peterson’s 13 rushing attempts to the Vikings 43 total offensive snaps, the Vikings still ran the ball with Peterson on 30.2% of their snaps, which is a pretty high number in a game that was lost by double-digits.

Can you give some insight on what is the problem with the Vikings 3rd-down defense? It seems like they can never stop an opponent on 3rd downs.
-- Jamie K.
Green Bay, WI

It does feel that way, and it feels that way because on Sunday night the Vikings surrendered conversions on 76.5% of their 3rd down plays and because for the season the Vikings are allowing opponents to convert on 51.0% of their 3rd downs, which ranks last in the NFL. To me, there isn’t one problem that’s lead to this failure on 3rd downs. Sometimes the pressure is there, but the coverage is not. Sometimes there isn’t enough coverage to generate pressure. And sometimes the pressure and coverage is there, but there are missed tackles and bad angles.

I do agree with what Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier said in his post-game press conference – this is not a personnel issue, it’s a scheme issue. The personnel the Vikings have is what they have. A team isn’t going to go out and make a bunch of personnel changes at this point in the season. Something has to be done with the players already on the roster and with the scheme.

Vikings

Any clue as to why Cordarrelle Patterson doesn't get more playing time on offense ? He seems to be the only legitimate big-play threat lately and is proving so with very limited opportunities.
-- Kyle K.

I agree that Patterson continues to display big-time ability nearly every time he touches the ball, whether on kickoff returns or on offense. I don’t have his snap count handy for Sunday night’s game, but I do know that Patterson has seen a little more playing each week over the past month or so and I wouldn’t be surprised to see that trend continue. Against Green Bay, Patterson was targeted three times and came away with two receptions – one on a screen and another on a fake screen to Jennings where Patterson leaked out down the left sideline and hauled in a 17-yard gain.

It’s fair to expect Patterson’s playing time on offense to continue increasing given the way the season is going and the improvement the rookie continues to display.

I know fans (including myself) want a consistent quarterback, but I don't believe Josh Freeman has had the time to fully immerse himself into our offense; and with the concussion he suffered last week I feel he is still too out of touch with our receiver core and the offense to be thought of as a starter come Sunday vs. Dallas. I think Christian Ponder is a great start, if of course we can put all the pieces together offensively. What do you think?
-- Sheema
Burnsville, MN

It’s a tough call to make from my chair because I don’t have the information at hand to formulate an educated opinion. Sheema is right that you want consistency at quarterback. You want consistency in who plays and then you want the guy who plays to perform consistently. But none of the Vikings quarterbacks have displayed a consistent level of play this season, so it’s hard to make a case for any of them to play consistently.

Ultimately, I don’t know who will play next week in Dallas at this point.