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Monday Morning Mailbag: Evaluating Trae Waynes' Debut

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Very impressive win for the Vikings. What is it going to take to get the passing game going? We can't always rely on the run. What do we need to do to take the pressure of Peterson? -- Peter Nieland Iowa

I wouldn't pin the lack of gaudy passing numbers on the passing offense being unable to get going. There are some weeks that the running game will carry the day, and there are other weeks when the passing game will need to pace the attack. At the end of the day, it's about doing what it takes to win that particular day, and so far through two wins it just happens to be that the running game is what was clicking. I thought Teddy Bridgewater had some nice throws on Sunday, including a pass to TE Kyle Rudolph in the end zone that was dropped. He also had several quality completions on 3rd down – one to Mike Wallace for 19 yards on 3rd and 3, one to Matt Asiata for 6 yards on 3rd and 3, and another to Jarius Wright for 9 yards on 3rd and 8. Throw in a one-play TD drive on the Peterson 43-yard run, an INT returned for a TD by Greenway and a big lead late in the game, and several of Bridgewater's chances to add to his passing totals weren't available to him. I wouldn't fret about Bridgewater or the passing game at this stage.

What are your thoughts on how Trae Waynes preformed? -- Sean Kettle River, MN

I liked a lot of what we saw from Waynes on Sunday. San Diego came at him immediately after he entered the game in the 3rd quarter and he responded well. He made some nice tackles, one in particular that was in the open field. He got his hands on a pass and nearly intercepted it. And I remember a great block he threw on a punt return. So all-in-all, it was a good day for Waynes.

How about those UCLA linebackers…pretty good, huh? -- Talor Kelly @TalorKelly

Very good. The Vikings defense played well as a group, but a lot of individual components stood out and the linebackers were no exception. Anthony Barr does a lot of things to help the defense and he was all over the field on Sunday, including collecting a sack and forced fumble of Philip Rivers on the same play. Eric Kendricks also had some quality snaps and then Greenway had the 91-yard INT return to put an exclamation point on the victory. Barr and Kendricks teaming up with the double A gap pressure concept continues to be an effective look for the Vikings defense and Zimmer and his defensive staff have done a great job of mixing in several other looks, as well.

Who would you say played the best on the offensive line? -- Sahand Fardi @SahandFardi

Without going back and watching every play and focusing on just the offensive line, I'd be remiss to single out an individual who played best. I would say, though, that I saw Matt Kalil blocking downfield on a couple of Peterson's runs and I'd also guess C Joe Berger played well because the entire offensive line seemed to be on its game and there's a lot of responsibility that falls on the center. One player in the blocking game who definitely was a standout on Sunday was TE Rhett Ellison. He served as a lead blocker for Peterson several times and he was moving people consistently and with authority.

Why do all teams not activate a third quarterback for gameday? It used to be that all teams had an active third quarterback. -- Eric Preston Cincinnati, OH

Previous to 2011, teams were afforded 45 active gameday roster spots plus a 46th spot that was dedicated to the 3rd (emergency) QB. This emergency QB was an inactive player at the start of the game but could be activated during the game, and once activated the first two QBs became ineligible. Now, teams are afforded 46 active gameday roster spots and there is no "emergency" QB roster spot or rule. Some teams don't activate a third QB because they feel it's far more likely they will use that roster spot on a player at a different position than on a third QB. There may be instances in which a team needs three QBs in a game, but they are few and far between; the roster spot is better-utilized on a player at a different position.

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