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Monday Morning Mailbag: O-Line Adjustments, Bradford's Debut and More

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Great win against a very tough team. Sam Bradford seems to be exactly what the doctor ordered. Diggs played well and the defense was really playing tough. A team win. My only concern is the offensive line. What are your thoughts? Is this possibly growing pains, since the team is mostly made up of new team mates? Sam Bradford is going to open the running game, but the offensive line needs to step it up some. As always, go Vikings! -- Mike B. Goodwin, SD

The offensive line as much as any position group relies upon synergy to play well. The group as it's constituted right now has been together since March, but Sunday night was only their second full game together. So before anyone gives up on any part of the group, just keep in mind that it pays to be patient when it comes to developing chemistry with the line. With that being said, there's no doubt that improvement needs to be made. The pass protection looked great last week when Shaun Hill wasn't sacked one time in Tennessee, but Sam Bradford was sacked four times against Green Bay. The rushing attack hasn't gotten going in either game, so there can be improvement in that phase, too. The good news is the Vikings have talented players along the line, they have an offensive line coach who knows how to fix problems and they have two wins over the last two weeks to serve as the foundation for improvement.

What an opportunistic and tough defense that we have! Already improving on last year by forcing turnovers often. But what can our offense do to score more points? By my count we have no offensive turnovers, but when they do come, we'll need to be able to score more to overcome them. -- Tyrone New York

There's no question the offense has done a great job with ball security. To score more points, though, they will have to be more efficient on offense, particularly on early downs. The Vikings faced to-go distances of 8, 10, 20, 15 and 10 yards in their first five 3rd downs on Sunday night. It's hard to be frustrated with the Vikings four of 14 (29%) output on 3rd downs when you see how difficult those situations were because of inefficiency on 1st and 2nd down. So, gaining more yards on early downs will lead to higher-percentage 3rd down situations, which will lead to sustained drives and more points on offense. 

Felt like we won the field position game consistently and it made a difference! It was a good feeling! Skol Vikings! -- Zach Horejsi @ZachHorejsi

It felt that way because it's true – the Vikings did win the field position battle consistently against the Packers. Green Bay's average drive start was their own 20 and the Vikings average drive start was their own 32. The Packers started inside their own 20 five times and scored no points in those possessions, while the Vikings started inside their own 20 just twice while they started at their own 40 or better four times. Give credit to the Vikings kickoff and punt teams as well as to the offense for not turning it over and to the defense for forcing turnovers – all of those factors combined to help the Vikings win the field position battle.

It wasn't the most artistic game the Vikings have ever played, but it was a show-stopper. If I were in charge of handing out game balls, I'd need a bunch of them, starting with entire defensive line. Linval Joseph was a beast all night. B-Rob, Griffen and Danielle Hunter tormented Aaron Rodgers all night long. It wasn't just the sacks. It's that they made Rodgers uncomfortable and inaccurate. I'd give Trae Waynes a game ball because he made the game-clinching interception. What has to be satisfying for Coach Zimmer and George Edwards is that they tormented Rodgers without Xavier Rhodes and Sharrif Floyd. The offensive line definitely needs to improve but I think Norv Turner figured something out with Matt Asiata and Zach Line playing together. Finally, there's no way you don't give game balls to Sam Bradford and Stefon Diggs. Bradford was the best QB on the field and Diggs was the best receiver on the field. -- Gary Gross

As they often have been under head coach Mike Zimmer, Sunday night's win was a team win. Yes, the defense carried the day just as it did in Tennessee last week. But Jeff Locke and the punt team lent a helping hand to the defense by pinning Rodgers and Co. inside their own 20 five times, and the offense did a nice job of moving the ball through the air to score a couple of touchdowns.

It was a great night all around with our defense and Sam Bradford exceeding expectations against a good Packers team. Do you think the Vikings will incorporate some rushing plays for Cordarrelle Patterson? Given his history of explosive plays as a kickoff returner and a few rushing plays from the past, I think he could get our rushing game going if Adrian Peterson is out with the knee injury. -- Alex Beason Phoenix, AZ

Patterson has had one carry in each game so far this season, so I would say the team has already given some thought about having him contribute to the rushing attack. Patterson could see a few more rushing attempts here and there if Peterson misses time, but it'll be Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata who see the bulk of the increase in touches if Peterson is limited in any capacity.

When can we see Treadwell in at wide receiver? -- Nicholas Balkou

Treadwell did see a few snaps on Sunday night after suiting up but not playing at all last week. Don't read into his limited action through two games as any indictment on his progress as a rookie. Last year, Stefon Diggs didn't play until Week 4 and he was still able to become a major contributor in the passing game even as a rookie. With Treadwell's talent and work ethic, as well as with the way the Vikings were able to throw the ball with Bradford under center, there will be an opportunity for Treadwell to contribute as a receiver this season.

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