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Vikings Offense 'Not Very Good at Anything' After 2 Weeks

A pair of games into the 2020 season, the Vikings offense is searching for answer on, well, everything.

The passing game hasn't been crisp, the running game hasn't established itself and untimely miscues have hampered the entire unit in a myriad of ways.

And after a 28-11 loss in Week 2 that kept the Vikings winless on the young season, there are plenty of reasons for frustration.

"Right now we're not very good at anything," said Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer, "so we've got to evaluate that."

Added Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins: "It was just one of those days where we just couldn't get anything going. We obviously need to be much, much better going forward."

And when asked what the offense could do better, running back Dalvin Cook had this reply:

"Everything," Cook said.

The Vikings managed just 175 total yards of offense Sunday in Indianapolis, and converted just twice on nine total attempts on third downs.

Minnesota gained 60 of those total yards on the opening drive, but even that ended in frustration as the Vikings kicked a 21-yard field goal after having first-and-goal from the 8-yard line.

Much like in the Week 1 loss against the Packers, the Vikings struggled with time of possession.

Minnesota finished with 21 minutes and 35 seconds of controlling the ball, compared to 38:25 for Indianapolis.

But 5:59 of the Vikings time of possession total came on the opening drive. The next five Minnesota drives equaled just 6:22 and ended with two punts, a safety and two of Cousins' three interceptions.

Zimmer tried to explain what went wrong in yet another disastrous second quarter.

"[Even] the first drive we got helped by a penalty," Zimmer said. "The second quarter was not very good. They possessed the ball a lot in the first quarter and we possessed it a lot in the first quarter, but our field possession was awful in the second quarter and then interception and the safety, all those different things that happened right before halftime. We can't give up those kinds of points and plays and field position.

"This team has kind of been built on controlling the time of possession, playing great in the red zone and on third downs, and we haven't been doing that very well," Zimmer added. "We're going to have to get back to work and try to figure out what's wrong because the identity of this team has not been what it has been for the last six years."

Perhaps the most maddening example of the lack of ball control came on the Vikings second possession.

Eric Wilson had just nabbed his first NFL interception to keep the Vikings ahead 3-0, but Minnesota's offense gained five yards on three plays and had to punt.

And after using just over 90 seconds off the clock, sent the defense back onto the field after that unit had just endured a 9-plus minute drive. The Colts took advantage, promptly scoring and getting a lead they wouldn't give up.

And yes, the Vikings offense took a safety for the second straight week.

"Just was going through my read and just obviously felt pressure and tried to move and then they had me in the grasp and just tried to get out of the end zone the best I could," Cousins said. "It's another one where it's tough to explain all that went on unless I can watch it and kind of see what took place."

It was a poor overall performance from the Vikings starting quarterback, who completed 11 of 26 passes (42.3 percent) for just 113 yards with no touchdowns and three interceptions.

Cousins' passer rating of 15.9 was the lowest in his career as a starter, and according to Pro Football Reference, the fourth-worst by a Vikings quarterback with at least 20 throws since the 1970 merger.

Cousins also had his first three-interception game as a Viking, and just the third game in his 95-game career with three picks.

"Yeah it wasn't the day we wanted," Cousins said. "We'll have to go back and really learn from it, watch the film and really get a better understanding of how we can be better as a unit, how I can be better as a quarterback. That'll be my focus tonight, tomorrow and moving through the week."

Added Zimmer: "He didn't play very good. I don't know. I'll have to look at the tape."

The Vikings tallied 80 total rushing yards Sunday on 18 attempts, with Cook gaining 63 yards and getting a score on 14 attempts.

But because the Vikings played from behind yet again, Minnesota couldn't get its offense in rhythm for the second straight week.

Through two games, the Vikings have held the ball for just 40 minutes and 19 seconds. They have 13 first-half points and have converted on just five of 15 total attempts on third downs.

And this is with an group of offensive players who were nearly all together in 2019, and in the same general offensive scheme as the season before.

"We've got a pretty veteran offensive group," Zimmer said. "So that is concerning to me."

Added Cousins: "Certainly disappointed. It was just a poor day. We'll have to go back to work and make corrections and really have a great focus this week as we prepare for Week 3 and come out with a much better effort next week."

Cook also offered his thoughts on the overall offense through eight quarters.

"We're not taking advantage of the moments, we're not capitalizing, we're not making our own energy," Cook said. "We're not capitalizing on those big plays to make a game switch over to our game and take the momentum.

"We're not doing the little things," Cook added, "so we've got to just focus and go back to work in practice on Monday and just correct it.''

The Vikings will host the Titans in Week 3 at U.S. Bank Stadium, again playing without any fans in attendance. It will be up to them to find some answers between now and then.

"Well, we're going to go back to work," Zimmer said when asked how to fix the offensive struggles. "We're going to evaluate everything that we're doing in, really, all phases, and figure out what we're good at, and let's start doing what we're good [at].

"Right now we're not very good at anything," Zimmer added, "so we've got to evaluate that."