Sunday, September 11, 2011
Wrap-up: Chargers 24, Vikings 17
By Kevin Seifert
A few quick thoughts on the Minnesota Vikings' season-opening 24-17 loss at the San Diego Chargers:
What it means: The Vikings lost in Leslie Frazier's debut as the team's full-time head coach. They're not exactly out of the NFC North race, but it's worth noting they were the only Black and Blue team to lose in Week 1. Their passing offense is of particular concern after it netted 28 yards, the eighth-worst passing game in team history.
The good news: The Vikings got off to an explosive start on Percy Harvin's 103-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Adrian Peterson's 46-yard run set up Donovan McNabb's 3-yard touchdown pass to receiver Michael Jenkins and the Vikings led 17-7 at halftime.
The bad news: It was pretty much downhill from there. The Vikings didn't score again, McNabb finished with seven completions (you read that correctly) and 39 gross passing yards. There has obviously been concern about the Vikings' offense since the lockout began, considering its quarterback and scheme transition. I don't think Sunday's issues were all McNabb's fault by any means, and it's a little early to start talking about rookie Christian Ponder. But in a passing league, the Vikings aren't going to win many games with the kind of offensive game they played Sunday.
Rivers rolls: I put the over-under on Philip Rivers' passing totals at 300, and many of you took the over. You were right. He finished with 335 yards by completing 33 of 48 passes, realizing in the second half especially that the Vikings' secondary can be beat. He did throw two interceptions, but overall it was difficult to imagine the Vikings holding Rivers down for the entire game.
What's next: The Vikings will make their home debut next Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.