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Rushing attack, vertical game hinder offense

The Vikings are having their share of issues on offense, but could turn things around if they rely more on the short passing game.

Updated: November 26, 2005, 6:46 PM ET
By KC Joyner | ESPN Insider
Coming into the 2005 season, I thought the Minnesota Vikings would focus their offense around Daunte Culpepper and the short passing game. Culpepper was so good at short passes during the 2004 season (he had the highest completion percentage on short passes in 2004) that it seemed like an obvious change for the Vikings to make. As I detailed in one of my earlier Insider columns, though, the Vikings haven't been calling short passes and Culpepper hadn't been completing the vertical ones, and Minnesota struggled to a 2-5 record.

Culpepper went down with a knee injury a couple of weeks ago and was replaced by Brad Johnson. Johnson's résumé shows that he has had much success in short-pass oriented offenses, even leading Tampa Bay to a Super Bowl win while running that style of offense.

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