MINNEAPOLIS -- Let’s hit some highlights and lowlights of Miami's 14-10 victory against Minnesota.
What it means: The Vikings are 0-2 and already two games behind the NFC North-leading Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears. This is the tough early hole we wondered if the Vikings might fall in after their offense failed to come together during the preseason. The Vikings accumulated 364 yards Sunday against the Dolphins, but ultimately they have scored only 19 points in two games. Quarterback Brett Favre’s four turnovers were glaring, especially since one of them – a third-quarter fumble in the end zone – directly led to one of the Dolphins’ two touchdowns.
Critical call: Down by four points, the Vikings made the right call to go for it on fourth-and-goal from the Dolphins’ 1-yard line with 2 minutes, 21 seconds remaining. And for what it’s worth, I had no problem with them handing the ball to tailback Adrian Peterson, who ran like a beast for the entire game and had been plowing through the Dolphins’ defense through the entire drive. But on this particular play, Dolphins linebacker Karlos Dansby slipped unblocked through the right side of the Vikings’ line and was able to wrap up Peterson with help from cornerback Vontae Davis. On this play, Dansby simply won his 1-on-1 battle.
Critical call II: That was one of four fourth-down plays the Vikings went for. The only one that could be debated was the first. Coach Brad Childress elected to go for it on fourth-and-2 from the Dolphins’ 26-yard line at the end of the Vikings’ first possession. I’m sure he was trying to instill some aggression in his moribund offense, but Favre’s pass was batted down at the line. Assuming Ryan Longwell had converted the 43-yard field goal, the Vikings would have been playing for a game-winning field goal on their final drives instead of needing a touchdown. Just saying.
Trending: Favre is more than halfway to his 2010 season total of interceptions. He threw three Sunday, including two on the Dolphins’ goal line, to bring his season total to four. If you recall, Favre threw seven interceptions in 16 games last season. The Vikings defense minimized the damage of two interceptions by recovering fumbles on the ensuing play, but regardless, Favre’s accuracy is far from mid-season form.
Would-be hero: Peterson ran hard and finished with 186 all-purpose yards. Had the Vikings pulled it out, he would have been the afternoon’s big talker.
What’s next: Vikings host the Detroit Lions next Sunday at the Metrodome.