<
>

Third and one: Vikings

Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert

After Minnesota’s 27-24 victory over San Francisco, here are three (mostly) indisputable facts I feel relatively sure about:

  1. It took a future Hall of Famer to produce the first 300-yard passing performance in the tenure of coach Brad Childress. Brett Favre threw for 301 yards, including 80 on the game-winning drive, to accomplish the feat. Gus Frerotte threw for 296 and 298 yards in successive games last year, but Daunte Culpepper was the last player to break the barrier. Culpepper threw for exactly 300 yards on Sept. 25, 2005. That means the Vikings went 63 games without a 300-yard passing game. More than anything, I think that speaks to the snail-paced conversion the Vikings have made to Childress’ version of the West Coast offense, one that is based on a power running game and requires exceptional open-field runners at the receiver positions.

  2. You finally saw some of that killer-instinct speed that rookie Percy Harvin displayed while at Florida. Harvin simply threw it in another gear after crossing midfield on a 101-yard kickoff return, running away from two San Francisco players as if they were in concrete. Harvin has elite speed, but he also is one of those players who seems to be running vertically toward the end zone at all times. There isn’t much juking with Harvin. Just a sprint toward the end zone. It’s no surprise that Harvin leads all NFL rookies with 18 points this season.

  3. In case you were worried, the Vikings clamped down their run defense against the 49ers’ Frank Gore and Glen Coffee. After giving up 218 rushing yards in their first two games, the Vikings held San Francisco to 58 yards on 25 carries. “All week that was what everyone was talking about,” nose tackle Pat Williams said. “That the Williams Wall has a crack in it, and the Minnesota run defense isn’t the same as it used to be. But we don’t worry about it.”

And here is one question I’m still asking:

What’s going on with Bernard Berrian? The Vikings’ No. 1 receiver doesn’t seem to be in the flow of the offense after a hamstring injury kept him out of the most of the preseason. Berrian dropped two passes against the 49ers and overall has 10 receptions for 102 yards this season. I can only assume that his chemistry with Favre is a work in progress, and that perhaps his hamstring wasn’t fully healed when the season began. The Vikings are getting big-play production from Harvin and Sidney Rice, but Berrian is supposed to be their home-run hitter.