How Can the Minnesota Vikings Actually Win a Game?

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The teams that met from the NFC North on Sunday in Minneapolis seem to be heading in vastly different directions. The Lions are a youthful and exuberant bunch, while the Vikings are a beaten down lackadaisical squad. I have some suggestions for Leslie Frazier on how Minnesota can join their divisional foes in the win column.

Feed the Beast: Quarterback Donovan McNabb should get really comfortable handing the ball off to Adrian Peterson. When he secures the football, he is the best runner in the NFL. It also should hold the leads that the team has squandered during the last couple of weeks. The organization has invested serious resources in Peterson and the play calling must be indicative of this.

Involve Percy Harvin: Migraines have been a constant issue for Harvin, but he is the most explosive player on the roster now that Sidney Rice is on the Seattle Seahawks. I understand that he cannot be a workhorse like Peterson, but his touches should be in the teens for every contest. McNabb is in the twilight of his career and needs all of his weapons at his disposal. Having Harvin more involved would also make teams play more honestly on defense, instead of simply gearing up to stop Peterson at the point of attack.

Hire Dan Marino as a consultant: Former players like Howie Long and Michael Strahan have the best jobs in America. They get paid to do what every guy is doing anyway on Sundays. Dan Marino is the most accurate passer that I have seen over the last three decades. Donovan McNabb is having an issue in this area thus far. Pitching great Greg Maddux used to comment on being wild sometimes in the strike zone because he didn’t always have command. The same could be said for McNabb. Even when he makes completions, the ball isn’t where it needs to be for the receivers to achieve maximum yardage after the catch. Plus, it retains the receivers’ health if they don’t have to stretch themselves out in the middle of the field. This vulnerability leads to heavy hits from the opposing secondary.

Involve trick plays: I am never a proponent of trick plays if a team is more talented than its opponent. That is certainly rarely the scenario this season with the Vikings. It is time for them to open up their arsenal to a plethora of ideas. Putting points on the board some weeks will be difficult with the current personnel. The college game would provide a good starting point for the coaching staff. Bob Stoops down in Oklahoma seems to incorporate creativity on a regular basis. This could include Harvin to a greater extent as well.

Emphasize the defensive line: It’s pretty obvious even to the casual observer that the defensive line is superior to the secondary on the Vikings. With that said, the players should be allowed freedom to exploit their strengths and hide their weaknesses. This means that Minnesota should regularly put a high number of players in the box and place various blitz packages in their repertoire.

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