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Which way is this team headed?

Posted at 2:47 PM on November 10, 2008 by Chris Dall

(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Nine games into a season in which the Vikings were trumpeted as a team that could go deep in to the playoffs, it's hard to tell exactly where this team is going. They now stand 5-4 after yesterday's win over the Packers and a game out of the NFC North lead. But it's hard to get too excited by that. Yes they won yesterday, they got outstanding performances from their two marquee players (Adrian Peterson and Jared Allen), and they got Chili his first win over the Pack, but they tried as hard as they could to give it away. And I don't think yesterday's mistakes were isolated incidents.

A lot of the analysis I heard yesterday and this morning on TV and the radio suggested that the Vikings had pretty much dominated the Packers and only had to hold their breath because Green Bay scored touchdowns off an interception and a punt return. As if those were fluke plays that don't happen every game. The thing is, with this team, they do happen every game. Vikings special teams have given up six touchdowns. Gus Frerotte has thrown 11 interceptions, and has to keep throwing to keep defenses honest. This is who the Vikings are: a team with a very good defense, an outstanding running back, a below average quarterback, and terrible special teams. Teams like that usually end up around .500. Fortunately for the Vikings, that could be enough to win the NFC North.

The most positive elements from yesterday's game were Peterson and Allen recognizing they have to take it to another level for this team to win, and Childress finally making the right offensive call. When the game was on the line, he put the ball in the hands of his best player and asked him to carry the team. Let's hope that AP can do it the rest of the way.

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