Vikings without a doubt realize it’s only one victory

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) âÄî After more dominant defense and a steady performance in the passing game by new quarterback Gus Frerotte, it was possible to examine this first win and believe Minnesota is back on track. But Frerotte’s 15 years in the league have given him proper perspective. âÄúIt takes the pressure off for one day, anyway,âÄù he said. âÄúOnce we come back Wednesday, we’re right back at it.âÄù The Vikings (1-2) might have saved their season of high hopes with that 20-10 triumph over the Carolina Panthers, but the NFL’s competitive setup creates a strictly narrow timeline for savoring these season-saving victories. No more than 24 to 48 hours. âÄúI don’t know if ‘relaxed’ would be the word,âÄù coach Brad Childress said, with typical understatement. âÄúWe’re playing a team that’s 3-0 this week. So nothing relaxing about that.âÄù Minnesota, which began by losing at Green Bay by five points and to Indianapolis by three, faces consecutive road games against undefeated Tennessee and then New Orleans (1-2) on a Monday night. So enjoy this, boys, but only for a few more hours. In fact, it’s probably already too late. âÄúIt’s always good to come back to work on a Monday after a win,âÄù cornerback Antoine Winfield said. âÄúThe last two weeks haven’t been that exciting.âÄù Frerotte went 16-for-28 for 204 yards, one touchdown and one interception in place of Tarvaris Jackson, whose struggles the previous two games were a significant cause of defeat. He was more aggressive when the Vikings needed him to be and added some necessary veteran poise to the attack, but many of Frerotte’s throws were off the mark and he didn’t get them in the end zone until the third quarter. Chester Taylor gave Adrian Peterson some good relief in the backfield and heralded acquisition Bernard Berrian caught his first long pass, a 48-yarder to set up the touchdown, but this is still an offense in need of improvement. The red zone remains a problem: Minnesota has scored only one TD in eight trips inside the opponent’s 20 this year. âÄúI think we’ve got to kind of still work out some kinks, but I think having Gus back there gave us a great change in speed as far as offense,âÄù wide receiver Bobby Wade said. âÄúThe play calling seemed a little different as well. Although we didn’t get the running game going like we wanted to get it going, I thought we found a good balance in there. At least enough to sustain drives and score points. That’s all we can really do.âÄù The kick coverage also showed some holes and valuable special teams contributor Vinny Ciurciu went down with a knee injury, and the Vikings have yet to spring one of their returners for a long runback of a kickoff or a punt. There was much less for which to find fault with the defense, which chipped in yet another touchdown âÄî Winfield’s fumble return late in the second quarter âÄî and recorded five sacks. Middle linebacker E.J. Henderson, after a breakout season in 2007, has seemingly been playing even better âÄî darting in the holes and diving all over the place to make tackles. On one stop against Carolina on Sunday, he leaped like a lion and brought down the ball carrier with a highlight-reel corral. âÄúIt was our best performance yet. We’re going to build on that,âÄù Henderson said.