Vikings’ high expectations stunted by 0-2 start

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) âÄî The Minnesota Vikings found out last year how difficult it can be to crawl out of a deep hole. They spent this training camp stressing the importance of a fast start to set the tone for what was expected to be a breakthrough season following owner Zygi WilfâÄôs offseason spending spree. Two weeks into the season, here we go again. An 18-15 loss to the Indianapolis Colts at home on Sunday dropped them to 0-2 and has the team trying to regroup with challenging games against Carolina, at Tennessee and at New Orleans in the next three weeks. âÄúObviously itâÄôs not where we want to be. I donâÄôt think anybody visualized us being 0-2,âÄù linebacker Ben Leber said. âÄúI think the hardest part is, I think the locker room kind of feels like we played down to their level and lost. Good teams donâÄôt do that. You go out and beat the teams youâÄôre supposed to beat.âÄù With the passing offense struggling mightily, the team had to settle for five field goals against the Colts, and the defense allowed Peyton Manning to rally the Colts from a 15-0 third-quarter deficit. Only five teams in the Super Bowl era have made the playoffs following an 0-3 start, and only three since the NFL adopted its current postseason format in 1990, according to STATS, Inc. âÄúItâÄôs a situation you really donâÄôt want to be in,âÄù wide receiver Bobby Wade said. âÄúIf you can get ahead of the eight-ball by winning your first couple games, then it gives you a jump start.âÄù Could the boost come from a quarterback change? Coach Brad Childress has been steadfast in his support of Tarvaris Jackson since he was drafted in 2006 and said after the Colts game that Jackson is âÄúdefinitely our quarterback next week.âÄù Dropped passes and play calling that limited his opportunities to make plays, especially in the first half, didnâÄôt help Jackson in a 14-for-24, 130-yard day. Childress continued to spread the blame around on Monday, saying that âÄúeverybody has a backyard to clean up.âÄù But he also was as noncommittal as heâÄôs ever been on the two-year starterâÄôs job security. âÄúYou just need to make sure youâÄôre doing the right thing there and so weâÄôre chewing on a bunch of things right now and making sure that heâÄôs the best guy for us to go forward,âÄù Childress said.