> EDEN PRAIRIE (AP) – About a half-hour after the Vikings’ latest loss, Minnesota coach Brad Childress was asked to be specific about his team’s problems.
Politely, Childress said he would wait until the next day to share.
It is, after all, a long list.
The Vikings (1-3) have this weekend off, a badly needed break in the schedule after three consecutive excruciating defeats – by a total of 13 points. For their passionate fan base, which has grown increasingly frustrated with the franchise the past few years, September was a recurring, beat-your-head-against-a-wall nightmare left over from last season’s 6-10 finish.
Whether it’s because of the coaches and their decisions, the quarterbacks and their inaccuracy, the indistinguishable receivers, the expensive offensive line, or a combination of all of that, this team just hasn’t been good enough to get in the end zone.
“Through my experiences, when you’re kicking a bunch of field goals you usually lose,” quarterback Kelly Holcomb said.
They’re not always getting close enough for field goals, either. Ryan Longwell has tried seven of them and made six, with the one miss a last-second 52-yarder that bounced off the upright and kept Minnesota from beating Detroit in a game that was eventually lost in overtime.
Childress, however, has not wavered in his public expressions of confidence. Progress has not been apparent on the field, given the 3-11 record since a 4-2 start to last season, but the coach said he believes the right players are in place to overcome the current problems and start winning after the bye.
“I think they are things that can be fixed,” Childress said.
The passing game has been broken since Randy Moss was traded in 2005. Daunte Culpepper had a terrible start that year, tore up his knee and never played for Minnesota again. Brad Johnson was a solid reliever down the stretch, but he was uncharacteristically turnover-prone last season when Childress took over. Johnson gave way to Tarvaris Jackson for the final two games.