Chad Greenway (Tom Dahlin/Viking Update)
The Vikings haven’t fared well on the road lately and they will need to turn that around Sunday night in a big game against the Green Bay Packers. Chad Greenway and Visanthe Shiancoe talked about the keys to turning around the road streak.
The Vikings will be looking to accomplish something Sunday that they haven't done in almost a year: win a road game.
Minnesota has lost six in a row away from the Metrodome since beating the Packers 38-26 on Nov. 1 at Lambeau Field. That includes the overtime loss to New Orleans in the NFC title game.
The Vikings will return to Lambeau on Sunday night looking to end that skid.
"We have such a tight team here, you would think we'd be able to go on the road and be good," linebacker Chad Greenway said. "Obviously, something needs to change. I think it's about going out there and getting that one win on the road to get the ball rolling. You have the schedule, you stick to it and you try to get into a rhythm on the road. It's hard to go into a place, but it's all about confidence."
It's also about getting off to quick starts, and that's something the Vikings haven't done. In their past two games, the Vikings have generated 51 and 60 yards in the opening 30 minutes. The 51 yards came in a 29-20 loss to the Jets on Oct. 11 at the New Meadowlands.
"We have to get off to a fast start," tight end Visanthe Shiancoe said. "With the Jets, we got off slow, didn't end up winning the game. All these games that we end up starting fast, we somehow end up winning the game. You can't keep teams in, you can't give them hope. You have to halt that momentum a little bit or that velocity. You can't let them get that charge."
Considering the Packers are decimated by injuries, the Vikings should have a good chance to end their losing streak and also pull into a tie with Green Bay for second place in the NFC North.
But Shiancoe knows it won't be easy.
"Green Bay is Green Bay," he said when asked how tough it is to beat the Packers. "It's been like that for decades. It's never going to change. It's going to be hard to go into Green Bay and win. They are a tough team, period, end of discussion. Stout defense, their offense puts up points, it's just going to be a battle. Their crowd plays into it as well. They're a factor."
While the Vikings' offense attempts to get on track, the defense has been holding its own despite having lost three key members of its secondary.
Chris Cook has been sidelined the past two games because of a torn meniscus in his left knee. Cedric Griffin is scheduled to undergo season-ending surgery Tuesday to repair the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, and strong safety Husain Abdullah had to leave Sunday's victory over Dallas in the second quarter because of a concussion.
QB Brett Favre threw for only 118 yards in the Vikings' 24-21 victory over Dallas on Sunday, the second-lowest total during his two seasons with the team. Favre's lowest passing total came in the Vikings' 34-20 victory to open last season in Cleveland. Favre has more than football on his mind these days. A member of the NFL security staff was scheduled to meet with him Tuesday as the league continues its investigation into whether he sent inappropriate text messages and photos to former Jets sideline reporter Jenn Sterger in 2008 when he was with that team. Favre could face discipline under the NFL's personal-conduct policy.
RB Adrian Peterson was held to a season-low 73 yards on 24 carries and one touchdown against Dallas. Peterson grew up a Cowboys fan and has now played three career games against them but never had gained more than his total from Sunday. After gaining more than 100 yards in back-to-back games in Weeks 2 and 3, Peterson has been held to 88 and 73 yards in the past two games.
RB Toby Gerhart had one carry for four yards against Dallas and has been pretty much a non-factor in the offense so far. The second-round pick from Stanford has only 33 yards on 10 carries this season.
RB Albert Young was active for only the second time this season, the first time since the opener at New Orleans, but he did not get a carry and only was in for a couple of snaps Sunday. Young was up because of his blocking ability but appeared to block the wrong Cowboy on a play that ended with a sack of QB Brett Favre.
TE Visanthe Shiancoe had 10 receptions in the first two games but has only three in the past three and was shut out against the Cowboys. That's surprising considering it was expected that Randy Moss' presence in the offense would create more single coverage for Shiancoe and thus give him more receiving opportunities.
WR Randy Moss had five receptions for only 55 yards in his first game as a Viking at the Metrodome since the 2004 season. Moss, reacquired in a trade this month with New England, now has nine catches for 136 yards and a touchdown in two games with the Vikings.
WR Bernard Berrian had one reception for 4 yards against the Cowboys, but QB Brett Favre did miss him on a slant route that would have been a big play. Nonetheless, Berrian has only six catches this season. That is one fewer than TE Jim Kleinsasser. Kleinsasser also has 31 more receiving yards than Berrian.
WR Percy Harvin continues to be a play-maker as a wide receiver, running back and kickoff returner. He had a 95-yard return for a touchdown against Dallas, caught three passes for 21 yards and rushed twice for 18 yards.
C John Sullivan has missed the past two games because of a left calf injury suffered in Week 3 against Detroit. Sullivan was replaced by Jon Cooper against the Cowboys, and it appears Cooper has won the job for as long as Sullivan is out. Sullivan missed most of training camp because of an injury to his right calf.
CB Chris Cook appears to be close to returning from a knee injury that has sidelined him for the past two games. Cook is expected to start at right corner and in place of injured Cedric Griffin when he does come back.