The bye week might come at the right time for the 1-3 Vikings but it certainly won’t be enjoyable. The Packers’ 23-16 victory on Sunday at the Metrodome puts Green Bay at 4-0. The Lions are 3-1 after beating the Bears 37-27; Chicago, which will play host to the Vikings in two weeks, also is 1-3.
Brad Childress is now 7-13 as a head coach. The Vikings have lost three in a row overall and are 3-11 in their past 14 games. Childress also is 0-3 against the Packers and coach Mike McCarthy. When Childress took over the Vikings from Mike Tice, Minnesota had won three in a row against Green Bay.
“We are obviously extremely disappointed,” Childress said. “We’re a 1-3 football team. We had an opportunity to win all three of those games. I’m not going to point in any one direction but we could all improve in all the areas.”
One of the main questions that Childress is going to have to answer is who is going to be his quarterback? The answer almost certainly will be Tarvaris Jackson. Kelly Holcomb started a second consecutive game Sunday in place of the injured Jackson (strained groin) but that was done to get Jackson an extra week of rest. Holcomb’s play certainly doesn’t have anyone saying that Jackson should remain on the bench.
The plan for defensive end Erasmus James almost must be decided. James missed most of last season because of a knee injury; he started training camp on the physically-unable-to-perform list but long ago returned from that. James has been going full speed in practice, yet he still hasn’t played in a regular-season game in 2007.
One guy who probably deserves some credit for the job he did Sunday is defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier. Frazier knew the Packers were going to pass the ball, just as Detroit did two weeks ago, and came out with a game plan that utilized a 3-3-5 formation quite a bit. That is three down linemen, three linebackers and five defensive backs.
You might recall Mike Tomlin used that same type of personnel package last season when he was the Vikings’ defensive coordinator. Frazier said the Vikings had been working on the 3-3-5 as far back as training camp.
Brett Favre still threw two touchdown passes — rookie Marcus McCauley was the victim on both — and passed for 344 yards.
But both of Favre’s scoring passes came on throws that made it look as if it was 1996 again in Green Bay.