This is probably a little late in coming, but it's time to take a last look back at Minnesota's performance in the Red Zone in their previous game.
We'll start with the Vikings' defense this time, as they saw the majority of the Red Zone action against the Jets. . .and, amazingly, held up pretty well, given the circumstances. The Jets made four trips into the Red Zone against the Vikings' defense, and came away with nothing but field goals on every trip. Remember, the Jets' two touchdowns came on a running play that started outside of the red zone, and an interception that was returned for a score. Three of those four Red Zone field goals allowed came in the first half.
The Vikings' offense, on the other hand, made only one trip into the Red Zone on the evening, but they made the most of it, as the end result was Percy Harvin's beautiful 11-yard touchdown catch over Jets' safety Jim Leonhard. Minnesota's other two touchdowns came on long passes. . .a 37-yard bomb to Randy Moss, and a 34-yard crossing pattern to Harvin.
If the Vikings' fortunes are going to reverse, these numbers have to reverse as well. The defense, given what they've been handed to work with this season, has performed on a pretty amazing level as far as keeping teams out of the end zone. When the Vikings' defense has been on the field, opposing teams have only managed five touchdowns in four games (two in the season opener, and one in each of the three games since). The offense, on the other hand, has been awful, but what we saw in the last quarter and a half or so on Monday night is hopefully something that can carry over to tomorrow's game against Dallas, and the rest of the season as well. As I've said more than once, you would have to think that as Randy Moss becomes more comfortable in the offense that more opportunities will open up for everyone else and things will start clicking more efficiently.
Overall, for the season, the Vikings' offense has found itself in the Red Zone eight times in the first four games. In those eight trips, they've scored three touchdowns (37.5%), converted on two field goals (25%), and had three occasions where they haven't scored at all (37.5%), all of which came in the game against Miami.
Defensively, Vikings opponents have managed to penetrate the red zone eleven times. In those eleven trips, they've allowed three touchdowns (27.3%), seen opponents convert five field goals (45.4%), and stopped the other team from scoring three times (27.3%).