This is going to become a weekly feature here on the site in conjunction with the deal that I told everyone about last week with Comcast sponsoring the site. With Comcast being the home of the NFL Red Zone Channel, the best place for you to see every score from every game every week, I thought it only appropriate that we take a look at how the Beloved Purple were doing in the Red Zone throughout the season. Red zone success is often an indicator of team success, and nobody gives you all the scores for your team and every other team like the Comcast Red Zone.
Since this is the first installment of the Vikings Red Zone Review, we'll look at the red zone performance of the Vikings for the first quarter of the season. From here on out, as I said, we'll do more of a weekly review with more specifics and so forth. Results after the jump:Week 1 at Cleveland
Viking Red Zone trips - 5
Vikings Red Zone scores - 5 (3 TD, 2 FG)
Red Zone touchdown percentage - 60%
The Vikings' red zone offense got off to a pretty good start against the Cleveland Browns back in Week 1. On the second drive of the season, Adrian Peterson and Brett Favre moved the Vikings deep into Browns territory, but the drive stalled at the Cleveland 3-yard line, leading to a 21-yard Ryan Longwell field goal. They wasted no time getting their next score, either, as a big Darius Reynaud punt return set the Vikings up at the Cleveland 36, and Adrian Peterson took it in from a yard out four plays later for the Vikings' first touchdown of the season and another red zone conversion for Minnesota.
The second half saw the Vikings take the opening kickoff and march straight down the field for another red zone success, a drive that ended in another Adrian Peterson 1-yard touchdown run to give the Vikings a lead they'd never relinquish. The Vikings' next drive also saw them enter the Cleveland red zone, and the end result was Percy Harvin's first ever NFL touchdown on a 6-yard pass from Brett Favre. Towards the end of the game, the Beloved Purple tacked on one more red zone score on a 37-yard Ryan Longwell field goal. All in all, you can't say too many things about the Vikings' red zone offense in Week 1.
Week 2 at Detroit
Viking Red Zone trips - 3
Viking Red Zone scores - 3 (2 TD, 1 FG)
Red Zone touchdown percentage - 66%
The Vikings as a whole got off to quite a slow start at Ford Field in Week 2, as they didn't penetrate the Lions' red zone until nearly the end of the first half. That was when the Vikings cobbled together a ten play, 76-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown pass from Brett Favre to Visanthe Shiancoe and pulled the Vikings to within 10-7 at halftime. However, much like they did against the Browns, the Vikings came to life in the second half, but only needed to hit the red zone twice to secure a victory. The first came as they drove to the Detroit 8-yard line but couldn't punch the ball into the end zone. Ryan Longwell then came on and hit on a 26-yard field goal to tie the game.
The final red zone trip for Minnesota came after Matthew Stafford was intercepted by Chad Greenway, and the linebacker took the ball all the way down to the Detroit 16. From there, Percy Harvin picked up his second touchdown reception of the season on a 3-yard strike, putting the game out of reach for Minnesota and helping the Vikings move to 2-0.
Week 3 vs. San Francisco
Viking Red Zone trips - 0
Viking Red Zone scores - 0
Red Zone touchdown percentage - 0%
Red zone offense? Red zone offense? The Vikings didn't need no stinking red zone offense against the 49ers in Week 3, as they didn't run a single play from inside the San Francisco 20-yard line all afternoon long.
Well, that certainly makes that easy to review, eh?
Week 4 vs. Green Bay
Viking Red Zone trips - 3
Viking Red Zone scores - 3 (3 TD)
Red Zone touchdown percentage - 100%
In order to beat a team like the Packers, conversion in the red zone is crucial, and Brett Favre had no trouble doing that against his former teammates. Minnesota's good luck inside the 20 started early, as Minnesota's first drive took Minnesota deep into the Green Bay red zone, and a 1-yard pass from Favre to Visanthe Shiancoe game the Vikings a quick 7-0 lead. Following an Antoine Winfield interception of Aaron Rodgers, Favre and company went to work again, moving 77 yards in 10 plays and concluding with a beautiful 14-yard bullet to Sidney Rice to put the Vikings back ahead 14-7. After the Packers scored again, the Vikings took the ball and drove downfield in the waning moments of the first half. A beautiful throw from Favre to Harvin put the Vikings on the Green Bay 1, and Adrian Peterson knew what to do from there as he slammed into the end zone to put the Vikings up 21-14 going into the locker room.
Minnesota didn't need to visit the red zone in the second half, as their only second half touchdown came on a rainbow from Favre to Bernard Berrian from 31 yards out to make the score 28-14.
All in all, the Vikings have done pretty well for themselves in the red zone this season on offense. In 11 trips to the red zone, they've yet to come away without points, having converted for eight touchdowns and three field goals. If the Vikings can keep up with that kind of success the rest of the way, there's no reason to think that they shouldn't be playing deep into January.
Check out the Comcast Red Zone channel this weekend to keep up with all the NFL red zone action! We'll be back with more later, folks.