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Vikings stock report: Week Two

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Posted Sept. 20, 2011 @ 12:26 p.m. ET
By Eric Edholm

Time to look at the Vikings' stock report — three up and three down following the loss to the Buccaneers in Week Two:

Rising

RB Adrian Peterson's first-half running — For the second week in a row, Peterson has been the best player on the field in the first half. He set the tone Sunday with 15 first-half runs for 83 yards and two scores, bashing his way through some tackle attempts and side-stepping others. There were at least two would-be negative runs that Peterson turned into positives gains.

E.J. Henderson's guts — He probably had no business playing, and truthfully, it did show on a few plays. Henderson was trucked on LeGarrette Blount's long TD run and missed a few plays in short yardage. But it was a gutsy effort, fighting through knee pain to make six tackles, including a five-yard loss on a screen play.

Good ol' Jim Kleinsasser — Did you forget he was still here? The Vikings have not. He was out on the field a good amount on Sunday, leading the way as a blocker on both of Peterson's TD runs and helping clear a few other nice rushes, including a 31-yarder by Toby Gerhart. Kleinsasser was called for holding and did drop the one pass that came his way, but his workmanlike effort seems to go overlooked every week. Every year, for that matter.

Falling

Donovan McNabb's second-half passing — The team as a whole has flagged in each of the two losses, giving up leads, and the conservative and ineffective passing game has been one big reason why. McNabb wasn't quite as putrid in the second 30 minutes against the Bucs as he was against the Chargers, but his limitations are quickly coming to light. He simply isn't effective in the pocket anymore, and there is no downfield passing game. None. Some of that is on the receivers. Some blame goes to the offensive line. But we can't overlook McNabb and his inability to throw the ball in key situations down the stretch either.

Leslie Frazier — Several questionable coaching decisions must be challenged. Where has Percy Harvin been? Why didn't you use timeouts at the end of the game when the Bucs had the ball? Why did you get so conservative with a 17-0 halftime lead? Frazier's Sunday and Monday justifications of the timeout thing made no sense. He said he was counting on a defensive stop but didn't explain how he planned to get his punchless offense in scoring range had he gotten that stop; sounded like Frazier was playing for OT. Instead, he and the Vikings lost.

C John Sullivan — He continues to get pushed back by powerful defensive tackles. We continue to hear how smart Sullivan is, and there's no doubt he's excellent at running the blocking schemes and helping Peterson gain extra yards. But Sullivan's lack of power is a major concern.

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