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Vikings stock report: Week Five

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Posted Oct. 10, 2011 @ 2:30 p.m. ET
By Christian West

Here are three positives and three negatives following the Vikings' first win of the season, a 34-10 romp over the Cardinals.

Rising

WR Devin Aromashodu — Aromashodu took advantage of increased opportunities (more on that later) and made the most of it on Sunday, making two catches for 81 yards on five targets, including a 60-yard gain in the third quarter. The Vikings need someone to create big plays in the passing game and this is the second week in a row that Aromashodu has been able to do so.

Vikings CBs — Even without Antoine Winfield, the Vikings' corners played an exceptional game against one of the best receivers in the game, Larry Fitzgerald. Chris Cook, Cedric Griffin and Asher Allen were physical with him at the line of scrimmage on virtually every play and didn't allow him to make explosive plays down the field. They took Fitzgerald out of the game, which went a long way toward disrupting the Cardinals' passing game.

Play-calling — The running game got back on track for the Vikings as they ran the ball, and then ran it some more Sunday with Adrian Peterson. McNabb had 21 passing attempts to Peterson's 29 carries, which is the formula Bill Musgrave has to use going forward if the Vikings want to get back into the playoff hunt. Establishing the run allowed them to use play-action effectively, like on the 60-yard Aromashodu completion in the third quarter, which essentially prevented any chance of another collapse. 

Falling

Donovan McNabb — I've never heard a starting quarterback get booed so vociferously when he leads his team to a blowout victory as McNabb was on Sunday. But for the most part, it was justified. Accuracy was again his bugaboo, as he alternated between underthrown bounced passes and overthrown air-mailers. He did make a good throw to hit Aromashodu in stride, but one throw is not good enough for a starting quarterback in the NFL.

Bernard Berrian — Aromashodu got more playing time because Berrian was inactive for the game. Head coach Leslie Frazier described Berrian's benching as a disciplinary problem, but that has to be a synonym for "not making enough plays, then complaining the ball isn't getting thrown his way." Frazier said Berrian will return next week, but even if he does, expect that his playing time will continue to decrease.

Kickoff returns — Lorenzo Booker decided to return two kickoffs from deep in the endzone and the results were not good. He took one kickoff five yards deep and returned it to the Vikings' 10. The other kickoff return was fielded six yards deep and he managed to get to the 22. The Vikings need field position on offense to be successful, so they need Booker to make better decisions on kickoffs.

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