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Vikings thrived with fewer coaching errors

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Posted Jan. 11, 2013 @ 10:59 p.m. ET
By Eric Edholm

There's no question that the great individual season of Adrian Peterson, the clutch kicking of Blair Walsh, a competent secondary and steadier play at quarterback were big reasons why the Vikings went from three wins in 2011 to 10 this season.

But better coaching, despite it not getting as much attention, was as big a reason as any for the Vikings' success this season.

Remember back to 2011. There was terrible miscommunication on defense, especially in the secondary. The offensive game plan often appeared muddled. There were some funny play-calling and game-management decisions in losses. No one was quite sure what was going on at QB, especially as Christian Ponder appeared to regress late in the season.

But 2012 was a different story. The secondary was far more in order, and the defensive schemes matched the DBs' abilities better. The offense was schemed and blocked better, even with Percy Harvin missing the final chunk of the season. Ponder was handled well, even as he struggled through portions of the season. And the aggressive play calling early in games didn't smack of desperation but rather confidence.

It's a big reason, we hear, why the Vikings are feeling quite excited about their prospects with head coach Leslie Frazier heading into next season.

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