The struggles of three offenses, and in particular three quarterbacks, stood out to me Sunday: Minnesota and Daunte Culpepper, New England and Tom Brady, and Indianapolis and Peyton Manning. I'm no Miss Cleo, but I sense different paths opening up before all three groups.
Minnesota supposedly was ready for a season of Stallball in the wake of WR Randy Moss' departure, but it hasn't materialized. Five of the Vikings' first six plays against Cincinnati on Sunday were runs, then Culpepper dropped back to pass on no fewer than 38 of the next 47 snaps from scrimmage. Fine, the Vikes fell behind early, but some of that had to do with the play-calling -- and not just the run-pass balance.
In the first two weeks, lumbering TE Jermaine Wiggins has been running deep routes while WR Marcus Robinson -- far more effective downfield than he is on shorter routes -- has been running quick hitches and the like. Culpepper, a sitting duck behind an injury-tattered offensive line, isn't being rolled out often enough to freeze opposing cover men, which would buy him time. He now has 10 turnovers in two games. Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria -- it ain't that bad yet, but it's close. And because Scott Linehan no longer is around calling plays and injured C Matt Birk isn't available to snuff inside pressure, Culpepper could have plenty more days like these ahead.