EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) -Poor clock management. Conservative play-calling. Questionable substitutions. The Minnesota Vikings' offense had all that and more in its latest woeful performance.
In revisiting those issues a day after an ugly 13-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, coach Brad Childress said the offensive staff has to do a better job of putting players in a position to succeed.
``Good players, I've said before, make good coaches,'' Childress said Monday. ``But yet, it's about creating those opportunities for those good players to get their hands on the football.''
Despite Childress' reputation as an offensive expert, he and the rest of his staff have struggled to manufacture offensive consistency and potency in the first 19 games of his regime.
The lackluster performance on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium was just the latest case.
The Vikings (1-2) were one-dimensional all afternoon, relying solely on the brilliance of rookie running back Adrian Peterson to move the chains. It was nearly enough, as Peterson rushed for 102 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries and had another 48 yards receiving on three catches.
``I don't think we're frustrated,'' Peterson said. ``It's just that we're missing some opportunities. We're leaving opportunities out there on the field. We just need to clean those things up.''
Veteran Kelly Holcomb started at quarterback for the injured Tarvaris Jackson, completing 14 of 28 passes for 165 yards. He didn't turn the ball over - like Jackson did four times in a loss to the Lions two weeks ago - but Holcomb also missed a wide open Robert Ferguson in the end zone that would have given the Vikings a cushion.
He also had trouble calling a play in the huddle late in the second quarter, Childress said, which allowed precious seconds to tick off the clock while the Vikings were driving deep into Kansas City territory.
``We're doing some decent things in the run game and we are wiggling some people open in the pass game,'' Childress said. ``If people are going to continue to crowd the box on us, we're going to need look at opportunities to get up the football field which I thought we had a couple of those opportunities yesterday. But you have to make hay when you have those opportunities.''
Holcomb was sacked five times, sometimes holding the ball far too long as his receivers struggled to get open down field.
Then there was the puzzling decision to keep Peterson on the sidelines on the team's final drive of the game.
The Vikings took the ball down three points with a bout 1:30 left, but the only player who has proven to be a threat on offense this season watched a hapless attempt to move into field goal range that ended with the ball in offensive lineman Steve Hutchinson's hands.
Childress said he wanted veteran Mewelde Moore on the field to handle the exotic pressure that he anticipated Kansas City sending. Whatever the reason, putting the player who accounted for nearly 60 percent of the team's offense during the game on the sideline at the most crucial point of the contest was a curious call.
``I'm not putting it all in any one person's lap,'' Childress said. ``There's plenty of it to go around - offense, defense and special teams. And coaching.''
It would be hard to find much fault with a defense that stymied Larry Johnson and suffocated the Chiefs offense for most of the game. The unit gave up one touchdown on a pass to Dwayne Bowe and failed to score a touchdown of its own for the first time this season.
Several players remarked after the game that the defense feels it has to play ``perfect'' football for the Vikings to have a chance right now. But they all refused to point fingers, for the time being.
``Our defense has played well enough for us to be 3-0,'' said Holcomb, who will start Sunday against Green Bay if Jackson's groin hasn't healed. ``Offensively we have to pick it up a little bit. Everybody is going to come in here and we're going to start working.''

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