The general manager and head coach went shopping during the mini-bye hoping to fix two glaring deficiencies that pushed the Vikings into a 0-2 hole.
Kwesi Adofo-Mensah procured players. Kevin O'Connell picked up some gadgets.
Adofo-Mensah signed an offensive guard and traded for a running back this week, which felt like a guy arriving at the mall to do his Christmas shopping at 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve.
Anyone with eyes recognized during training camp — if not much earlier — that the interior of the Vikings offensive line and their depth at running back were major problems that could not be ignored. It was only a matter of when, not if, reinforcements would come.
Adofo-Mensah made those necessary and inevitable transactions by adding lineman Dalton Risner and running back Cam Akers in reaction to a nonexistent running game that is ranked dead last in the NFL after two weeks.
The Vikings will never be described as a running team under O'Connell, but even a slight uptick in production will seem dramatic. Risner's blocking and Akers' running should help that.
That the Vikings still rank in the top 10 in offense while getting next to nothing from their running game is another reminder that offensive balance in modern football is obsolete. Or at least a misnomer.
The late college coach Mike Leach, an offensive genius, once famously said this about balanced offense: "There's nothing balanced about 50 percent run, 50 percent pass, because that's 50 percent stupid."
When coaches and players preach balance, they don't do so with a mathematical equation in mind. In their view, balance means being efficient in both areas, regardless of how often they run or pass. Can they do either effectively when called upon? If so, that's balance.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins gave a frank answer with asked what needs to happen to get more out of the running game.
"We can't be down 27-7," he said. "If we could be up 27-7, I think we'd get more out of our running game. And guess what that goes back to? Turnovers."
Ah, yes. That topic. The reason O'Connell had his football staff break out the credit card over the weekend.
The Vikings have committed seven turnovers in two games. They own an NFL-worst minus-6 turnover differential. Turnovers have doomed them more than anything else.
O'Connell noted that ball security has become a priority around the team facility, and he's getting creative in addressing this problem. He said the team researched "every piece of equipment you can find on the internet to work ball security. If we didn't have it before, we purchased it."
At this point, no idea is a bad idea or too outlandish as a possible solution to their turnover rut. We aim to help, so …
How about a jackhammer? A little unconventional, yes, but have you ever seen one of those things break up concrete? If running backs can absorb that pounding on the ball as they clutch it, no linebacker will stand a chance trying to rip the ball out of their hands.
Or how about a regular old oil can? Cheap and effective. Have a young assistant give a few squirts to the ball and players' arms in the huddle during practice.
Another one — Super Glue. Probably illegal under NFL rules. If Tom Brady got called to the principal's office for throwing footballs with not enough air inside them, lathering up with Super Glue could pose problems. But as any parent who has helped a child with a school project will attest, Super Glue works … and never comes off.
We searched everywhere on Amazon to find a gadget that might help Cousins avoid interceptions, but alas, he probably already owns two of each. As we saw in the "Quarterback" documentary, Cousins leaves nothing to chance with his preparation.
A 0-2 start is not panic time, but 0-3 is a different story. Logic says the Vikings won't keep turning the ball over at this staggering rate. Now they need the running game to provide some competency. How fast can Risner and Akers learn the playbook?