Jim Souhan
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It's time for the Vikings offense to make a halftime adjustment. Instead of going into the locker room at the end of the second quarter, they should sit on the field and eat orange slices, or let Kirk Cousins scream in their faces, or pretend the first half never ended.

A Vikings offense featuring an excellent running back, two of the NFL's best receivers and one of its highest-paid quarterbacks hasn't scored a touchdown after halftime since 9:23 remained in the fourth quarter of the season opener.

In Week 1, the Vikings did not score a touchdown in overtime and lost.

In Week 2, the Vikings lost 34-33 at Arizona. The offense must have engaged in a wild shootout with what is at the moment the NFL's best team, right?

Wrong. The Vikings produced only three offensive points after halftime in that game. After Kirk Cousins hit Justin Jefferson with a touchdown pass with 8:56 remaining in the first half, the Vikings offense would not reach the end zone again. The team's only second-half touchdown came on a 38-yard interception return by linebacker Nick Vigil.

In Week 3, the Vikings beat Seattle 30-17, but they produced only three field goals in the second half.

In Week 4, the Vikings scored on the opening drive against Cleveland, then did not score another point.

In Week 5, the Vikings took a 13-6 lead at halftime against Detroit, then were outscored 11-6 in the second half. Their only second-half points came on fourth-quarter field goals of 55 and 54 yards from Greg Joseph.

In the Vikings' five second halves and an overtime this season, the offense has scored 35 points.

They have scored 71 first-half points.

In their past three games, they have produced 15 points and no touchdowns after halftime.

That's an embarrassment for a team that has invested heavily in contracts and draft picks on offense.

On Sunday against a bad and banged-up Lions defense, Jefferson finished with seven catches for 124 yards on eight targets. Only two catches and 20 yards came after halftime.

Adam Thielen produced two catches for 40 yards all game. Both came on the last desperation drive for a last-second field goal. Officially, he was targeted only once before the last drive, although he had a first-half catch nullified by a penalty.

So from the start of the second half until there were 33 seconds remaining in the game and the Vikings knew they had to score, Jefferson and Thielen combined for two catches and 20 yards.

That's why, after the game, there were so many passive-aggressive mentions of coaches and play-calling from Vikings players. The coaching staff didn't use their greatest strength — one of the NFL's best receiving duos — to win the game until it was almost too late.

In the second half, the Vikings managed three drives of 40 yards or longer. Their other drives went: Three plays for 2 yards, three plays for minus-4 yards, three plays for 6 yards, four plays for 3 yards and three plays for 2 yards.

Even great offenses don't score on every drive, but good offenses more regularly have a positive impact on field position, wear down opposing defenses and give their own defenses a chance to rest.

Perhaps the Vikings' short drives were the reason that the Vikings defense, following Alexander Mattison's fumble late in the game, allowed the Lions to drive 20 yards in three plays for a touchdown, then convert a two-point conversion.

Maybe the Vikings defense was tired. Or at least tired of watching three-and-outs.

New offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak is in a tough spot. His boss wants him to run the ball. His receivers will be angry if he doesn't throw enough. And he doesn't have the pedigree to tell anyone to get off his back.

Halftime adjustments can be overrated. A coach can't change an entire game plan in 12 minutes.

Kubiak, though, will have to find a way to better use his star receivers in the second half of close games, or a whole lot of Vikings coaches will be making occupational adjustments in a few months.