The Vikings’ offensive line
Through the first three games of the season, the team was only averaging 51 rushing yards per game. The biggest reason for that was because the offensive line was unable to open any holes for the running backs to squeeze through. The Vikings were barely averaging two yards per carry, which is very uncharacteristic for this team.
On Monday night, the Vikings were finally able to find some success on the ground. Although their 3.2 yards per carry wasn’t great, it was leaps and bounds better than it had been. The Vikings also had two scores on the ground, which is something they hadn’t been able to do. With Adrian Peterson out for a while, the offensive line will be even more vital to the running game.
The Vikings’ offensive line also had its best game of the season in pass protection. The unit hasn’t given up many sacks this year, but it has still been atrocious for the most part. In the Monday night match up, however, the Vikings were able to hold the pocket and give Sam Bradford time to throw.
The middle of the offensive line was particularly impressive. According to Pro Football Focus, the trio of Alex Boone, Joe Berger and Brandon Fusco didn’t allow a single pressure all night. TJ Clemmings may be the worst graded offensive lineman in the entire NFL, but one poor player along the line can be overcome. If the middle of the line is able to play at a competent level, Sam Bradford will have the ability to step into the pocket. When Sam is given time, he’s proven he has the ability to make defenses pay.