Vikings Offensive MVPs: Week 15 vs. the Cincinnati Bengals

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 17: Latavius Murray
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 17: Latavius Murray /

Minnesota Vikings running backs Jerick McKinnon and Latavius Murray had themselves an impressive afternoon on Sunday during the team’s easy win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Heading into Sunday knowing that their opponent in the Cincinnati Bengals has been one of the NFL’s worst in 2017 when it comes to stopping opposing running backs, the Minnesota Vikings made sure to feature their offensive backfield in a majority of their game-plan. And to almost no one’s surprise, the Vikings’ strategy worked to near perfection.

During the team’s win over the Bengals on Sunday, Minnesota running backs Jerick McKinnon and Latavius Murray accounted for 242 of the team’s 346 total yards on 37 touches. Of the 61 plays the Vikings ran in their matchup with Cincinnati, 61 percent of them resulted in either McKinnon or Murray getting their hands on the football.

Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings /

Minnesota Vikings

McKinnon finished with 138 total yards on 16 touches, including a single-game career-high of 114 receiving yards.   As for Murray, he rushed of 76 yards and one touchdown on 20 carries and also added one catch that went for an impressive 28-yard gain on Minnesota’s first offensive drive of the day.

Since Week 7, Murray has scored a total of six touchdowns and rushed for more than 565 yards.

Dating back to the beginning of the 2015 season when he was a member of the Oakland Raiders, the running back has found the end zone an impressive 24 times. Murray’s 24 rushing touchdowns in the last three years are tied for the fourth-most by any NFL running back during that time period.

As for McKinnon, this season has been the running back’s most productive since entering the league in 2014. He has already set new single-season career-highs for rushing touchdowns, catches, receiving yards, total touchdowns, and total yards from scrimmage.

Next: Vikings' top 7 plays from win over Bengals

There was a bunch of uncertainty surrounding the Vikings’ offensive backfield situation after rookie running back Dalvin Cook was lost for the season back in Week 4 to a knee injury. But as they have done for the majority of 2017, McKinnon and Murray proved on Sunday against the Bengals that they are more than capable of filling the void left by Cook.