The Vikings actually ran the ball, and ran it well
It’s almost as if Mike Zimmer knew what he was talking about all season long when he would continue to say that Minnesota has not been running the ball enough this year.
Well under interim offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski on Sunday, the Vikings finally followed Zimmer’s request and ran the ball more than they had in any game this year. When the final whistle blew, Minnesota finished their day with 40 carries for 220 yards and three touchdowns.
It wasn’t just about the quantity of carries the Vikings had on Sunday though, it was about the way in which they ran the ball too.
Stefanski’s play-calling led to 10 of Dalvin Cook’s 19 carries resulting in gains of 10 yards or more. Latavius Murray was even used differently as 60 percent of his 15 rushing attempts called for him to run outside of the offensive tackles.
Stefanski also kept up with the run plays in the second and third quarters, something former Minnesota offensive coordinator John DeFilippo did not do this season. Sunday’s game against the Dolphins was just the second time all year that the Vikings called more run plays than pass plays in the first half.
Running the ball more often may not be Minnesota’s strategy for every future matchup with Stefanski calling the plays. But it sure did work for the Vikings against Miami this week.