Now here comes the fun part (or not so fun if you’re frustrated with this unit). The offensive line came into the offseason as the weakest part of the team and things got worse when their coach, Tony Sparano, unexpectedly passed away right before training camp.
The floodgates opened after that as Pat Elflein began the season on the PUP list after revealing that he had both ankle and shoulder surgeries last offseason before returning in Week 3.
Nick Easton would go down a couple days later with a neck injury that cost him the entire season. Rashod Hill was awful when he was in at right tackle and was he constantly being taken off the field due to injury. While Mike Remmers turned out to be out of position at right guard — something that the Vikings should have known during his trial at the position at the end of 2017.
With Riley Reiff also having his ups and downs (including a 12 pressure game against Jerry Hughes and Buffalo in Week 3), the lone standout on the line was rookie Brian O’Neill, who wasn’t even supposed to crack the starting lineup when after Minnesota drafted him in the second round of the 2018 draft.
All of these factors contributed to Cousins being pressured on 38.9 percent of his throws this year and the running game never getting going.