Better blocking by the offensive line
The Vikings’ offensive line has been up and down all season long. Some games the unit looks very good and is a clear improvement over last year’s group. Then in others, they have been awful and have fans wishing that both Tom Compton and Mike Remmers were back on the squad. Minnesota’s offensive line was especially terrible against the Green Bay Packers in Week 16.
Against the Packers, the Vikings’ pass protection was very porous. Kirk Cousins was under constant duress as both Garrett Bradbury and Riley Reiff had very bad games. Minnesota’s blockers also had issues creating room for Mike Boone to run.
This has been an issue with the Vikings’ offensive line all season though. They never rise to the competition. If they are facing a team with a good defensive line and front seven, they get destroyed. It would be refreshing to see Minnesota’s offensive linemen step up and rise to the level of the players they are facing during this year’s playoffs.
They’ll need to do just that if they are going to be able to protect Cousins and move the football on the ground against the Saints next Sunday.
New Orleans’ defensive line features one of the best pass rushers in the league in Cameron Jordan, who has 15.5 sacks on the season. David Onyemata, Trey Hendrickson, and Malcolm Brown fill out the rest of the line and these guys are all playing at a high level.
If the Vikings are going to have a chance against the Saints in round one, Minnesota’s offensive line is going to have to play much better and rise to the occasion.
The Vikings’ blockers can’t allow Cousins to take unnecessary hits and get hurried so he’s getting the ball out quicker than he wants to. They also have to create holes for Dalvin Cook because without a successful ground game, Minnesota likely doesn’t stand a chance.