Open up the playbook
Although the Vikings offense vastly improved during the 2019 season, there was still a significant element of predictability. A number of opposing teams realized this and figured out how to stop star running back Dalvin Cook to put the game on the shoulders of quarterback Kirk Cousins.
With so many weapons at Minnesota’s disposal, this is simply unacceptable and it will need to be seriously looked at during the offseason to avoid the same complications in 2020.
In Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, the Vikings have arguably the best wide receiver combination in the NFL. Add in Kyle Rudolph and Irv Smith Jr. to the mix, it gives Cousins four viable options down the field to throw to at any given opportunity.
Cook’s pass-catching ability out of the backfield also received considerable praise throughout the 2019 season. But once the play-action stopped working at critical moments of the campaign, then so did Minnesota’s offense.
Whether this is down to the trust, or lack thereof, that Zimmer and the coaching staff have in Cousins to get the job done on a consistent basis throwing the ball or not is debatable.
But the quarterback is entering the final year of his $84 million deal and with a decision to be made on his future as the complex offseason progresses, it would make sense to make the most of your top signal-caller while he is still a part of the roster.
Many witnessed the frustrations with the Vikings’ offense last year on multiple occasions with Diggs and less so with the more reserved Thielen. So Zimmer needs to release the shackles and let these highly-paid individuals get the chance to make more plays to give them the best possible chance to succeed.