Minnesota Vikings’ Controlled Passing Game
Losing Kirk Cousins for the season would put the Vikings’ running game to the forefront of the offense. While they would certainly rely on Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison to move the chains, they would still need to throw the ball.
The Vikings’ air attack with Sean Mannion at the helm would look light years different than what it does with Cousins under center. Expect a lot of safe throws for Mannion. Cook would see a lot of passes in the flats, as well as screens. The tight ends would be incorporated more heavily as rollouts and short dump-off passes to them would be used.
Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson would see a lot more five to seven yard routes, and perhaps a lot of hitches and comeback routes.
The word to describe this passing game would be “safe.” The Vikings would not call any deep shots or look to force the ball down the field. Mannion is a backup for a reason, and he doesn’t have the touch on deep balls as Cousins does. This would be a short, controlled passing game that keeps Mannion from having to do too much. Perhaps down the road, if offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak begins to feel more comfortable with Mannion, he could incorporate some shots down the field, but for the majority of the season, this would be a very vanilla and unsexy air attack for the Purple.