Vikings know exactly where their wins will come from in 2021

(Photo by Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports)
(Photo by Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Minnesota Vikings realize that old-school football in the trenches will be key to their success.

The 2021 preseason for the Minnesota Vikings has not been ideal, especially on offense. However, one thing is clear, the Vikings‘ plan is to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.

Although Minnesota’s offensive line has been criticized over the last few years in pass protection, it cannot be denied that they have been good with regard to run blocking.

How have the Minnesota Vikings made improvements at the line of scrimmage?

The Vikings spent a lot of resources on improving their roster this year, but no positions got as much attention as the offensive and defensive lines.

Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer’s defense uncharacteristically allowed the sixth-most rushing yards in the league last season. Although a few key players were out on the defensive side of the ball in 2020, the lack of depth really hurt the Vikings, and they were not prepared to make that mistake again.

With free-agent defensive tackles Michael Pierce (2020) and Dalvin Tomlinson (2021), coupled with the return of edge rusher Danielle Hunter from injury, Minnesota boasts one of the elite defensive line groups in the league.

On the offensive side of the ball, there are still questions that remain for the Vikings with respect to pass protection. However, Minnesota’s offensive line has been, at the very least, competent in the run game opening up small holes for running back Dalvin Cook to burst through.

Vikings guard Ezra Cleveland appears to have taken a step in the right direction this year, building on a respectable rookie campaign. Rookie Wyatt Davis and Oli Udoh will likely be competing for playing time at the other guard spot throughout the season, which will further improve the power Minnesota has upfront.

3 takeaways from the Vikings preseason loss to the Chiefs. light. Trending

The Vikings have gotten a lot bigger and a lot faster on the line of scrimmage this year. The game plan is simple, push the other team around, and when the opportunity presents itself, use your weapons on the outside to make a big play.