Enhancing the run game
The appointment of Kevin O’Connell was always going to come with a major shift in how the Minnesota Vikings went about things offensively. Mike Zimmer prided himself on finding offensive coordinators that established the run and worked off play-action, which became stagnant at times and all too predictable for opposing defenses in crucial situations.
O’Connell is a mastermind when it comes to offense. The route concepts we’ve witnessed through six weeks are night and day from the Zimmer era, which is bringing the best out of Kirk Cousins and gifted playmakers such as Justin Jefferson along the way.
One could argue that the Vikings running attack is suffering slightly as a result. Dalvin Cook still has his moments and remains a core foundational piece of any success Minnesota generates, but finding ways to enhance this further could be all Minnesota needs to enter legitimate contention.
The Vikings are currently averaging 97.8 rushing yards per game, ranked No. 23 across the league. While this is in keeping with the current trend in the NFL, establishing the run is still a key component when the playoffs arrive, especially if Minnesota has to go on the road at some stage.
Cook is a dynamic difference-maker. One that the Vikings paid handsomely despite the obvious risks that come with allocating substantial resources to running backs.
He is currently on 450 rushing yards and four touchdowns in 2022. But Cook has yet to have a 100-yard game, and this is something Minnesota will need at some stage.