3 reasons why the Vikings are their own worst enemy in 2023

The Minnesota Vikings are entering the final stretch of their season, but are they their own toughest opponent?

Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison
Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
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3. Sticking with ineffective personnel

This is another issue that comes back to the head coach, but it's a problem that has haunted the Vikings this season. Minnesota has a tendency to stay loyal to a starter, despite another member of the roster outperforming this player week in and week out.

This primarily refers to the Vikings' current situation at the running back position, but earlier in the season, we saw this unfold with rookie wide receiver Jordan Addison.

Addison was clearly a better player than K.J. Osborn, yet was behind him on the depth chart. It took an injury to Justin Jefferson for Addison to ascend above Osborn, but the fact it took that long was head-scratching.

Where this self-inflicted issue really comes into play is with the running backs. Alexander Mattison was re-signed during the offseason to be the starter, and he has failed in that role. He dances to the hole, has issues catching the football, and he has also been prone to fumbles. Minnesota has played 11 games this season, and he doesn't have a single rushing touchdown.

Earlier in the season, it was evident that Cam Akers was the better back, and in recent weeks, even a blind man can see that Ty Chandler is the more explosive and productive runner. Despite this, the Vikings continue to roll out Mattison as their top running back, and the run game has suffered because of it.

Minnesota head coach Kevin O'Connell may say the reason for this is Mattison's ability to pass protect. But the Vikings also need an effective running game that can move the chains, take time off the clock, and put teams away.

With Mattison as the lead back, Minnesota isn't getting any of that.