5 Vikings Predictions for Week 4: Adam Thielen gets a TD, Cam Akers shines

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Adam Thielen
Carolina Panthers wide receiver Adam Thielen / Perry Knotts/GettyImages
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Prediction No. 2

Cam Akers will become the Vikings lead back

Let’s try this one again, shall we? One week ago, I predicted that Cam Akers would lead the Vikings in carries, only for O’Connell to hint that he would be made inactive during Friday’s press conference. But just like in the case of Risner and the offensive line, the Vikings backfield has been ineffective and in need of a change.

The Vikings came into the season hoping that Alexander Mattison could successfully replace Dalvin Cook, but Mattison hasn’t lived up to the hype of being an RB1. Although he rushed for 93 yards on 20 carries in the loss to the Chargers, Mattison continued to have issues holding onto the ball, coughing it up twice only to be saved by two questionable forward progress calls.

With Ty Chandler failing to take the next step, Kene Nwangwu suffering a back injury, and seventh-round rookie DeWayne McBride unable to make it out of training camp, the Vikings’ backfield has gone up in smoke, which led to the acquisition of Cam Akers.

There isn’t much difference between Akers and Mattison, but Akers at least has the extended experience of being a lead back, rushing for over 100 yards in the final three games with the Los Angeles Rams last season. It’s not a guarantee Akers will be an upgrade after running for 29 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries in Week 1, but the Vikings need to roll the dice.