Showing a commitment to improving their rushing attack is just one of the reasons why the Minnesota Vikings traded for Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers.
After a disappointing 0-2 start to the season, which has seen turnovers plague an offense with a non-existent rushing attack, the Minnesota Vikings traded for Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers on Wednesday.
As the Vikings are currently one of two teams in the NFL that have yet to rush for more than 100 yards (the other being the Pittsburgh Steelers), a change in the backfield was necessary.
Prior to the trade, Minnesota has totaled just 69 (nice) rushing yards on 26 attempts in their first two games. Both league lows, with five fewer rushes and 37 fewer yards on the ground than the Steelers. For comparison, New York Jets running back Breece Hall has already rushed for 136 yards on just 14 carries this year.
The Vikings' struggle to run the ball effectively this season is an issue that needed to be addressed, so fans should take this as a sign that the team probably will not be tanking this year and, instead, they are going to compete for the entire season that they have in front of them.
But looking at the trade for Akers specifically, what are some of the biggest reasons why Minnesota made the move for the young running back?
Reason No. 1
Alexander Mattison has struggled as RB1
In two games this season, Vikings running back Alexander Mattison has rushed 19 times for just 62 yards and zero touchdowns.
While Mattison has run the ball very physically, his production is not what Minnesota fans have become accustomed to over the past decade, with stars such as Adrian Peterson and Dalvin Cook controlling the backfield.
This has been a bit of a surprise, as Mattison was very effective when filled in for Cook in the past. In the eight games Mattison has started in his NFL career, he has averaged 4.0 yards per carry, an average that would rank ahead of Tennessee Titans All-Pro running back Derrick Henry this season.
However, Mattison is only averaging 3.2 yards per carry this year and he had a costly fumble in Minnesota's Week 2 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
After the addition of Cam Akers, perhaps a shift to a 1A/1B backfield will help Mattison's efficiency for the rest of the Vikings' 2023 season.