6 biggest disappointments of the Vikings 2023 season

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson / Michael Owens/GettyImages
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Disappointment No. 6

Minnesota's anability to run the football

During the 2023 offseason, the Vikings made some noticeable efforts to try to improve their running game.

Minnesota signed big Josh Oliver as a blocking tight end, extended fullback C.J. Ham, and re-signed bruising running back Alexander Mattison.

They also released Dalvin Cook, and the thought was the Vikings would utilize more of a two-tight end power scheme that featured the run game and would dagger defenses using play action off of that.

For various reasons, that didn't come close to happening.

First of all, Minnesota head coach Kevin O'Connell just can't consistently stick with the running game. He loves throwing the football and he has always called more passing plays than run plays.

Another factor was with all of their turnovers, the Vikings were behind often, so they had to abandon the run early in games to try to score quickly through the air to get back into the contest.

Mattison also didn't provide much as Minnesota's lead back in 2023.

He never had a 100-yard rushing game, and he also didn't score a rushing touchdown.

Mattison had some fumbling issues and also dropped some easy passes. He failed as a featured back and is likely going to go back to being a backup if he stays with the team in 2024.

The design of the Vikings running game also deserves blame.

Minnesota seemed to like slow-developing running plays and delays that didn't allow the backs to hit the line with any sort of momentum. This allowed defenders to get off blocks and clog the holes before the backs had much of a chance.

This aspect of the Vikings' offense needs a major overhaul this offseason, and hopefully, some changes will be made soon.