On Sunday, the Green Bay Packers host the NFC North rival Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field. Ted “Grover” Glover of Daily Norseman kindly volunteered to answer our questions about the Vikings and provide some insight into their strengths and weaknesses.
APC: A year ago, the Vikings offense dealt with the push-pull of offensive coordinator John DeFilippo’s desire to pass the ball in volume and head coach Mike Zimmer’s insistence upon running the game. Fast-forward to 2019. Kevin Stefanski now calls the offensive plays with input from analyst Gary Kubiak, and Minnesota attempted just 10 passes in a Week 1 victory over the Atlanta Falcons. How did the offense get to this point and might it continue to change as the season unfolds?
The 80-20 run/pass split against the Falcons got that way because the Vikings played a great, complementary football game. The Vikes started fast with a blocked punt and two turnoversv that set up the offense with a short field. The offense converted those opportunities into touchdowns and jumped out to a big lead, and then bled the clock, making the game about as non-competitive as you can in today’s NFL. Before the game got out of control, the Vikes offense was a lot more balanced. They scored three touchdowns within their first 20 plays, 11 of which were runs, nine of which were a pass. It’s still a little run heavy, but way more balanced, and not nearly the lopsided result we saw at the end of the game. The running game was really effective early on, too, and Atlanta had no answer for it.
Both Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison were getting yards in chunks, and the Falcons couldn’t stop them. As a fan, I’d love for every game to unfold this way, but getting a blocked punt and two quick turnovers isn’t going to happen every week. I fully expect the Vikings to become a more balanced offensive team this week, as they ran an almost exact 50/50 run/pass split in the preseason. As long as the two phases complement each other and keep opposing defenses off-balance, this will be a difficult offense to scheme against.
We’d like to thank Ted and Daily Norseman for his time. Be sure to check out the rest of our Q&A with Daily Norseman over the course of the week, as well as our Q&A session over there. As always, keep your internet machines tuned to Acme Packing Company this Sunday for our comprehensive game-day coverage of Vikings versus Packers.