Vikings abandoned the run like no other team all season

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Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer was not happy that offensive coordinator John DeFilippo abandoned the run in Sunday’s loss to the Patriots. And Zimmer had good reason to be unhappy.

In fact, the Vikings abandoned the run like no other team all season: Minnesota finished Sunday’s game with 95 yards on just 13 carries. That’s the most rushing yards any team has had all season in a game in which they ran the ball 15 or fewer times.

That’s a remarkable statistic: 13 carries for 95 yards is an average of 7.3 yards per carry. Vikings running back Dalvin Cook was having an excellent game, with nine carries for 84 yards. And the Vikings just stopped going to him.

It wasn’t that they had to pass because they had fallen far behind, as the game was close even into the fourth quarter. It wasn’t that Cook was hurt or needed a breather, as he got 47 snaps. It was just that on more than 80 percent of Cook’s snaps, the Vikings didn’t give him the ball.

The Vikings’ offense has been a major disappointment this season. They expected to take a step forward with Kirk Cousins at quarterback, but by just about any measure the offense is worse this year than it was last year. Unless the playcalling improves in a hurry, the Vikings are in serious danger of missing the playoffs

84 responses to “Vikings abandoned the run like no other team all season

  1. Run the football.

    Play stout defense.

    Take shots downfield when they present themselves.

    Having a clutch FG would be a bonus.

    That’s my recipe for dubs.

  2. It’s almost like the loss of their OC is having a bigger net impact than the addition of their franchise QB.

  3. Agreed Mullman!! We should be doing that exactly! Our offensive coordinator is trash. Throwing 40-50 times on the road is not a recipe for success!!

  4. Out-coached by Bill. The pats shut down Diggs/Thielen while encouraging the run. Take all the yards and stats you want, the score is the only stat he cares about.

  5. Poor coaching. What’s Zimmer unhappy about? He’s the head coach, he’s in charge- at halftime, he should have told DeFilippo to call more run plays.

  6. That puzzled me too why did they stop running the ball with Cook when he was actually getting good yardage? Then again Mike Zimmer is kind of overrated as a head coach. He’s the boss he can tell DeFilippo to change the game plan and he didn’t.

  7. They peaked last year. The decline will continue until Zimmer and GM can be shown the door. Good job on winning absolutely nothing and paying a mediocre quarterback a kings ransom.

  8. realityonetwo says:
    December 3, 2018 at 1:14 pm
    DeFilippo the Clown.
    ————————————–

    What does that make Zimmer, the ringmaster or the clown that drives the car?
    Because the OC works the HC, who is free to give direction as he sees fit…or not.

  9. Belichick has that effect on coaches. Use Dan Quinn and Kyle Shanahan in the 2nd half of Super Bowl LI as one perfect example. Not to mention, the Seahawks not running the ball on the one yard-line at the end of Super Bowl XLIX. These teams abandon their run game and attempt to outsmart him. One dimensional football very rarely ever works.

  10. “Throwing 40-50 times on the road is not a recipe for success!!”

    Especially when the Pats were willing to give up decent yards on the ground to avoid the big pass plays.

  11. It’s almost like the loss of their OC is having a bigger net impact than the addition of their franchise QB.

    —–

    huh? they still don’t have a franchise qb?

  12. DeFilipo needs to go, the sooner the better. This guy has been bucking Zimmer all season long. His play-calling in week three in that embarrassing loss to Buffalo was a foreshadowing of things to come.

    It’d be easy to blame Cousins for this, but that’d be off base. There was no excuse for the Vikings abandoning the run yesterday, especially with it working so well. It’s time to cut Flip loose, and for Zimmer to hand over the play-calling to someone with some common sense.

  13. Yes, while I realize Cousins was just more of the same and we overpaid – again… and yes, I know we still have no hopes for a super bowl, now or in the foreseeable future; but despite that the last two years have still been a huge success. We had the Minnesota Miracle (ie an opponent missed a routine tackle) and this year we are ahead of the Packers in the standings so well, for us Viking fans – thats as good as it gets. SKOL!!!!

  14. Some sources claim DeFilippo is a leading candidate for Packers head coaching job. As a Viking fan, I’d be OK if he took his ‘throw a 4-yard pass on 3rd and 10’ philosophy over to Green Bay.

  15. Flip’s gotta go. Consistently out game planned. Put’s a ton of pressure on the weakest part of the team. And when it’s clear we can run big on an opponent, like last night, pass, pass away. Not a way to sustain drives and it wears out the D, who are playing very well.

  16. Didn’t help that the O-line was penalized in key spots, making run plays less practical. Don’t also forget that the D gave up over 400 yards (sure the secondary was depleted, but the Pats also ran for over 100 yards).

    Gotta face facts, the Vikes are a mediocre team this year and Zim isn’t close to the same level as BB. Congrats to the Pats.

  17. Your defense wasn’t all that great either Zimm. 471 yards allowed isn’t exactly good enough for you to be trying to put all the blame on the OC.

    The NFL has figured out Zimm’s defense and is starting to expose him and he is trying to deflect the attention and point fingers. Time to fire this guy before it’s too late. This will get worse before it gets better.

  18. Yes, they should have just kept running Cook since his production was diminishing as the game went on. Who runs their way back into a ball game in the 2nd half? Cook got yardage early, as do many many backs who face NE. Invariably they all lose their steam in the 2nd half. If you’ll notice, NE rarely gets sacks or great pressure early on while the other team looks lke the 85 bears, for about 1/2 game. You cannot play at 110% effort for the entier game so the secret is, survive the early bluster then when they’re pooped in the 4th, run it down their throats.

  19. You have two of the best WRs in the league, along with one of the best QBs. Of course you are going to pass the ball. Let’s see, get the ball to Thielen and Diggs (and Rudolph), or run it with an injured Cook and Murray? Only an idiot would go run heavy with the available talent.

  20. harrisonhits2 says:
    December 3, 2018 at 1:29 pm
    “Throwing 40-50 times on the road is not a recipe for success!!”

    Especially when the Pats were willing to give up decent yards on the ground to avoid the big pass plays.

    ———————————————-

    It was said all week the way to beat the pats was to run the ball well, and pressure Brady up the middle. The Vikes were able to run at will but decided it was better to throw incomplete passes 30+ yards down the field or throw short, and had no rush up the middle on Brady, they deserved that L!

  21. Zimmer’s days might be numbered. The expectations were so high and their window of opportunity might be closing for a while.

  22. when i hear folks say the Minn OC is a head coaching candidate. owners need to pay attention to stuff like this.
    13 runs in a game with a healthy and productive RB.
    Thats just stupid, period and not the actions of a coach who is capable of being a good HC

  23. You can tell Zimmer wants nothing to do with this east coast eagles offense garbage or Kirk Cousins. Cousins sucks against any team .500 or better. He just beats up on garbage teams and falls flat against anyone remotely good.

  24. I agree Flip has to go. I don’t blame Zimmer for Defillip’s play calling. You hire quality people, give them direction and support and let them do thier jobs. In this case Flip didn’t get it dine even with clear direction from Zimmer. The only excitement this offense generates is when it turns the ball over.

    Hey has anyone seen Anthony Barr? After yesterday’s game I expect to see his face on a milk carton.

  25. I’ll take him back here in Philly to work with Wentz. Wentz has been fine, and is still coming back from his injury to an extent, but the entire offense needs a little more flow and cohesion.

  26. It feels like Flip is constantly auditioning for a HC job and he’s trying to show everyone that he’s the next McVay or Nagy. He ignores some of the simple aspects of Football because he wants to show how innovative his Offensive mind is.
    Its painfully apparent when we’re doing these flea flickers and fake handoffs with misdirection and end arounds followed by a hurried 4 yard pass. Flip is trying way too hard right now and its wiping out his future as a HC.

  27. Last time I checked Zimmer is the boss. If he wants more rushes he needs to let DeFilippo know that DURING the game. Complaining about it afterwards is plainly an attempt to shift responsibly.

  28. Vikings fans are over DeFelippo and his playcalling. Pats played a much better game yesterday and they earned the win for sure. But, the Vikings should have been more competitive for the entire game. The offensive play calling is where we fell short.

  29. According to Viking fans they lost because of the refs. There’s no way it could be due to tons of game film showing they abandon the run. Or the turnovers.

    Pats run defense is FAR from solid (and will eventually be their downfall int he playoffs unless they somehow can turn it around). That said, 3 of Cook’s rushes accounted for 60+ of his rushing total.

  30. I cant figure this team out. They completely ignored their offensive line in the off season and just flat out look unprepared to play on offense.

  31. Listen, this doesn’t all fall on Flip.

    I have major concerns about the mediocre QB the Vikings have foolishly paid 90 million for. You would have been much better with Keenum for 1/3 of that.

    Oh, and for you Packer fans, same thing: That crazy contract you gave Arodge: The kiss of death.

  32. I’m not sure running the ball in the 4th quarter when down 14 points will get the desired results. It was 10-10 late in third, and then the defense gave up a quick 14 points.

    If Deflippo runs, the clock ticks away. And then everyone gets on him for running the ball when they are down 14.

    I guess you could make the argument that if the Vikings ran more in the first three quarters, then the Patriots couldn’t have scored more points.
    Woulda, shoulda coulda.

  33. I don’t get the reason why. They have a pretty good one-two punch in Cook and Murray. The Giants have done that with Barkley, Cowboys have done it with Zeke… Why would you not use your best weapons, and walk away with a loss?

  34. Cousins looks like a deer-in-the-headlights for much of yeterday’s Game. I’m sure the Vikings management are having a huge case of buyers’ remorse

  35. Although I agree they should have run the ball more but a number of times on 1st down Cook went for 8, 9 yards and the line was called for holding. Happened at least three times. So now instead of 2nd and one or two, we’re 1st and 20. To me those were the difference in the ball game.

  36. What’s funny is people in philly think losing DeFilippo is a big factor towards the eagles o being so crummy. Still happy the Vikings gave the king of the hollow stat all that money?

  37. Aikman said the Minn OC was a hot prospect to get a HC job this year. Really? It is a common complaint about Andy Reid, though.

  38. Not sure I vike that strategy. I vike what they did in the first half and I vike how the d played, but I don’t vike going away from something that’s working.

  39. People saying you can’t run to catch up obviously didn’t watch the game. They ran the ball 13 times…total! Cook was sjredding the Pats D all game and should’ve had 13 carries in the first half. Anyone that knows the Patriots knows their game is to take away the top threats on offense. That is obvioualy Thielan and Diggs. Cook should’ve been ran ragged until the Pats stopped him. The game was 10-10 at half and couldve been 13-10 if Bailey could kick.

  40. I’m a little tired of a HC saying he is disappointed about something one of his coordinators does. He works for you. So if you don’t like it change it, or change him.

  41. John DeFilippo is too concerned with what he can show other teams and not what is best for the Vikings. We need Less Tricky, Goofy plays even if that means having someone else do the play calling.

  42. Cousins was the master of the play-action in D.C., but to make that work you gotta run the ball. That’s Football 101, man. Blaming Cousins for what’s happening in Minnesota is weak analysis.

  43. I have major concerns about the mediocre QB the Vikings have foolishly paid 90 million for. You would have been much better with Keenum for 1/3 of that.

    ____

    Except that Keenum is getting about 2/3 of what they signed Cousins for. Keenum wasn’t coming back to play for free you know.

  44. cardinealsfan20 says:
    December 3, 2018 at 1:43 pm
    You have two of the best WRs in the league, along with one of the best QBs. Of course you are going to pass the ball. Let’s see, get the ball to Thielen and Diggs (and Rudolph), or run it with an injured Cook and Murray? Only an idiot would go run heavy with the available talent.
    //////////////
    Did you even read the actual article? I’ll help you. Skip to the part with the numbers.

  45. cardinealsfan20 says:
    December 3, 2018 at 1:43 pm
    You have two of the best WRs in the league, along with one of the best QBs.

    ————-

    In what universe is Kirk Cousins one of the best QBs in the league? And before you answer, go and find the last time he won against a team with a winning record at the time they played the game

  46. Literally the only think I like about the Vikings is Zimmer. Darn good coach. DeFilipo is not leaving the Vikings this year – he’ll have another year or two to flounder before that happens.

  47. The transition would have been pretty seamless had they went with Kevin Stafanski who worked with Shurmer for two years. I think Zimmer wanted Flip so he could figure out the debacle in Philly.

  48. Abandoned the Run equals abandon the ship! Get rid of Deflippo right now! Still can make the playoffs as wildcard. With him at the helm we are sunk!

  49. The difference in the Vikings this year is largely the lack of any QB mobility;the OLine has been weak for years which the Vikings solve by drafting Dbacks or receivers who don’t develop high. Cook has been the sole exception. As far as strategy goes it’s up to Zimmer to dictate to Defilippo and Defilippo to figure it out. It’s hard to see how he’d be a HC candidate. A kicker would be nice too or a holder that’s smart enough to realize on 4th down if the offense is off the field one way or another he’s on it.

  50. Zimm needs to lay down the law on Defilippo. He is in job interview mode and if he keeps this up who in the world will want him. Strip his play calling duties for a week and give them to the QB coach.

  51. If the Vikings don’t want Flip, I’m sure that the Eagles would be happy to have him back, replacing “underachieving” Mike Groh at the Offensive Coordinator job.

  52. There are many things that could be said about this game. Those who do not like Kirk, will lay it all in his shoulders. 80 million plus brings out that in people. Kirk in Washington played on poor teams with no chance to make it the playoffs. The offense successes were offset with poor defense and special teams.

    In truth the Vikings were exposed as a team by Philly last year in the playoffs. Zimmer’s defense has been figured out and in the NFL, you have a small window to be successful with a defense or offensive philosophy. Either he learns to adjust or he will continue to be beat like a drum by tems even the Bills.

    There are very few coaches that can match wits with Belichick. Tom Coughlin bested Belichick by ignoring Belichick on the other sidelines and played to the strengths of his team. That was not unlike how the Greenbay sweep of old was so successful or John Riggins running the ball behind the tackles when everyone in the building knew it was coming. It is Bill Walsh who never tried to trick people just beat the heck out of you with execution. Bill Belichick beats teams with preaching execution and delivering.

    DeFilippo has been exposed as a fraud pretending to be a good OC. I think it almost laughable to consider him head coach material. For the three years in Washington Kirk was far more mobile throwing outside the pocket far more than this year. Only Russel Wilson and Cam Newton had more rushing TD’s. The play calling has been poor at best. Part of the issue with play calling is you have your QB having to make 50% of his throws under pressure and keeping him in the pocket. Have him throw from other nontraditional spots.

  53. I have major concerns about the mediocre QB the Vikings have foolishly paid 90 million for. You would have been much better with Keenum for 1/3 of that.

    ____

    Except that Keenum is getting about 2/3 of what they signed Cousins for. Keenum wasn’t coming back to play for free you know.

    ————

    Split the difference, about half the amount…$18mm vs. $32mm

    That extra $14mm could have been used to shore up the OL. Meanwhile, Keenum is 6-6 with the Broncos trending upward. Cousins and Minny look like they’re trending downward.

  54. cadreamer1969 says:
    December 3, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    Aikman said the Minn OC was a hot prospect to get a HC job this year. Really?
    ))))))))))))))
    Troy doesn’t know what he is talking about. Aikman doesn’t prepare for games. He is out of touch with what offenses are running these days. He does a Patriots game he will talk about Brady for 3 hours. If it is the packers he will do the same for Rodgers. He comes off as lazy and unprepared. Romo is so much better because he understand the today’s NFL game better.

  55. The false narrative that the Vikings have neglected the offensive line is absurd. You don’t take an offensive lineman in the 1st round unless you have a top 10 pick. Most teams draft their line in the later rounds and the Vikings are no different. They got two starters in the last two drafts. The free agents they brought in 2 years ago- one worked out the other not so much. Every team is drafting offensive linemen because during the course of the year you have injuries. There are just not enough starters from the college game today because of the different style of offenses they run.

  56. Bluestree says:
    December 3, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    Hard to assess this fairly when we don’t know how many run plays Flip called that Cousins checked out of.
    ))))))))))
    Defilippo apologist, Zimmer knows how many and he has been saying the Vikings need to run the ball more for weeks now.

  57. goodellsux says:
    December 3, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    The transition would have been pretty seamless had they went with Kevin Stafanski who worked with Shurmer for two years.
    )))))
    Kevin is still with the Vikings. Maybe they make the change after the season?

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