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