The Vikings brought in Gary Kubiak to help reconstruct their offense after falling short of the postseason in 2018 and the first look at the 2019 edition was both successful and unusual.
It was successful because the Vikings scored 14 points in the first quarter and built a 28-0 lead through the first three quarters of a 28-12 victory over the Falcons. It was unusual for an NFL game in 2019 because quarterback Kirk Cousins only threw 10 passes en route to the victory.
The Vikings had short fields to set up their first two touchdowns and they relied heavily on the running game the rest of the way, which was an easy decision to stick to as Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison each made big plays in the victory. Cousins was 8-of-10 for 98 yards and a touchdown while also running for a one-yard score.
“Throwing 10 times is really unique. Probably haven’t had a game with that few attempts since Pop Warner,” Cousins said. “I think I threw 10 times or more in most high school games, too. It’s what the game called for. I have no problem with being conservative. As long as we win the football game, that’s all that matters to me. We found a way to get the win, so the approach was a great approach.”
Tight end Kyle Rudolph joked that the Vikings are “going to set the game back about a hundred years” to commemorate the NFL’s 100th anniversary season. It’s unlikely to be a regular plan this season, but it was undoubtedly a welcome development for a team that ranked 30th in rushing yards per game last season.