Vikings Offense Can Lick Their Chops Sunday

Opponent Is a Cautionary
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When the Minnesota Vikings make their way to Denver on Sunday for a primetime tilt against the Broncos, they will be looking to extend a five-game winning streak. Sean Payton’s team is riding high after knocking off the Buffalo Bills, but Kevin O’Connell should be discussing a prime offensive opportunity.

Vikings Offense Can Lick Their Chops Sunday

Unfortunately, the Vikings don’t have Kirk Cousins the rest of the way this season, and they have also lost Cam Akers. Still, Josh Dobbs has stepped in, and Justin Jefferson is considering returning to the offense. That is good news, considering where the Broncos defense ranks. Among 32 NFL teams, no defense has allowed more yards per game, and they are the only team giving up at least 400 on a weekly basis.

Vikings Offense Can Lick Their Chops Sunday
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That is not an unfamiliar feeling for a Vikings team that struggled mightily on the defensive side last year. Swapping back and forth with the Detroit Lions, it was an Ed Donatell-coached defense that often found itself at the bottom of the barrel. While the offense had to consistently get the job done to cover for defensive issues, the Broncos are now tasked with that heavy lifting.

It isn’t as though Kevin O’Connell’s team needs a get-right spot for the offense. Even since Dobbs has taken over, the continued production from Jordan Addison and T.J. Hockenson has kept the ball rolling. After missing five games, the NFL’s best wide receiver, Justin Jefferson, is set to make his return. Providing that option for Dobbs, an additional challenge for Denver, is a massive gain.

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The Vikings need to focus most on forcing a bad defense to give into the running game. Minnesota has watched Alexander Mattison fail to establish himself as a lead back after Dalvin Cook was jettisoned. While Akers looked the part of a spry and shifty option, he’s no longer in the picture. That means Ty Chandler has a massive opportunity in front of him, and O’Connell scheming his offense to exploit it is a must.

While things have worsened for the running game this season, it wasn’t a focal point for O’Connell last year either. Cook faded down the stretch and rarely was a focal point of the offense. That will never change when you have the pass catchers that the Vikings employ, but having more than a passable running attack is something Minnesota needs to get to.

Only four teams in football have allowed more touchdowns than the 28 Denver has given up. Minnesota has struggled to find the end zone on the ground, and Dobbs has contributed the same amount from the quarterback position, then the entirety of the running backs group through 10 weeks. If there’s a spot to build some momentum, this has to be it.

Did We See a Change
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A season ago, teams circled the Vikings when they were excited about having offensive explosions. This time around, Minnesota has the offense to exploit those teams, and one of “those” is certainly Payton’s Broncos.

Buckle up and put some points on the board.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.