One Viking Has Made a Resurgence in Recent Weeks

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Throughout the 2023 season, a major knock on the Minnesota Vikings has revolved around their rushing attack.

In particular, new starting RB Alexander Mattison has been examined under a microscope by many, and much of the blame for this lack of success has been placed on his shoulders. However, recent weeks have seen a resurgence from Mattison as the Vikings continue to improve their rushing offense.

One Viking Has Made a Resurgence in Recent Weeks

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Here is a look at Mattison’s stat line over the first 10 weeks of the season:

  • 130 carries
  • 461 rushing yards
  • 3.55 yards per carry
  • 4 games of 60+ yards from scrimmage

And now, the past three games for Mattison have looked like this:

  • 38 carries
  • 199 rushing yards
  • 5.24 yards per carry
  • 3 games of 60+ yards from scrimmage

While the Vikings passing attack under Josh Dobbs has steadily gone downhill over the past three games, Mattison has been at least a positive piece of Minnesota’s offense, steadily piling up rushing yards. Most impressively, he’s taken his seasonal yards per carry average from around 3.5 yards to just below 4.0 in only the past three games.

One Viking
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Here’s the problem, though. Mattison could be in line to miss this weekend’s game against Cincinnati due to an ankle injury. He was listed as a DNP on Tuesday’s injury report, and he mustered just 10 carries last weekend before having to leave the Week 14 game against Las Vegas.

While Mattison has progressively been finding his legs in the backfield for Minnesota, his counterpart, Ty Chandler, has gone silent. Chandler was a fifth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft by Minnesota and has finally begun getting consistent reps in Minnesota’s offense.

Following a strong performance against the Denver Broncos in Week 11, though, Chandler has recorded 16 carries for just 43 yards over the past two games. He hasn’t been as effective in the passing game, either, catching four of his five targets for a total of 10 yards.

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The Vikings will need their rushing attack to be effective on Sunday if they hope to get a win against the Cincinnati Bengals. Hopefully, Mattison is able to play and continue building on what’s been a strong month for the fifth-year RB.

If Mattison cannot go, it will be up to Ty Chandler and potentially rookie RB DeWayne McBride to carry the load out of the backfield. McBride was selected by the Vikings in the seventh round of this spring’s draft, but he is yet to be elevated from the practice squad for a single game during the season.

Kickoff between the Bengals and Vikings is scheduled for 12 PM Central on Saturday, December 16th at Paycor Stadium. With a win, the Vikings will improve to 8-6 with three games against fellow NFC North opponents remaining in the regular season.

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Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.

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