Restless Vikings Fans Call for Change to Starting Lineup

The Vikings 2022 Defense by the Numbers: After Week 6
Minnesota Vikings fan during NFL game Sunday Oct 16, 2022 in Miami Gardens. © BILL INGRAM / THE PALM BEACH PSOT / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Some Minnesota Vikings fans — not all — are ready for a change at RB1.

Heading into 2023, the Vikings parted ways with longtime halfback Dalvin Cook, who signed with the New York Jets in August and promptly fell off a performance cliff one month later.

Restless Vikings Fans Call for Change to Starting Lineup

The move to shed Cook’s mammoth $14 million cap hit was wise, but some Vikings loyalists aren’t necessarily enthused by Cook’s RB1 replacement, Alexander Mattison.

And those same folks want more of Cam Akers, to the tune of the RB1 gig.

Restless Vikings Fans
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota added Akers via trade — basically for free — a few weeks ago, and the former Los Angeles Ram is slowly integrating into Kevin O’Connell’s offense. Now, though, a sect of Vikings fans wants that process expedited, as the eye test reveals Akers as a more capable contributor.

Meanwhile, and mind-bogglingly, Mattison has broken just one tackle so far in 2023, an almost unbelievable stat, according to Mattison is also averaging 4.2 yards per touch to Akers’ 5.3.

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The calls for Akers-not-Mattison also arrive as Minnesota refuses to run the football at an average rate. Heading into Week 7, a Monday Night Football affair with the San Francisco 49ers, the Vikings call running plays 31.1% of the time, ranking last in the NFL through six games.

And, of course, to make it zanier, the Vikings offensive line ranks tops in the business per Pro Football Focus run-blocking grading through Week 6. Long story short — the Vikings employ the NFL’s best run-blocking line but run the ball the least leaguewide. You cannot make it up, not even in Hollywood.

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports.

What’s more, because the Vikings don’t run the ball — despite the top run-blocking offensive line in the world — Minnesota ranks dead last in time of possession. Teams that rank dead last in time of possession — you guessed it — usually finish a season with a record in the ballpark of 4-13 or so.

Fans see the time-of-possession struggles, the total refusal to run the rock, Mattison’s [lack of] break-tackle skillset, and they call for change. The masses want more Akers, and it remains to be seen if the Vikings coaching staff will oblige.

A sampler platter indeed, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Slide over the X app and simply search Cam Akers.

Minnesota also employs Ty Chandler and Kene Nwangwu if it prefers non-Mattison and non-Akers alternatives.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by