Can Alexander Mattison Be Revived with Raiders?

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A season ago, the Minnesota Vikings transitioned the running back position to Alexander Mattison. It was nothing short of a colossal failure. It took forever to rip off the band-aid, and he now finds himself employed by the Los Vegas Raiders.

Can Alexander Mattison Be Revived with Raiders?

For Alexander Mattison, a deal with the Raiders gives him a fresh start and an opportunity to regain his footing as a capable running back within the National Football League. At his best, Mattison was the rotational back behind Dalvin Cook, and while the veteran began to age, it was clear that Mattison’s change-of-pace abilities were to be desired.

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Needing to carve out a different sort of practice when working as the starter, Mattison routinely failed to hit holes and seemingly lost a level of burst that had previously made him so effective. He was displaced by Cam Akers and Ty Chandler last season, and Kevin O’Connell’s offense was largely at its worst when trying to incorporate Mattison’s production level.

Although career-high yardage totals were experienced for the former Vikings back, that was a byproduct of opportunity more than effectiveness. He was hardly the same spry talent coming out from behind the quarterback, and he held off some of the competition longer only because of his abilities in pass protection.

Alexander Mattison
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Now moving to the Raiders, Mattison is currently listed second on the depth chart behind Zamir White. A fourth-round pick in 2022, White started four games last season and elevated himself to the top of the depth chart after Josh Jacobs moved on to Green Bay. White was productive last season, averaging 4.3 yards per carry, and he showed well during his first real taste of consistent playing time.

White is not the receiving threat Mattison can be at his best as, at 25, the former Georgia Bulldog could be expected to take some lumps through the learning process. Still, he is penciled in as the Raiders starter, and that means Mattison will need to overtake him.

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It will be interesting to see if Los Angeles can get the most out of Mattison by utilizing him as a change of pace or if they can find a way to unlock his abilities in a featured role. Mattison would have been a great story had he worked out for Minnesota, but that succession plan wasn’t to be seen.

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.