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Vikings Run Game Effective More Than Productive Against Cowboys

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 18, 2010 – 10:55 am

A quick glance at the box score from Sunday’s win over the Cowboys might cause one to raise concern over the Vikings running game. Superstar RB Adrian Peterson registered 63 yards on 26 carries (2.4-yard average) and had a long run of just 11 yards and the Vikings as a team averaged just 3.3 yards per carry.

But upon further review, the Vikings running game was indeed effective and it’s more because of the number of attempts (33) than yards gained (103).

We saw what a defense can do when the offense gets behind and is thrust into a pass-heavy play-calling rut. That’s exactly where the Cowboys were for most of Sunday’s game and the Vikings defense capitalized by tallying 6 sacks.

The Vikings, meanwhile, ran 9 more times than they passed, and as a result the Cowboys defense – and most importantly the outstanding edge rushers – was kept off-balance and was forced to honor the run. QB Brett Favre took advantage of that result by completing 15 of those 24 passes for 234 yards and 4 TDs.

“I think it is always important to beat on people up front,” Childress responded when asked why his team stuck with the run on Sunday despite a lack of production. “It helps in your pass game, it helps versus their pass rush. We didn’t have any desire to get into a ‘let them rush the passer’ game.

“Typically you have to stake yourself to a lead to be able to do it that way. It’s still run attempts for us. Would you like to run for plus four (yards) every time? We would but we’re not going to give up on them.”


Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 18 Comments »


18 Responses to “Vikings Run Game Effective More Than Productive Against Cowboys”

  1. By Mark Smith on Jan 18, 2010 | Reply

    An observation from a 40 year fan: Why telegraph 90% of the running plays to the defense? Extended arm waiting to hand off to a running back is an easy defensive move waiting to happen. Disquise the run more and watch the running yards add up. I predict a win next week.

  2. By Vikings4Ever18 on Jan 18, 2010 | Reply

    I’m sick of hearing that complaint about the Vikings running game Mark Smtih. I’ve seen every team in the NFL hand the ball off that way. It doesn’t show the defense anything because when Favre play-action fakes he uses the same motion.

    I agree with Mike, the running game is doing a good job of keeping teams guessing run or pass. I mean look, Favre has had a career season and teams are still stacking the box to stop AP.

    No one enjoys coming in to stop Adrian. Fickle fans might think he’s having a poor season but I bet if we asked defensive coordinators around the league they would tell you he’s having another fantastic season.

  3. By vikefan4eva on Jan 18, 2010 | Reply

    I have to agree with Mark why would you be that obvious and not only that why do you need to go back 4 yards to hand the ball?!

  4. By purplehorn on Jan 18, 2010 | Reply

    I wish we would use more true draw plays. Have A.P. stay behind Favre and drop back to pass. Option throw or run the draw. Gaps open up in that D line because they have to get up field. The linebackers would need to cover the tight end in the short check if Favre does pull it back to throw. I think A.P. would TERRORIZE the defense with a play like that. I don’t expect to have A.P. hit a home run every down. Once he gets a free space gap on the draw- watch out, it’s how you like me now….All Day!!!

  5. By Mark Smith on Jan 18, 2010 | Reply

    I’m not an expert by any means, but I am intuitive and I sense a slight adjustment here could yield huge results, thanks for all the response and looking forward to the playoff win on my birthday.

  6. By lasvegasviking on Jan 18, 2010 | Reply

    im not a fan of the stretch play but it seems to me that AP has no vision and i think give him another 3 yrs and he will have it along with the fumble issues

  7. By lasvegasviking on Jan 18, 2010 | Reply

    i also think that childress tells him to hit those hole even if they are not there we have a big o-line who cant sustain long blocks we line him up closer he hits those holes quicker bettre results

  8. By Scott on Jan 18, 2010 | Reply

    Hey all – Purplehorn is right – we need to disguise the run more. Delays, draws, something off tackle etc.. would yield far better results, than running between the guards so often. It’s a thought I’ve had for a while, so I watch for it, and it’s clearly more effective. Spreading out the D-line as they rush, and having the linebackers retreat makes it easier for a running back to get past the line of scrimmage, and almost mandatory when they stack the box. Teams seem intent on stopping the run, fortunately for us, our passing game has been strong.

    If AP has been effective – I agree that he has. Passing on play action has been successful too.

  9. By Scott on Jan 18, 2010 | Reply

    Just reviewed the highlights of the game – Sidney’s 1st and 2nd TD were on play action, the 1st down pass to Sid in the 4th quarter where Brett rolled out to the right was play action, Adrian’s longest run of the day was on a faked quick pass/draw which opened up the line of scrimmage.

    Seems clear – simply dropping back to give the ball to AP and have him run between the guards is not as effective, and doesn’t give him the best chance to break into the 2nd and 3rd levels.

  10. By tbird on Jan 19, 2010 | Reply

    NO OFFENSE BUT I SEE IM GOING TO HAVE TO SCHOOL SOME OF THE FANS UP HERE..FIRST OFF, SHOWING THE BALL LIKE THAT IS EFFECTIVE! THAT IS WHY FAVRE LEADS THE LEAGUE IN PASSING FROM PLAY ACTION..SECOND, THEY HAVE TO GO BACK 5 YARDS TO HAND BALL OFF ON CERTAIN FORMATIONS DUE TO ZONE BLOCKING SCHEME..WHICH TAKES TIME AND PATIENCE FOR BLOCKERS TO BLOCK AND OPEN UP HOLES IN RUNNING LANE..REASONS FOR LACK OF PRODUCTION IN OUR RUNNING GAME IS DUE TO A BAD FULL BACK, WHICH WE HAVE!!! ALSO OUR CENTER AND RIGHT TACKLE ARE ROOKIES..AND DEFENSES PLAY 8 OR 9 MAN FRONTS..WHICH IS RESULTING IN BRETT FAVRES BEST STATISTICAL YEAR..AP IS GOOD BUT NOBODY CAN HAVE SUCCESS AGAINST 9 MAN BOX..

  11. By bxviking on Jan 19, 2010 | Reply

    Handing the ball off like that is effective.I would like to see more screen plays with Chester Taylor involved.We then would be able to run it down the Saints throat.Vikes all the way.(Finally)

  12. By Mike on Jan 19, 2010 | Reply

    Sunday’s game against Dallas, was the absolute best. Vikes should play the Saints with the same intensity. Give Brett and his OC the latitude they need and victory will be the outcome.

  13. By Scott on Jan 19, 2010 | Reply

    tbird – you might need to go back to school. There were 8 and 9 man fronts from all of the teams playing the Titans, yet their RB had over 2000. Also, the Viking’s center, Sullivan, is not a rookie, he’s in his 2nd year.

  14. By hoolio on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    I wasn’t initially happy about having a long time rival quarterback leading our beloved Queens but Farve has been the best thing to counter act Childress’s less the ideal play calling. Look at the stats when Farve audibles plays, reads defenses and makes adjustments AWAY FROM THE GUT RUN. Farve needs to be given the keys to this offense, and continue to run on passing downs and pass when defenses expect run plays. The reason for our ineffectiveness in the run game (with AP) is conservative predictability that doesn’t require the defense to think, blame Childress. I say “with AP” because I think they run well with Harvin; to the outside, creating challenges for D players, i.e. making reads, shedding blocks, and making open field tackles.

  15. By Scott on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    Hoolio is exactly right – we need to mix it up a little more, give defenses something to think about, and not run AP up the gut on a predicable running down. Give AP a better chance to break thru the line, get to the LBs and DBs and watch the yards pile up.

  16. By mike stumpf on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    i tink they should run a.p. out of 4 wide sets 2 spread defence keep them geusing still can throw

  17. By mike on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    I really think we need to release the beast this game. A.P. deserves to have our massive o-line create more room for him to work with, keep some of those guys off his back, they can block for Favre no problem now is the time to release our beast within peterson did have an awesome year with 1383 yds and 18 tds cant take anything away there and to go with Favre’s 33 wow now if this isnt a balanced team then iI dont know what is BUT PLEASE RELEASE A. P.

  18. By mike on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    WE NEED TO QUIT SENDING A.P. INTO THE GUT OF THOSE DEFENDERS BOUNCE HIM OUT TO THE LEFT A LITTLE MORE RICE IS AN EXCELLENT RUN BLOCKER IF YOU GO BACK AND LOOK AT SOME RUNS WE HAD THIS YEAR RICE WAS ALWAYS OUT FRONT BLOCKING LETS GO VIKES VS JETS SUPERBOWL

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