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.”
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