Vikings Look To Get Explosive In The Running Game, Too

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 21, 2012 – 6:23 am

Since they drafted Adrian Peterson in 2007, no team has run the ball more effectively than the Vikings. They rank first in total rushing yards (11,368), yards per carry (4.7) and runs of 10+ yards (334). Last Sunday, though, the Vikings running game got off track a bit.

The Indianapolis Colts held the Vikings to 3.7 yards per carry on 26 attempts. As a result, the Vikings offensive coaching staff is as much, if not more, concerned about addressing the team’s issues in the running game as they are trying to devise ways to get the ball downfield. After all, if you can’t keep a defense off-balance by running the ball, finding holes in the defense to beat them deep in the passing game will be even tougher.

“We ran the ball a bunch and we didn’t have any explosive runs,” Vikings Offensive Coordinator Bill Musgrave said on Thursday. “We’ve addressed our lack of explosive passes this week, but we also didn’t have any explosive runs against Indianapolis. I think the longest one was for six yards. We’re ready to ramp up all of those departments.”

If the Vikings can find a way to rip off a few explosive runs against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, they might also be able to take a shot or two downfield via the passing game.

“You would like to think that that would be the case,” Musgrave said. “That was something that was definitely missing from the field on Sunday were our chunks, and we don’t want to make a habit of that at all.”

The #1 asset Musgrave has in turning things around in the explosive running game is the best RB in the NFL – Peterson. With him toting the ball, the Vikings have not ranked lower than 8th in any season in runs of 10+ yards. In 2007, Peterson’s rookie year, the Vikings ranked 1st with 87 such runs. They ranked 4th in 2008, 6th in 2009, 8th in 2010 and then last year Musgrave’s offense ranked 3rd with 75 explosive runs.

The kicker this week, though, is that as the Vikings try to get the explosive running game back on track they’ll be going against a defense that doesn’t yield very many of them. Since 2009, the 49ers defense has never ranked lower than 5th in opponent’s explosive runs. Last year, in fact, the 49ers were 1st, allowing just 27 runs of 10+ yards. This year through two games, the 49ers have allowed just 1 run of 10+ yards.

The Vikings rushing offense against the 49ers rushing defense is one of the better matchups within this weekend’s game, and the winner of this matchup will take a big step toward victory.

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38 Responses to “Vikings Look To Get Explosive In The Running Game, Too”

  1. By Deer Tracks/iaVIKE on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    What are you waiting for, chum?

  2. By Bluebird7. on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    SF has allowed just one run of 10+ yards? I guess they will have to meet Peterson and Toby.

  3. By yikesitsthevikes on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    We need a new offensive coordinator, he doesn’t know how to utilize the talent we have. you have adrian peterson and not one time in the game against the colts, did i see ponder throw one screen pass to him. You have to much talent on offense to be barely putting up 20 point a game. Also I havent seen anything from TE carlson yet, what was the purpose of paying him all that money when we could have kept shanicoe on the squad who is a proven leader. This offense is awful and i dont see it getting any better until you replace musgrave.

  4. By Ricky on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    Dear Coach Frazier,
    Beat the 49ers! No more messing around too much. Kick their butts! I need a lot of $20’s when the Vikings win. My dad loves the Vikings and so does John. Tell Jeff I want more tickets. Good luck on Sunday!


  5. By Mike B. on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    The key to beating a good defense like the 49ers is to be unpredictable. Mix up the game plan. This is one thing we haven’t been able to do in the first two games. Very predictable game plan. The main reason is that defenses don’t fear our ability to light it up down field on any down. We don’t have that WR that makes defenses to hold off the run. It’s pretty obvious we are going to run the ball alot. The coach makes that mistke at each press conference telling everyone we are a run team first. You need to be able to take it down field quickly to make the defense second guess and that gets the running game open. You hit em with some nce runs then back to the p@ss. quit being so predictable.

  6. By Mike B. on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    That’ said I can’t see us stopping their TE and WR core. Unless Jared can keep Smith on his backside. Our secondarly is not very good yet.

  7. By DRS. on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    Coach Frazier, beware, lose too much this year and the fans will be calling for h-e-a-d. NFL stands for NOT FOR LONG. You have the talent to win so it is up to you and your staff to step up to the plate and get wins. Go Vikings!

  8. By DRS. on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    Time out?

  9. By DRS. on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    No, Hmmm.

  10. By Frederick Jones on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    @Yi kes and Mike B,

    Fred has told you, and Jones is sure other have as well.

    The reason for all the d inks, and d unks, and the lack of variety on offense is the OFFENSIVE LINE.



  11. By Frederick Jones on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    Moving Charlie Johnson to LG was one of the stupidest things Jones has ever heard.


  12. By DRS. on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    Coach Frazier, do not believe what the so called experts are saying, the Viking have the talent to go all the way, and it is up to you and your staff to make this team believe. It is now in your hands to make this a winning season or a repeat of last year. Go Vikings.

  13. By Troutdaddy on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    The eyes of the fans are on the everyone on this team right now. It is time to put up. No excuses. Gives our players the opportunities they have been screaming for and put the tentative play calling away. It is time for aggressive and passionate players and coaches alike. I want to see everyone put on their Audie Cole game face, Percy Harvin attitudes and AP’s will and desire and win one for us fans!!! Am I asking too much? No I am not. Asking too much would sound something like for the Vikings to win by 5 touchdowns…. I am not asking that. I am asking for this team to give the fans a win if possible and if that is not possible then at least play with fire and desire baby. I bleed purple…. Nuf said…

  14. By Frederick Jones on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    Kalil is doing fine, but he is just one man, or less than 10% of your offense!!!

    You need many good players on an offensive line, not just one!

    But Jones regresses.

  15. By Frederick Jones on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply


    It has nothing to do with the playcalling!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. By Frederick Jones on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    The question is is, can we win win with our current offensive line.

    8-8 was my pre-season prediction. It is still possible, but improvements will have to be made in the O Line and D Backs. Without question.

    DO NOT BLAME IT ON THE PLAYCALLING….THAT IS SILLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. By DRS. on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    DRS. Says coaching will make this a winning season or a repeat of last year. We will see if Frazier’s leadership will pay off or not. In the end it all comes down to how good are our coaches.

  18. By Frederick Jones on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    They will play with fire and desire if an O LINE and D Backs are developed.

    If the team is winning you will see the “fire and desire.”

    And the coaches will be reminscent of Vincent Lombardi himself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Winning is a great deodorant.

  19. By Viking33 on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    If our Offense could play more often with the same sense of urgency it displays when it is crunch time at the end of the game, I think we would be unstoppable.

    Also, what kind of Defense do we run?? I can’t seem to figure out what our plan on Defense is, and I don’t think our players can either. Seems we have a lot of confusion at all levels. Guys running free and getting behind us when that is the only place they can go is just crazy. Also how many stunts and blitzes do we run where our guys crash into each other and fall down – I hope that isn’t the plan.

    That and clean up the bone head penalties we should be ok.

  20. By Frederick Jones on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    FredDogg can’t stand it.

    Jones shall retire for now.

  21. By DRS. on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    Yes Fred, we need better line-man on both sides of the ball. I believe it is up to the coaches to get the personal they want, to work with the GM to get the best player. So in my opinion it is the coach, his staff, GM, and the players that make a team a winner or loser. It takes a team not just one person. Though the one who leads has the responsibility to put the best player he has in the best spot needed and to make the best play call to achieve a victory in any given game.

  22. By Troutdaddy on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    @Fred… Obviously I agree to disagree. But I respect what you are saying- you have always been a good insight guy here. But- It IS SOOOO about play calling. Have you been listening to the analysts on ESPN & NFL Network? They talk about Ponders hands being tied, tentive plays and lack of dynamics. I have heard it every day this whole week. I see it as well as many other fans. There are also so many other factors as well, but this is a big one and if our coaches can’t inject a bit more passion and open it up a bit by giving our guys a chance to make plays and use their skills, then it is only going to fuel the talk again next week. You are so right about O-Line and D-Backs. They are the key to this whole thing as well, but you can’t tell me that if we go back to the same old scheme of Hand-off to AP, throw it horizontally to Harvin that we are going to win this game. We got to mix it up. We need to be unpredictable and use everyone. The more the better as it gets each player to take ownership and be part of the solution. That brings passion to the game and motivation.

  23. By DRS. on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    DRS. Says coaching will determine what this year will be.

  24. By DRS. on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    We have the talent to win; we just need the leadership to win.

    Have a great day, and here is to a victory over the 49ers.

  25. By Viking33 on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    Victory over the 49ers would be sweet for sure. But our Offense in a Bottle and a free wheeling uncoordinated Defense will make that difficult.

    These extended handoffs to Percy are great for my Fantasy team, but I would prefer to have sustained drives with Big Plays sprinkled in there.

    Do we have anyone that can play Left Gaurd and Center that will Run Block and Pass Block better than we currently have? I might have well have been standing there last week.

  26. By Parody on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    Wow, something new! The Vikings are going to try to get better at the run game. How innovative!!!

    Honestly, is this really going to help the team at all? All we ever care about is getting the running game going. It doesn’t seem to click in Musgrave’s head that a great way to do that is to get a passing game!

    AP said it himself. HE wants the team to throw more pässes. Why? Because if we get the ball moving better through the air, it will convince the defense to move some focus off of him.

    It’s time to start using Jenkins and Aromashodu more along the sidelines. Get the defense to respect their ability to catch the ball and make explosive plays, and then AP’s explosiveness will be allowed to shine.

  27. By OTKalil2012 on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    I love the player talent level on this team, across the board…

    I believe Spielman is doing an outstanding job since becoming the GM…Getting Simpson and Carlson…Along with a great draft this last spring…

    Frazier is not an NFL caliber head coach…Frazier has a very predictable and conservative game plan each week…

    It is not just the throwing in the big pa ss down field in the game…A head coach is supposed to have that gut feeling WHEN to call that big pa ss play down the field…When to fire up the timing and tempo of the offense, and defense…The urgency in play calling at times…

    Why is Frazier trying to slow things down..When it is time to speed things up ??…etc…

    These are questions some fans are asking of our coaching staff ??…And think they have a right to ask…

  28. By Parody on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    49ers not having allowed the Packers or Lions to get any but one explosive run isn’t exactly a tribute to their defense. Packers and Lions have little to nothing for a running game to begin with. They live and die by the pass.

    I’m not saying that we should be able to run circles around the 49ers, just that the competition used to grade them so far is sub-standard. IF we can show them that we have a passing game, (which is a big IF with Musgrave’s playcalling to date), then our running game should be able to get a few explosions this weekend.

  29. By tomcat on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    we have the best rb in nfl! we can run on 9ers unless we fall way behind. at the same time must have a big game from ponder so the defense cant cheat the safeties up.if we mix in toby and give percy a few carries to keep em off balance we may grind out 100+ yards,which wont be enough, which is where ponder comes in. what is sketchy in my view is can our defense stop them? go vikes!!

  30. By vikingology1 on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    Viking-ology agrees with DRS and Troutdaddy. Until we get a top-notch head coach, we will be nothing but a bottom dweller, and the talents of Peterson and Harvin will be wasted into oblivion…

  31. By Vlad19 on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    In the end, an aggressive gameplan is designed with players and abilities in mind. You don’t really wonder WHY our offense is so vanilla. It is a running game because we NEED to make it a running game because there is not one element of our passing game that scares our local high school team. Why would anyone in NFL fear it?

    We MUST make this a running game. Period!

  32. By dieseldog on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    ….get explosive in the running game? Sounds like the same old game plan for sunday.

  33. By No Name! on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    Like several other bloggers have stated, the 9ers will beat the tar out of the vikings..Moss will prove once again, it was a bad idea to get rid of him.

  34. By snook on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    from what i ve seen so far ponder is zero in on one reciever , peterson was open coming out of the backfield

  35. By snook on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    musgraves got 2 go

  36. By Feugo on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    first off,we need AP to gt a few good runs,Ponder has to get the ball alot to his tight ends,a few screens to Percy and AP will result in good yardage.
    our Defence has to get to the QB a few times to get him rattled and it would be nice for our secondary to get their first INT,we still need long drivs to keep the niners off the field.Ponder has to make better play action moves, his fake handoff move is terrible, he just sticks th ball out about 5 feet from back ….no one bites,as for Moss, i loved him with th Vikes, but he is chicken s……to get hit,put Cook on him with Harrison Smith helping out , this guy is a hitter,Moss will be ineffective,all in all lets keep it close, play good ball, and we maybe will pull it out, football is 5 to 6 plays to make victory go one way or the other

  37. By Feugo on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    of course i would want a win, but a good close game where we`re in it till the end will give this young team the confidencce,knowing they held their own against a top team in the league, which will help us down the road in the second part of our season when we play GB,CHIC AND DET,who i think are a little bit behind SF

  38. By THE SGT. on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    Im a die hard Vikes fan. We got some great players in key positions but the coaches have no clue what to do with them. Out coached every game. Start throwng the ball to Adrian out of the backfield or line him out wide with percy, COME ON GET CREATIVE GUYS, he knows how to catch.the ball. Our wideouts suck except for Simpson. Were in trouble. COME ON MAN !

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