Barnwell encourages more action play from the Vikings


As Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said on Sunday, a win is a win, and Minnesota will win.

But it’s fair to say that the Vikings winning against the Lions was pretty ugly, and the team must continue to improve if they are to come out of a first hole.

ESPN’s Bill Barnwell watched “four crazy arrivals of week 5“Across the league: Vikings-Lions, Chargers-Browns, Packers-Bengals and Eagles-Panthers.

Looking back on Minnesota’s victory in the Exiting Division, Barnwell felt the Vikings “had to come back to the game” as an important part of their offense. He wrote:

Under the old [Offensive Coordinator] Kevin Stefanski, the Vikings stepped up their use of the game and improved Kirk Cousins’ efficiency in the process, giving the quarterback his first and only Pro Bowl nod in a Vikings uniform. In Stefanski’s only full season as coordinator in 2019, Cousins ​​threw just under 28 [percent] time.

When Stefanski left for the Browns, the Vikings promoted Gary Kubiak to the role of offensive coordinator. Things stayed the same, as Cousins ​​kicked off game action just over 28 [percent] time. [Gary Kubiak] retired in the offseason and made way for someone who should also be very familiar with the principles of his attack: Klint Kubiak, his 34-year-old son. With just about every significant piece of the offense returning for 2021 aside from lineman Riley Reiff, there was little reason to think things would change.

Well, out of five games, Cousins’ action rate is not 28 [percent]; he is a little over 18 years old [percent]. On Sunday, against one of the worst defenses in the league, Cousins ​​was 1 of 4 in play for nine yards and a QBR of 3.8. Coaches sometimes claim that a team did not establish the race enough to kick off their action game, but in addition to that trope that does not stand up to detailed analysis, the Vikings have been very successful in leading football. .

Barnwell noted that although the Vikings “failed to play the game last week, Cousins ​​continued to be a much better quarterback with the help of a fake game.”

Between 2019 and 2020, he posted a QBR of 76.4 when the Vikings used playing action against a mark of 52.4 when coming back and throwing. So far this season, the numbers are similar; it has a QBR of 70.2 with play-action and a rating of 51.0 without.

I would encourage the Vikings to consider incorporating more in-game action, but I would also understand if they waited until after their Week 7 recess. Next week, Minnesota will face the Panthers, who have so far terrorized. teams using the play. Quarterbacks have averaged 8.9 yards per attempt and a QBR of 58.2 when they have used the play this season. Against the Panthers, those passer are 12 of 25 for 76 yards. They are averaging 4.4 yards per attempt and posting a QBR of 11.5, the second worst score in football.


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