An extended break following last Thursday's loss to the Los Angeles Rams gave the Minnesota Vikings plenty of time to figure out what's gone wrong this season.
Minnesota (1-2-1) has lost two games in a row and has faced double-digit deficits in each game. The result has forced the Vikings to rely more on quarterback Kirk Cousins and eschew the running game. Dalvin Cook has also been dealing with a hamstring injury in which he admitted is not 100 percent healed.
Cousins is third in the league in passing and Minnesota is fifth in passing as a team as the team has gone to the air more frequently. The Vikings have the fewest rushing attempts in the league and coach Mike Zimmer was asked about the running game on Wednesday as the team got back to practice.
"It’s always a combination of things," Zimmer said. "The running game is not just the offensive line or the running backs, it’s the tight ends, the fullbacks, and it’s a lot of things. When guys miss blocks, that’s typically what happens."
One factor for Zimmer, Minnesota needs to be more balance going forward. Their first chance is Sunday at Philadelphia in a rematch of the NFC championship game from last season.
"It has been difficult," Zimmer said. "We have to be patient with it, No. 1. Honestly, a little bit has been dictated with some of the scores throughout the last couple ball games. It’s important for us to have balance. It keeps the defensive line from pinning their ears back all the time. I think it helps the football team overall. We just have to do a better job."