The Minnesota Vikings have had an ugly 0-3 start, and they need to turn things around before it gets out of hand. Kirk Cousins is likely in his last season as the quarterback of this team, and Justin Jefferson isn't getting younger.
The offense has firepower, but not enough support. Minnesota is also allowing way too many points, as many areas need to change for this team to get things going. If the Vikings miss the playoffs, it will be one of the biggest surprises of the 2023 NFL season.
The early season struggles stem from the offensive line, running game, and the pass rush. Minnesota still has Cousins and Jefferson, so as long as they improve in these three areas, they can turn the season around.
Changes the Vikings need to make: 3. A plan for their running backs
After the first three weeks of the new season, the Vikings rank 31st in rushing yards, averaging 6.3 yards per game. They recently brought in 24-year-old running back Cam Akers from the Los Angeles Rams to help out Alexander Mattison. A one-two punch of those two might be what this offense needs.
Cousins and Jefferson are playing relatively well, but improving the run game would enable the passing game to leap forward. Akers's ability to flip the field on any play will for sure be a plus and could open up more opportunities for play action as well.
In Week 1, Akers had 22 carries for just 29 yards with the Rams, but Minnesota could be a good fit for him. The Ram's offensive line isn't very good, which was the main issue for Akers in the first game of the season. Hopefully, he can benefit from the change of scenery, as he and the Vikings would love to see the trade pay off.
Head coach Kevin O'Connell continuously has alluded to the importance of the running game, but we need to see the results on the field. Headed into Week 4, they will be facing the Carolina Panthers, who currently have the 18th-ranked rushing defense in the league.
Minnesota already has a must-win game, and it's only Week 4. Passing the ball is not the issue right now, as they rank second in passing yards. What the Vikings need to do though, is utilize the talented running backs to keep the ball moving.