3 Vikings who should be benched or fired for falling out of the playoff picture

The Minnesota Vikings found out the hard way just how valuable Kirk Cousins is to their team.

Detroit Lions v Minnesota Vikings
Detroit Lions v Minnesota Vikings / Stephen Maturen/GettyImages
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Alexander Mattison shouldn't be the lead back for the Vikings

Ty Chandler might not be the answer, either, as he registered just 17 yards on eight carries against the Lions. Against the Bengals, Chander look much better, with 132 yards in Mattison's absence. Mattison is Minnesota's leading rusher, but has under 700 yards on the season despite being viewed as Dalvin Cook's most logical replacement when the Vikings allowed Cook to leave in free agency.

O'Connell has spoken to Mattison's fumbling issues several times this season, including in late September. The Vikings coach issued a warning to Mattison, essentially stating that he would lose carries if he couldn't hold onto the football.

"I thought there was some other times where forward progress and things," O'Connell said. "But we need to end every snap with the football in our hands. And that's going to be continued urgency and emphasis like it was last week and we're going to continue to do it and do it differently and emphasize it different ways until that value is received. Because that is a losing formula, as we've seen being where we're at in the turnover differential now."

Mattison has a year left on his contract, but he shouldn't be the Vikings starting running back next season.

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