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Mackey gives 3 reasons why he’s not worried that the Vikings’ offense hasn’t scored big lately

Earlier this week, in the studios at 1500ESPN, we had a listener of the Mackey & Judd show — our buddy Paul — call us to complain about the lack of dominance from the Minnesota Vikings’ offense in recent games.

Actually, he was merely expressing mild concern. But “complain” sounds better.

Paul’s not alone. Judd agrees with him. And I get the sense that a lot of Vikings fans are very nervous right now with the state of the team’s offense. The defense is great–we know that. But can Case Keenum and the offense put up enough points to win playoff games, even after a couple of forgettable offensive performances?

Yes, they can. And here are 3 reasons why I’m not concerned with the offense’s lack of dominance lately:

1) The Bears actually have one of the better defenses in the NFL

The Vikings didn’t put up big numbers against Chicago’s defense. OK, that’s fine.

The Bears are not a great football team. They got their head coach fired. But defensively the Bears are actually pretty good. They held the Panthers, Steelers and Saints to an average of 13 points per game (and won two of those games).

2) The last two games were anomalies for the Vikings

First, there’s the Green Bay game – It was below zero. Rare conditions. The game was never in question. And the Vikings’ main goal was to avoid giving the Packers points, so they ran the ball 33 times. You think that’s going to happen indoors against the Saints in the playoffs?

Second, the Chicago game – Not only were they missing Pat Elflein, but they also called a mostly RISK-FREE game due to their opponent. They ran the ball 36 times, mostly hoping to avoid giving the Bears any shot at scoring points. Again, the game plan reflected the game circumstances and the quality of opponent. That’s not happening agains the Rams.

And in the Chicago game they still scored 23 points – despite shutting it down in the 2nd half, knowing the Bears weren’t going to score.

3) The Vikings offense doesn’t have to be perfect to win a Super Bowl

They can punt once in a while and still win. And they win games 23-10, not 35-17.

Editor’s note: This column ran through an editor’s fingers. Notes and opinions for the column are from Phil Mackey.

  • Drediock

    All I have to say is if we get into the playoffs. I dont want any single game including the Superbowl to come down to a last second field goal. Or a last ditch drive with 1 minute left
    I’d like to be able to relax for a change.
    I’m 56 and been a Vikings fan nearly my entire life.Supported em when they were 13-3 and when they were 3-13 along with countless last second disappointments some against my own personal most hated opponents. Im sure there are fans who have been fans longer and endured just as much. I deserve to be able to relax for a championship run. THIS FAN BASE deserves to be able to just relax and enjoy a championship without having to have a large bottle of anti acid sitting at the ready at chair side

    • Cman

      I agree. I am almost 40 and I’ve been a Viking fan since I was 12 living in south Florida. I now live in Green Bay, and I want nothing more than the Vikes, the Wilfs, and coach Zim holding that SB Trophy up high in front of all the fans in their home stadium. If they go to the SB, my wife and I are going. If I have to spend $5000 on endzone tickets, that’s what I’m doing.

    • Gordon Guffey

      Well said Drediock ~ !!!!!

    • carlos

      Haha I agree with u 100% ….but lets be realistic here….how many times have you relax watching the Vikings play….lol….SKOL TO BOWL!

  • Gordon Guffey

    All good points for us homers ~ LOL

    Also in the Bears game they had Collins who is a young OT playing TE for half the game and while Rudolph see the field you could tell he really shouldn’t have been on the field IMHO ~ But he was trying to play through the ankle injury ~ Hopefully he is read for the playoffs ~ With Rudolph doing his best it was clear one of Case’s best targets was missing ~ Hopefully he is healed and ready for the playoffs ~ He doesn’t really need the practice ~ Let him rest ~

  • Gordon Guffey

    Maybe this will help them over the hump ~ Smiley Face 🙂 JK

    Vikings Sign Minnesota Native Brandon Zylstra To Futures Contract
    Posted 5 hours ago
    Vikings PR

    Eden Prairie, MN (January 3, 2018) – The Minnesota Vikings have announced the following roster move:


    Player POS. EXP. COLLEGE

    Brandon Zylstra………….. WR………….. R……… Concordia-Moorhead

    Zylstra (6-2, 215) joins the Vikings, signing a reserve/future free agent contract, after spending 2017 with the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League. He led the CFL with 1,687 receiving yards last season on 100 catches with five touchdowns to earn CFL All-Star honors. The Spicer, Minnesota native attended Concordia-Moorhead College and New London-Spicer High School. He finished his career in Moorhead with 1,932 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns in 29 career games with the Cobbers.

    • Michael Johnson

      What does that have to do with anything? The Vikings don’t need any help at the receiver position.

      • Gordon Guffey

        It was a joke man ~ Just a joke LOL ~ Though they did sign the kid ~

  • Steve Jensen

    Not worried about the offense at all. The Vikings called the game differently against the Packers and Bears because they knew their defense was going to make it difficult for those teams to score any points. Rudolph was limited, Elfelin out, Remmers out if position, new LG. They did what they had to do to make sure they won. Two weeks off is going to do wonders for the offense. They are going to come out firing on all cylinders next Sunday afternoon.

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  • FreedomRider

    This is the first time Keenum has ever had the chance to show he is a capable QB and leader on a decent team.
    For his first year in a new system with a questionable O-line he has done fairly well in helping get the Vikes to where they are. I’m an UH alumni and I’m pretty darned proud of my boy Case.
    Keenum may not be the franchise QB everyone is looking for but he will never stop trying to do the best he can and if the Vikes don’t want him next year there will be several teams that do.

  • Finchy74

    I will add a 4th item to this list because I’m a film nerd that watches the all 22 after every game.

    -Shurmur has significantly simplified the offense after the Carolina game. Against the Bengals, Packers and Bears, he showed far fewer looks and far fewer substitution packages and formations than what we’re used to seeing.

    Shurmur has used unique formations and personnel packages all season long (up until three weeks ago) to create difficult matchups for opposing defenses. Why the change now?

    I would posit that he’s keeping his cards close to the vest for the playoffs. 10 days from now, I would expect to see a far more varied and explosive Vikings offense return. Needless to say, I’m not concerned about the Vikings offense.

    What I AM concerned about is the self-described “film geek” on 1500’s staff has made no mention of this fact (that I’m aware of) on either the radio or on the podcast.

    • SM

      Totally agreed, don’t show anything to Rams and Aints. Make them go back and look through a lot of film.

  • SM

    Funny how mother ship ESPN insiders are predicting Aints in the Super Bowl after beating Vikes. They claim the edge is due to superior QB…
    Bring it on!

  • Andre Esters

    All solid points, Mackey… unfortunately, like every sports buddy that goes by the name Paul or Judd that tunes in for a Vikings game, seeing a team falter in any way — even in the slightest — it becomes a great “the sky is falling” talking point. Negativity feeds this madness… just like “hope” feeds the madness that keeps me and many others coming back every season cheering for the Purple People.
    I’m enjoying this epic ride beyond measure, and nothing has me feeling skittish or doubtful as we enter the playoffs. If the team falls completely flat on offense or defense, that’s gonna be rough. But at least they’ve made it to the dance… the wrecking crew doesn’t need to be pretty or flawless… they just need to finish!

  • O-Whizz

    I’m on board with Phill. This offense helps the defense even when they don’t score they don’t give it away and are usually punting from the 50 not their 10

  • Justin Fuchs

    The 2015 Denver Broncos weren’t perfect either. A shotty offense carried by a dominant defense. The Vikings are mirroring that.


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