Vikings averaging NFL-worst 63 rushing yards as Cousins, Thielen connect through air

The Minnesota Vikings are averaging an NFL-worst 63 rushing yards per game through the first four games of the season. Monday morning, following the team’s 38-31 Thursday night loss to the Los Angeles Rams, Vikings running backs Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray offered their opinions on the rushing attack.

“There’s nothing wrong with the guys we got,” Cook said. “There’s nothing wrong with nobody up there. We’ve just got to take advantage of it, but you just got to keep getting better every week. It’s going to come. It’s a long season. It’s only Week 4. You just got to keep working, keep chipping away at it. It’s going to be there.”

Murray called the Vikings run game “non-existent.” 

“It’s just what it is,” Murray said. “Just got to figure it out. We’ve got to be better.”

But Murray also looked at Kirk Cousins and the Vikings passing attack as a reason for the low rushing attempts and totals.

“When we do get the touches, just be more efficient. We’ve got to eliminate the negative runs and that will give us more opportunities and I think Flip will call some more opportunities. But I think another part of it is we’re an aggressive offense and so we move the ball down the field and obviously it’s easy to do that when you’re putting it in the air. But I definitely think we’re going to need the running game to complement.”

Last season, Cook had 74 carries for 354 yards and two touchdowns through the team’s first four games of the season. Cook tore his ACL in that fourth game, ending his rookie season. This season, Cook has seen half as many opportunities on the ground, with 36 carries for 90 yards.

On the other hand, the Vikings passing offense is in the top tier of the league, with Kirk Cousins throwing for 1,387 yards, good for third in the league. Wide receiver Adam Thielen ranks second in the NFL in receptions (40) and receiving yards (473) through four games.