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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Kyle Rudolph: Vikings must be able to produce in ‘different ways’ on offense

By Derek Wetmore

Adrian Peterson has been the main course for the Vikings offense this season.

And given the current state of the offense, he’s also been responsible for setting the table, making dinner and clearing the dishes afterward.

Minnesota scored zero points on offense at home against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, and that’s not much of an anomaly. The Vikings (8-4) clearly are getting by on the strength of their defense, and any punch they’re getting from Norv Turner’s offense is generally coming from Peterson.

The Vikings rank 28th in the NFL in points per game, at 19.8. By comparison, the Rams fired their offensive coordinator on Monday and are scoring 15.8 points per game. The Vikings ranked second to last in the league in passing yards per game (179.1). The only team worse is St. Louis (178).

The Vikings and Rams are tied for the fewest passing touchdowns in the NFL, with eight touchdowns through 12 games.

In short, the Vikings have similar passing numbers to an offense that is now looking for a new full-time point person.

So when teams are able to take Peterson out of the picture, like the Seahawks did on Sunday, then the Vikings don’t have a counter-punch. That has to change, says tight end Kyle Rudolph.

“For us as an offense, we need to figure out a way to become multi-dimensional, and adjust throughout the course of the game when things aren’t going well in the run game,” Rudolph said. “We need to be able to make plays in the passing game. We’ve put that on tape a couple times now that if you stop Adrian, you’re going to have a good chance of stopping us offensively. That can’t be the case. We have to be able to win games in different ways offensively.”

Rudolph and other tight ends have been asked to slide in and help block this season, as the patchwork offensive line tries to do its part to protect Teddy Bridgewater. But the second-year signal caller has had his own share of struggles behind the line, with just as many interceptions (8) as touchdown passes.

He completed 60 percent of his passes Sunday (17-of-28) and passed for a meager 118 yards and no touchdowns. When the opposing team shut down Peterson – 18 yards on just eight carries against Seattle – Bridgewater did not elevate the team’s weak passing game to counteract that approach.

But Rudolph said Bridgewater shouldn’t be feeling any pressure right now.

“I certainly hope not,” Rudolph said. “Kid has played phenomenal for us over the last two years, he’s shown multiple times that he has what it takes at that position to win games. He’s only going to continue to grow and continue to get better. And if we can keep him upright, he’s shown he can make a lot of big plays for us.”

Those big plays weren’t there Sunday, as the longest offensive play from scrimmage was a short pass to Mike Wallace that the receiver turned into a 25-yard gain.

“I think there’s a lot of different reasons,” for the struggling passing game, Rudolph said. “There’s so much other stuff going on in a play, it just seems right now we have a guy here and a guy there, kind of taking turns — that’s at least what I’ve seen from the tape I watched last night. We have opportunities to throw the ball down the field, we’re just not getting to them.”

They’ll likely need to get that fixed in a hurry. Minnesota plays the Cardinals on Thursday, a team with more passing touchdowns (29) than every team other than Tom Brady’s Patriots. That’s more than 3 ½ times more passing touchdowns than the Vikings have this season.

The post Kyle Rudolph: Vikings must be able to produce in ‘different ways’ on offense appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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