Run Blocking A Foundation To Build Improvement For Offensive Line

Posted Feb 4, 2014

Over the last two weeks we’ve taken a position-by-position look at the performance and production of the Vikings roster in 2013.

PHOTOS: "Best Of' Offensive Line & Tight Ends From 2013 >>


The Vikings entered the 2013 season with the same five starters along its offensive line as the season prior, an advantage valued by that position group more than any other because of how much linemen rely on cohesion and teamwork to do their jobs.

After paving the way for Adrian Peterson’s 2,000-yard, MVP season in 2012, the Vikings offensive line was once again effective in run blocking in 2013. The Vikings ranked second in yards per carry (4.9), second in yards per carry on first down (5.2) and eight in yards per game (130.1). Aside from a healthy average on a per-carry basis, the offensive line was also one of the League’s best at big plays, ranking fifth in runs of 10 yards (59), tied for fourth in runs of 20 yards (16) and tied for first in runs of 50 yards (four).

When push came to shove and the Vikings needed to pick up yardage on the ground, they were best-served running to the right behind guard Brandon Fusco and tackle Phil Loadholt. When running that direction, the Vikings averaged 5.8 yards per carry. The news gets even better, as Loadholt was just signed to a big contract extension during the 2013 offseason and Fusco is a young player who has improved every season and figures to be a piece to the puzzle moving forward.

Direction YPC
Right 5.77
Middle 4.45
Left 4.23

As a whole, the Vikings offense ranked 14th in points per game with an average of 22.7, an increase of 1.2 points per game from last year and also more than playoff teams Carolina and Kansas City and within 10 points per game of playoff teams Indianapolis and San Francisco. If the offensive line can maintain its push in the run game and improve its pass protection in 2014, another step forward for the entire offense can be expected over the next year.

On the Roster
Jeff Baca: 4 games played (0 starts)
Joe Berger: 16 games played (2 starts)
Brandon Fusco: 15 games played (15 starts)
Charlie Johnson: 15 games played (15 starts)
Matt Kalil: 16 games played (16 starts)
Phil Loadholt: 15 games played (15 starts)
Kevin Murphy: Practice Squad
Mike Remmers: Inactive
John Sullivan: 16 games played (16 starts)
J'Marcus Webb: 8 games played (1 start)

Season In Review Articles
Special Teams >>
Running Backs >>
Defensive Line >>
Tight Ends >>
Defensive Backs >>
Quarterbacks >>
Wide Receivers >>
Cornerbacks >>
Linebackers >>