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Pick 6 Extra: Ramping Up The Running Game

The Monday Morning Mailbag and the Pick 6 appear every week on to answer fan questions. But even with those two pieces of content, there are still many more great questions from Vikings fans that deserve attention. Enter: Pick 6 Extra.

With Adrian Peterson rushing for only 60 yards against the Chiefs, what do we have to improve in the running game? -- Nass Kada

The Chiefs certainly geared up to slow down the Vikings running game, using run blitzes early and often. During his post-game press conference on Sunday, head coach Mike Zimmer cited run blocking as an area that needs improvement. But another thing that could loosen things up for the running game is for the passing game to keep elevating and make teams pay for overcompensating against the run. If teams are going to crowd the box and use run blitzes, then Vikings pass catchers must win their one-on-one matchups and Teddy Bridgewater must deliver the ball on time and on target. As it is with most things in football, improving the running game is a total team effort on offense that requires all 11 players on the field to do their part.

How is it we score 20 points on the road against the League's best defense (Denver) and the next week only 16 at home against a much weaker defense? Did the Chiefs get a copy of Minnesota's offensive game plan? -- Curt Fahsholz

A reasonable explanation for that actually has nothing to do with the Vikings and has more to do with the Chiefs defense. I give them a lot of credit for how they performed. I know their statistics don't bear it out, but Kansas City has a formidable front with depth at every position along the defensive line and they also have some quality players in the back end. Their cast of DTs were particularly impressive on Sunday, with Jaye Howard leading the way. The best way to win is to play complementary football, and that's what the Vikings did Sunday. On a day in which the team only scored 16 points, the defense and special teams chipped in but only allowing 10.

Do you think Stefon Diggs is going to be one of our key guys? -- Kossi Kagni

It looks to me that he already is. In two games, Diggs has 13 catches for 216 yards. I don't want to put the cart before the horse and I know we've seen a limited sample size, but in two games Diggs has reinforced what we saw from him during the offseason program, training camp and the preseason. He consistently made plays back in those times and he's making plays now in games. I anticipate he'll be a contributor for the rest of the season, barring injury.

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