The Vikings offensive line has been more like a M*A*S*H unit as of late, as the team has lost three, count it THREE tackles – Matt Kalil, Andre Smith and Jake Long and they overall have had to start 10 different linemen in order to try to protect Sam Bradford on top of trying to open holes in the run game.
Bottom line – it’s not been easy, not as easy as this Australian gaming page anyway.
Nevertheless, first-year offensive line assistant Tony Sparano says that he’s trying to do whatever he can to make the unit come together, and even try to make them as good as they can be as the team sits at 5-4, tied with the Lions for first in the NFC North and getting set for a game Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.
“I see it as a challenge and I love a challenge,” Sparano said Thursday via NFL.Com.
“Whatever the chess pieces are when we go out there, we have to figure out a way to play to the best of our ability to give ourselves a chance to win football games. That part of it I enjoy.”
While the line has had their struggles, losing leading rusher Adrian Peterson, a guy who can make holes where there are none, has made it even harder this season for the line.
The Vikings are dead last in the league, 32 of 32 at rushing the football, putting up just 69.8 yards per game. It doesn’t matter how good your defense is, (and even that’s been suspect as of late), you are not going to win many games rushing for that low a number.
Consider that Dallas, who by no surprise at this number are 8-1, lead the NFL with 161 rushing yards per game, a number the Vikings run game can only dream about at this point.
“I’m not sleeping a lot lately these days,” Sparano said. “It’s something, obviously, I haven’t been a part of, these scenarios where you go 10-12 linemen deep. There’s been a lot of moving parts and a lot of change.”
Sunday won’t be easy by any means for the Vikings or the run game, as the Cardinals come in with the NFL’s second-best defense and a couple of big name pass-rushers in Chandler Jones and Markus Golden.
If the Vikings offensive line can’t get it together, it could be another long day for a team that hasn’t won a game since week five.