In the ever evolving landscape of the NFL, the Minnesota Vikings have been on a mission to bolster their roster and return to contending status. One player who could potentially play a pivotal role in their resurgence is running back Cam Akers.
Acquiring Akers could be the spark that the Vikings need to elevate their offense past the many minor-errors-turned-major-problems and make a run to fight for a playoff spot.
Akers, the former Los Angeles Rams running back, is known for his dynamic and explosive play style. His combination of speed, power, and agility makes him a multifaceted threat on the field. Akers also has the ability to break easy arm tackles, burst through holes, and catch passes out of the backfield, all of which align perfectly for what the Vikings need.
So far, the departure of Dalvin Cook has (at least up until the Chargers game) set the Vikings rushing attack notably back. Alexander Mattison has been less than ideal in the early start of the season, showing that he is clearly not a three down back.
Ty Chandler had a nice week against the Los Angeles Chargers racking up 27 yards on only 3 carries. Chandler hadn’t flashed his ability until last week, where he only saw that ball 3 times. Not sure if KOC trusts Chandler to be a lead back, but he certainly earned a closer look and another solid shot to get more opportunities.
Akers, given a solid debut showing, could easily slot into the three down back role and Mattison/Chandler can come in in relief. If the ship has indeed sailed for Mattison, not a ‘ton’ of money would be going with it... Mattison is just the 22nd highest paid RB in the league.
Akers has the ability to be versatile, so the duo of Akers and Mattison could prove to be a formidable one-two punch.
One of the Vikings primary goals year in and year out is to bolster their offensive firepower. Akers can stretch the field with his speed and create mismatches against linebackers in the passing game. This would not only open up more options for QB Kirk Cousins but also alleviate pressure on the wide receivers.
Furthermore, having Akers as a threat out of the backfield would make the Vikings already stout play action passing game that much more effective.
Defenses will have to (actually) start respecting the rushing aspect of this Vikings offense which in turn will create opportunities for the best receiving core in the league to do what they do best. Kevin O’Connell is going to be able to get more creative in his play calling duties with Akers providing his versatile play style.
Akers’ ability to find the end zone could be a game changer for the Vikings, especially in the red zone. His knack for breaking tackles and fighting for extra yards would be invaluable in short yardage situations. The Vikings have often struggled, especially before last week, to punch it in from close range, and Akers could be the answer to this problem.
Additionally, his skills as a pass catcher make him a viable target in the passing game near the goal line. Defenses are going to be forced to account for him, opening up opportunities for guys like Jefferson, Addison, Hockenson, and Osborn.
With Akers in the mix, the Vikings could become a more well rounded team, capable of making a a strong push towards the playoffs. While nothing is guaranteed in the NFL, the prospect of Cam Akers wearing purple and gold is an exciting one for Vikings fans and worrisome for their opponents.
What role do you want to see Akers play?