Feely: Vikings Spent A Lot Of Money Not To Just Hand The Ball Off

The Vikings have invested a lot of money in their passing game; nevertheless, they rank 31st in the league in passing yards per game

The DA Show
October 04, 2019 - 12:09 pm

The Minnesota Vikings have invested a lot of money in their passing game over the last 18 months. They signed Kirk Cousins to a three-year, $84 million deal; they signed Adam Thielen to a four-year, $64 million extension; and they signed Stefon Diggs to a five-year, $72 million extension.

Nevertheless, Minnesota ranks 31st in the league in passing yards per game, averaging a paltry 169 yards through the air. The Jets, with 131, are the only team averaging fewer.

Why? What’s the issue here?

“Organizationally, Mike Zimmer has decided that we want to run the ball, that we want to be a run-first offense. We’re going to run it more than anybody else in the NFL, and we’re going to hit some shots in play-action,” Jay Feely said on The DA Show. “The problem is they just haven’t been hitting those shots deep down the field. Kirk Cousins admitted that this week. He said there were a couple that he could have hit to Adam Thielen.”

Thielen finished with two catches for six yards in a 16-6 loss to the Bears, as Cousins publicly acknowledged that he missed Thielen and needs to do better.

Some analysts felt Cousins’ apology was weak. Feely did not.

“I think it’s good for quarterbacks to be honest and accountable,” he said. “Even though people criticized him a lot for that and thought he should have shown a lot more strength, when you have a quarterback who says, ‘I didn’t do this’ and ‘I didn’t do that’ – quarterbacks are so protected so often in organizations. Coaches don’t even like to criticize them in front of the team a lot of times because they want that quarterback to be confident. They want that quarterback to know their coach has their back. So when you show accountability and you tell your guys, ‘Hey, I missed you, I should have hit you on that play,’ I think that’s good for everybody.”

Still, Cousins has to be more productive. He has thrown for just 735 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions in four games.

“They have to go out there and make plays,” Feely said. “They have to be able to hit the plays. They spent a lot of money to bring him in there to be the quarterback, not to just hand the ball off. He’s got to go in there and he’s got to execute and he’s got to make plays.”

The Vikings play the Giants (2-2) on the road this Sunday. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. ET.