4 changes Vikings must make before the season goes off the rails

Minnesota still has plenty of hope, but they have to get serious from here on out.

Minnesota Vikings, Joshua Dobbs
Minnesota Vikings, Joshua Dobbs / Todd Rosenberg/GettyImages
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2. Re-commit to Alexander Mattison and the run game

Looking back at the recent game against the Bears, it was puzzling to watch the Vikings remain so afraid to run the football in such a close game. It was especially puzzling because of the fact that Alexander Mattison actually looked good -- and that came against one of the league's top run defenses in Chicago.

Mattison only received 10 carries but averaged a healthy 5.2 yards per tote against the Bears. And, in the previous week against an improved Broncos defense, he ran it 18 times for 81 yards; a 4.5 average. It is encouraging to see him start running better as the season has gone on, especially after starting so slow. If he's starting to get hot, give him the rock.

With the return of Justin Jefferson, it is imperative that the Vikings re-commit to Mattison and the run game in order to keep defenses honest. Not that Jefferson needs any pressure removed from him, but opening things up even further is never a bad thing. Get Mattison 14-18 carries per game and make sure those carries are spread out through the game, keeping a healthy dose of the ground game going.