Vikings bring revamped offense to Detroit

Mike Zimmer liked what he saw of the Minnesota Vikings’ offense under new offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski. The head coach wants to see the same approach and results game after game.John DeFilippo was fired after the Vikings’ Dec. 10 loss at Seattle, as Zimmer wanted a heavier emphasis on the running game. On Sunday against the Miami Dolphins, Minnesota called 40 running plays, compared to 21 passes, and averaged 5.5 yards per carry in a 41-17 victory.Dalvin Cook ran for 136 yards and two touchdowns while Latavius Murray added 68 rushing yards and a touchdown. The Vikings (7-6-1) will try to strengthen their grip on a wild-card spot with their renewed ground game when they visit the Detroit Lions (5-9) on Sunday.Zimmer emphasized the positives of the new offensive philosophy during film review on Monday.”I thought it was important that they come in and see the tape to see what they’re capable of doing,” he said. “They had a good feeling of where they’re at and hopefully where we’ll go, but we’re going to have to go out and do it again. Detroit will be harder to run against than Miami was.”Cook’s rookie season in 2017 was cut short by a knee injury. He has only played nine games this season due to a hamstring strain. Last week, Cook’s 19 carries and yardage total were season highs.”When Dalvin gets it with open space, sometimes without even open space, he makes a lot of players miss,” Zimmer said. “He’s got great feet, great acceleration, catches the ball well and really his vision is outstanding, so it’s all of those things. There was a couple of other runs there where I thought he was going to bust, he was really close. So, we want to try to get him the ball a lot.”Cook gained 89 yards on 10 carries during the first meeting between the teams in Minnesota, a 24-9 Vikings victory on Nov. 4. The bigger story that game was Minnesota’s pass rush, as the Vikings sacked Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford 10 times.