The Vikings put together arguably their best performance of the season in Week 6, excelling on offense and making some clutch stops on defense in a 38-20 victory over the Eagles.
Here are the non-special teams snap counts for every position group, followed by analysis of each.
- Kirk Cousins: 71/71 (100%)
This is pretty much the only position that requires virtually no explanation. Cousins will play every single offensive snap for the Vikings, with the only possible exceptions being an extreme blowout or injury. Sean Mannion has only taken two snaps this season, both at the end of the Raiders game.
- Dalvin Cook: 45/71 (63%)
- Alexander Mattison: 21/71 (30%)
- Ameer Abdullah: 6/71 (8%)
Cook's offensive snap percentage by week: 68, 72, 60, 79, 66, 63. It's clear that the Vikings want that number in the 60s to maximize Cook's freshness and allow plenty of looks for Mattison. The two games where it crept above 70 were the two NFC North losses; it's understandable that he would stay on the field more often when the Vikings are trailing.
If they can get the lead, like they have in the other four games, they will give Mattison plenty of opportunities. Mattison saw career highs in carries (14) and yards (63) against the Eagles and is now second among all rookies in rushing, but he has just one reception this season. Abdullah is the third-string back but has a bigger role on special teams, along with fourth-stringer Mike Boone. Both played 18 special teams snaps and Boone had a big tackle as a punt gunner.
CJ Ham: 34 of 71 (48%)
Ham played a season-high 48 percent of snaps against the Eagles, raising his season total to 36 percent. He's been as low as 15 percent (Bears game). He, unsurprisingly, plays more when the Vikings have the lead.
- Adam Thielen: 59/71 (83%)
- Stefon Diggs: 45/71 (63%)
- Olabisi Johnson 20/71 (28%)
- Laquon Treadwell 7/71 (10%)
Thielen has played more snaps than Diggs in every game this season, as he is generally the lone receiver in jumbo sets with an FB and two TEs. It also makes sense to give Diggs more breaks, as he runs more go routes and generally deeper routes than Thielen. Diggs' average depth of target is 16.5 yards, compared to 12 yards for Thielen. Johnson has clearly established himself as the WR3 and there's no reason to believe that's in danger of changing anytime soon.
- Kyle Rudolph: 68/71 (96%)
- Irv Smith Jr: 39/71 (55%)
- Tyler Conklin 11/71: (15%)
These percentages are pretty much on line with what they've been all season. Rudolph has only dipped below 90 percent twice in six games, as he remains incredibly valuable as a blocker despite not being used much in the passing game at this point. However, he did double his season total with 36 receiving yards against the Eagles. He has mostly been used on screens, with 67 of his 72 yards coming after the catch. Smith finally got involved again after his big game in Week 3, catching a 29-yard pass.
- Pat Elflein: 71/71 (100%)
- Garrett Bradbury: 71/71 (100%)
- Brian O'Neill: 71/71 (100%)
- Dakota Dozier: 71/71 (100%)
- Rashod Hill: 51/71 (72%)
- Riley Reiff: 20/71 (28%)
Hill filled in admirably when Reiff was injured, allowing zero pressures in his 51 snaps at right tackle. O'Neill continued to play incredibly well, and Bradbury had a second straight strong game. The guards were shaky, allowing three pressures each. The Vikings will hope to get Josh Kline back on Sunday against the Lions.
- Everson Griffen: 54/65 (83%)
- Danielle Hunter: 50/65 (77%)
- Linval Joseph: 38/65 (58%)
- Shamar Stephen: 32/65 (49%)
- Jaleel Johnson: 24/65 (37%)
- Stephen Weatherly: 22/65 (34%)
- Ifeadi Odenigbo: 20/65 (31%)
- Hercules Mata'afa: 20/65 (31%)
The Vikings continue to rotate in eight players on the defensive line. Hunter recorded his sixth sack in as many games, breaking the all-time record for sacks (46) before turning 25 years old. Griffen also continued his outstanding year and notably slid inside to the A-gap a couple times. Johnson, Odenigbo and Mata'afa all played more than their season averages.
- Eric Kendricks: 62/65 (95%)
- Anthony Barr: 61/65 (94%)
- Eric Wilson: 8/65 (12%)
- Cameron Smith: 3/65 (5%)
The Vikings continue to play primarily with two linebackers and five defensive backs.
Wilson played 48 percent of the snaps against the Packers in Week 2, but the third LB role usually sees around 20-30 percent of the snaps.
Kendricks had an incredible all-around game with 10 tackles, 0.5 sacks, a TFL, and 2 passes defended. Barr was solid as well, with 10 tackles of his own. With Ben Gedeon and Kentrell Brothers inactive, Smith (fifth-round rookie from USC) was called up from the practice squad last week and saw his first NFL regular season action.
- Anthony Harris: 64/65 (98%)
- Harrison Smith: 62/65 (95%)
- Trae Waynes: 54/65 (83%)
- Xavier Rhodes: 52/65 (80%)
- Mackensie Alexander: 34/65 (52%)
- Mike Hughes: 26/65 (40%)
- Jayron Kearse: 25/65 (38%)
- Marcus Epps: 3/65 (5%)
- Marcus Sherels: 1/65 (2%)
With respect to the defensive line and offensive skill positions, this is probably the most deep and talented position group on the roster. With Hughes and Alexander fully healthy, it's almost an embarrassment of riches for Mike Zimmer and George Edwards. Alexander had the best PFF grade of any Vikings defender, partially thanks to his 0.5 sacks and interception. Hughes can play both at nickel and rotate in for Waynes or Rhodes on the outside. Kearse has had an excellent season and offers linebacker-like size as the third safety. Not much needs to be said about Smith and Harris, who are two of the better safeties in the NFL.