The Vikings Need to Add This Weapon to Their Backfield

Indianapolis Colts running back Zack Moss (21) dunks the ball over the goal post after scoring a touchdown Sunday, Oct. 8, 2023, during a game against the Tennessee Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

The Minnesota Vikings have always been known for their strong running game, but in 2023 it was a different story.

Alexander Mattison struggled to find a rhythm, and second-year runner Ty Chandler only got a chance towards the end of the season. The addition of running back Zack Moss could take the running game to the next level. With his combination of power, agility, and versatility, Moss has the potential to be a dynamic playmaker in the Vikings’ offense.

Moss is a powerful and physical running back who excels at breaking tackles and gaining tough yards. The former Utah Ute forced 36 missed tackles and averaged 2.79 yards after contact per attempt, according to PFF.

His compact build and low center of gravity make him difficult to bring down, allowing him to consistently pick up yards after contact. Moss’s ability to run through defenders and move the chains would provide a valuable asset to the Vikings’ offense, especially in short-yardage situations and in the red zone.

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Gardner Minshew II (10) hands the ball off to Indianapolis Colts running back Zack Moss (21) on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023, during a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

One of the key strengths of the running back is his versatility as a runner and receiver. He has shown the ability to be effective in both traditional rushing plays and as a receiver out of the backfield. Moss has soft hands and good route-running skills, making him a reliable target for short passes and screens. Moss caught 27 passes out of the backfield while adding two touchdowns, per Pro Football Reference. His versatility would give the Vikings’ offense more options and create mismatches for opposing defenses.

Ty Chandler, the Vikings’ second-year running back, has shown flashes of potential. However, he is still somewhat inexperienced and struggles in pass protection. Signing Moss would provide the Vikings with a capable backup and a player who can step in and contribute immediately if Chandler were to struggle in any certain aspect of the game. Moss’ running style and skill set complement Chandler’s, ensuring that the ground game remains strong even without Chandler in the game.

The Vikings Need to Add This Weapon
Dec 16, 2023; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Zack Moss (21) slides into the end zone for a touchdown while being chased by Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Elandon Roberts (50) and Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Mykal Walker (38) during a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Scheer-USA TODAY Sports

At 26 years old, Moss has plenty of good football ahead of him. He has already shown flashes of his potential and had a fantastic season in 2023 with the Colts, displaying his ability to make explosive plays and contribute to the offense.

The fourth-year running back rushed for 794 yards and added five touchdowns on the ground. By signing Moss, the Vikings would secure a talented running back with room to grow and develop further. His experience and potential make him a valuable long-term investment for the team.

Vikings Could Sign Moss Relatively Cheap

Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle BJ Hill (92) dives to bring down Indianapolis Colts running back Zack Moss (21) on Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023, during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati.

Signing Moss would be a cost-effective solution for Minnesota’s running back position. According to Spotrac, his market value is set at only $4.6M per year. Moss’ contract would likely be more affordable compared to other free agent options. This would allow the Vikings to allocate their resources to other positions of need while still adding a talented and promising player to their roster.

Moss has the potential to be a valuable addition to Minnesota’s ground game. With his power, versatility, and complementary skill set to Ty Chandler, Moss could provide a significant boost to the team’s offense.

Additionally, his potential for growth, and cost-effective nature make him an attractive option for Minnesota to consider. By signing Moss, the Vikings would enhance their running game and create a formidable backfield duo that can help propel the team to success in the seasons to come. Kevin O’Connell needs to find success in the run game, so the passing game, and offense in general can reach its fullest potential.

Editor’s Note: Statistics for this article were found via Pro Football Focus, Pro Football Reference, and Spotrac.