Vikings’ New RB1 Lays Out the Issue in Brief Social Media Clip

Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones (33) celebrates after defeating the Chicago Bears during their football game Sunday, January 7, 2024, in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

True, the quarterback position presents some uncertainty, but the skill certainly doesn’t.

The Vikings’ new RB1 laid out the problem in a brief clip that was shared by Minnesota’s official social media. “I’ve played with a number one receiver,” Aaron Jones explains, “and now being here with a number one receiver. And then two number ones if you ask me, three number ones, sorry let’s keep going. Throw T.J. [Hockenson] in there.”

The Vikings’ New RB1 and Minnesota’s Pass Catchers

Anyone can see that the skill is going to be a strength for Minnesota. Jones is merely confirming that reality.

“It’s just like, who are you going to guard?” Jones rhetorically asks. He goes on to describe how doubling a specific player leads to a distinct downside of “three more guys out there, four more guys” who can help put Minnesota in good “matchups.”

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers
Oct 29, 2023; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Akayleb Evans (21) tackles Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones (33) during their football game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Wm. Glasheen-USA TODAY Sports

Football, as so many have pointed out, is a matchup game. Take out a team’s best option and there’s a good chance the team will struggle to win. Do the Vikings have enough skill to overcome that common pitfall?

When Kevin O’Connell and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah first took over, the team was super reliant on Justin Jefferson. True, there was still Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen, and K.J. Osborn, but that wasn’t a cluster of talent that inspired a ton of fear in the opposition.

Part of the response was to go get T.J. Hockenson before the trade deadline during the 2022 season. All of the sudden, the WR1 had a TE1 to help take the heat off. Minnesota’s offense became more unpredictable and harder to slow down.

Journey down the road a little further and Thielen was replaced with Jordan Addison, who is the second “number one” that Jones is referring to in his answer. The Jefferson and Addison duo is a lot to handle since both are incredibly difficult to hang with in coverage.

Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end T.J. Hockenson (87) reacts after a play against the New York Giants during the second quarter of a wild card game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Bringing it all together can be Aaron Jones, the Vikings’ new RB1. If/when a team overloads the secondary in an effort to tame the aerial attack, Jones’ task will be to pick up huge yards on the ground. Doing so will put rival defenses in the unenviable position of needing to pick their poison.

Minnesota will merely be hoping for solid quarterback play. If the passer is at least pretty good, then there’s a good chance the Vikings will have an offense that can score quite a bit.

Aaron Jones, 29, is coming off of a season where he turned 142 carries into 656 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Editor’s Note: Information from Pro Football Reference helped with this piece.

K. Joudry is the Senior Editor for Vikings Territory and PurplePTSD. He has been covering the Vikings full time since the summer of 2021. He can be found on Twitter and as a co-host for Notes from the North, a humble Vikings podcast.