Vikings Snap Counts: Inconsistent O-line sank Cousins, offense
Once again, the group struggled mightily to keep their quarterback upright and sustain a consistent running game.
Right guard Mike Remmers was the only member of the O-line to miss fewer than 150 snaps — that’s 2-3 games worth, depending on the week — playing 99.71 percent of the time.
One of the group’s few bright spots, rookie right tackle Brian O’Neill (76.12 percent) started 11 games.
Cousins was sacked 40 times this season, tied for 10th in the league, while the Vikings allowed 95 quarterback hits, good enough for 15th.
But while the passing game suffered, the running game was often nonexistent.
The Vikings averaged just 93.3 rushing yards per game, and were particularly ineffective on the left side, logging 20 running plays to that side for negative yards, third in the league.
It’s tough to shift much of the blame onto the running backs.
Other notes from this season’s snap counts:
— Fullback C.J. Ham (13.23 percent) was the only other runner to log significant playing time. Rookies Mike Boone (3.43 percent) and Roc Thomas (2.76 percent), as well as midseason pickup Ameer Abdullah (0.57 percent) played sparingly.
— Adam Thielen (96.19 percent) was the only Vikings pass-catcher to play at least 1,000 snaps.
— Third-year receiver Laquon Treadwell (51.67 percent), who was expected to have an increased role this season, saw his share of the snaps rise just 9.74 percent.
— Veteran Aldrick Robinson (23.98 percent), brought in after Week 2, outpaced several of the Vikings’ younger receivers.
— Safety Harrison Smith (98.56 percent) led the defense in snaps for the third straight season.
— Defensive end Danielle Hunter (84.41 percent) saw his share of the snaps increase 7.11 percent, and earned his first Pro Bowl nod.
— Cornerback Mackensie Alexander‘s (54.38 percent) playing time jumped 20.52 percent over last season with starters Xavier Rhodes (74.11 percent) and Trae Waynes (66.6 percent) missing significant time.
— Undrafted rookie Holton Hill (36 percent) also got a long look at cornerback.