Vikings Snap Counts: Penalties spoil Mattison's big day
Alexander Mattison's role in the Minnesota Vikings' offense has stabilized a bit eight games into the season.
The rookie running back is typically allotted 25-30% of the snaps, with fewer carries in competitive games and a few more when the script allows.
He handled a fairly typical workload Thursday against the Washington Redskins, playing 26% of the snaps, down from 29% against the Detroit Lions in Week 7 and 30% against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 6.
He got a little extra run Thursday on the Vikings' final drive, logging nine of his 13 total carries as Minnesota ground out a 19-9 win.
And while Mattison is facing an uphill battle running behind Dalvin Cook, the NFL's rushing leader with 823 yards, his performance on that final drive should give the coaching staff confidence in his ability so spell their lead back.
Mattison was responsible for some of the Vikings' longest gains Thursday, including an improbable first down run late in the fourth quarter.
The rookie picked up 28 yards on third-and-19 a few minutes after having multiple gains of 10-plus yards wiped out by penalties, all on the same drive.
Mattison had a 19-yard scamper called back on a holding penalty, then gained 11 yards on the ensuing first-and-20, only to have that run negated by an illegal formation.
He finished with 13 carries for 61 yards but had three runs of 10-plus yards -- 40 yards total -- taken off the board by penalties, negating what could have been Mattison's first 100-yard game.
In all, the Vikings were slapped with four penalties with Mattison on the field -- Minnesota was flagged for an illegal shift in the first quarter after he picked up two yards, but Washington declined -- and seven total penalties.
Other notes from Thursday's snap counts:
-- Olabisi Johnson, who started in place of the injured Adam Thielen, was on the field for a career-high 74% of the offense's snaps. He had two catches on two targets for 27 yards.
-- Xavier Rhodes, who cleared the concussion protocol in the third quarter and returned to the field, played 70% of the defense's snaps, his lowest share of the season.
-- Washington's offense ran just 43 plays, the Vikings defense's lightest workload of the season by far. The Lions, by comparison, ran 76 plays in Week 7. The Oakland Raiders managed 59, and were previously the only team to run fewer than 60 plays against the Vikings this season.
-- Harrison Smith, Anthony Harris, Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks were on the field for all 43 plays, the third time that group has played 100% of the snaps this season.