It's been a weird season on the offensive side of the football for the Minnesota Vikings. Early this year, they were rolling. Posting tons of points, setting records left and right on the offensive side of the ball.
Then it all stalled, culminating in 17 combined points the past two weeks versus the Patriots and Seahawks on the road.
That led to the team making a change by firing offensive coordinator John DeFelippo. Insert quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski as the interim O.C. and the team goes out against a decent Miami Dolphins defense and posts 41 points at home.
So what was the difference?
It wasn't rocket science, it wasn't a complete overhaul of the scheme, according to tight end Kyle Rudolph it was Stefanski's focus on honing in on "the players, not the plays".
"It's players, not plays," Rudy told KFAN after the game. "No matter what's called, the players have to go out and execute. Kevin did a great job putting the players in situations to do what we do best."
That mentality allows the same players, to run the same plays and have a different outcome. It puts the ball in the court of the players and at that point, it's the players that are on the hook for success.
Another thing they did differently was go back to the well again, and again, and again when you find something that works.
"Kevin did a great job of simplifying things for us on offense," Rudolph continued. "We got back to doing a lot of things we did well last year...calling things more than once, coming back to things that work good for us all day."
This is the point that I personally believe led to the split between DeFilippo and Zimmer. Through the quotes in the media, we all heard Zimmer saying "we need to run the ball more." In reality, Zimmer was more likely saying "if the run worked the first time, do it again!"
So that's what it is. Stefanski got the message from the head coach and he went out and employed it in the game plan versus Miami. Low and behold, it led to 41 points!
No question he Minnesota Vikings will look to do much of the same next week on the road against a familiarly disinterested opponent in the Detroit Lions.
You can listen to the full interview with Kyle Rudolph in the player below...