May 21, 2024

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Nick Mullens (12) hands the ball off to Minnesota Vikings running back Ty Chandler (32) in the first quarter of a Week 15 NFL football game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Cincinnati Bengals, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023, at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati.

Alexander Mattison has faced well-documented challenges with efficiency and ball retention throughout the season. These struggles led to him relinquishing carries to Cam Akers initially and, eventually, Ty Chandler, who was highlighted as the most impressive running back in Minnesota even before the season started, according to Last Word on Sports. Chandler, featured prominently due to Mattison’s ankle injury, delivered a standout performance on Saturday, reinforcing the earlier assessment.

Vikings running back Ty Chandler rushes for 132 yards in first NFL start

Chandler exhibited explosive running, exceptional vision, and determination, consistently gaining substantial yardage. Notably, he maintained excellent ball security, a crucial aspect of playing the position, and consistently avoided negative plays. Despite facing challenges in the backfield, Chandler demonstrated resilience, often gaining positive yardage. These small yet impactful plays are essential for Minnesota’s success at the running back position.

The timeline for Mattison’s return from his ankle injury remains uncertain. However, the recent performance suggests that Chandler should continue to receive the majority of backfield touches. The only lingering question is the distribution of carries once Mattison is fully recovered. Saturday’s display underscored Chandler’s ability to excel with a heavy workload. Ideally, coach Kevin O’Connell will continue to feature Chandler while providing occasional relief during series or extended drives. Minnesota seems to have found its solution at running back in Chandler.

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