Vikes Look to Win Up Front

The Vikings are looking to turn things around this year with an offensive line that is as solid as any the Vikings have had since 1998.

There are a lot of NFL coaches, especially ones the size of Mike Tice, that live by the mantra that games are won and lost in the trenches. As it pertained to offense, however, Denny Green had a lot of success with an undersized crop.

When Green was patrolling the sidelines, he was one of the biggest guys on the offense. Players like Jeff Christy, Randall McDaniel and Todd Steussie were viewed as undersized for their positions. Those days are gone.

A comparative look shows that, with the additions of Bryant McKinnie and Mike Rosenthal, the Vikings have the biggest offensive line in the NFL, with the five starters combining to tip the scales at 1,646 pounds.

Winning in the trenches depends on continuity and cohesion. Last year, the Vikings led the NFL in rushing despite having an offensive line that was shuffled with players injured, holding out and playing out of position. That isn't the case anymore and, if anything, this year's offensive line should only be better at opening holes for the running game and protecting Daunte Culpepper in the passing game.

If the mantra about games being won in the trenches is true, the Vikings have set themselves up for success by building the foundation blocks where it counts.

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