Minnesota Vikings: 3 Reasons Kyle Rudolph Is the Offensive X-Factor

Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

Playoff Teams Rely on a Tight End

Look no further than last year’s Super Bowl matchup to see why having a strong tight end is so important. Both the Eagles and Patriots utilize the tight end position as a guaranteed mismatch. It helps, of course, to have Zach Ertz and Rob Gronkowski as your tight ends, but the point stands.

Having a reliable option in the passing game at tight end can make it difficult for defenses to game plan. It requires either a premier safety or premier linebacker to handle these assignments. Often times, they can’t even perform the difficult assignment.

When looking at least year’s playoff teams, seven of the 12 playoff teams had a tight end who finished in the top 15 in catches at the position. Another, Carolina, has a premier tight end (Greg Olson) who was unfortunately injured last year. Two-thirds of the playoff teams have a top-level tight end.

That’s not just a coincidence. In both the Eagles and Patriots case, Ertz and Gronkowski lead their entire team in catches.

Fortunately for Minnesota, they do have a top-end tight end in Kyle Rudolph. Furthermore, the Vikings went out and got a quarterback that will deliver the ball consistently to this burgeoning star.

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