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RB Matt Asiata - Free Agent

6-0, 234Born: 7-24-1987College: UtahDrafted: ---

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Photo: Raj Mehta, US Presswire

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Recent Stats and Projections

17 vs CHI 25 8 14 0 3 3 31 0 0 4.5

Recent Game Summaries

2016 Week 17 vs CHI (8 / 14 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 31 / 0 rec)

Asiata did some solid short-yardage work, as usual, but did more damage with his three receptions. He had a very strong catch and run in the first quarter which ended up as a 17-yard gain. He showed his usual combination of power and surprising athleticism on the play, and throughout the day made defenders pay with hard finishes to his runs and receptions.

2016 Week 16 vs GB (6 / 34 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 30 / 0 rec)

Asiata wasn't on the field a ton, just 25 offensive snaps on the day, as the team leaned more on Jerick McKinnon. Despite limited snaps, Asiata was very effective running the ball, mostly in the red zone where he was able to gash the Packers defense, though he could never punch it into the end zone.

2016 Week 15 vs IND (0 / 0 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 20 / 0 rec)

While Asiata wasn't on the field more that Adrian Peterson (both were on field for a dozen snaps), but he was on the field when, had the game been close, the Vikings might have left Peterson in. Mostly a blocker on the plays he was on the field, Asiata did have one nice 20-yard gain on a swing pass where he ran down the sideline after catching a wide open ball.

2016 Week 14 vs JAX (11 / 37 / 1 rush, 2 / 2 / 14 / 0 rec)

The offensive line showed improvement on pass plays but the same couldn't be said for run-blocking, as they repeatedly put the running backs in bad positions all day. Asiata was marginally more effective than Jerick McKinnon on the ground, but that may have been a result of the more direct "plant your foot and go" running style he employs. Both players need help creating space, but Asiata is more effective when he is required to batter the defense. Even then, Asiata was only occasionally successful. He scored on a 1-yard run, but was repeatedly hammered and stopped for no gain or a loss on short yardage carries.

2016 Week 13 vs DAL (6 / 30 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / -3 / 0 rec)

Asiata was on the field for less than a third of the offensive snaps, and mostly as an additional blocker. He still split carries with Jerick McKinnon, but when the offense runs the ball just 17 times and throws it 45, there's not much opportunity. Asiata also struggled behind one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL, though he broke one nice run for 14 yards. On that play, somebody had the brilliant idea to have a lead blocker (fullback Zach Line), who sealed off the incoming defender and allowed Asiata to get through the hole untouched for a big gain.

2016 Week 12 vs DET (5 / 27 / 1 rush, 3 / 3 / 14 / 0 rec)

Asiata didn't get much in the way of carries, but added three catches to his total touches for the day. The only real impactful one was his five-yard touchdown in the first quarter. On this play the offensive line actually did a nice job blocking, opening up a huge hole for Asiata to run through. Asiata was barely on the field even as a blocker, lining up on just 23 of 59 offensive snaps. The Vikings have decided the way to save Sam Bradford from sacks is with quick passes rather than extra blockers, keeping the backfield off the field for much of the game.

2016 Week 11 vs ARI (5 / 20 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 7 / 0 rec)

Asiata had a grand total of two touches in the first half, but one of them was a touchdown. On the play, Asiata fought for the goal line and was ruled down but the Vikings challenged the call and it was ruled a touchdown. He had a few nice runs in the second half as well, running hard and punishing Cardinals defenders who got in his way. His hard, bruising style seems to work better behind a faltering offensive line than Jerick McKinnon, but he doesn't have much gas after he gets past the line of scrimmage so he won't run away from defenders very often.

2016 Week 10 vs WAS (9 / 13 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 2 / 0 rec)

Asiata saw a lot of short yardage work and punched one in for a score, but he saw very little time on the field. He wasn't even in to block very often.

2016 Week 9 vs DET (9 / 27 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 14 / 0 rec)

While his strength is supposed to be short yardage plays, Asiata couldn't get any traction behind an offensive line which continued to disappoint. Early on it seemed like things could be different as he got outside on a few runs and then lowered his shoulder to deliver the hit for a few more yards, but by the middle of the game he was struggling. The worst moment was on a fourth down when he needed less than a yard and was stuffed at the line of scrimmage, falling short. Asiata did have two nice catches and did well in pass protection, but when the Vikings were desperate for a first down, he couldn't make it happen.

2016 Week 8 vs CHI (14 / 42 / 0 rush, 5 / 2 / 36 / 0 rec)

With Jerick McKinnon out, Asiata got the start but that was the high point for his Monday night. Behind an offensive line filled with turnstiles, Asiata found himself hit at or behind the line on a frequent basis and was absolutely stuffed on his only two red zone carries. He saw several targets, but dropped two passes he should have caught as well. Overall there just wasn't room for Asiata to gain any ground against a surprisingly effective Bears run defense.

2016 Week 5 vs HOU (14 / 55 / 1 rush, 3 / 3 / 46 / 0 rec)

While Matt Asiata carried the ball less than Jerick McKinnon (14 carries compared to McKinnon's 20) and was on the field less (34 offensive snaps compared to 41), he was actually more effective, averaging 3.9 yards per carry compared to McKinnon's paltry 1.8. The offensive line continues to be an issue, but they cleared the lane for him to score a 1-yard touchdown in the first quarter to put the Vikings up 14-0. Asiata caught all three of the passes thrown his way, two for huge gains. The first was a screen pass he caught in the flat, turned upfield and took 23 yards to the Houston 15. The second was in the third quarter and virtually the exact same play as the 23-yard catch and run, flipped to the opposite side. In both cases, the defense was sucked in towards quarterback Sam Bradford and too slow to react, so Asiata was wide open with a huge stretch of grass in front on him. Asiata isn't The Flash, but he has just enough speed to be a problem for the defense and he was able to get 20 yards before they caught him.

2016 Week 4 vs NYG (6 / 6 / 1 rush, 2 / 2 / 12 / 0 rec)

Asiata might occasionally get the starter label, but he's not the main back in this offense. Jerick McKinnon was on the field for 46 out of 74 offensive snaps compared to just 29 for Asiata. He did score the first touchdown of the game, a 1-yard run where he bulled his way through the defensive line into the end zone. Asiata still sees some use as a receiver, but for the most part when he was on the field against the Giants, it was short yardage or he was just a blocker.

2016 Week 3 vs CAR (6 / 15 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 4 / 0 rec)

Asiata got the start but he didn't get most of the work, which might have been to his body's benefit considering the pounding Jerick McKinnon took behind a shoddy offensive line. Without Matt Kalil, and after left guard Alex Boone departed, it was tough to get positive yards and even tougher to get into a rhythm when you touch the ball just seven times. Asiata did have a nice, powerful run in the second half where he gained 8 yards and a first down. It was the rare play where the offensive line managed to open a hole and Asiata took advantage of it. Overall though, Asiata was primarily a blocker, when he was on the field at all.

2016 Week 2 vs GB (6 / 14 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 11 / 0 rec)

Asiata got most of the touches with Adrian Peterson out, but given the lack of runs altogether (Asiata and Jerick McKinnon combined for just eight), it's not much of an indicator as to who might replace Peterson. As with the entire backfield, Asiata struggled behind a poor offensive line and he made little to no headway against the Packers front.

2016 Week 1 vs TEN (4 / 13 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Relegated to a few short yardage attempts, Asiata had very little luck behind the Vikings' shaky offensive line. He was met at or behind the line.


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