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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Frazier shoulders blame for Bears' game-winning drive


EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Much talk has been made of the Minnesota Vikings pointing fingers after the 31-30 loss at the Chicago Bears on Sunday, but coach Leslie Frazier said most of the blame falls on him, outside of some poor executions.

After the Vikings defense allowed just 76 yards on four Bears’ series in the second half, quarterback Jay Cutler marched down the field with relative ease in the 10-play, 66-yard drive that culminated in a 16-yard touchdown pass to tight end Martellus Bennett.

“We’re talking about a sequence that was a very important sequence during the course of the game,” Frazier said. “You can’t take away all the good things our defensive did yesterday. There are just some things from my standpoint that I have to manage better. That’s all.”

At second look, there seemed to be multiple plays where communication broke down and defenders seemed to be playing different calls, sometimes covering the same areas.

Frazier mentioned one play in particular, where Bennett came free on a low crossing route on a 1st-and-20 to gain 23 yards after linebacker Erin Henderson bumped him in coverage and let him slide to the empty sideline.

“We had a couple opportunities to maybe make some plays. The one I’m thinking about more is when they had the holding penalty on Jared [Allen] and they ended up coming up with a big completion that gained quite a few yards and put them in closer scoring range,” Frazier said. “There were some things we could have done differently, that I could have done differently, in that situation in helping to prepare our coaches and players in that situation.”

Frazier denied that he would’ve changed the defensive play calling, but was still vague when asked what he specifically would’ve done.

“When [the game-winning touchdown] occurred, I knew from being in those situations before kind of what’s unfolding and you anticipate it,” Frazier said. “Sometimes you can get it to the players through the headsets ahead of time or right before the play begins.”

“I could have handled that one a little different, better.”

However, Frazier still chocked up the final touchdown to poor execution, not defensive coordinator Alan Williams’ play calling.

“It was a call we made in the first half when we were on the goal line,” Frazier. “We called it back to back, when they tried those fade balls. We just didn’t execute it as well and it cost us. That’s something we worked on, something we executed well in the first half, but we didn’t get it executed there.”


On that play, cornerback Chris Cook found himself alone with two receivers on his side of the ball. Cook clearly called for help to safety Harrison Smith, who seemed to fall into a cover 1 as safety Jamarca Sanford didn’t get any deeper than the first-down marker on the final play.

After the game, Williams said the call was a “2-deep shell” for his safeties, meaning Sanford should’ve had one half of the endzone with Smith coming over to help Cook on the other half.

Instead, Sanford along with linebackers Erin Henderson and Chad Greenway crept to the line of scrimmage, by design or not, to sell the blitz against a four-wide Bears formation.

The Vikings had three timeouts on the final play and Frazier said time was not the factor.

“I do it with our offense, I do it with our special teams and with our defense at times. I’ll say nope, we’re going to do this. Or, yes that’s a good call,” Frazier said. “I have done it.”


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