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Bleacher Report – Vikings

5 ways Washington slowed down Carson Wentz

By Matthew Coller

After the Vikings beat the Houston Texans in Week 5, it appeared that Minnesota’s matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles was going to be the game of the year so far. But shortly after the Vikings’ win, the Eagles lost to Detroit, then they lost to Washington in Week 6 while the Vikings were on their bye. Defenses may have figured out a few ways to slow down Mr. Next Big Thing, quarterback Carson Wentz. Here are five ways Washington held the rookie in check.

1) Stop the run

Box scores can be misleading sometimes. The final run total for the Eagles was 21 carries for 94 yards, which reads like a pretty good day, but during key times of the game, Philly was completely unable to move the ball on the ground. Washington’s front four stuffed running lanes, especially when the Eagles loaded up with tight ends and a fullback.

You can see here that midway through the third quarter, the Eagles hadn’t put together much of a running game at all, it was only when they were down and Washington was expecting pass that they picked up yards.

2) Front-four pressure

Washington sacked Wentz five times for a loss of 34 yards. They did so many times by simply winning a 1-on-1 battle like on this sack. Even if he has been getting the ball out quickly the majority of the time this year, a rush like this is going to be disruptive. We’ve seen this many times from the Vikings this year from Tom Johnson, Danielle Hunter, Brian Robison and Everson Griffen.

3) Keep him off the field

Washington was a possession monster for the majority of this matchup. The totals were 34:13 to 25:47, but it was probably worse than that. From the middle of the third quarter…

wentz-1

4) Confusion at the line

Pressure on Wentz came from many different places as Washington loaded the line of scrimmage and mixed up who would rush and who would drop back into coverage. The quarterback wasn’t the only one thrown off, but Philadelphia’s blockers were occasionally too.

On a play later in the game, this is the look that Wentz faced from the defense. They ended up dropping all except one of the potential blitzers and he was chased out of the pocket.

wentz-2

5) Dare Wentz to throw downfield

Coming into Sunday’s game, the rookie had the lowest percentage of total yards through the air of any QB not named Matt Stafford, meaning he was throwing the majority of his passes on screens etc. Washington dared him to show he could be more of a downfield passer. You’ll notice there is more confusion at the line on this play as Washington had both linebackers showing blitz, then dropped everyone back and gave Wentz time to throw the ball. He stares down his receiver and makes an inaccurate throw.

The Vikings defense has more talent and versatility than Washington and it isn’t close. Mike Zimmer will be dialing up all sorts of confusing looks for the rookie QB.

The post 5 ways Washington slowed down Carson Wentz appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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