Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4 other subscribers

MN Vikings Tweets

Bleacher Report – Vikings

Vikings’ willingness to get creative with Wildcat formation leads to a passing success

By Judd Zulgad

MINNEAPOLIS – The Vikings were trailing Arizona by three points in the second quarter of Sunday’s game at U.S. Bank Stadium, facing a second-and-5 from the Cardinals 31-yard line.

Running back Jerick McKinnon prepared to take a shotgun snap from the Wildcat formation with quarterback Sam Bradford split out far to the right. McKinnon got the snap and handed off to Cordarrelle Patterson, who had gone in motion.

Bradford cut a few yards behind Patterson as the wide receiver pitched the ball to his quarterback. Bradford set himself at the 43-yard line and let go with a deep pass down the center of the field that was intended for Adam Thielen.

Arizona safety Tony Jefferson hit Thielen as the ball fell to the turf, earning him a flag and a pass interference penalty that put the ball at the Cardinals 2. One play later, Matt Asiata scored on a plunge into the end zone and the Vikings had a three-point lead.

The Wildcat formation is nothing new to the Vikings’ offense – they have used it on multiple occasions this season – but this level of creativity had never been seen before from the purple.

“I mean obviously we haven’t shown anything but runs out of that formation,” Bradford said after the Vikings’ 30-24 victory at U.S. Bank Stadium. “So, we felt like if we could throw a wrinkle in there and get a pass, it would probably catch them off guard.”

The Vikings ran the Wildcat a handful of times on Sunday, but Bradford acknowledged the play that worked for a 29-yard gain had been put in specifically for the Cardinals by offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur.

On the play on which Bradford threw the deep ball, the Cardinals paid little attention to him until it was too late. In the third quarter, Bradford again split to the right on a first-and-10 that featured running back Matt Asiata taking the direct snap.

Asiata gained 9 yards on the run to the Cardinals 49-yard line, but a 15-yard unnecessary roughness call was made on Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson for his hit on Bradford at the line of scrimmage. That drive ended with Vikings kicker Kai Forbath making a 27-yard field goal.

“I think each team handles it a little bit different,” Bradford said when asked how much attention is usually given to him by defenses. “There have been games where they really don’t acknowledge me and the corner kind of tightens in on No. 2. There have been games where they put a guy out there. But, I would say for the most part they normally don’t pay attention when I’m out there.”

The Vikings’ use of the Wildcat is no surprise, given offensive line coach Tony Sparano was head coach of the 2008 Miami Dolphins when they began to use the formation on a regular basis.

The Dolphins used the Wildcat to cruise to a 38-13 upset victory over New England on Sept. 21 of that season. Ronnie Brown, the running back used most often to take the direct snap, ran for four touchdowns in the game and also threw a 19-yard touchdown to Anthony Fasano.

So when might we see McKinnon throw a pass? McKinnon, after all, played multiple positions during his collegiate career at Georgia Southern, including some quarterback.

“I don’t know,” Bradford said. “I haven’t seen him throw, so we’d probably have to look at that. I mean if he can do it, then yeah.”

The post Vikings’ willingness to get creative with Wildcat formation leads to a passing success appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>