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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Film: Looking at four plays that stood out in Vikings’ playoff loss vs. Seahawks

By Andrew Krammer

Before closing the book on the Vikings’ 2015 season, let’s take a look at four plays that stood out in their 10-9 playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

In one of the coldest games in NFL history, they fell a 27-yard field goal short of winning a defensive struggle against one of the league’s premiere units. Stellar outings from linebacker Eric Kendricks, defensive end Everson Griffen and defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, among others, aided the Vikings in limiting Russell Wilson to just 13 completions, his longest coming on a busted play for 35 yards.

Wilson was able to scramble just four times for 21 yards, limited by a Vikings’ approach that deployed a spy in man coverage, often Anthony Barr, or zone coverage to keep defenders close underneath.

“We didn’t win today, but we outplayed them,” Mike Zimmer told his team postgame.

Offenses sputtered on both sides, with passing attacks limited by the negative-degree temperatures and even worse wind chills. Adrian Peterson was held to just 1.96 yards per carry on 23 attempts, his second-lowest average in his career when taking at least 20 carries.

Here are the four plays in our brief close of the film reviews:

Russell Wilson turns a botched snap into a 35-yard completion

Dialing up a receiver screen might have helped the Seahawks improvise on this busted play. Russell Wilson loses grip on the shotgun snap, sending him 15 yards behind the line. Sent on a blitz, cornerback Captain Munnerlyn is the closest to Wilson with his aim at recovering the football. Wilson escapes Munnerlyn, and receiver Tyler Lockett makes the heads up play to improvise and run into the open middle of the field. The play is drawn up as a receiver screen to Doug Baldwin. Josh Robinson, in as the third-string cornerback, and safety Harrison Smith both run toward Baldwin, leaving Lockett open downfield.

Had Lockett and Baldwin not been designed to sit at the line of scrimmage on the play, and instead been sent downfield to run routes, than the Vikings’ coverage might not have been busted as easily. This was a critical play as Lockett was tackled at the Vikings’ 4-yard line and Seattle scored their lone touchdown just seconds later.

Trae Waynes gets beat, recovers and deflects a deep attempt to Lockett

Subbed in for the injured Terence Newman, Vikings’ rookie top pick Trae Waynes once again found some success in spot duty. Waynes deflected one pass and intercepted another, though his pass deflection was the more impressive of his two plays on the afternoon. Beat by Lockett down the field, Waynes recovers and turns his head around to deflect this underthrown pass from Wilson. The technique here can be juxtaposed to Xavier Rhodes, who let himself slip on a 41-yard pass interference penalty

Notice on the video below, Sharrif Floyd’s pressure forces Wilson to accelerate and potentially help force the underthrown deep pass. Floyd had a disruptive day, notching two tackles for losses including a stellar get-off on 3rd-and-1 to tackle Christine Michael for a loss of two yards. On the ensuing 4th-and-3 attempt, Wilson’s pass was tipped and intercepted by Waynes.

Adrian Peterson fumbles on an eight-yard catch

Peterson was bottled up throughout the game, taking his longest carry for 13 yards. The Seahawks forced seven tackles for losses on 56 plays, including four of Peterson’s carries. In the fourth quarter, they got him involved in the passing game with consecutive completions, the second ending in a critical fumble. On this play below, they keep tight ends Kyle Rudolph and MyCole Pruitt, who stepped up in place of the injured Rhett Ellison, for added pass protection. Peterson is one of just three Vikings sent on routes, and Bridgewater quickly finds him for an eight-yard gain. Knowing his enemy, safety Kam Chancellor goes directly for the ball as Peterson is spun around by linebacker K.J. Wright. Receiver Mike Wallace had a shot at recovering the fumble before Earl Thomas deflected the ball back toward the Seahawks. The fumble was Peterson’s fourth lost this season, his most since 2009. Seattle kicked a field goal on the ensuing drive to take a 10-9 lead.

Kyle Rudolph makes a contested grab vs. Chancellor, puts Vikings in field goal position

Teddy Bridgewater makes two of the Vikings’ longest pass plays on the day when needed most. Trailing by one point with less than two minutes to go, Bridgewater targets tight end Kyle Rudolph on consecutive plays. The first draws a 19-yard pass interference flag on Chancellor to push the Vikings past midfield. The second, seen below, is a strong grab from Rudolph with Chancellor going for the deflection. Rudolph turns up field for 24 yards, putting the Vikings in position for what could’ve been a game-winning field goal.

The post Film: Looking at four plays that stood out in Vikings’ playoff loss vs. Seahawks appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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