Inside The Play Of The Day

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 19, 2009 – 8:00 am

After 874 net yards of offense, 127 offensive snaps and 64 total points, it’s hard to pick out a single play of the day in the Vikings 33-31 thriller over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. But while it didn’t result in a score and wasn’t even his longest reception of the day, it’s hard not to point to WR Sidney Rice’s 58-yard reception in the 4th quarter as the game’s most crucial play.

Trailing 31-30 with just under 3 minutes to go, QB Brett Favre rolled right on a naked bootleg, bought some time for Rice to get downfield and then with all his might launched a pass toward his receiver. Even as he was being held, Rice managed to get under the ball and make the catch, setting K Ryan Longwell up for the eventual game-winning FG.

As great of a play as it was, it didn’t unfold as it was drawn up. According to head coach Brad Childress, the play was a “run-alert-pass,” where a run play was called but Favre had the choice to check to a pass play if he saw a certain look from the defense. The QB saw the appropriate look and alerted to a pass.

But the ad-libbing didn’t end there. Even once Favre alerted to a pass play, Rice modified his responsibilities based on how his defender was positioned.

“It was the route that I had changed myself,” Rice said after the game, “but Brett made a great read on the defender who was outside of me and the safety came down. I just decided to take it at a slight angle and he cocked back and let the ball go.  It was on a straight line right there and I was able to make a play on it.”

Rice was quick to give his Hall of Fame QB credit for the play, but Favre was insistent that it was Rice who was the playmaker on this occasion.

“That’s being a football player,” Favre said of Rice. “He was supposed to have a 12 or 15-yard comeback I think. That’s the type of plays he can make. Sometimes you have to adjust. Really, with Sidney on that play you have to give him credit because I didn’t tell him to go, I didn’t tell him to come back. He just felt like he had the advantage.

“We have had that discussion in the past, that if he feels like he can get on top, or can win, then do it. So I just wanted to make sure I could give him something he could catch.”

Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 7 Comments »

7 Responses to “Inside The Play Of The Day”

  1. By steve clouser on Oct 19, 2009 | Reply

    What was minnesota thinking by not taking a safety, up 6 with 3 minutes to go, and getting a free kick from the 20 instead of being hurried to punt from their own end zone. That was the “stupid” play of the day, coach almost cost them the game.

  2. By Vikings Fan from Afar on Oct 19, 2009 | Reply

    Nice point on the safety. I agree. The Vikings should have done that. That said, Kluwe’s punt wasn’t terrific, either.

    Phil Loadholt was key to the 58-yard pass. He made a number of blocks on his man to buy Favre a few extra moments.

    The pass that Favre threw was notable. That was a long-range, accurate rocket.

  3. By steve clouser on Oct 19, 2009 | Reply

    That is part of my point (the bad punt), it has got to be easier punting or even kicking off from the 20 with not defensive pressure versus a hurry from the end zone! In the end, its a victory and no where near as ugly as the BS the bears pulled at the end of their game! False start on the play of the game!

  4. By Vikings Fan from Afar on Oct 19, 2009 | Reply

    If anyone had any lingering doubts about the Vikings letting Matt Birk go, those should now be erased. Kevin Williams had two sacks. three tackles, and one forced fumble. Pat Williams had one tackle and two assists. Kevin Williams was in the Ravens backfield all day. Pat Williams and the Vikings defense stopped the run up the middle on all or almost all attempts. Birk was not terrible, but he wasn’t great, either. Birk is past his prime.

    Sullivan has struggled physically and mentally at times this season, but he has made a lot of progress. He is at least as good as Birk currently is, and can get better.

  5. By jerry on Oct 19, 2009 | Reply

    Where was Antoine Winfield, didnt see him out there. He definately would have prevented some of those deep completions to Mason. Why was Paymah on his side?

  6. By jerry on Oct 19, 2009 | Reply

    not listed on the website injury report

  7. By Vikings Fan from Afar on Oct 19, 2009 | Reply

    Winfield was injured in the second quarter and did not return. It was his foot. We’ll know more later.

    After thinking more about the safety, I’d say it was too close (within 6 points) to take the safety. If you spot the Ravens two more points, the score would be 33-33.

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