The bad news is the Vikings defense wasn’t gap sound late in Sunday’s loss to the Green Bay Packers. But the good news is the Vikings defense wasn’t gap sound late in Sunday’s loss to the Green Bay Packers. It’s bad news because the error of not being gap sound cost the Vikings a chance to get the ball back late in the game and pull off an upset. It’s good news because not being gap sound is a correctable error.
“I took a look at it,” Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier said on Monday. “One of the things we talked about prior to the game was every guy just doing his job on every single play and taking care of your responsibility. On that last drive we had a couple guys that tried to make some plays that weren’t theirs. You really have to stay in your gap if you are trying to play good run defense. We had some guys that were playing a little over anxious and got out of their gap and the Packers ended up creasing some runs that they had tried earlier in the game and had no success with, but we didn’t handle that moment very well.”
Trailing by 6 points and facing a 4th and 10 with 2:37 to play in the game, Frazier made the right decision by punting the ball back to Green Bay. Armed with 3 timeouts, the 2-minute warning and a solid run defense that had allowed just 59 yards rushing on 20 carries (2.95 yards per carry) up to that point, logic dictated that the Vikings offense would get the ball back at right around the 2-minute mark.
But a group of over-anxious defenders who slid out of their gaps allowed the Packers to rip off 55 yards rushing on 6 carries to close out the game. The result was certainly frustrating, but it’s hard to get made at a group of defenders for wanting to make a play so badly that they lost a bit of gap responsibility.
“In that last drive it is just so important when you are in a four minute situation and all of our guys know that because we have played good run defense in the past,” Frazier explained. “You can’t play good run defense if anybody gets out of their gap. Especially the way we play.”
The way the Vikings played on Sunday was with passion and heart, and it nearly resulted in an upset victory of the defending Super Bowl champions. Now the challenge for Frazier is to keep his guys playing that hard, but to also keep them playing within the scheme.
Tags: Leslie Frazier
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 28 Comments »