Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell needs to be the entrance runner for NFL coach of the yr after calling an unimaginable recreation Sunday.
I’m a big-time soccer nerd and love doing movie opinions of the Minnesota Vikings.
I beloved watching movie once I performed in highschool and much more so once I was blessed to be uncovered to deeper elements of the sport once I performed in faculty.
I find it irresistible simply as a lot as being a fan as we speak. It’s such a wonderful sport, and the quantity of labor that goes right into a soccer recreation from coaches, gamers, and everybody concerned makes successful a soccer recreation one of the vital rewarding experiences an athlete can have.
From all of the movie I’ve watched over time, I’ve by no means loved re-watching a recreation greater than I did re-watching the Vikings beat the Buffalo Payments within the recreation of the yr in Week 10. It was a pure heavyweight bout.
One of the best analogy I can provide you with watching this recreation can be in “Rocky II” when Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed duke it out for 12 rounds, knock one another down with time winding down within the ultimate spherical, and the film begins transferring in gradual movement.
Two titans battled for 4 and a half quarters on a snowy day in Western New York, it was a masterpiece. All of the highlights and chaos apart, there was one facet of this recreation that stood out to me essentially the most as I re-watched the sport.
Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell needs to be the front-runner for NFL Coach of the 12 months
The younger, offensive-minded head coach known as an unimaginable recreation on Sunday. For his first yr as a head coach, he has withstood moments of immense strain and, identical to he preaches, is at his greatest when his greatest is required.
O’Connell has been a gradual hand in each one of many Vikings’ comeback victories this season and has fully modified the ambiance of the staff’s locker room. The affect of his management has been felt all through all the group, each on and off the sector.
O’Connell has put collectively unimaginable recreation plans and opening scripts for Minnesota this yr, who’ve scored a landing on their opening drive in six of their 9 video games this season. One philosophy that O’Connell is repeating from profitable Vikings offenses up to now is the quantity of 50-50 balls the offense takes.
It helps to have a demigod like Justin Jefferson at receiver, however Minnesota followers are used to having a high receiver duo within the NFL. Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen made secondaries look foolish for the later half of the 2010s. 2022 is wanting so much like that magical 2017 season, the place the offense constantly relied on its benefit on the perimeter to make performs.
In 2017, Diggs and Thielen had been ranked first and sixth within the NFL in contested catch price. The offense with Case Keenum was permitting them to go get balls and be the playmakers the staff wanted them to be – the “gotta have it” guys. As we noticed on Sunday, O’Connell is all for letting the massive canine eat and trusting his gamers to make performs after they have to be made.
Clearly, all of us noticed the best catch of all time on fourth and 18 when the Vikings completely wanted a play to be made. They went to Justin Jefferson time and time once more in crunch time, with Jefferson having 5 receptions for 89 yards on Minnesota’s final two drives of the sport.
All through the sport, there have been intricate play designs that I assumed O’Connell did an important job of organising. One of many earlier ones that caught my eye was on a key third down within the second quarter. It appeared that earlier within the recreation, the Vikings tried a number of lateral passes, similar to swings and bubble screens, a method to fight a really bodily Payments cross rush.
On first down from the Buffalo 22-yard line, Kirk Cousins‘ cross was batted down by A.J. Epenesa on a swing try and Okay.J. Osborn. Two performs later, the Vikings bluffed a tunnel display to Thielen on third down. The Vikings aligned in a 3X1 “journeys” formation to the sector, with Thielen, Osborn, and Hockenson all cut up out left.
With the Payments in press-man protection, the display was doomed if Osborn was unable to dam the nook. Nevertheless, Osborn faked the block to the nook, which sprung him open for a 20-yard acquire. Sadly, the Vikings needed to accept a discipline purpose regardless that they’d first and purpose from the two-yard line (hey, all of it labored out, proper?).
One other nice wrinkle by O’Connell was on the Vikings’ first drive to start out the second half, which in the end resulted in a head-scratching interception from Cousins. A part of the thrill surrounding O’Connell’s preseason in Minnesota was the dedication to getting Dalvin Prepare dinner extra concerned within the passing recreation. We noticed an important instance of what that may appear to be in opposition to Buffalo.
On Third-and-5 from Minnesota’s 49-yard line, O’Connell dialed up a wonderful mesh idea for Prepare dinner, who was aligned within the slot in an empty formation.
The Payments as soon as once more performed press-man protection, and the Vikings meshed Prepare dinner with Thielen and Hockenson, forcing the linebacker masking Prepare dinner to go excessive of the mesh, leaving him vast open. The play was an important reply for the person protection and set the Vikings up with a giant first down in Payments territory.
O’Connell’s greatest play name of the day was the C.J. Ham landing run on second and purpose from the Payments’ three-yard line. The rating capped off a monstrous 14-play drive that started the fourth quarter and lower Buffalo’s result in simply 4 factors as a consequence of a missed additional level by kicker Greg Joseph.
Two the reason why I like this play are the design of it and the truth that O’Connell gave the ball to one among his captains on the purpose line. The misdirection on second down was such an important name contemplating Prepare dinner had simply ripped off an 81-yard landing run on the Vikings’ earlier drive.
It looks as if Minnesota has an infinite quantity of crimson zone threats with Jefferson, Thielen, Hockenson, and Prepare dinner, however C.J. Ham is a participant the Vikings have leaned on in earlier seasons as properly.
With the brand new offensive system and the heavy utilization of 11-personnel, Ham has seen a diminished function inside the offense, however he’s nonetheless a dependable full-back in lots of blocking conditions and as a runner in short-yardage conditions.
To arrange the rating, the Vikings ran Thielen in a jet movement and made it appear to be he was going to be the lead blocker for a boundary toss to Prepare dinner. The jet movement is a good design for the toss as a result of it permits Thielen to get a head of steam as a lead blocker. It is usually an important design for the counter run to Ham as a result of it takes the linebackers’ eyes off of Ham and creates a circulate going away from the play.
As a result of the Payments had been in man protection, Thielen’s man ran with him, and the linebackers had been closely influenced by the movement and toss motion, which opened up a wide-open gap for Ham.
This was certainly not an ideal recreation for the Vikings, but it surely was a recreation we’ll all keep in mind for years to come back. Successful within the NFL is extremely troublesome, so no wins ought to ever be discounted. This Vikings staff is having enjoyable and changing into extra thrilling to look at every week.
Minnesota is 8-1 now, they usually nonetheless haven’t performed their greatest soccer but. A matchup with the Cowboys at dwelling awaits subsequent week.