I'm going to cheat a little bit on this one, as I've already broken this play down once. Still, it isn't every day that you see a guy beat All-World cornerback Richard Sherman like this. . .it was the only time Sherman was beaten on a "go" route all season. . .so it's worth highlighting again.
This play came with the Minnesota Vikings trailing the Seattle Seahawks by a score of 10-3 early in the second quarter of their Week 12 contest at CenturyLink Field. Let's once again go to the NFL.com "All-22" film to see what happened.
We start out with the Vikings coming out in a formation with three receivers. . .tight ends Rhett Ellison and John Carlson and receiver Jarius Wright. . .on the right hand side of the formation. (Remember, Greg Jennings was inactive for this game.) Jerome Simpson is all by himself to the left, and Adrian Peterson is in the backfield behind Christian Ponder.
Before the snap, Ellison motions into the backfield to Ponder's left to balance things out a little bit. The Seahawks haven't shifted anybody on defense.
Ponder takes the snaps and executes a fake to Peterson. Ellison has started to move toward the right flat, and Carlson and Peterson stay in to block while Wright and Simpson have started running routes. Wright has gotten past the defender at the line of scrimmage, and is making a bee-line towards Richard Sherman.
Simpson is running wide open in the middle of the field, and Sherman appears to be moving up to challenge Wright. To this point, nobody has so much as breathed on Ponder as he moves to his right.
I'm not sure if Sherman thought that Wright was going to stop short or what the deal was here, but in any case, Wright is in the process of blowing past Sherman in this shot, and there's no help over the top for the All-Pro. Sherman, realizing this, makes an attempt to just outright grab and/or tackle Wright, but it doesn't work.
Ponder sees that Wright has Sherman beaten, and throws the ball on the move. You can see that there's still nobody near him and he probably could have set his feet, but hey. . .with the end result being what it was, we can't complain too much.
Ponder underthrows the pass slightly, but Wright has Sherman beaten by so far that it doesn't make a whole lot of difference. Wright hauls the pass in, and the Vikings were a Blair Walsh extra point away from tying the game at 10.
Unfortunately, that pretty much did it for the highlights for the Vikings in this game. The Super Bowl champs turned it on in the second half of play and wound up thrashing the Vikings by a final score of 41-20.
We've done seven plays thus far, and we've managed to highlight seven different players. I'm thinking we're going to start repeating ourselves here pretty soon.