Keep Dat series in an effort to find plays, wrinkles and schemes worth keeping for the Minnesota Vikings...
San Francisco 49ers defense is playing Cover 1, the Line Backer comes off the edge to “blitz hug” the running back which just means the LB covers the RB on a route or adds to a blitz if the running back is blocking .
On this play if the running back blocks, the back has to react one of two ways, if the blitzer comes he must block, but if does not, he should get to the flat. On this play the LB hesitates the blitz to confuse Dalvin Cook. On offense the Vikings are running a man/ zone beater. On the backside they have a rub route for Diggs, on the front side they flood that zone. Thielen’s route is a slant, with the running back to the flat. Offenses will do this to confuse zone defenses, if the defensive player hesitates, the QB should either throw to Thielen in that zone, or the back to the flat. The back will probably out leverage a line backer to the flat, and the QB should throw to him, which is what Cousins does on this play.
This play is a Naked boot leg, the back side tight end splits the zone to the flat. The Front side tight end stock blocks then releases. The secret wrinkle in this play is the offense can set up the screen for the running back off of this play as well. On this play the front side receiver has a corner covering him. Sometimes the receiver will throw a double move depending on down distance.
On this play the Vikings are in Cover 1 man with a low hole backer (Kendricks). 49ers have a split back, here Mike Hughes and Anthony Barr are manned up on the backs. The Vikings are mugging the A-gap (gap between center and guard) to show initial pressure.
Vikings stack the box with a 5 man pressure, Harrison Smith is in cover 3 and is responsible for the Tight End if he goes vertical. The high safety (Sendejo) is also suppose to shade the slot receiver. Smith needs to be aware that no one should carry him vertically, and has to account that if he goes free he has to hover over the slot or take him. This play shows the versatility of Harrison, because he will also blitz from this same package. Danielle Hunter rushes wide, which allows Jayron Kearse and Eric Kendricks to blitz the B-gap(gap between the Guard and the Tackle). Sheldon Richardson and Linval Joseph are key here as well as they both pull blockers right to allow a wider gap for Kendricks and Kearse to be blitz freely.
Griffen feints the pass rush, but drops into cover in the middle to cover the running back. Jimmy Garappolo is hurried to get rid of the ball and throws an interception to Mike Hughes. Anthony Barr has to run from the middle of the field to cover that zone area.
The Vikings were doing good things this season. Each game has a few plays that should be kept in their playbooks and expanded upon.