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Skol Schemes, Week 4: The Good, The Bad, and The Griddy

A quick reaction to an up and down Week 4 win.

Minnesota Vikings v New Orleans Saints Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

When LaMarcus Adna Thompson secured U.S Patent No. 332,762 for the Gravity Switch Back Railway (a precursor to the modern roller coaster) on December 22, 1885, Coney Island had been operating for about a year. When the Vikings game kicked off in London, we had no idea that the winding roller coaster we were about to sit on would feel like it lasted about a year. And yet, the Vikings rode the ups and downs to a 28-25 victory at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

In the span of one game, the Vikings reached heights that give us optimism for a great season, suffered dips that give us cause for concern, and reminded us why Justin Jefferson is one of the best receivers in the league. Here we take a quick look at the good, the bad, and the Griddy from a pulse raising Week 4 win.

The Good

The Vikings roller coaster got off to a smooth start. After two weeks of having issues with man coverage, Minnesota started the game with multiple man coverage beaters, won away from Justin Jefferson, and ended up with six points on the board:

On defense, it was encouraging to see Cameron Dantzler have three pass break ups including a huge play late in the game on a deep throw to Chris Olave:

The special teams unit, led by great press conferencer Matt Daniels, helped give the Vikings momentum with a forced fumble and a beautiful fake punt:

The Bad

Despite being a Vikings writer, I tend to consider myself an optimistic person. Week 4 tested the remaining optimism Vikings fan may have with red zone issues and an interception that Kirk Cousins would surely like to take back.

After the defense forced two straight punts, Tyrann Mathieu picked off a pass intended for Irv Smith. The Saints had seen Jefferson motion to the slot and run choice routes earlier in the season and were prepared for it.

On this play, the Cornerback looked like he was in Palms or 2 read coverage. In these coverages, the release of the slot determines the Cornerback’s responsibility. As Jefferson broke out on his choice route, the Cornerback trapped the flat and forced Cousins off his first read. Cousins stayed to the same side of the field and tried to squeeze the ball into the vertical route only to end up with an interception.

After the interception, the Vikings continued to make life hard for themselves. As the second quarter was nearing a close, Minnesota faced a third and one. Kevin O’Connell dialed up a good look for the offense that ended up in an incompletion:

Not to be outdone by a first half red zone issue, the Vikings carried the negativity into the second half. After recovering a fumble and executing on a big play to Justin Jefferson, Minnesota had back to back looks at a touchdown but came away only with a field goal:

The Griddy

After two frustrating weeks, Justin Jefferson took flight against the Saints. Starting with a 10 yard catch on the opening play of the game, Jefferson won in man coverage, was put in advantageous situations, and even had a rushing touchdown. Take a look at this thread to see all of the ways Justin Jefferson was used on the way to 10 catches, 147 yards, and a rushing touchdown:

As the Vikings exit a roller coaster Week 4, we are reminded of the highs and lows of an American football game. Lucky for us, this one double doinked in our favor.