Again; Patriots, Chiefs. Brady and New England, 36 first downs, 44 minutes of possession.
Eight different Patriot receivers divvied up 30 catches and 348 yards. Brady longest pass; 30 yards.
At countless times during the Vikings’ 2018 season, Kirk Cousins took a three-step drop, looked off a covered pass route and dumped the ball to the back, only to see him pick nominal yardage.
It became nauseating.
What is it that Brady sees before the play that leads to such wild success in a big game? What is he potentially changing in the play to that enables him to quick-trigger all his passes?
Does Kirk Cousins have no talent at such a thing? Change a formation? Route to an option-route? Run to a play-action?
In looking over this Vikings passing offense, are there just a lack of athletes on the Minnesota side of the field or is this team missing a key ingredient of coaching and play design, and execution?
Take away Thielen and Diggs–which several teams did during the year–and you had…? Dalvin Cook, for next to nothing, Laquon Treadwell, almost nothing, and Kyle Rudolph, something on a day when the moon is full.
Was it John DeFilippo that was cocksure enough about this Vikings “aerial” passing attack to install an offense without the physical requirement of adequate protection and a number three receiver?
Yes. He failed–and got fired.
The Patriots have a sundry of football-card players like James White, James Develin and Rex Burkhead that appear in schemes to catch passes alongside stalwart receivers Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski. When the Patriots lose a playmaker like Josh Gordon, they adapt with guys like Phillip Dorsett and Chris Hogan.
For almost 20 years, they cycle them in and out, and Tom Brady finds them on deft, tight patterns that pick up first downs. First downs that keep their offense on the field, keeps the opposing defense guessing, and keeps their defense–getting a breather and in-game coaching–on the sideline.
The Vikings need these players, and to start, they need to start looking for them. They also need to concentrate on an offensive game plan that distributes the ball with proficient diversity.
A Summary Without A Defensive Summary
Mike Zimmer doesn’t need to change his defense. He’s as good of a defensive mind as there is in the NFL. I trust him to deploy his unit against the best and be competitive, if not dominating.
The essential thing his defense needs to represent a championship team is an offensive counterpart that shows as much brains. In 2018, Zimmer’s defense took too much psychic damage from constantly returning to the field of play after Viking three-and-outs.
They did so shaking their heads. Being outplayed is on them. Being out-coached is something they just have to suffer.
That’s one thing this Belichick/Brady New England Patriots team has rarely–if ever–suffered on their way to their ninth Super Bowl, and in my opinion, their sixth Lombardi Trophy.
If the Minnesota Vikings want to see their first, they’ll have to follow suit.