Getting Off the Field on Third Down
Most of the Vikings’ issues against the Chargers came in the first half of the game when it was still a contest.
After Minnesota’s offense drove the ball down the field on their opening drive, their defense allowed Los Angeles to march right back down the field and get into field goal position. The drive was extended numerous times as the Chargers were able to convert third downs time and time again.
A few of Los Angeles’ third-down conversions were on third and long, which is especially frustrating. The Vikings lacked pressure on Philip Rivers and he was able to exploit the mismatch that was Mike Williams on the much shorter Mike Hughes.
The story was the same on the next couple of Chargers drives until Minnesota’s defense started forcing turnovers and put the game away.
The Vikings have to shore up this issue as they make their playoff push. They cannot continue to allow good teams to convert on third and long.
Minnesota’s defense needs to stay fresh and they will get worn down if the opposing offense is able to string together long drives that are the result of converting on numerous third-down attempts.
Whether Mike Zimmer needs to whip up some exotic blitz packages or change up his coverage scheme, a change should be made before the Vikings face the Packers next Monday night.