Play-calling still a work in progress
Even though Gary Kubiak is new to his duties as the Vikings offensive coordinator, he is not unfamiliar with the duties of his new position.
Kubiak has been an offensive play-caller for multiple teams during his NFL coaching career and a number of his offenses have been very successful. He hasn’t called plays for an offense since 2016 though and his rust showed on Sunday.
After Minnesota’s defense was able to stop the Packers on 4th-and-goal from their own 1-yard line, the Vikings offense marched out onto the field the ride the momentum that their defense had created. Instead, Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins was sacked in the end zone and it resulted in a safety and two points for Green Bay.
Facing a 2nd-and-8 from their own 2-yard line, Kubiak called a play that had Cousins fake a handoff to Dalvin Cook. The problem was that as soon as Cousins finished the fake handoff, Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander was racing in unblocked on his blindside and he ended up quickly bringing the Vikings quarterback down for a safety.
Then during the third quarter with Minnesota down 12 points, Kubiak called a play on 4th-and-3 that resulted in Cousins launching a 30-yard pass in the direction of wide receiver Tajaé Sharpe.
Could the blame be put on Cousins for this play? Sure, but why was throwing it deep even an option when a quick pass to the outside or across the middle could have kept the drive alive and potentially allowed the Vikings to close Green Bay’s lead to five points?
The elimination of the preseason this year could certainly be a reason for some of Kubiak’s questionable play-calls on Sunday. So, hopefully, this is something that is able to be sorted out during the next few weeks as he gets more used to the personnel he has to work with.