Third down strategies need to change
Does this scenario sound familiar?
It’s third down. The first two plays were either two runs or a run and a very short pass that set up a third-and-three. Kirk Cousins gets the play call in his headset and tells the team in the huddle. They break and head to the line of scrimmage.
The center snaps the ball and Kirk drops back to pass. He sails the ball at least 30 yards down the field and it either falls incomplete or lands out of bounds. Minnesota’s punter takes the field to kick the ball away.
Well, that happened quite a bit on Monday. The Vikings only converted five of their 17 third-down tries and failed their only fourth-down attempt.
There is nothing wrong with taking a shot once in a while, but trying a home-run ball on third downs isn’t a great way to move the chains and keep a drive alive. Considering how conservative Minnesota is on other downs, their willingness to roll the dice on third and fourth downs is pretty astounding.