5 drives that cost the Vikings a win over the Packers in Week 17

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /
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Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings /

Drive No. 1

After going down 14-3, the Vikings found themselves back in Green Bay territory after a 19-yard scramble by Kirk Cousins, followed by a screen pass to Dalvin Cook that went for 16 yards. A four-yard run by Cook on 1st-and-10 had the Vikings sitting pretty at 2nd-and-6 on the Green Bay 24-yard line.

This coverage is one example of how the Packers were able to throw Justin Jefferson off his game. Here, they run cloud coverage to Jefferson’s side and Cover-4 to the boundary as the corner and boundary safety both drop into quarters coverage.

This coverage is called Cover-6, as one side of the defense plays Cover-2 with a cloud corner, and the other side drops into Cover-4, or quarters coverage.

The Vikings actually ran a great pass concept to beat this coverage on the backside. Jefferson gets pressed by Jaire Alexander, which throws him off his route. Cousins stares this down the entire time, and the result is a batted pass at the line of scrimmage.

If Cousins got off of his first read in time to go backside, he would have had Adam Thielen wide open to set the Vikings up with another first down and into the red zone. The speed dig by Thielen into this coverage attacks the weak spot of 2-high zone coverages such as Tampa 2, Quarters, and Cover 6, which is the deep hook zone in the middle of the field.

Minnesota wound up getting a delay of game penalty as third-string center Chris Reed did not snap the ball in time, which would put them in a 3rd-and-Long situation. After not converting, Vikings kicker Greg Joseph missed a 46-yard field-goal attempt.