Let’s Reid between the lines…
Minnesota has one of the best play callers of the past two decades in Gary Kubiak. So why is he calling conservative run plays on third and long? I have to believe the mastermind can come up with something more creative that might actually generate a first down.
Running the ball on third and extra long is ineffective. Some teams try it occasionally to catch defenses off guard, but the Vikings do it so often that it’s become predictable.
Sure, Dalvin Cook might break loose once in a blue moon and pick up the first down, but that’s a real rarity. More than likely, he’ll be tripped up a few yards downfield and it’ll be time to punt. If this team wants to hang with the big boys, these wasted plays need to stop.
I’m starting to wonder if Kubiak is actually the one dialing up this play. Mike Zimmer could be so concerned about Cousins throwing a costly pick, that he isn’t allowing Kubiak to use the pass in these situations.
While it wouldn’t be smart to throw hail marys on third and twenty, couldn’t we please at least sling a pass near the line to gain. A fifteen to twenty yard strike is well within Cousins’ abilities, and he has at least four excellent options to throw to. The right play call could easily get someone open and make for a low-risk pass.
Every drive matters for a team with playoff aspirations. The Vikings have gotten away with these cringeworthy run calls on third down, but they need to keep their drives alive by throwing the ball going forward.