Lack of big plays.

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Mothman
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Re: Lack of big plays.

Post by Mothman » Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:21 am

Here's a link to a new Star Tribune article that's relevant to this topic:

Vikings coming up short in search for long gains
A busted coverage created the Vikings’ biggest offensive gain in nearly 500 plays.

Jerick McKinnon had half of the Ford Field turf to himself when he took a short catch for 41 yards during Thursday’s loss in Detroit. The play came easily for McKinnon, a sharp contrast to the offense’s season-long struggle to pick up big chunks of yardage. That has left quarterback Sam Bradford pondering how the Vikings can remedy that.

“We’ve got to find a way to create more explosive plays,” Bradford said. “However we do it, we’ve just got to figure out a way to make sure that it happens.”

The Vikings gained only 8 yards on the ensuing three snaps in Detroit and kicked a short field goal, a more appropriate encapsulation of their current plodding play. Their four plays of 40-plus yards this season are fewer than any other team but Houston (three).

Bigger plays certainly would help cover up other issues for an offense averaging just 19.8 points per game.
Andrew Krammer, the author of the article, is being generous with that last line. The Vikings are averaging 19.8 points per game. The Vikings offense is averaging just 16 points per game. The Vikes defense and special teams have combined to score 6 TDs this season.
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Re: Lack of big plays.

Post by losperros » Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:07 am

Mothman wrote:Andrew Krammer, the author of the article, is being generous with that last line. The Vikings are averaging 19.8 points per game. The Vikings offense is averaging just 16 points per game. The Vikes defense and special teams have combined to score 6 TDs this season.
Thanks for the link, Jim. I think it's a good article.

No doubt the offense has become the weakest unit on the team. It's ridiculous. Maybe they can't be a good unit this year but I find it hard to believe the Vikings can't at least field an average NFL offense.
“We’ve got to find a way to create more explosive plays,” Bradford said. “However we do it, we’ve just got to figure out a way to make sure that it happens.”
Whether Bradford intended it this way or not, this is a challenge to the coaching staff. Time to find a way for the offense to put up big plays leading to more points on the board. That's part of coaching.
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Re: Lack of big plays.

Post by PacificNorseWest » Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:14 pm

Mothman wrote:Here's a link to a new Star Tribune article that's relevant to this topic:

Vikings coming up short in search for long gains
Andrew Krammer, the author of the article, is being generous with that last line. The Vikings are averaging 19.8 points per game. The Vikings offense is averaging just 16 points per game. The Vikes defense and special teams have combined to score 6 TDs this season.

Smh..horrible.
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Re: Lack of big plays.

Post by mansquatch » Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:48 pm

This article is just a regurgitation of what we already know. The OL is starting guys who are backups and in some cases backups to the backups. They cannot reliably pass protect consistently for more than 2 to 2.5 seconds on any given passing down. Without a mobile QB that means the Vikings are limited to a more west coast style quick passing attack. Sadly the same level of awful in the pass protection is also rampant in the rushing attack, we cannot get any push up front and the rare times that we do, the backup RBs are unreliable in exploiting it.

Detroit's Defense is not great. Their front 4 is essentially Ziggy Ansah and 3 other guys. Despite that favorable matchup, our coaching staff still chose to play it ultra conservative. That says a lot about how much they think they can rely on their protection up front. The article is right, big plays are needed, but where are they going to come from? We are starting our worse OL in Clemmings + his backup at OT.

They probably need another 0.5 to 1 seconds of at least moderately reliable protection for a play to develop to start throwing deep. Where is that going to come from? Is Clemmings going to suddenly find some all pro in himself after 2 seasons of "terrible"? Is Sam Bradford going to somehow discover he has Michael Vick's legs? Are they suddenly going to average 5 YPC in the running game to better sell the Play-action Pass? It isn't happening. 5 Offensive players on IR, it is more than any team can overcome. Last season TB was able to overcome some of this with his feet and that line was arguably better than what we are seeing today. (Matt Kalil, how we've missed you...)

The Sam Bradford trade will go down as a disaster, but it won't be because Sam Bradford played poorly or wasn't up the the task. It will be because both OT and the starting RB went on IR in week 2.
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Re: Lack of big plays.

Post by Nunin » Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:42 pm

The o-line issue has been the one constant for quite some time. It's effected the health, development and productivity of every QB here since the Culpepper days.

Even in 09 Favre took a complete beating that would have likely knocked out less crazy guys....but he ultimately submitted in Chicago to that fate.

Bridgewater's mobility really helped the offense. It's a shame Sam is so statue like at this stage of his career. I don't know how much of that is coached into him at this point or just his learned behavior, but he does not move well at all.

Between he and Teddy we have the makings of a star.....maybe they can meld them in the off season? I, for one, would welcome the Tammy Bradwater era. :beerock:
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Re: Lack of big plays.

Post by Mothman » Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:04 pm

There's every indication that the coaching staff is excessively conservative when it comes to offense and that's not helping matters.

If the attitude is basically that they can do nothing other than pass short the Vikes might as well forfeit the rest of their games now. I don't buy that they can't throw downfield once in a while, even with a bad o-line. Max protect, run a double move and take a shot. Run a flea clicker. Get creative. Try something. A steady diet of short, quick passes is going to yield diminishing returns and, quite likely, more turnovers as defenders start jumping routes and playing more aggressively because the Vikings aren't giving them enough reason to play otherwise. An excessively conservative strategy is a losing strategy without nearly perfect execution and there's no more reason to believe the offense can do that than there is to believe they can pass protect for 3.5 seconds.
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Re: Lack of big plays.

Post by Nunin » Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:21 pm

Mothman wrote:There's every indication that the coaching staff is excessively conservative when it comes to offense and that's not helping matters.

If the attitude is basically that they can do nothing other than pass short the Vikes might as well forfeit the rest of their games now. I don't buy that they can't throw downfield once in a while, even with a bad o-line. Max protect, run a double move and take a shot. Run a flea clicker. Get creative. Try something. A steady diet of short, quick passes is going to yield diminishing returns and, quite likely, more turnovers as defenders start jumping routes and playing more aggressively because the Vikings aren't giving them enough reason to play otherwise. An excessively conservative strategy is a losing strategy without nearly perfect execution and there's no more reason to believe the offense can do that than there is to believe they can pass protect for 3.5 seconds.

It's beyond excessive IMO. I think you may have alluded to it elsewhere, but I'm starting to believe Norv was not the conservative one here. He was perhaps, stubborn and inflexible in some ways, in not bending the scheme to match the talent on hand, but I have never seen anything quite like the last Lions game in terms of conservative offense.
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Re: Lack of big plays.

Post by Mothman » Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:31 pm

Nunin wrote:It's beyond excessive IMO. I think you may have alluded to it elsewhere, but I'm starting to believe Norv was not the conservative one here. He was perhaps, stubborn and inflexible in some ways, in not bending the scheme to match the talent on hand, but I have never seen anything quite like the last Lions game in terms of conservative offense.
It was ridiculous.

You're remembering correctly. I alluded to the split between Norv and Zimmer over the weekend.

Incidentally, the L.A. Times ran a story about Norv the other day:

http://www.latimes.com/sports/nfl/la-sp ... story.html
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Re: Lack of big plays.

Post by Nunin » Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:41 pm

Mothman wrote: It was ridiculous.

You're remembering correctly. I alluded to the split between Norv and Zimmer over the weekend.

Incidentally, the L.A. Times ran a story about Norv the other day:

http://www.latimes.com/sports/nfl/la-sp ... story.html

Hmmmmm...thanks for that, Jim. That's a bit troubling IMO
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Re: Lack of big plays.

Post by Mothman » Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:52 pm

Nunin wrote:Hmmmmm...thanks for that, Jim. That's a bit troubling IMO
I agree. :(
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Re: Lack of big plays.

Post by losperros » Mon Nov 28, 2016 10:31 pm

Nunin wrote: It's beyond excessive IMO. I think you may have alluded to it elsewhere, but I'm starting to believe Norv was not the conservative one here. He was perhaps, stubborn and inflexible in some ways, in not bending the scheme to match the talent on hand, but I have never seen anything quite like the last Lions game in terms of conservative offense.
Norv's stubborn and inflexible ways hurt the offense, regardless whether he was the conservative one or not. I'm glad he's gone.

OTOH, we now know Norv wasn't the sole reason the offense couldn't produce. And now we see them so conservative they can't move the ball anywhere on the field. So who the heck is the guy holding the offense back? It's not Bradford. He's gone public in saying he wants to see more big plays. So that leaves Shurmur or Zimmer. Or maybe both. If that's the case, can we truly expect much change this season?

Not a good sign, if you ask me.
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Re: Lack of big plays.

Post by Nunin » Mon Nov 28, 2016 10:43 pm

@losperros
i hear ya...all the way around.
Norv was right in saying it wasn't going to work here for him.
It appears this offense has no rudder at the moment.
I suppose it would be much different if they could manage a running game.
In the mean time it could get ugly(er)~
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Re: Lack of big plays.

Post by Boon » Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:07 pm

Doesn't help that we have a gunshy qb. Probably with good reason but he was throwing way faster than he had to vs detroit
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Re: Lack of big plays.

Post by fiestavike » Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:47 am

Bring back Norv!!!

Everybody wanted to get rid of the 5 and 7 step drop and dink and dunk, until we stop running 5 and 7 step drops and start dinking and dunking. The result? Predictable. I will say, the result would have been predictable with Norv and Sam too. It would never work given the OL limitations and Sam's liabilities. That's why we should have benched Sam and played Hill and or Heineke in Norv's system. It was the only chance this team had given the circumstances, and now its gone.
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Re: Lack of big plays.

Post by mansquatch » Tue Nov 29, 2016 10:40 am

Are you guys seriously reminiscing about Norv? 5 weeks ago the majority of this board couldn't wait for him to be canned. Now we miss him?

I stand by what I said earlier on this offense. Until they can even semi-reliably pass protect for more than 2 seconds, they are not going to take deep shots. Did you guys read the quote from Glover Quin in the original article that started this thread? They took ZERO shots downfield. ZERO. That means they (the coaches) have no confidence in their pass protection. It also implies that they have no confidence in Shaun Hill since they are unwilling to risk Sam Bradford in the face of the protection issue.

I think the offense as a whole has been conservative, that is obvious. However, I'm not convinced that all of it is due to the conservatism of the coaches. Given the above, I think a portion of it is due to the lack of reliable protection. With Teddy back there we saw more stuff because he could buy time with his feet. This year we do not have a mobile QB and our protection situation is even worse off. That is a driver for the play calling as well. So how much is the coaches being risk adverse and how much of it is "our guys can only execute so much"?

I agree on Zimmer needing to grow into a HC and get out of his coordinator mold, that is insightful stuff. The coaches know there are issues. Zimmer has made comments recently about examining in the off season why so many of their players are getting hurt on the field. Also, it should be readily obvious to everyone at Winter Park that hte offense is holding the team back. How do they fix it?
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