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After Further Review: Similar Looks, Different Results

After Further Review is a deeper look at plays or stats after Vikings games...

So far this preseason, we've looked at the Vikings success on **crossing routes** against the Buccaneers and their use of **vertical threats** to create space against the Steelers.

The defense gets paid at this level, too, and can take away options, creating an important improvisation role for quarterbacks. The Vikings and Raiders offenses faced similar situations on Saturday and experienced far different results on plays that started as passes by Teddy Bridgewater and former Vikings QB Christian Ponder and turned into scrambles.

Both QBs have shown mobility in their past, with Bridgewater having 47 rushes for 209 yards and a touchdown in his rookie season, and Ponder having 126 rushes for 639 yards and seven touchdowns in his career.

Scene 1: Q1, 2:16 left; Third-and-3 at the MIN 47

The Vikings are in the shotgun with tight end Kyle Rudolph separated from the offensive linemen, three receivers (Mike Wallace, Charles Johnson and Jarius Wright) and Jerick McKinnon at running back. The Raiders crowd the line of scrimmage, placing 10 defenders between it and the yard to gain and show blitz up the middle. They only have two defenders with their hands in the ground; the rest are in two-point stances.

Rudy and the receivers run their routes. He and Wright take defenders on the left side of the field with them. McKinnon helps pick up the middle blitz as the Raiders drop LB Benson Mayowa a couple yards back from the line of scrimmage.

Left tackle Matt Kalil does a good job of sending Khalil Mack too far wide of his desired path to Bridgewater when rushing from the edge. Bridgewater quickly sees the opening to his left and decisively tucks and runs. He wins the footrace against Mayowa to the chains for a first down.

Result:The Vikings seized momentum after the third-down conversion, scoring five plays and 49 yards later on a beautiful throw by Bridgewater and catch by Johnson.

Scene 2: Q3, 9:15 left; Fourth-and-3 at the MIN 35

The Raiders are in the shotgun with tight end Gabe Holmes a step behind the right tackle, three wide receivers and one running back. The Vikings are crowding the line of scrimmage to show blitz with 10 defenders between the line and yard to gain. Minnesota, however, drops Jabari Price into coverage when the ball is snapped and only sends its four defensive linemen. Holmes appears to get through traffic and find a brief opening by going underneath the slot receiver, but Gerald Hodges quickly covers him.

Ponder surveys his other options — one of which gets tangled and falls — but the coverage by the Vikings is tight. He stutter-steps at the Minnesota 41 when he sees Tom Johnson to his left, and the delay allows Justin Trattou to hustle and tackle Ponder from behind for a sack.

Result: Trattou gets to do a jumping chest bump celebration with Everson Griffen, and the Raiders turn the ball over on downs.

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