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Anatomy of a Play: The 2-Point Conversion

The Vikings used a running back behind a physical blocking scheme to convert what could've been a crucial conversion late in Sunday's 29-26 win over the Washington Redskins. The third touchdown of the day for RB Matt Asiata gave the Vikings a 27-26 lead with 3:27 to play. A one-point lead that late in the 4th quarter calls for a two-point conversion attempt, and the Vikings converted when they handed it off to Asiata once again and he plunged in to increase the Vikings lead to three.

Let's take a closer look at how the Vikings converted this two-point try…

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It's standard operating procedure for play callers to relay two plays to the quarterback and then for the quarterback to decide which play will be run after making his pre-snap read. That appears to have been the case here for the Vikings, as QB Teddy Bridgewater (circled) is demonstrative in calling out signals to the rest of the offense, perhaps electing to run the ball against a Redskins front that is comprised of just four down linemen and one safety (rectangle), with a pair of LBs on the periphery of the box. This pre-snap setup favors a run for the Vikings, particularly after QB Bridgewater motions TE Rhett Ellison (dotted arrow) into the backfield.

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With TE Ellison in place in the backfield, the Vikings have Washington outnumbered in the box, with five linemen plus the TE against the Redskins front. C John Sullivan (left arrow) will block down on 73 Frank Kearse while RG Joe Berger and RT Phil Loadholt will double team 97 Jason Hatcher. TE Ellison (right arrow), who motioned into the backfield, will kick out 91 Ryan Kerrigan. The key block is from LG Charlie Johnson (dotted line), who will pull at the snap and become RB Asiata's lead blocker, taking out 31 Brandon Meriweather.

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LG Johnson (circled) has eliminated 31 Meriweather and is impeding 91 Kerrigan from slipping past TE Ellison's block (rectangle). RT Loadholt (right arrow) has sealed 97 Hatcher and RB Asiata does a nice job staying tight to the seal created by RG Berger (left arrow) and RT Loadholt. Once to the line of scrimmage, RB Asiata lowers his pad level (between the vertical lines) to ensure entry into the end zone and a conversion for two points.

At this stage of the game, the Vikings offensive line had completely dominated the line of scrimmage in the second half. The Vikings ran for 86 of their 100 yards, three touchdowns and this two-point conversion plus did not allow a sack in the second half. Bridgewater and Asiata's names appeared in the box score and the acclaim they receive is rightfully earned, but it's made possible in large part by the hard work and synergy of the offensive line plus the tight ends, who teamed up to consistently move the line of scrimmage forward in the second half.

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