The Minnesota Vikings offense got lost at sea for most of the second quarter of the season opener against Green Bay, and by the time Kirk Cousins steered the ship back on course, the game was all but over.
“It got ugly there for a few possessions,” offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak said Thursday, via the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
That’s an understatement.
After driving 75 yards for an opening drive TD, the Vikings offense crashed. The next three possessions netted a total of negative-6 yards. The disaster included a sack safety, a three-and-out (including another sack), and an interception. By the time the string ended, Green Bay was up 22-7.
“We’re trying to chase four quarters,” Kubiak said. “What was the difference? It’s always little things…That’s part of football. You’ve got to battle through mistakes. Keep battling and keep playing and stay positive in your approach. We did that.”
Cousins threw only five passes in the first half, his fewest in the first half of any game he started in his career. The Vikings made up ground with a 21-point fourth quarter in garbage time, but the loss was basically in the books by that point.
In Kubiak’s first game calling plays since 2016, after replacing Kevin Stefanski, who took the Browns head-coaching job, the offense looked uneven. Most surprisingly, over the course of the game, Minnesota ran just one play-action pass on 25 Cousins pass attempts. The QB is best when using play-action, and it was a staple in last year’s success. Vikings fans hope the cliff-dive was simply a product of a game-script tilting against them for the bulk of the game.
“Being a play-caller is a lot like being a player,” Kubiak said. “You call a two-deep play and they’re playing three-deep, and it’s not a good play. You’ve got to go on to the next one.”
We’ll get a better sense of what the Vikings offense will look like after Sunday’s game in Indianapolis.
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