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Vikings Refused to Follow Game Plan for Jordy Nelson

We noted how the Minnesota Vikings started their 38-25 loss to the Green Bay Packers with Terence Newman covering Jordy Nelson. Newman is the Vikings’ No. 2 corner and he didn’t do a very good job on Nelson, who went off for nine catches for 154 yards and two touchdowns.

The majority of those catches and yards were piled up in the first half with Newman primarily in coverage. The Vikings switched their No. 1 corner, Xavier Rhodes, exclusively onto Nelson in the second half and Nelson was limited to two catches for nine yards.

Apparently, there was a bit of a mutiny by the Vikings’ defensive backs that allowed Nelson to go off. The game plan called for Rhodes to shadow Nelson all game and he and Newman decided they’d just play a side of the field instead.

“To be honest, I really don’t want to answer that,” Rhodes started, before explaining what happened.

“A matter of fact, forget it. We felt as a team, as players, we came together and we felt like we’d never done that when we played against the Packers. Us as DBs felt like we could handle him. That’s how we felt as DBs that we could stay on our side and cover him. In the beginning, we’d always played against them and played our sides, we never followed, so that’s what we felt as DBs. That’s what we went with.”

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer confirmed the game plan.

“That’s what he was supposed to do the whole game,” Zimmer said. “Someone decided they wouldn’t do that.”

That’s the sort of Vikings’ dysfunction we LOVE!

Everyone seems quick to praise Zimmer, but he clearly doesn’t even have the respect of some of his own players.

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Joseph Bonham

Joseph is a fiction writer when he isn't doing this. In his spare time he likes to do manly things like drink beer and procreate.

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10 Comments

  1. Empacador December 25, 2016

    So what was the real reason Norv left the team? If the players can decide they want to freelance in the face of their head coach, maybe Norv was on to something by getting while the getting was good. Sounds like Zimmer has a little McCarthy in him.

  2. MMK December 26, 2016

    Remember when Killer said he was unsure whether or not the Vikings would make the super bowl this year?

  3. Squeezy December 26, 2016

    God the Vikings are awful, just stinking dog feces.

  4. WtF December 26, 2016

    My question is why did Zimmer bring it up in his press conference? This seems like something that should be discussed with the team behind closed doors. Making it public blew it up. Now everybody’s talking about it. I wounder if Zimmer is beginning to lose control of this team.

  5. Freezing in Kazakhstan December 26, 2016

    Vikings are now in full damage control mode. They are a burning dumpster fire of dog feces (slight correction to squeezey’s comment above)
    This is all just delicious home brew made from the bitter tears of super bowl bound Vikings fans.
    Thank God I was born a Packer fan

  6. Empacador December 26, 2016

    I don’t understand why it was reported on a Minnesota newspaper website an hour after the game, but the team disputed the report by telling ESPN THE NEXT DAY it wasn’t as bad as initial reports made it sound. Rhodes spilled the beans, why try to spin it as something other than what it was? Complete and blatant disregard for the coaching staff.

    1. Howard December 26, 2016

      Didn’t the Packers and McCarthy do basically the same thing after the colts game. No emotion/not ready to play after the game turned into something different the next day. No emotion, Not prepared, and Not following the coaches direction during games get coach(s) fired.

    2. PF4L December 26, 2016

      Empacador….Usually what hear right away is closest to the truth.

      Then what you hear later on is public relation spin try to minimize the situation and embarrassment. It happens in all aspects of life, especially when it’s in the public eye through the media.

  7. Killer December 26, 2016

    Quite a few things wrong in this article. Some can be forgiven because Bonham was just jumping on other people’s news mistakes and accepting them as truth. It is true a reporter with deadlines can’t always independently verify and really should be able to trust news sources such as ESPN. Then again, experience should have taught us better.

    1st Bonham should give attribution to his news sources. That is reporting integrity, common courtesy, and it makes it easier to back track once the errors come to light. Obviously, this was not news that Bonham independently got wrong.

    2nd, the game plan was for Rhodes to shadow Nelson in base packages when Nelson was not in the slot. If he was lined up out wide the Rhodes would be on him though there were quite a few exception situations in which even then he would not be. You got this part somewhat correct but without the necessary caveats as you see I provided.

    In the first series AND THE FIRST SERIES ALONE the game plan was not followed and Newman and Rhodes stayed on their sides. In this series Nelson caught one pass for 15 yards and that was against Newman coverage.

    After this series Zimmer reminded Rhodes and Newman of the game plan. They then stuck with that game plan.

    But why believe me? Perhaps you will believe… game footage?

    Nelson’s next catch was a 21 yard TD. He lined up in the slot. As per the game plan Rhodes was not in coverage. Embarrassingly, Chad Greenway was and I’m not sure who the safety was he passed him off to or would have.

    Nelson’s next catch was a 48 yarder form the slot. As per the game plan Rhodes was not in coverage. Captain Munnerlyn was and he fell down on the play allowing the easy catch.

    Nelson’s next catch was a 33 yarder. He lined up on the outside (sort of) and I think Rhodes was in initial coverage. Rhodes passed him off to the safety when Nelson slanted to the middle. Sendejo allowed the catch.

    So that was the first 116 yards of Nelson’s day. He then had a 2 yard TD vs. zone coverage (as called by Zimmer and as obeyed by the players) and a intermediate catch vs. Rhodes himself.

    Bonham writing, “The majority of those catches and yards were piled up in the first half with Newman primarily in coverage” is inexcusable. Newman covered him one series and allowed one catch. Is 1 catch for 14 yards and 0 TDs truly commensurate with allowing the “…majority of those catches and yards…” when Nelson totaled 9 catches and 154 yards? Truly irresponsible Bonham.

    Wouldn’t that be the first clue — seeing Rhodes covering Nelson in the 1st half — that reporting that they switched to Rhodes in the 2nd half might not be a good idea? How can you switch to that same person?

    There was no “mutiny” though I know how cheeseheads love their schadenfreude. Zimmer has far more respect from his players and from the fans than McCarthy has ever had. Yes, Bonham, I know you guys love dysfunction. After all, your love of dysfunction is your dysfunction So, I guess when their is none you decide it is a good time to become a fiction writer!

    I am curious to see if Bonham will man up and admit he got it wrong — you know, make it up to the poor schleps that actually believe he is a reporter of truth and fact and informed opinion. Actually, I’m not too curious. More like confident there will be no correction. But, will the editor’s or his co-reporters, or the founder step in to correct this falsehood? Wait… the founder is Monty / Mordecai! I will not therefore hold my breath.

    Remember, this is not a “he said, he said” situation. The truth is the game tape. Many of Nelson’s catches were big plays and if you go on NFL.com you, too, can watch the footage and you will see Newman was not in coverage other than catch #1 in the first series, that most of Nelson’s plays came out of the slot (When Rhodes was not supposed to be covering him), and when not it was Rhodes in coverage even in the first half other than that first series.

    Newman allowing that first catch did not alter the game. Rhodes may also have allowed the catch. I have said it before and will say it again, there is no defense against a perfectly thrown pass to a good receiver. Remember, that first drive ended with a Packer punt so no points were allowed.

  8. PF4L December 27, 2016

    Yep..Everything is fantastic in queen land. 5-0, then lose 8 of 10.

    Sounds about right.

    Nothing to see here folks. But then again, there is never anything to see in Minnesota, besides a football team melting down, inside and outside the locker room.