Vikings Film Room: Kevin O’Connell is maximizing the illusion of complexity

The Minnesota Vikings are one of the better teams in the red zone and one of the reasons is because of head coach and play caller Kevin O’Connell.

He has been a brilliant schemer in the red area by creating mismatches and space for his players. O’Connell has done this in many ways by using motion, space and deception.

One of his more effective usage is by leaking out the tight end. With the acquisition of T.J. Hockenson, he will be the recipient of the routes moving forward. The Vikings have scored two touchdowns on this concept so far this season and they have come in the last two games.

Here, the Vikings are running it out of the I-formation with Smith Jr. split out wide on the strong side. After sliding C.J. Ham to the right in motion, Smith Jr. holds onto his block just long enough before sneaking out behind the linebackers for a touchdown.

On Sunday, the Vikings ran the same concept out of a slightly different formation.

They have the same play here with the strong side to the near side as it was in the first clip. The difference here is that the Vikings have Jalen Reagor in instead of Smith Jr. The inclusion of Reagor gives the defense something they have to account for, as Reagor scored on a pop pass against the Bears.

Here, the Vikings ran a dual-play action with both Dalvin Cook on the handoff and Reagor on the reverse before Johnny Mundt leaks out for a score in the same way that Smith Jr. did.

This is where the Vikings are truly utilizing and capitalizing on the illusion of complexity. This is the same play but it’s run out of a different formation with a slightly different run-action than the previous play. He does this constantly with different route concepts.

The genius of O’Connell is shown on a weekly basis and this is another example. Expect him to do this and more with his new weapon Hockenson the rest of the season.

Story originally appeared on Vikings Wire