In order to stop the Minnesota Vikings offense, there is a relatively simple blueprint: get pressure with four and play man coverage.
That isn’t exactly Wink Martindale’s game. He loves to blitz and have his corners play man coverage.
He did so on 51.9% of dropbacks this past Saturday. That’s on par with what Martindale likes to do and quarterback Kirk Cousins played pretty well against the blitz. On those, he went 15-24 for 171 yards and two touchdowns per Pro Football Focus. The Giants also got Cousins for three of his four sacks while blitzing.
The blitz was somewhat successful but the Vikings were still able to take advantage.
This is a prime example of the Vikings’ offensive line figuring out how to protect Cousins.
This play counteracts the blitz perfectly. The Giants send seven and the Vikings are mostly playing max protect with a split zone action to the right. In utilizing play-action, Cousins flows to the right and has a clean enough pocket to fire a dig route to a wide-open Justin Jefferson.
This play is designed for the blitz to take Cousins down quickly, as the defense is playing a basic quarters shell behind it to prevent the Vikings from attacking downfield.
The offensive line slid to the right very well and held their blocks enough to where Cousins didn’t feel any significant pressure.
The offensive line is becoming a more cohesive unit as the year goes on and this game showed a lot of that.