First just let me say that I'm as big a Hawks fan as anyone, and have been from day one of the franchise. And I’m absolutely thrilled that we won last night, and ecstatic to be 5-0 going into the bye. And with the extra week, hopefully we get some people healthy like Jamal Adams and Dunbar, and work snacks Harrison into the rotation.
That being said, I've got some questions and some things I need to get off my chest, and if you want to call me a Debbie-Downer after a big win, that’s fine, I’ve got no problem with it. But there are things I fail to understand about Pete Carroll’s schemes, and maybe some of you can offer a different perspective.
For starters, I thought Zimmer had the perfect game plan against the Hawks on both sides of the ball. I think we were terribly outcoached and I was troubled we didn't make any adjustments whatsoever on either side of the ball in the first half.
Let’s start with the offense. The Hawks love the deep ball and everyone knows it. So the Vikings come out and play cover-2 to guard against the long passes that Russ is so good at. So instead of running crossing routes in front of their safeties, or seam routes or comeback routes, all designed to take advantage of the defense they were employing, we play right into their hands by consistently running 3 receivers deep, which their defense was specifically designed to stop! We did this the entire first half and we all saw the result. Schotty has been calling great games this season, but last nights play-calling was complete BS based on the defense the Vikings were employing.
Now for the defense. First, let me just say that giving up two separate 97-yard drives to anyone is an embarrassment. But giving up two separate 97-yard drives to a very mediocre QB like Cousins is inexcusable.
It's the same old thing with Pete Carroll and his ridiculous and ultra-conservative “bend-but-don’t-break” defensive schemes. Give up the easy underneath stuff but keep everything in front and don't get beat deep. As a result, we make it far too easy for teams to convert 3rd downs and march right down the field. I have zero confidence in this defense getting off the field on 3rd downs against anyone.
We can't get off the field on 3rd down because we consistently give up the easy underneath stuff in the name of guarding against the big play over the top. Without exaggeration, it's just a simple pitch-and-catch for the QB/receiver. It's a terribly flawed scheme. For a defensive minded coach like PC, it boggles the mind.
I hope someone can talk me off the ledge because I fail to see how allowing teams easy first downs and marching right down the field with little resistance is better than playing more aggressively and risking a possible big play over the top. Please, someone help me understand this because this drives me absolutely insane each and every week. I think I need therapy. What am I missing? Does anyone have a different perspective on this?
We're 5-0 for the first time, and I absolutely love it! But that 5-0 is despite the defense, not because of it. Against teams in our division, it's going to bite us squarely in the ass if they don't adjust their schemes. Playing 5 to 10 yards off receivers with our corners bailing out pre-snap on 3rd and 7 is not going to get it done against anyone. Had we not opened up the offense, we would be getting crushed! Russ is carrying this team and I personally think PC is overrated and often gets outcoached like he did last night.
Thank you for reading.