The first play came with 13:04 remaining in the first quarter, 3rd and 2,  the first 3rd down of the game for the Vikings offense.  Ponder reverts back to rookie habits on this play and kills the Vikings chances to build some offensive rhythm early on.

Percy Harvin is on the bottom, Michael Jenkins in the slot, Devin Aromashodu on top, Kyle Rudolph to the right of Christian Ponder, Toby Gerhart to his left.  Aaron Ross is over top of Aromashodu, William Middleton over top of Harvin, Kyle Bosworth is shading to Michael Jenkins.  It’s a simple zone scheme from the Jaguars, two safeties over the top with the outside corners in short zone.  Pre-snap, Christian Ponder should recognize that Bosworth is under all the pressure.  Harvin and Aromashodu are running go routes to clear out the middle of the field for Jenkins to work against the linebackers.  Gerhart and Rudolph are both chipping the Jacksonville defensive ends, before leaking out.  Ponder should know he has a clean pocket with two checkdowns if Jacksonville covers well.

Both safeties are cleared out as expected and Jenkins has a step on Bosworth, but Ponder becomes impatient in the pocket and as you can see above, takes off for the first down.

Even if he has to hang onto it too long to find Jenkins, Bosworth’s drop has put him in no position to come up and make a play on Rudolph.  At this point Ponder is already being tackled short of the first down as Mincey shed his block and made a good play.  It’s understandable from Ponder though.  He played all of last season reliant on his athletic ability with a tattered offensive line.  This just shows some growth he still needs to make as a quarterback.  To his credit, he became far more comfortable in the pocket as the game wore on and made huge plays late.

The next play comes with :27 left in the 4th quarter, with Minnesota holding a 20-15 lead.  Yep, it’s Blaine Gabbert to Cecil Shorts.

The Vikings are in a simple Cover 3 zone, with Harrison Smith playing centerfield.  Chris Cook and Josh Robinson are on the outside manning their 1/3 of the field, which means Cook has Cecil Shorts to himself on the go route.  The Vikings have four defensive ends in the game to rush the passer, Jared Allen, Brian Robison, Everson Griffen and D’Aundre Reed.  The Jaguars have clearly spotted a trend in the Vikings coverage during their no-huddle, because Gabbert knows right where he’s going with it.  He made a fantastic throw and Shorts made a fantastic adjustment to the ball in the air to make the catch.  In X’s and O’s, the Jaguars have won this battle.

The Vikings were relying on their front four to produce pressure throughout the last drive, and they were unable.  Only Robison was able to generate a shade of pressure on Gabbert here, the other three stonewalled.

The last play came 3 plays into overtime, as Adrian Peterson took advantage of some terrific run blocking to bust off a 20 yard gain.

The Vikings are in the Power-I, with Felton at the fullback spot and Rudolph at TE.  Jacksonville is countering with Andre Branch on the edge, Tyson Alualu with an outside shade on Charlie Johnson, and Bosworth on the strong side.  Matt Kalil and Charlie Johnson are the straw that stirs the drink on this play.  They’re responsible to a combo block on Alualu and Paul Posluszny.  Russell Allen takes himself out of the play from the start with a run blitz on the backside, meaning the Jaguars have to shed their blocks and make a play on Peterson.

Rudolph makes just enough of a block on Branch to keep him from grabbing a hold of Peterson.  Johnson and Kalil have handled Alualu with relative ease.

Felton has no problem with Bosworth.  He dominated linebackers at the second level all day.  Kalil makes the biggest block on the play, stoning Posluszny and springing Peterson into the open field.  This play got the Vikings into position to seal points early in overtime, which led to their eventual triumph.

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