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#pounditSunday, May 26, 2024

Vikings DBs defied Mike Zimmer’s gameplan for Jordy Nelson

The Minnesota Vikings’ defensive backs defied head coach Mike Zimmer on Saturday, and their decision backfired.

Zimmer, a defensive-oriented coach, wanted cornerback Xavier Rhodes to shadow Green Bay Packers receiver Jordy Nelson for the whole game. Instead, the Vikings’ defensive backs got together and decided that they could handle Nelson without making a special plan for Rhodes.

Nelson instead burned the Vikings for 9 catches, 154 yards and two touchdowns. He had 7 catches, 145 yards and both scores in the first half, which was without Rhodes shadowing him.

It wasn’t until the second half that the defense finally went with Zimmer’s plan and had Rhodes shadow Nelson, who posted just two catches in the second half.

According to the Star Tribune’s Andrew Krammer, this whole issue came to attention when Zimmer was asked after the 38-25 loss about moving Rhodes onto Nelson for the second half.

When asked after the game what happened, Rhodes initially was hesitant but then opened up.

“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, so that’s what we as DBs went with.”

In the first half, Rhodes stayed on his side and did not shadow Nelson, but that proved to be costly.

Maybe next time Minnesota’s players should trust Zimmer. After all, the team hasn’t consistently been a top-10 defense under his leadership for nothing.

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