Deion Sanders Rips Vikings DBs for Ditching Game Plan in Loss to Packers
The Minnesota Vikings had one of the better defenses in the NFL this season; however, if you watched the team’s pitiful performance Saturday against the Green Bay Packers you wouldn’t be able to tell. The Packers put up four touchdowns in the first half and went on to win 38-25.
As it turns out, part of the reason the Vikings melted down in the first half is because the defensive backs decided to abandon head coach Mike Zimmer’s game plan and go rouge. Zimmer wanted Xavier Rhodes to sit on Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson every play; however, the corners choose instead to each cover their own side of the field.
It didn’t work out. Nelson complied 145 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. Rhodes had some questions to answer postgame.
“To be honest, I really don’t want to answer that,” said Rhodes, resisting momentarily before expounding on the defense’s decision to disobey orders. “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.”
That clearly didn’t work out. Of course, Nelson burned the Vikings for 73 yards and one touchdown when the teams met originally Week Two. Maybe Rhodes and company thought they knew better. However, Minnesota did win the first meeting thanks to an Aaron Rodgers interception at the end of the game. They lost this time around.
When the team switched to Zimmer’s plan in the second half, the Vikings held Nelson to nine yards on two receptions. As it turns out, Rhodes shadowing Nelson was the right call, as it prevented the shifty receiver from breaking away for the large gains that Zimmer foresaw.
“That’s what he was supposed to do the whole game,” said Zimmer. “Someone decided they wouldn’t do that. In the first half when Terence Newman came over and said something to me like ‘I can cover this guy, let me have him,’ I said, ‘do what you’re supposed to do.’”
Newman, however, declined to comment on the development and Xavier Tweeted that people shouldn’t believe everything they hear the day after the loss.
“It amazing that ppl believe everything they hear,” Tweeted Rhodes, who should probably ask for a Grammarly subscription for Christmas. “It’s more to the story. To all who knows me knows I obey authority. Merry Christmas to all.”
All I know is for the first half of the game the defensive backs weren’t in proper coverage. Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders was not happy with the Vikings defense—especially Newman, a 14-year NFL veteran.
“Mike Zimmer probably doubles that with his years in the NFL,” ranted Deion, upset with the DBs’ nonsense. “Not only is he a really good head coach, he was also my coach, and I know how much he puts into studying and having you prepared. So if he asks you to flop, that’s because of a purpose. He sees a tendency…I’m sure the defense that he called he wanted them to be in was something to prevent those big plays that we saw Jordy Nelson make. But these ‘rocket scientists’ felt like they know more than the darn coach, and we’re going to get together and come up with our own scheme. How are you going to come up with your own scheme?”
The moral of the story is stick to the script. There’s a reason players play and coaches coach. And your arrogance cost you any shot at the playoffs.