It almost seems nit-picking now, with all that went wrong on Sunday, but it’s still good to hear coach Jim Schwartz’s explanation for a couple of headscratching moves:
The first: Why did he have to burn a timeout early in the fourth quarter on the Vikings’ two-point conversion try?
Schwartz: “Well, we were a little bit unsettled. We had base personnel on the field and they were in three wide receivers and we didn’t have very good matchups in there. It could potentially have been a big play, particularly if we could have got a stop. We didn’t get it stopped, but thought the timeout was worth it there to be able to get the matchups the way that we want them.”
The irony, of course, was the Vikings put the ball Adrian Peterson’s hands and he ran it in. The Lions’ base defense might have been better suited to stop that run.
The other odd one was Schwartz’s decision to try a pooch kick after the Lions had cut the lead to six in the third quarter. The Lions call those kicks “mortars.”
Schwartz: “Jason (Hanson) had just come off making that tackle on the sideline and we wanted to try to mortar… It wasn’t as deep as we wanted it. We’d like to get that ball down about the 20-yard line or so and force those guys to catch it. That didn’t work out very well.
“It would have worked out a lot better if a guy that’s not used to handling the ball fumbled and we’d been able to get the fumble. But that wasn’t the intention. It was a little bit short for where we wanted it.”
The Vikings turned the short kick into a fast, 62-yard touchdown drive.