Magnitude of busted coverage hits home in a hurry

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 24, 2011 - 5:15 AM

Husain Abdullah bit on a fake, and Greg Jennings was history.

Vikings free safety Husain Abdullah had a simple explanation for one of the worst busted coverages you'll ever see unfold in an NFL game.

"I just simply lost sight of [Greg] Jennings," Abdullah said.

That's not a good thing to do. Jennings has more 80-yard touchdown catches (four) than any other player in the history of the Green Bay Packers. He also happens to be quarterback Aaron Rodgers' favorite of many targets.

On Sunday, he came within a yard of making it five 80-yard scores when he slipped unnoticed downfield for a 79-yard touchdown reception that changed, well, everything in the Packers' 33-27 victory over the Vikings at Mall of America Field.

"I was sick to my stomach when I looked up and saw that throw," Abdullah said. "Especially with how great we were playing up to that point and how that play kind of just sucked the air out of the building. It was one of those plays that totally shifts a game completely around."

The Vikings led the Packers 17-13 when Rodgers dropped back for that pass with 14 minutes, 22 seconds left in the third quarter.

"He scrambled [to his right] and I seen [receiver Donald] Driver," Abdullah said. "Then Rodgers fake-pumped to, I think, [tight end Jermichael Finley]. I thought Rodgers was going to throw it down, so I came up."

Left cornerback Asher Allen, a third-stringer forced to start, bumped Jennings near the line of scrimmage and released him because he was supposed to have safety help over the top. Abdullah was the safety on that side and was supposed to have deep half coverage.

Jennings threw his right arm in the air when he got about 20 yards behind the nearest Viking. He caught the ball at the Vikings 45-yard line and practically jogged the rest of the way.

"Those are fun ones," Rogers said. ''It's tough to throw those. You don't want to underthrow it, or overthrow it.''

It was one of Rodgers' three touchdown passes. He also completed 24 of 30 passes for 335 yards and a 146.5 passer rating. A perfect rating is 158.3.

"He's a great player," Abdullah said. "It's tough to play against him. But when you make it easy for him, like I did ..."

Abdullah didn't finish the sentence. He didn't need to. The busted play was the first step in the Packers outscoring the Vikings 20-0 in the third quarter.

"That's NFL football," middle linebacker E.J. Henderson said. "This game usually comes down to one or two plays. That was definitely one of them."

The Vikings went into the game missing three of their top five defensive backs. Cornerback Antoine Winfield (neck) and strong safety Jamarca Sanford (concussion) were injured. Winfield's backup, Chris Cook, was in Hennepin County jail after being arrested and charged with domestic battery the day before.

The Vikings had planned to play a lot of dime packages with six defensive backs. But they stuck with their nickel packages rather than put rookie Brandon Burton in the game as the dime back.

Allen started at left corner. Tyrell Johnson started at strong safety. And Marcus Sherels played the nickel back.

"We had a couple of packages that we were going to use," Johnson said. "But they wouldn't have worked because we were shorthanded."

Abdullah said the Vikings secondary went into the game with a "next-man-up mentality."

"We went out there with the guys that we had, and we fought hard," he said. "That's why for me to give up something like that, it's just tough."

  • related content

  • Jermichael Finley

  • how it unfolded

    Score: 17-13 Vikings

    Time: 14:21, third quarter

    Packers' ball, 2nd-and-9

    from own 21.

    1

    2

    1: Jennings (85) runs a go route, covered by Asher Allen (21) while Husain Abdullah (39) is supposed to cover Jennings if he runs deep. The rest of the Packers receivers flood the left and middle of the field. QB Aaron Rodgers starts out looking left.

    2: Allen leaves Jennings to cover an out route, and Abdullah does not pick him up. Rodgers moves to his right and hits Jennings in stride for the TD.

    1

    2

    Josh Crutchmer, Star Tribune a wide-open greg jennings gave the pack the lead for good
  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Chicago WSox - LP: Z. Duke 1 FINAL
Detroit - WP: J. Soria 2
San Diego - WP: J. Shields 5 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: B. Schlitter 4
Philadelphia - LP: S. O Sullivan 2 FINAL
Washington - WP: M. Scherzer 7
Milwaukee - LP: J. Nelson 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: V. Worley 6
Atlanta - WP: C. Martin 8 FINAL
Toronto - LP: B. Cecil 7
Miami - LP: B. Hand 1 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: B. Colon 4
Baltimore - LP: B. Matusz 2 FINAL
Boston - WP: K. Uehara 3
NY Yankees - WP: D. Betances 5 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: K. Jepsen 4
LA Angels - WP: C. Ramos 6 FINAL
Houston - LP: C. Qualls 3
Cleveland - LP: B. Shaw 2 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: B. Boyer 3
Oakland - LP: D. Otero 4 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: W. Davis 6
Cincinnati - LP: J. Cueto 1 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: M. Wacha 6
Colorado - LP: K. Kendrick 3 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: C. Kershaw 7
Texas - WP: Y. Gallardo 3 FINAL
Seattle - LP: J. Happ 1
Arizona - WP: J. Collmenter 9 FINAL
San Francisco - LP: J. Peavy 0
Ottawa 2 FINAL(OT)
Montreal 3
NY Islanders 3 FINAL
Washington 4
Chicago 2 FINAL
Nashville 6
Calgary 1 FINAL
Vancouver 4
San Jose 0 FINAL
Red Bull New York 2
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Where will Adrian Peterson be playing in 2015?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close