Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Vikings find success with hurry-up offense

Posted by: under Vikings, Brad Childress, Darrell Bevell, Vikings players, Brad Childress, Brett Favre, Darrell Bevell Updated: November 9, 2010 - 10:27 AM

The Vikings were able to erase a 14-point deficit with less than five minutes left Sunday in large part because they ran their hurry-up offense effectively.

With Brett Favre in shotgun and calling many of the plays, the Vikings moved the ball and managed the clock with quick-hitting passes. Favre completed 17 of 22 passes for 213 yards in the fourth quarter and overtime combined.

"We practice it every week and we always have at least one good two-minute session every week and typically the guys kid me when we go 80 yards away and we pick a situation from a past game during the week in the NFL," coach Brad Childress said. "I think last week it was 80 yards, no timeouts and 1:39 to go. I can’t remember which game that came from. They always kid me, ‘Are we ever going to go down and kick a field goal to try and win the game?’ It’s always the toughest for the offense. The point is going through the drill, offense and defense. [Favre] is familiar with it, and from time to time it’s a good thing to utilize."

Given their success with it Sunday, it will be interesting to see if the Vikings use it during normal game situations as a change of pace. The hurry-up gives the offense tempo while keeping the defense off-balance and making it difficult for them to substitute players.

The fact Favre has been in those situations countless times in his career is critical because he can call plays and not always rely on help from the sideline. 

"We shoot him plays where we can," Childress said. "When there’s a little bit of a lag or the ball is out of bounds, we may get in the muddle-huddle. Sometimes we do huddle when it stops and typically we give him a play for that. He has got a menu, as do we, that we practice for the two-minute, and sometimes we’ll trick his memory and there are times where he’s got to do it on his own."
 
Favre said Sunday's hurry-up offense in the fourth quarter was a mix of him calling plays and assistance from offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.
 
"When we huddled up or when we were out of bounds or something, Darrell probably was giving them to me," he said. "I think that touchdown run, was an off-tackle play that Adrian ran in. Darrell had called that one in. I don’t think that was a huddled up play, I think that was at the line. The pass to Bernard [Berrian], the last pass play, was a run play to the left. Nothing was called, he was alert. They came with a blitz that was probably in position to stop the run, I throw him a quick slant, he makes a great play and almost comes out of it and scores. It’s those great plays that you have to make. When we needed to make them, we made them. I think to answer your question, it was when the clock was stopped, when we huddled up, Darrell probably gave them to me."
 
 

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