Revisiting 2019 - Kevin King's Week 2 Interception

Welcome back! While a lot of people are looking forward to free agency and the draft, I am spending my offseason reliving some of my favorite moments from the Packers 2019 season. I'm basically engaging in some "Old Haunts"/"Glory Days" behavior. It kind of sounds sad when I say it like that, but it's actually pretty great.

If you want to revisit my week 2 article on passing concepts, you can do that here.

This week we're going back to the Packers Week 2 victory over the Vikings. Let's talk about the context a little.

The Packers started off the game by scoring a touchdown in 2 minutes, tacked on another about 10 minutes later, then tacked on yet another on the second play of the 2nd quarter. The Vikings were reeling from the jump and found themselves down 21-0 after the first 3 Packers drives. But the Packers stalled after that, sitting on 21 points for the remainder of the game. The Vikings just kept chipping away. With 5:17 remaining in the 4th quarter, the Vikings were knocking on the door. After picking up 52 yards on 8 plays, the Vikings had 1st & goal at the Packers 8 yard line.

Of the 8 plays on the drive, Kirk Cousins [8] only dropped back to pass twice. His first dropback saw him scrambling for a 6 yard gain, while his second dropback saw him compleing a 5 yard pass over the middle on 3rd & 3. The running game was working well on that drive, averaging 6.8 yards per attempt.

On 1st & goal, they chose to go with a play action bootleg. They chose...poorly.

On the left, Kevin King [20] is lined up over Stefon Diggs [14]. On the right, Jaire Alexander [23] is lined up over Adam Thielen [19]. The Vikings are in 12 personnel (1 RB, 2 TE, 2 WR) in a compressed formation. Given the way the Vikings had been running the ball on that drive, they're looking to catch the Packers loading up to stop the run. It works. The Packers load the box and leave a huge space open in the middle of the field.

The defense is pulled up on the play fake, essentially leaving King and Alexander on islands with their men. With Thielen running a shorter route, that leaves King following Diggs on a crossing route across the entire field. Why is that important?

Diggs is fast and he gets the inside release against King. With that much field, a fast receiver has the ability to gain a lot of separation on his defender. Get a step then just run fast across the field. And, without anyone in the middle to pick up the route across the field, it's just Diggs on King.

King reads the initial break well. And, while he starts outside, he sticks with Diggs across the field. Even though he starts the play over the top, he is able to angle underneath Diggs and put himself in a great position to undercut the throw.

Dean Lowry [94] doesn't bite on the play fake and stays home. That forces Cousins to fade back. The line of scrimmage is at the 8, and Cousins ends up fading back and throwing this from the 22.

King has this covered well. On top of that, B.J. Goodson [93] is reading Cousins and fades under the throw. At the last minute, Goodson turns around and lays off the play instead of going for the interception. Smart play all the way around for Goodson.

I'm thinking Cousins was trying to get this thing up towards the back pylon. Kind of a "either my guy gets it or no one gets it" situation. But, fading back with a man in his face, he can't get it high or far enough. 

It is thrown so high that King mistimes his jump a bit, but he's able to hang in the air for long enough to come down with the interception.

It's a bad decision by Cousins to throw this - especially on 1st down - but it's a great play by Kevin King to stick with Diggs across the field and put himself in a position to come down with the interception. 

Album listened to: The Ballroom Thieves - Unlovely




Dusty Evely is a film analyst for Cheesehead TV. He can be heard talking about the Packers on Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter at @DustyEvely or email at [email protected].


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Comments (2)

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Jonathan Spader's picture

February 26, 2020 at 08:13 pm

Hope we see more of this from King this season.

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Spock's picture

February 28, 2020 at 04:13 am

Thanks, Dusty, for another in-depth look at one of last year's plays. Please keep 'em coming!

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