Vikings’ Brian Flores Gets Brutally Honest on Stopping Patrick Mahomes

Patrick Mahomes, Brian Flores

Getty Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores expects Patrick Mahomes to make plays on Sunday.

Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores doesn’t expect to beat Patrick Mahomes on Sunday — but he is hoping to win in the right situations.

Addressing local media at a news conference on Thursday, October 5, Flores gave a realistic assessment of his defense’s prospects in facing the league’s top quarterback and the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs.

“We talk at length about his scramble ability, but those plays are going to happen. I mean, when you’re playing a great player, an MVP-caliber player, that player is probably going to make some plays. that’s just kind of how it goes,” Flores said.

“I tell our players, ‘Sometimes you got to tip your cap. That’s alright we just got to move on to the next play.’  That’s really what it’s about. They got a good offense, they got a good defense. They’re the defending champions, so they’re going to make a few plays, we understand that. We’re going to do everything we can so that in those situations, we win those particular situations, but when they hit a play, we just move on to the next one. That’s really the mindset we’ve got to take.”

The Risk of Blitzing Mahomes

Patrick Mahomes

GettyKansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Mahomes is among a few of the NFL’s greatest quarterbacks who seem to transcend the blitz, which has been Flores’ calling card throughout his career.

Flores is well aware of the risk of blitzing Mahomes, who owns a higher passer rating (111.7) against the blitz than greats like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Teams have adjusted accordingly. Mahomes is the least blitzed quarterback through four weeks, facing the blitz just 14.8% of the time this season.

“The best bet is just to mix things against a group like this, but, this quarterback is as dynamic a player as we have in our league,” Flores said.

No team has blitzed more than the Vikings this year at a 57.0% rate, per Pro Football Reference, however, they’ve been one of the least effective teams in creating pressure, ranking 29th in pressure rate (17.1%) this season.

Minnesota’s defense has lacked the talent on the defensive front to create pressure without the blitz, but the return of Marcus Davenport did help the Vikings create 12 pressures against the Panthers while blitzing on 45% of pass-rushing snaps.

Flores stressed that it isn’t the play call but the execution that is going to come down to winning vital situations on Sunday.

“It always has nothing to do with a call or blitz. It’s about our fundamentals, our technique, our leverage, it’s really never about the call, it’s about our execution,” Flores said. “It’s a big challenge for us and we’re working tirelessly to put ourselves in a good position and then execute.”

Brian Flores is Ready for a Rollercoaster Matchup

Brian Flores

GettyVikings defensive coordiantor Brian Flores

Coaches will attempt to control as many variables as possible by teaching execution, good technique and deploying the right play on any given down. Sometimes that’s not enough, and on the other hand, sometimes you steal a play that should have panned out poorly.

It’s all part of the game that Flores revels in and is reminded of approaching a matchup with arguably his toughest assignment of the year.

“It doesn’t feel like that in a moment,” Flores said when asked about finding peace in the opponent just making a good play. “But you have peace when that happens, you try to put guys in the right positions and that’s the beauty of the game. You can do a lot of things right and still doesn’t work out. You can do a lot of things wrong and it does work out so, that’s what I love about it. That’s why I’m so passionate about the game.

“That’s why we are all so passionate about the game. That’s why there’s so many fans in the stadium and why so many people watch, and I just feel so fortunate to be a part of it. This week is certainly up there as far as games that I’m excited to be a part of, so very appreciative and fortunate.”