The Minnesota Vikings attempted the "tush push" on Monday Night Football against the San Francisco 49ers, and it didn't end the way it typically does for the team that popularized it, the Philadelphia Eagles, thanks to superstar linebacker Fred Warner.
.@fred_warner timed this perfectly ?
— NFL (@NFL) October 24, 2023
As you can see above, Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is under center with two players behind him getting ready to push. However, just as the ball is snapped, 49ers linebacker Fred Warner hurdles the offensive line and sacks Cousins.
Let's compare this "tush push" attempt to one by the Eagles on Sunday Night Football against the Miami Dolphins.
ANOTHER TUSH PUSH
THE EAGLES DO NOT CARE
— JPAFootball (@jasrifootball) October 23, 2023
At around 0:20 in the clip above, the Eagles attempt a "tush push" just before the Dolphins' 40-yard line. The one difference we can see between the Eagles' attempt and the Vikings' is that the Eagles are far more scrunched together and have a third player behind their quarterback, Jalen Hurts, to push it forward.
The Vikings were a bit more loosely situated and had two players to push instead of three.
The Eagles have a 93.3% success rate on the play this season — which, believe it or not, is lower than last season's success rate of 93.5%. They ran the play 43 times last year and have used it 17 times this season.
As for Warner timing the snap correctly, this could've been just his innate ability, but the Vikings could've probably used a different snap cadence to try to throw the defense off. Warner timed that a bit too well, but we're unsure if the cadence was different.
What this demonstrates, though, is the superiority the Eagles have with this play. No other team converts it nearly as well. Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni has been using that as a defense to preventing the NFL from banning the play.
Despite the failed "tush push," the Vikings defeated the 49ers at home, 22-17. Cousins completed 35 of 45 passes for 378 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. They improved to 3-4. This coming week, they'll take on the Green Bay Packers on the road. The 49ers, now 5-2, will host the Cincinnati Bengals.
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