What did our successful, non-No Huddle Drive against KC look like?
7 play Drive + 2 plays wiped out by Penalty (Offensive Holding and Defensive Holding; I’m still going to cover those below), 93 yards, TD. This, in my opinion, is the archetype for success against this football team.
1st Down Play-calling – Significant majority passing. I don’t recommend 5:1, but 4:2 or 5:3? Yes.
2nd Down Play-calling – If Medium or Short, pick-up the 1st Down (here we’re in Short and we pick up the 1st on the ground with a gimme) on the ground or Play-action. If Long, Bubble/Smoke Screen, Play-action + an Over route between the hashes and an Under Pivot route for checkdown on the side the Over route is running to, or an easy High/Low read or Iso mismatch.
3rd Down Play-calling – Stay the hell out of 3rd down generally, definitely stay out of 3rd and Long (where they’re the best D in the league by far). We have a single 3rd down and its Short.
2 * Play-action.
Alright, the drive.
1ST & 10 AT TB 14(08:38)
(8:38) (Shotgun) R.Jones left guard to TB 27 for 13 yards (T.Mathieu). PENALTY on TB-A.Marpet, Offensive Holding, 7 yards, enforced at TB 14 – No Play.
Strong Right, Doubles Right, Singleback Left. We start w/ a Shotgun Draw w/ backside OL showing Vertical and 45 Sets and playside showing 45 Set (Smith) and Quick Set (Marpet) w/ uncovered Center climbing 2nd level to MLB and occupying him. Jones hits this B gap weak side, forces a missed tackle and gets several yards after contact.
Its perfectly executed, great run, there is no Hold here by Marpet. Its a garbage call triggered by an iDL flail at the point of attack and an officiating error. But sure, 1st and 17 we go.
1ST & 17 AT TB 7(08:15)
(8:15) (Shotgun) T.Brady pass short right to C.Godwin pushed ob at TB 16 for 9 yards (C.Ward). PENALTY on KC-C.Ward, Defensive Holding, 5 yards, enforced at TB 7 – No Play.
Strong Left, Tight Flanker Left, Singleback Left, Stack Right. They’re 2 Deep and in Cover 2 Zone.
Mike’s on a hard outside release as the Stack’s Point. He pushes 5 yards out horizontally and 13 vertically before he’s back to the Skinny Post. This action forces that C2Z CB to work overtime for the reroute because Mike’s release is compromising the Safety. Godwin is Quickout under him. Its an easy catch and run for 9 and we’re in much better shape on 2nd down.
I LOVE this route combination from Stack (or sub the Quickout for a Whip). It attacks so many different coverages and is really easy to read out and execute. I would love to see us use this a lot more than we do.
And one bad call deserves a make-up call I guess. There isn’t much on tape to support Defensive Holding here. Mike flails a little bit as he extricates himself from the CB reroute, but this looks a no-call to me. You have to wonder if the ref who made the call saw the crap call by his mate who called Holding on Marpet.
1ST & 10 AT TB 12(07:56)
(7:56) T.Brady pass incomplete short left to M.Evans (B.Breeland).
Strong Left, Flanker Left (Mike), Wide Stack Right w/ Godwin coming Short Motion to Slot (this looks like Godwin’s typical Short Motion, so it simulates our run tendencies off this action, though he doesn’t get all the way to Wing). They’re in Cover 1 Press Man Free (Low Hole under FS). We go quick Play-Action, 7 Man Protect, and a 9 yard Hitch to Mike. Ball is out as soon as Brady’s back foot hits.
This is a trivial pitch-and-catch for 9. Bad job by Mike not working back to the ball and boxing out. I love Mike. Love him. But I really, really wish these sorts of snaps were removed from his game. He has too many snaps where details (or Drops) snatch a Play Loss from a would-be Play Win. There is no excuse to for a physical, big-bodied, huge radius, dominant catch-point player like Mike to ever allow this to be incomplete. But Mike doesn’t work back to the ball at all and doesn’t protect the throw from the defender at all so they’re able to get a pretty easy PBU here.
This can’t happen in the SB. Play-call win. Execution win by everyone except the greatest offensive player in team history.
2ND & 10 AT TB 12(07:51)
(7:51) (Shotgun) T.Brady pass short middle to R.Gronkowski to TB 21 for 9 yards (D.Sorensen).
Strong Right, Doubles Right, Singleback Left, Wide Left vs 2 Press Man Under w/ Green Dog (RB stays in so LB comes on blitz). Gronk runs a hard inside release Crossing Route under Mike’s Slant and it wins. Great blitz pick-up by Fournette here (LB would have been in the throw window). Ball is out quick for an easy catch-and-run for 9 to Gronk.
3RD & 1 AT TB 21(07:15)
(7:15) (Shotgun) T.Brady pass short right to A.Brown to TB 23 for 2 yards (C.Ward).
Empty, Strong Left, 2×2 w/ mid-split Stacks. They’re in Cover 2 Zone. We’ve got a C2Z beater on right side w/ Mike running Deep Out from Point and Brown on an Arrow > Out under it. Gronk chips TE and releases on Crossing Route same side. Ball is out instantly to Brown for an easy new set of downs and 3rd down is never to be seen again on this drive!
If we’re not running it or Play-action on 3rd and Short, this is exactly what I want to see. High-low, easy to read out and trivial pitch and catch to a dominant route runner (we’ve got 3 of those on our team in AB, Godwin, and Brate…if Mike isn’t catching a Hitch or a Deep Comeback, it should be an easy underneath throw to these guys).
1ST & 10 AT TB 23(06:39)
(6:39) T.Brady pass short middle to C.Godwin to TB 31 for 8 yards (A.Hitchens; D.Wilson).
12 Personnel, Unbalanced Right, Wide Stack Left vs Cover 2 Zone again.
The TEs are running a double hard outside release Corner over Out. Godwin is running a Shallow Cross under Mike’s Dig on the other side w/ Fournette Hitching where they Stacked. Godwin’s Cross outleverages the Hole to the Unbalanced side and their release + routes forces the Curl/Flat and Flat defender to get depth so this is an easy catch-and-run for 8.
Again, I love the concept. Easy to read out and works against multiple coverages.
2ND & 2 AT TB 31(06:04)
(6:04) L.Fournette up the middle to TB 34 for 3 yards (A.Hitchens).
Strong Left, Inside Zone Weak against 2 deep and a light box; 6v6. Well blocked. Inside Zone is ideal if you press playside and get a seam backside A. We do as Jones outleverages Jensen to playside A. Fournette is 1v1 in the hole and can’t get any yards after contact or force a missed tackle. He gets exactly what the OL gives him and nothing more. But its an easy 3 and perfect play-calling against this team.
Get that easy money 1st down.
1ST & 10 AT TB 34(05:22)
(5:22) (Shotgun) T.Brady pass deep middle to R.Gronkowski to KC 37 for 29 yards (R.Fenton) [A.Hitchens].
We’re Empty, Strong Left, 2×2. They’re showing 1 Deep but they roll to 2 Deep at the snap, Blitz 1, and play Tampa 2 Zone behind. Brady sniffs it out and checks, putting Gronk on a Seam route (you guys probably remember this). The player running the Deep Hole is on-ball and feigns the blitz (as the blitz comes from the other side). There is no way he’s going to be able to run the Hole with Gronk (as the MLB has to do in Tampa 2 Zone). Sure enough, Gronk wins by just enough to drop in the Seam route over the defender trying to run the Deep Hole with him. 23 yard Catch + 6 RAC and we’re in business.
1ST & 10 AT KC 37(04:39)
(4:39) T.Brady pass short left to R.Jones for 37 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
Unbalanced Right, Godwin Motion across to Doubles Left. Play-Action Off LG w/ 7 in Protection vs Cover 2 Read.
From left boundary – Mike Deep Dig, Godwin Post, Brate Deep Out.
Jones Out under Doubles side.
Godwin is wide open as the Hole and Seam/Hook on the other side fits the run briefly. However, they’re in 2 Read so the boundary CB is running w/ Mike’s vert. That means that the WLB is Flat defender. This guy is stressed considerably on this play because (a) he has to read for his run fit, (b) he has to get depth and attempt to reroute Godwin’s Seam. But he also has Curl/Flat here so he can’t get ouflanked by Jones. He’s brutally outflanked. He makes a diving attempt at Jones up the sideline but Jones forces the missed (shoestring) tackle. Its then just a matter of whether that Deep Half Safety will be able to get the angle and make the tackle. Race for the endzone and Jones hurdles his tackle attempt.
This is a pretty good display of just how much more explosive Jones is with the ball in his hand than Fournette. Outside of 3 plays this postseason (the TD run last week, a reception with 2 Forced Missed Tackles, and a run with a Forced Missed Tackle behind the LoS), Fournette has been a complete JAG as a runner (along with a few big missed blitz pick-ups and several Drops – which could have been big but Brady bailed him out). He’s been a serviceable all-around RB, but that is where it ends. Jones is profoundly more dangerous and more efficient with the actual ball in his hands. He forces missed tackles and gets yards-after-contact at a hugely disproportionate rate comparatively (and Jones is only # 20 in the league in RB Forced Missed Tackles/Attempt but he’s much higher in Yards After Contact, Explosive Runs, and Efficiency…he ended up being # 6 DVOA as a Runner this year…Fournette? # 45).
This is the Template to have success against these Chiefs.
We follow this formula, we score enough points to win this football game.
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