1) The Offense play-calling over the last 10 Quarters of play where we’ve had this spike in efficiency and production.
2) The Week 10 Matchup where Detroit lit up Washington for 30 points. That game featured:
a) Domination of Young and Sweat. They got NOTHING done in Pass Rush; 1 Pressure (and only a Hurry at that) on 54 Pass Rush Snaps combined. They also gave up big time efficiency in the Run Game when either of them were run at.
b) Huge success Deep (2/2 on Deep Throws and 2 TDs) + Huge Success in the Screen Game and Short (17/21, 147 yards, 1 TD).
So what kind of personnel groupings, formations, play call sequencing, concepts in the Passing Game and Run Game, and Pass Pro schemes led to this success that Detroit had over Washington’s defense?
In the middle of the game last night I said to myself we’re going to destroy them. One thing I am worried about is all the ground Donovan Smith gives up in his pass sets. There was a Brady big play yesterday where a better DE would have forced a fumble. Brady to his credit doesn’t worry about the pressure and just trust his guys but I think Sweat or Young are going to get one on Saturday.
JD McKissic will give the linebacker(s) an issue. He’s a pretty good weapon out of the backfield, and Alex Smith is check-down Charlie. He and Logan Thomas are really the only guys I’m concerned about on their offense.
Washington’s DL is the real deal. They will give our OL issues. The offensive coaching staff is going to have to gameplan around them. More short-passing game, screens, draws, shovel passes, etc..
1) Through week 14 (again, removing Kneels), we were only 48.3 % Pass Rate on 1st down. This is a terrible (and really inexcusable) rate.
2) These 3 games featured us being up for the significant bulk of these snaps. So you would think the propensity to Pass on 1st down would be lessened (if its going to change at all). Nonetheless, we saw a 10 % (!) increase in Pass Rate on 1st down, which puts us up there right where we want to be with the top teams in the league.
This is an area where our Efficiency and EPA was extraordinarily behind league average and that needed to change desperately. A 10 % increase in Passing on 1st down is a big deal for this.
PLAY-ACTION PASSING AS % OF PASSES
Weeks 1-14: 18.4 %
Weeks 15-17: 25.2 %
6.8 % increase. Its still not nearly high enough (it should be up around 33 %), but nearly 3 more Play-Action Passes a game is a very welcome increase.
3RD AND 2-3
This is the other situational area that needs improving and its basically the inverse of 1st down. The best teams in the league treat 3rd and 2-3 (even 4 sometimes) as a potential running down (and these aren’t just the teams with running QBs and/or ZRO run offense). We (and Arians even explicitly said this in a PC) don’t even treat it as a potential running down. Through week 14, we only had 2 runs on 3rd and 2+. We had 1 of these in the span of 15-17, so that is something, but the sample size is so low, its difficult to say much about that.
Alright, my next post is going to be looking into the actual Play-Action throws to determine how often we’re attacking Intermediate or Short vs just taking Deep Shots.
I’m also going to look at how often and when we’re leveraging or checking to (Brady has this authority) the Smoke game. I’m VERRRRY confident that this has increased significantly in the last 3 games.
1ST & 10 AT TB 32(14:54)
(14:54) T.Brady pass short right to M.Evans to TB 44 for 12 yards (A.Terrell).
Max Protect Shot.
1ST & 10 AT ATL 45(12:28)
(12:28) T.Brady pass short right to R.Gronkowski pushed ob at ATL 34 for 11 yards (F.Oluokun; M.Walker).
TE Screen. This was a great look w/ Brate Wing Motion away from Screen, on a Wheel under a vert. The Flat defender was clueless so this might be a big play against Cover 3 Zone in the future.
2ND & 5 AT ATL 29(11:12)
(11:12) T.Brady pass deep left to C.Godwin for 29 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
4 Man Route; Shot w/ Gronk Deep Stick opposite.
1ST & 10 AT TB 46(02:00)
(2:00) J.Haeg reported in as eligible. T.Brady pass deep right to A.Brown to ATL 31 for 23 yards (I.Oliver).
Gronk on shallow Drive between Deep Dig and Deep Comeback w/ RB Hitch outlet.
1ST & 10 AT ATL 25(12:48)
(12:48) T.Brady pass incomplete short middle to C.Godwin.
3 Man Route; 12 yard Post opposite 12 yard Hitch and Slot Seam.
1ST & 10 AT ATL 25(10:06)
(10:06) T.Brady pass incomplete deep right to T.Johnson.
3 Man Route; Boundary Corner opposite Stack – Skinny Post and 12 yard Out.
1ST & 10 AT TB 25(08:49)
(8:49) T.Brady pass deep middle to C.Godwin pushed ob at ATL 29 for 46 yards (R.Allen).
3 Man Route; Shot. Godwin Short Motion to Tight Flanker Right on Drive opposite Brown’s Drive (downfield Mesh) w/ Miller on Boundary Go opposit e side.
1ST & 10 AT ATL 47(13:21)
(13:21) (Shotgun) T.Brady pass short left to A.Brown to ATL 39 for 8 yards (K.Neal).
Godwin Shot Motion to Trips, Shotgun Play-Action Man A Gap, Tunnel Screen to Brown.
1) Brilliantly conceived and called game. The # of winners against defense called, the ratios, the sequencing, the situational play calls. This gameplan should be the archetype. Our play win ratio was ridiculously good and it could have been much better than what it was. There was going to be more Play-action (looks like about 4 more), but Brady checked out of it into Smoke or single route concepts with Brown or Godwin (and the worked almost every time). Adding about 4 more puts the Play-Action % at 28 %. That’s good stuff.
2) Play-action being used in a variety of ways: typical iso verts, holistic concepts, lots of 3 and 4 Man routes, setting up plays off of the plays run, using prior setups.
Someone asked me about Brady blurting out something about “shit play” or something. Its this play and these are my thoughts.
3:58 is the timestamp for the Godwin TD, so it must be the preceding play. This one:
2ND & 4 AT ATL 4(04:03)
(4:03) (Shotgun) T.Brady pass incomplete short right.
Empty, Brate motion to Wide Bunch Right, Doubles Left vs Cover 6.
Arrow/Drag/Slant-Sit w/ exchanged releases on from the Bunch but its Field-side so its got the extra help from the FS and its covered up/matched pretty well.
Brady is reading defender leverage for Brate’s Arrow. It basically hinges upon the question of whether Brown’s vertical release can frustrate (or outright rub) that Flat defender. And that hinges upon the Flat defender’s initial depth and leverage (he’s (a) Off juuuuust enough and he’s playing to outside leverage) and how quick his cognitive loop is (its (b) quick). Because of (a) and (b) the concept doesn’t create the leverage for the Arrow.
After that, they’re set up for the High/Low read of Brown’s Slant-Sit over Godwin’s Drag. Godwin gets huge route disruption and that defender is sitting in the window for the throw over the top to Brown. Because of the disruption, Godwin’s Drag is crippled.
So the Spacing concept on the right is DoA because of these things.
However, on the other side, you’ve got a boundary Fade and a Shake (basically give the defender some feints to outleverage him inside and get north) route by TJ in the Slot. That route wins and Godwin’s Drag route is eye candy for the inside leverage/under defender to pull up (and he does). That was a TD.
But Brady couldn’t get back there on-time because of the prioritization of the Bunch concept the other side.
Its really just a hair’s breath from being an easy TD to the Arrow. However, there was presnap information that Brady had that could have led him to believe getting the ball to that or the Slant-Sit inside of it was not going to work. He could have manipulated that inside/under defender with that quick look right and then made the easy TD throw to TJ’s Shake route on the other side.
But I understand why he stayed Field-side with the Bunch concept (it was reeeeeeeeeally close and that Arrow is a trivial throw).
I don’t agree that it was a terrible play (if Brady actually even felt that way…people could be misinterpreting his meaning…he typically gets pissed at himself and voices that). He could actually have meant that it was crap play by himself and he should have prioritized the Doubles on the other side.
I keep watching the Russell Gage TD on 3rd and 17 from the 19 and want to throw my computer against the wall.
Looks like quarters coverage. Dean runs out of his zone to follow a clearout vertical/skinny post, Minter does not wall off Gage (why is Minter on the field on 3rd and 17 and not Edwards?), David needs to have better situational awareness and drop to about the 10 between the numbers and hash like Cockrell did on the other side, instead he flies up to the 1 yard RB cash route making it an easy throw, again it’s 3rd and 17!!! Matt Ryan’s eyes are on Dean the entire time. On the TV version live it looks like Winfield gets beat but he runs with Gage across the field because he knows Dean and David have the hook in their mouths. Doesn’t help that Pierre Paul and Suh give pathetic efforts in their pass rushes.
Plays like this are why I don’t think this team has a chance in hell of beating the Packers and Saints in back to back games.
3RD & 17 AT TB 19(08:56)
(8:56) (Shotgun) M.Ryan pass deep left to R.Gage for 19 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
It is indeed Match Quarters.
The primary issue is less about execution and more about Dirk just dialing up a poison pill of a concept vs Match Quarters. Everything about this route combination is designed to put Winfield in an impossible position. And the 6 man protection ensures that the Drive route develops.
The Right Stack has (a) exchanged releases but (b) not until late (about 4 yards down the field). This means #1 turns into #2 (and vice versa), but not until Winfield and SMB are being challenged vertically by a fair bit. So Winfield has to (c) bracket #2 who is now #1 while simultaneously (d) processing this switch well beyond the line of scrimmage. Then he has to (e) try not to get outleveraged to the inside by this “now #2” when he’s already breaking to inside with the Drive route. He’s a hair late in transitioning and/or doesn’t process the route language quickly enough so he’s actually beaten before the top of the stem.
And the vert on the other side kills any help he should get over there (by design). And, of course, the 6 man protection + no Barrett means that Ryan has forever to make this throw (so he’s able to let it develop longer to ensure the separation and the window).
SMB doesn’t help things with how softly he plays this. Look at the separation between he and the new #1 at the top of the route stem. That is awful and don’t think for a second that didn’t weigh with Winfield in how late he transitioned to match the new #2.
We could quibble over LVD getting a little more depth (probably 1.5 yards), but (a) he isn’t affecting that throw at the catch point (which is well beyond the left hash) and (b) once that RB shows Hitch in front of him or attempts to cross his face, he has to match and push to the next under defender.
But, all in all, this was overwhelmingly about Dirk beating Bowles. Even if this is executed perfectly (and Winfield gets on top of and inside of this route a hair earlier…despite all the pressure he is under to ensure that doesn’t happen), its going to be a tough play for him.
How about 2 Man Under in this situation? Or Tampa 2 Sink (kryptonite for this route combo) or Cover 2 Read if you want to play this soft? Or how about dial up Pressure and play Press? Clearly Dirk sussed out a tendency to play Off MQ on 3rd and really long and he dialed up a winner.
2nd and 5: Unbalanced 12 P Left, Smoke Screen to Flanker Sweat’s side w/ Cut on Sweat (Off Coverage).
1st and 10: Unbalanced 13 P Left w/ Tackle Eligible. Counter Trey Left at Sweat (Young is NOT left unblocked to pursue; which you see a lot on Counter Trey away).
1st and 10: 21 P, Strong Right, Strong I Right, Doubles Left. Man Lead Weak B. Both Young and Sweat are singled and neither win (Young singled by TE).
1st and 10: 12 P, Strong Right and Wing Right motions to Strong I. WFT in Cover 3 Zone. 3 Man route so 7 in Protection. CB (Fuller) in Off Bail squats too much nd gets beat on Fade for 55 yard TD. He also commits DPI. Young doubled with Wing and RT and gets nothing. Sweat dominated in single w/ LT.
Lots of heavy personnel and pull Guards at these guys w/ Gap runs (give them something to process and slow down that cognitive loop/get-off). Cut Sweat to the ground and Smoke Screen him to give him something to think about for the rest of the day. Don’t leave Young unblocked if you’re running to the edge away from him. Heavy protection and let our 3 WR or 2 WR and Gronk win.
1st and 10: 11 P, Bunch Left w/ Wing. Man A gap. Kerrigan in for Sweat. He’s dominated by RT. Young does a very good job against LT. He works down the LoS and gives up no vertical displacement, contracting the hole. He just can’t stack him or free his pads. Completely tied up until the run is by him and out the gate.
1st and 10: 12 P, Unbalanced Left, Doubles Right. Play-action and 2 Man route w/ RB releasing on Hitch after potential chip inside to help RT w/ Kerrigan. Simple Speedout from Slot for 4 yards. Young doubled by TEs on the other side. Neither of them get anything.
It was a great play call by Koetter but it’s really the only coverage Bowles can call there because you want to get depth and keep everything in front of you in that situation. You also don’t want to give them a cheap automatic first down on a penalty if the CB is a little grabby in man.
I think David’s lack of depth is important because a) he should have been in that throwing lane, even if he can’t make a play on it would still make it a harder throw and b) leaving the RB uncovered there with the combination of David being in the throwing lane would make Ryan more inclined to dump it of the to the RB, setting up 4th and 10+.
As for the pass rush, I can’t buy Barrett’s absence being a factor because Nelson does a really good job here and Suh and JPP are in 1 on 1 situations. If JPP isn’t taking the play off then it’s pretty damn close to it. 3rd and 17 up 13 and they aren’t going to balls to the wall for the QB?What the hell are we paying them $20M+ combined for then.
@nobody great analysis. Hopefully the coaches are looking at these concepts such as smoke screens to make Sweat think the entire day. Good thing is Tampa has been using the smoke screen. Would like to see them use it early to Brown to get Sweat off his game.
I think misapprehending what Match Quarters is. It’s not Zone with Man principles (like 2 or 3 are). It’s much more the inverse; Man with Zone principles.
When you’re the WLB on the Single side of a a 2/3×1 in MQ, this is your flow chart assignment-wise:
1) Get depth to landmark.
2) #3 (Single your side) runs Under? Match/push to adjacent Underdefender. Runs vert? Proceed to 3.
3) #1/2 from other side running Under? Transition from Under defender and match. If no. Proceed to 4.
4) #4/5 (split backfield) runs Swing/Hitch/Out/Angle your side? Match.
He’s not playing Seam/Hook like in 3 Zone. If this was 3 Zone, he should be where you’re saying, supporting that Over route. But it’s MQ. He went through the decision tree and did precisely what he’s supposed to do.
If there are any issues in terms of support of that Over, look at the S over top LVD. He’s bracketing #3, but he is technically the only player here who isn’t Matched. So he’s the only possible help.
As far as Nelson goes, it’s not a terrible rep (because of the initial chip). But the ball is out at 3.6 seconds. That is forever and a day. If a QB isn’t moved of his spot (at least) in 2.5 it qualifies as a Non-Pressured Dropback (and that is the case here +).
Again, not a terrible rep by Nelson given the chip, but Nelson’s resume to date does t reach even JAG status. And Barrett is top 2 Edge Pressure player in the NFL the last two years (behind Watt). I’ll take my chances with Barrett possible getting something done there over Nelson.
But, yes, JPP and Suh getting nothing done is obviously a big deal as well. I’m on board there.
1st and 10 – 11 P, Power O Strong at Young. Down blocks are good, Pulling Guard gets around corner and takes out SLB in B gap. WLB shows late in B though and forces a bounce. Key block here is TE absolutely manhandles Young. Single block too. He tries to peak to B and he’s just caved in hard. To the ground. This allows the bounce outside and a big run. Sweat singled other side by LT and he’s shut down.
1st and 10 – 13 P (TE and Tack El left and Wing Right), Play-action Power O Right. Young is unblocked that side and the Pulling Guard picks him up. He processes a little slow and is confused by the run action so the Guard is able to pick him up. Tack El and TE double Sweat backside. Dump off to Peterson in flat (wide open) against Cover 3.
2nd and 1 – 21 P, Strong Left, Strong I Left, Weak A Gap Man Lead. Center does a great jotb on the NT. RG wins against 3T. RT wins against Young. Backside TE single on Sweat does enough work long enough. FB cleans up LB.
3rd and 10 – 11 P, 3×1 (Bunch Left w/ Wing TE). They’re showing Quarters at the snap and rotate to 2 Zone Cloud (Clouding the Single side). However, the boundary WR of the Bunch is running a Fade. This is kryptonite for that rotation because the boundary CB is rotating away from the Fade to Deep Half and the Box Safety rotates to flat but in no way are they going to be able to get depth to help on the window to this throw. Its basically just just DoA coverage roll against this play. 3 Man Route only so they’ve got 7 in protection. They run a game both sides, but they easily have the numbers to pick up both games. 27 yard TD.
I know what match is. Given the down and distance David’s (lack of) drop/landmark was a significant contribution to the result. Ryan is looking at Dean the entire play and there was nothing that David should have processed to make him even stop gaining depth, let alone completely fly up to the LOS to cover a route that has less than 1% chance of converting. 1st and 10, 3rd and 5 I agree with you. 3rd and 17, absolutely not. Notice on the other side Cockrell didn’t care about the route underneath him because he’s playing the situation and knows the only thing that can hurt the team is something behind him from across the field.
This play is a disaster and has to be dissected as something more than Koetter called a good play.
Its more than just the playcall (as I wrote above). Again, if you’re wanting to pinpoint some collateral blame here, its not LVD. Even if his feet are planted on the 10 (despite the fact that he has a player to Match here), there is ZERO % chance he affects that throw. The catch point is at the 2 yard line and 15 yards outside the hash! There is no way he affects that throw (despite the fact that he was doing what he was supposed to be doing).
But outside of what I mentioned earlier with SMB (look at how unattached he is at the 12 second mark of the play…he’s 4 yards outside leverage and 4 yards deeper than #1…this is his match! That almost surely caused an issue for Winfield…he can easily see how detached SMB is to #1 at the 11 second mark, so that surely delays his ability to get inside of #2’s Drive route), its Dean’s play here that you want to look at. He should be handing off #3 to the Safety at the 12 second mark. That is the top of the stem where he’s bending in to the Skinny Post. For whatever reason, Dean just considers his job done here and throttles it down. He should have never been 2 yards deep in the endzone, let alone the 6 yards deep he ends up at. He should have transitioned that and been around the goal-line where he could bracket that Skinny Post turning Out on a scramble drill and help Winfield (who still almost generates the PBU) on the Drive route. He’s playing Zone here and he’s basically in no man’s land so he can’t help anyone.
If I’m grading this PFF style, I’m grading it:
Winfield/LVD 0 (“As Expected”)
Dean/SMB -1 (“Assignment Loss/Lack of Assignment Soundness that Contributes to Play Loss)
1st and 10 – 11 P, Strong Left w/ Bunch, Smoke Screen to Slot Left. Sweat cut playside and Young cut backside.
2nd and 20 – 11 P, 2×2 w/ Tight TE Left. Play-action HB Screen Right against Cover 1 Man DB Blitz w/ Green Dog. The LB covering TB bit on his staying in to block after carrying out the play-action fake, overpursued to the QB and the Screen is out the gate for a huge play. Young comes down hard inside to pull the RT for the DB blitz off of him (this plays perfectly into the concept of this play as Young is play-side). Kerrigan (not Sweat) opposite side is just blocked by TE. This is not even perfectly executed, but Swift makes a man miss and gets big yards.
2nd and 8 – 11 P, Strong Right, Tight Flanker Right, Doubles Left. They’re Blitzing and 3 Zone behind. Simple Arrow under Stick on the TE/Flanker side and Stafford gets the ball quickly to the TE on the Arrow for 4. Only Kerrigan in. He goes hard B gap from 6T and RT just caves him down.
3rd and 4 – 11 P, 2×2 w/ (basically) Stack Right w/ Wing TE vs Match Quarters (and the show double A gap blitz but back out of it). Simple Stick under vert on that side and you’ve got (a) a forced match on the vert and (b) vacated area with no one having to declare for the Stick (and they don’t…just a lot of guys covering grass). Again, just Kerrigan on a game so he goes inside. Ball is out quickly pitch-catch to Stick so no chance for any Pressure.
1st and 10 – 21 P, Strong Right, I formation, Doubles Left vs Cover 1 Man blitz. Play-action and 6 man protection w/ only RB and WRs out. Deep Out and Post to Curl on Doubles side. No Sweat again. Young is handled here by the LT attacking him on the play-action Quick Set.
First contact + extension + good base and he easily mirrors to shut down the rush up the arc. Kerrigan with a solid Rip rush up D arc against TE’s Quick Set but Stafford is able to get the Deep Out on time and on the money. Ball is out before the stem so he’s thrown open (and open he is). Easy money for a big play.
3rd and 6 – 11 P, Empty 4×1 (quads left w/ RB wide and TE single tight right). They’re showing 2 Deep but its Cover 1 Man Free w/ FS over Mid Hole defender. As you can imagine, they’ve got a gang of exchanged releases/rubs on that quad side. Swift runs a really great Whip route. His man is rubbed so has to work hard to recover and he’s pushing waaaay too hard inside to recover after this to deal with Swift’s Pivot back to the Out after showing Drag. He loses him badly and then breaks CBs tackle near the endline to score. Young struggles up the C arc against RT who again wins first contact. I’m seeing Young having some issues clearing his pads/coming up with plan B when OTs have length + first contact + extension and reasonable bases to mirror. Happens again here. Sweat on the other side fakes going across LTs face to Speed to Power. LT doesn’t overset inside, but is displaced a few yards before reanchor. Good enough job in singles by these two OTs. Ball is out quickly as well.