I’m going to do some film study on our offense over the next couple weeks (as its going to be so imperative to winning this game). But first the research findings on 1st down Expected Points Allowed (EPA) Per Play Type and Efficiency (measured as the ability to achieve the goal of the play) and some data on the best offenses and ourselves.
Brian Burke, FBO, and several other researchers have achieved consensus on the following. Given an average Rushing and Passing Offense and Rushing and Passing Defense on the field simultaneously (this research started in the early 2000s and EPA differential of Run vs Pass has only increased over the years). On [STRONG]1st and 10 in the NFL[/STRONG]:
* The EPA of a Run and a Pass is extremely stable (particularly Run) despite “Likeliness of Passing (LOP)” or “as the scores between the two teams separate” (the final 2 minutes of halves is not included in the data that produces the analytics).
* The EPA of a Play-Action Pass (PAP) is stable for neutral to low score spread situations, but then precipitously decreases as LOP increases until the EPA of a PAP actually falls below that of both a Pass and a Run play, falling below Pass at a 60 % increase in LOP and falling below Run at a 75 % increase in LOP.
* Broadly speaking, Running nets NEGATIVE EPA. Passing nets POSITIVE EPA. Further, the % differential is significant. Further, PAP in neutral situations nets POSITIVE EPA and the % differential above even Passing is significant.
* PAP success does NOT depend on past success running the ball, NOR on the number of previous runs.
* Run success does NOT depend on past PAP success, NOR on the number of previous PAP.
* PAP EPA and Efficiency increases in run-heavy situations (eg 3rd and 1 and Redzone Tight).
* Passing is more Efficient than Running except for Short Yardage Situations. In Short Yardage Situations, the Run becomes more Efficient than the Pass.
AGAIN, THE ABOVE IS FOR AVERAGE OFFENSE VS AVERAGE DEFENSE. THESE NUMBERS SKEW FURTHER AS ONE PHASE OF OFFENSE BECOMES BETTER THAN THE OTHER AND SAME WITH DEFENSE. 2020 TAMPA BAY IS AN ELITE PASSING OFFENSE WITH A SOLID TO + (IN TERMS OF EFFICIENCY) RUNNING GAME WHEN RONALD JONES IS IN THE BACKFIELD (WHEN JONES ISN’T IN THE BACKFIELD, OUR EFFICIENCY ABSOLUTELY PLUMMETS).
Outside of the single giant anomaly in the last years (Baltimore with Jackson), what do the highest Points Per Drive and Most Efficient teams do (KC + Brady Pats + GB + NO all the time, Shanahan Falcons, 2018 Rams, 2017 Phil)?
* 58+ % Passing on 1st Down.
* PAP heavy on 1st Down, 2nd and Medium-ish, and Redzone Tight.
* 50+ % Running on Short Yardage Situations. On the occasion they do Pass, its PAP heavy.
* ~30 % PAP as a percentage of total Pass Attempts.
There are multiple issues here with the 1st down Play-Calling (that will continue to be an issue if they aren’t turned around in a few weeks), the efficiency and the 1st Down Rate, and the PAP rate. The comparison with the best NFL Offenses over the last several years should be obvious. But lets compare us to ourselves on the year and our best selves (our Post-Bye 3 game stretch of Atl * 2 and Wash WC – excluding that non-NFL Det game):
[STRONG]OUR ENTIRE REG + POSTSEASON (excluding the not-NFL-Football played in Week 16)[/STRONG]
* On the year, we ran the ball too much on 1st down. If you remove 4 minute offense and kneel-downs, its about 51.5 % Rushing to 48.5 % Passing.
* Our 1st Down Success Rate is ~ 46.5 % (excluding Kneel-downs and Clock-kills).
* Our First Down Rate on 1st Down is ~ 20.4 % with us picking up a 1st Down outright on 1st downs ~31 % of the time WHEN PASSING (right at the highest in the NFL w/ DK’s offenses…which shouldn’t be surprising given what they do conceptually).
* 19.9 % (LEAGUE LOW) PAP rate.
* Points Per Drive was 2.82 (removing Victory Formation Drives)
[STRONG]OUR BEST SELVES – THE 3 GAME RUN (again, removing Week 16 Det) VS ATLANTA TWICE (+ D at 14 DVOA) AND WASH WC ROUND (3 DVOA)[/STRONG]
* 45.7 % Rushing to 54.3 % Passing.
* Our 1st Down Success Rate is ~ 50 %.
* Our First Down Rate on 1st Down is ~ 27.9 % with us picking up a 1st Down outright on 1st downs ~34 % of the time WHEN PASSING.
* 26.1 % PAP rate.
* Points Per Drive was 3.42 (THIS ALSO COINCIDED WITH A SIGNIFICANT DROP IN RZ SCORING % DUE TO EXECUTION ERRORS…SO THIS NUMBER IS ACTUALLY DEFLATED IF OUR RZ SCORING % DIDN’T COLLAPSE).
Conclusions (should be pretty straight-forward).
1) The best offenses in the NFL over the last several years Pass more than we do on 1st down.
2) The best offenses in the NFL over the last several years run a lot more PAP than we do.
3) The best version of our Offense (which played a much higher DVOA Defense schedule with #14 * 2 and #3 * 1 than the duration of our entire Reg and Post Season) was a 3 game run where (a) we Passed a fair bit more on 1st down, (b) we ran a lot more PAP, (c) our First Down Rate on 1st Down increased significantly, and (d) our Points Per Drive dramatically increased (despite an anomalous decrease in RZ Scoring % due to uncorrelated execution errors).
The implications should be straight-forward, but you also have to look at KC’s defense for gameplanning context:
1) Just north of average Defense (probably in the 14ish range) overall with EXTREME variation play-to-play but are SITUATIONALLY DEADLY.
2) Extremely poor in terms of Comparative Efficiency against the Run (55 %) and Poor in terms of Efficiency against the Pass (53 %)
3) Situation Efficiency:
a) EXTREMELY Inefficient against the Pass on 1st down. Balloons to 57%.
b) EXTREMELY Inefficient against the Run on 3rd and 3 or less. 78 %!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
c) Comparatively MUCH more Efficient against the Pass on 3rd and 3 or less. 43 %!
d) THE BEST 3RD AND 7+ DEFENSE IN THE NFL (way better than us, better than LAR, NO, Pitt, Mia, Wash, etc). And this is actually not even close.
4) Extremely poor RZ Efficiency Overall but trending MUCH better in the last 3 games.
5) Average 3rd Down Def.
6) Blitzes a TON w/ a lot of Coverage rotations/traps/robbers to try to generate negative plays (against both the pass and the run). Also plays a lot of Man Blitz. 3rd and Long they are ENORMOUSLY blitz-heavy (which is why they are the best in the league here).
a) # 10 in Turnovers
b) # 19 Sacks
c) # 6 Pressures
d) # 14 Stops (Tackles, including TFLs, that constitute a Play Loss for the Offense)
6) Because of all of the negative plays created, they’re north of Average in Points Per Drive given up.
So Gameplanning? What do we do.
* STAY OUT OF 3RD AND LONG.
* SUSTAIN DRIVES TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THEIR POROUS RZ DEFENSE. WE DON’T NEED 50 YARD TDS. WE NEED SUSTAINED CHUNKS AND THEN GET 6 IN THE RZ.
* TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT INEFFICIENT 1ST DOWN DEFENSE WITH THE PASSING GAME. RUN A LOT OF PLAY-ACTION 6 AND 7 MAN PROTECTION TO PROTECT AGAINST THEIR BLITZ PROPENSITY (THEY’RE JUST TRYING TO GET TO 3RD AND LONG). RUN WIDE STACK SMOKE SCREENS (THESE WILL WIN AND WHEN WE CATCH THEM IN A DB OVERLOAD BLITZ IT COULD CREATE BIG PLAYS). WHEN YOU RUN, DON’T REDUCE THE FORMATION (LIKE WE OFTEN DO) BECAUSE THIS WILL ALLOW THEM TO RUN BLITZ AND CREATE NEGATIVE PLAYS (LIKE THEY LOVE TO). RUN FROM 11 PERSONNEL AND KEEP GODWIN OUT OF THE BOX (SHORT MOTION WILL REDUCE THE FORMATION AND WILL ALLOW THEIR DBS TO INSERT IN THE RUN GAME TO CREATE NEGATIVE PLAYS).
* 3RD AND 3 OR LESS IS A FREAKING GIMME IF YOU_JUST_RUN_THE_FOOTBALL. RUN THE BALL ON 3RD AND SHORT.
The difference between their 1st Down defense + 3rd and 3 or Less Defense and their 3rd and 7+ CANNOT BE OVERSTATED.
They’re probably the worst in the league in the former 2 (or right up there) and they’re the BEST on 3rd and 7+.
They’re about average on 3rd and Medium (like us).
Be efficient and chunky on 1st Down and protect with 6 and 7 in the Passing Game. 4-12 yards all day long. If we stay in 1st down and 3rd and Medium to Short…we’ll be fine. In fact, we should score 40 and win.
If we suck in 1st Down Offense in either Efficiency or First Down Rate…we almost surely lose this game.
We were (a) 3rd and 7+ eight (8!) times against the Packers and we basically relied upon Brady brilliance to convert a stupid 63 % of that.
That is a metric eff-ton and KC WILL_NOT_ALLOW that conversion rate. Will not. Not only that, but the prospects for negative plays increase dramatically with that defense.
If we’re in 3rd and 7+ x 8 in that game we_will_lose. Full stop. The best 3rd down D in the league will feast on us, end drives either with a Punt or a Turnover and Mahomes will score…and score…and score.
Why were we in 3rd and 7+ so much? Terrible 1st down play. We (b) ran the ball (removing the last 1st and 5 and the kneel) a ridiculous 14 times on 1st down for an unbelievably inefficient 35.7 % Success Rate. This in turn created a (c) HORRIBLE 12.5 % First Down Rate on 1st Down.
If (a), (b), and (c) emerge as a downstream product of our offensive gameplan against the Chiefs in the Super Bowl? We_will_lose. The gameplan has to turn those numbers around 180.
Against KC in Week 12, we went 1/4 (25 % which is about right for them) on 3rd and 6+. So, despite the fact that Brady has been comparatively good against 3rd and Long this season, I’m not remotely confident that this team is going to be able to pull rabbits out of hats against the best 3rd and Long defense in the NFL (particularly when they failed to do so in their only meeting…a meeting in which Cappa played).
Remember the info above about 3rd and 3 or less being as gimme as it gets on the ground against KC (offenses are converting at 78 % rate!)? And they’re about typical against the Pass in that situation? Well, predictably (because Arians has said philosophically that “3rd and 2 isn’t a run down”) we Passed all 4 times we were in 3rd and 3 or less (1 x 1, 2 x 2, 1 x 3). We converted 1/4!
A quick look at their Negative Plays:
NEGATIVE PLAY 1 – After a failed Run on 1st Down (1 yard gain) we go 3×2 Empty and they Blitz us and play Zone behind. Their Front + the Blitz confuses us up front as Jensen’s call isn’t up to the task to pick it up. So free runner and Brady is hit immediately, again, leaving a fluttering duck and an easy Pick.
NEGATIVE PLAY 2 – Brady error. 2nd and Goal from the 4 and we’ve got a Sprint Right off of a Fake Jet Sweep to Miller the other way. We’ve got Fournette on an Arrow and und Gronk on an Over route. Brady goes too early to Fournette (Gronk was possibly coming open behind the defenders sucked up on the Arrow) and its a 4 yard loss. Another promising drive turned into 3.
NEGATIVE PLAY 3 – Terrible Offensive Holding call by the officials on Marpet. He does a terrific job (not a Hold) picking up a Stunt and we pick up the 3rd and 5 with an 11 yard gain, which put us right near midfield. That turns into 3rd and 15 and the drive ends in the Pick below.
NEGATIVE PLAY 4 – Cover 1 Man Blitz w/ Green Dog. 3 Man route so they’re bringing 7 against 7. Jones fails to pick up the blitz > Brady is hit as he throws as he tries to get the ball out on a Go on the sideline (a throw away as much as anything) > Underthrown because of the Hit > Pick.
The last Pick against GB last week was very similar to this play; Fournette missed the blitz pick-up and the ball fluttered against Man coverage on a Go route on the sideline.
NEGATIVE PLAY 5 – They’re in 2 Man Under and Marpet is just beaten badly up the B arc by Jones. Not really a competitive rep. Forces the climb and evade right w/ no one open and 2 defenders detach from Wirfs and Smith due to the immediate climb/evade forced by Jones Pressure and they converge for the Sack. We do end up getting 6 here, however.
Only one of these Negative Plays were nested in a drive that overcame it.
1) They took their foot off the gas a little in the 2nd and early 3rd (Reid has had a propensity to do this) once they were up 3 scores.
2) Mahomes just flat missed a throw for a trivial 80 yard TD on a blown coverage when they were up big.
3) We went to a lot of Off Match Quarters and Off 3 Zone (we don’t play this a ton) and 2 Man (with pretty blatant double teams…not Safety over the top…straight doubles). Then we got a few enormously timely Pressures by JPP, Barrett, and Suh. A well-executed Stunt got JPP free on 3rd and long and we got a Pick on the Hit > Duck while playing Match Quarters behind. That was one of a few big stops/plays by the defense on 3rd down. Suh had a big Run Stop on 3rd and 2 as well (and a Holding Call that was declined) in the 3rd Q. One of those aforementioned 2 Man straight doubles was on 3rd and 5 where Kelce and Hill were just flat doubled. JPP also had a huge Pass Rush Win on the same play.
4) We had that KC drive late that was killed by 2 x RtP Penalties.
So what do we do defensively?
* Mahomes absolutely murders the blitz, so don’t do it a ton. When we do it needs to be on 3rd and Long and play Off Quarters and 3 Zone behind. Guys have to get home.
* Shaq, Vea, JPP, maybe even Suh need big days in Pass Rush and we need some well-executed and timely Stunts (a few with White scraping off of Vea’s hip downhill into A gaps). Lets get Dime looks with all 3 Safeties, Vea at 0T to just heads-up and crushing the Center right back into Mahomes lap w/ 5/6/7T on the outside (we did a lot of this against GB and it really helped rush lanes and forced Rodgers to declare escapes in uncomfortable ways that Edges could capitalize on) and send White off of Vea’s hip into that left A gap (to attack Mahomes typical escape side). Test that LT w/ Stunts and Overload Blitz the other side (where Mahomes scrambles to if he has to pocket escape) on a key 2nd and Long now and again to try to generate a negative play and 3rd and 17+.
* Mix Off Quarters, some stray Off 3 Zone, some Tampa 2 (I actually like Tampa 2 against them w/ that 3rd Safety or White running the Deep Hole…they love to get Hill and Kelce on Over routes that will run them right into a Tampa 2 defender running the Deep Hole), with a nice dose of 2 Man where we’re just straight doubling Kelce and Hill. Make the other guys beat us. In the RZ I would absolutely double those guys a lot in 2 Man, send 3, and let White Spy and attack if Mahomes breaks the pocket.
* Guys have to make tackles. This team forces a TON of missed tackles in the open field. The back 7 HAVE to make secure tackles and maybe even punch one out.
Chris Jones vs Aaron Stinnie matchup concerns me. He could be a game wrecker and destroy any game plan. Jansen needs to double and help every snap. Good breakdown Nobody, I’m confident Bowles will pitch another gem with his calls. Leftwich I dont know what to expect.
Appreciate the work n analysis put into this. Long way of explaining what has had me smashing my head off the wall and boiling with frustration at times.
Mix in a bit more passing on first downs, but still use the run. Do NOT abandon the run game!! Can not stress enough that KC defense excels against the pass and are much less effective vs Run! LV n LAC both use RBs and they had success. We ignored it last time early on.
This also will help play action. Effective play action is killer. Also as alluded to above, can help Stinnie vs Jones. The matchup I’m worried most about as well.
We can NOT try going vertical all the time! The quick hitters, shallow crosses, Brate in short intermediate areas. As well as using the backs out of the backfield. Gronk n Rojo had big plays the first game. Gronk looks quicker n Fournette is playing his best.
I just fear that our EGO of we are going to prove we don’t change for anyone. We are gonna attack downfield, can cost us a Super Bowl. Do what it takes to WIN, period!! We did it vs Saints, need to do it again. If it’s there great but don’t force it.
Also think we should move ends around -Shaq on the RDE like the first matchup. He got a big sack n FF n had pressured him well. We had two INTs taken away by penalties. I think he’s more effective there anyways. He’s also going against Fisher’s backup. Part of JPP game is he plays left/right well and has long arms. Which bodes well for the roll outs to his side as well.
In short, besides the obvious (turnovers n S/T) Our DLine and a BALANCED attack win or lose this game.
Just tried to post a large post that had some links to papers, sites, youtube for EPA papers on Regression Models (typically Linear Regression) and explanations. Can’t post them because these forums eat posts with embeds. If you’re interested, just search stuff. If not, skip the top part and move to the lower parts. Or ignore entirely if you’re not interested (which is likely!).
There are both Inference and Prediction approaches (decision-point navigation inside of an actual football game, gambling, and personnel valuation and decision-making on the latter). Paramaterization on the latter has pretty tight consensus (from what I’ve seen), so the models don’t diverge much.
The seminal work is Brian Burke’s stuff in the early 2000s and since then (developed EPA modeling and ESPN’s QBR). He has multiple papers you can look up (I think his last one is 2017?).
Then data-scraping NFL.com from 2009 onward became available. That is when FBO’s work began to my knowledge.
Keith Goldner developed a stochastic model for an NFL football drive sometime in the last 5-10 years (you should be able to locate the paper with a little digging).
Numberfire has had a lot of good work as well.
The work explains why yardage as a metric of success has very little explanatory and predictive power and why high variable play is typically bad for success (Mike Martz and Bruce Arians offenses have an inherent high degree of volatility…put Kurt Warner at the helm and you have perhaps the greatest offense all time…put any number of several others and you’re struggling to win football…sub Winston for Brady and you go from Super Bowl to losing football). 2nd and 15 is many times worse for a football team’s drive prospects than 2nd and 5 is good for that team’s prospects. Yards are not equal. The EPA value of those two situations diverge powerfully. So the production of two Running Backs who yield the exact same Yards on the exact same number of Carries might be wildly divergent in terms of EPA. Because of efficiency. Compare the two spread of carries; same TDs, but the different yards, efficiency, explosives, and 1st downs.
2 (converted 3rd and 1) – W
3 (TD) – W
4 – W
2 – L
7 – W
12 – W
6 – L (3rd and 7)
0 – L
3 – (converted 3rd and 2) – W
2 – L
5 – W
11 – W
2 – L
3 – (converted 3rd and 1) – W
7 – W
Who had the better game by EPA valuation and FBO’s DVOA valuation? Its no contest. Despite having 15 less yards (averaging 1 less YPC) and 1 less Explosive Run, the 1st RB clearly had a better game.
* The 2nd RB had 3 Stuffed Runs (A tackle at or before the Line of Scrimmage) and 4 carries for losses (2 of them major), which significantly negatively impact the gamestate and carries significant Drive EPA implications for their teams. Meanwhile the 1st RB had 0 carries for losses and only 1 Stuffed Run.
* The 2nd RB was 27 % less Efficient which carries with it, again, significant gamestate and Drive EPA implications. Another 1st Down Converted by the 1st RB is also folded into this.
Another good example is WR play and why (a) Mike is better than most NFL fans realize and (b) hidden yardage and hidden positive qualities of a Bruce Arians offense (with downfield physical threats like Mike particularly).
EPA parameterizes every possible outcome of a play. Its one of the other (again, hidden) reasons why throwing the football is “always” better than running it (outside of a few scenarios like RZT and 3rd and 2 or less).
Defensive Pass Interference
Hit in a Defenseless Receiver/Leading with the Crown
These are all ENORMOUSLY gamestate affecting penalties on the defense that can occur downfield in the Passing Game (and they’ve been amplified the last 7 years and then again a few years ago).
Mike was # 4 DYAR and # 6 DYAR this season despite being down in Receptions and Yards but up in TDs and a hair in Catch Rate. Plenty of guys below him had way more Catches, Yards, sometimes more TDs. Why? Because 9 DPIs for 171 Yards. Those 9 Penalties are CALAMATOUS for a defense. That is a ton of hidden EPA. Arians offense and Mike in particular produces these penalties at a rate that other offenses don’t produce and other receivers don’t produce.
2019 same thing for Mike. # 6 DYAR and # 14 DVOA because 8/139 DPI (but well down in Catch Rate and TDs).
In the last 2 years, no player is even in the same universe as Mike in DPI.
3rd and 2. (a) Why is it still a Passing Down but (b) why should it 100 % be considered a Running Down (which Arians doesn’t consider it one unfortunately. Designed Runs vs Passes for the best DVOA offenses in the NFL, excluding us (and Baltimore because different game).
KC – 12 Runs vs 6 Passes
GB – 4 Runs vs 10 Passes
NO – 7 Runs vs 9 Passes
Sea – 7 Runs vs 11 Passes
Buf – 6 Runs vs 12 Passes
Ind – 8 Runs vs 10 Passes
Min – 6 Runs vs 6 Passes
LAR – 12 Runs vs 13 Passes
62 Runs vs 79 Passes
Those offenses are running the football 43.26 % of the time on 3rd and 2 and they’re converting at near parity; a hair under 2/3 for both Run and Pass.
It makes sense. You should still be Passing on 3rd and 2 because the Conversion Rate is nearly at parity and the EPA for any individual Pass is much higher than the Run. Only on 3rd and 1 and deep inside RZ Tight does the EPA of the run reach parity (and in some cases exceed, I believe) Passing, and this is because of the disproportionate conversion rate for the Running Game + the less likelihood of a negative play (eg Sack specifically, but Sack/Fumble also).
TB – 5 Runs vs 15 Passes
So we’re running the ball only 25 % of the time on 3rd and 2. HOWEVER, we’re simultaneously (i) converting the Run at a higher clip than the NFL (80 %) and not converting the Pass at the NFL’s clip (we’re 56 %).
I would say that the model for the rest of those great offenses in the NFL is better than ours. Hitting a 3rd and 2 Explosive along with the boon of a Defensive Backfield Penalty along with the risk of getting Sacked or an Offensive Holding or OPI Penalty is a significant gamble. My guess is (just sort of eyeballing it with my knowledge of “EPA exchange rate”, if you’re 67 % – 80 % Efficient on the ground, you would need to convert 50 % of the time with something like a 30 yard average per play for the EPA difference from starting gamestate to post-outcome gamestate to be better for “the Shot.”
I don’t have Tom’s exact data for those 3rd and 2 (and it would require me trolling through a lot of stuff to get it). But on the year he’s 42.9 % Adjusted Completion % on Deep Throws w/ 34.25 Effective Yards Per. But this is every down and distance rather than 3rd and 2 so I don’t know how many of those 8 Completions were explosives and I don’t know how many of those 15 Attempts were Deep.
What I do know, however, is that KC’s defense is about as easy as it possibly can get to run the ball against on 3rd and 2 or less. If they weren’t the worse in the league, they’re 30+. And they’re a high variance defense because of their propensity to blitz, propensity to roll coverage and/or play trap coverage, and their willingness to play Man.
So lets say we’re 3rd and 1/2 x 3 in that game. If we’re going to go for it on 4th down for sure…then yeah, protect with 6 or 7 and take a Shot. But if we either protect with 5 (leaving ourselves vulnerable to a big negative play that would either (a) turn the ball over or prevent us from going for it on 4th or take us out of FG range) or aren’t going for it on 4th down? I don’t see how “taking a Shot” remotely has good returns in this game…particularly given (i) how precious every single Drive is going to be in this game, (ii) how terrible their RZ Defense is, and (iii) how Efficient we’ve been on the ground in 3rd and Short this year + how horrific they are on 3rd and Short.
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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