Cosell Coaching Tape: Week 1

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Cosell Coaching Tape: Week 1

At Fantasy Points this season, we’re going to be posting the Raw Film Notes from NFL Films legend Greg Cosell each and every week. These are quite literally Greg’s scribblings and observations he throws on his notepad as he watches all-22 tape.

As Greg is just one man, he can’t get to everything each week, but we’ll be bringing you everything he sees in raw — and unedited — form. This is something all-22 nerds will love, and certainly something fans who want to learn more about their teams should read.

RAMS OFFENSE VERSUS BILLS DEFENSE
  • Henderson was the Rams feature back versus the Bills, He played 55 snaps; Akers only 12 snaps

  • Bills played nickel on every defensive snap, They rushed 5 on only 1 Stafford drop back with 6 of 7 sacks sacks coming on 4 man DL pass rush (1 sack came on 3 man rush)

  • Bills coverage approach was high percentage zone featuring cover 3 and cover 4 with some cover 2

  • Phillips-Epenesa sack late in 2nd quarter result of Miller factor: Rams 5 man protection doubled Miller and Bills E/T stunt opposite Miller worked with Phillips the looper, DT Jones also beat OC Allen one-on-one

  • Miller 2 sacks came in one-on-one matchups with LT Noteboom, the first speed-to-power with the second working around a chip and winning outside of Noteboom

  • Phillips some dominant snaps as an inside pass rusher versus LG Edwards, He popped on tape; Phillips rush resulted in Epenesa sack at 2:00 in the 4th quarter - Phillips played 35 snaps and was a force both as a pass rusher and in the run game

  • Bills effective with multiple stunt concepts from their 4 man DL pass rush: E/T, T/E and T/T; They also featured some loaded fronts

  • Poyer interception in the 4th quarter came on 4 man DL pass rush (no stunt) with cover 3 behind it, Rams ran staple hi-low concept and Stafford manipulated underneath defender Edmunds but then threw high to Kupp on the in-breaker (no-look throw) with post safety Poyer in position to make the pick

  • Epenesa strong speed-to-power pass rush versus LT Noteboom on Poyer interception – Epenesa played 36 snaps

  • Rams 12 empty sets versus Bills: Stafford 8-8 for 63 yards and Kupp TD but he was sacked 4 sacked 4 times – Will LT Noteboom dictate a change in approach, or will the assumption be he will improve as the season progresses?

  • Noteboom struggled throughout the game in one-on-one pass protection, both with speed off the edge and speed-to-power – Will the Rams be forced to give him help in 3rd down situations?

  • LG Edwards also struggled both in pass protection and as a run blocker – The left side of the Rams OL must improve

  • Kupp 15 targets with 13-128 and a long of 28 yards – 4 yard TD came on Rams staple red zone concept: hi-low versus cover 2 with Kupp running the corner route outside the safety and over the top of the corner (same concept as Kupp 16 yard TD versus 49ers in NFC Championship)

  • Kupp 23 yards in 3rd quarter came out of empty on 3 level concept to the field with Kupp running the intermediate out/corner route, Bills quarter structure became cover 3

  • DT Settle had some strong snaps in the run game (just as he did in the preseason) using his hands and arm extension effectively to control and displace interior OL

  • Bills predominantly aligned the 3-technique DT to the strong (TE) side of the offensive formation and the 1-technique opposite away from the TE side

  • Slot corner Johnson is a critical player in the Bills defense especially with his ability to be a factor in the run game, That is one reason the Bills can play nickel on every snap

BILLS OFFENSE VERSUS RAMS DEFENSE
  • Bills predominant 11 personnel (37 snaps - 64%) with 15 snaps of 21 personnel and 4 snaps of 22 personnel, Fullback Gilliam played 19 snaps

  • Rams played high percentage zone coverage versus the Bills with cover 3 and cover 4 the foundations, They were coverage-based with only 8 pressures on 38 Allen drop backs and they were predominantly 5 man rushes out of their 5 man DL nickel fronts

  • Rams played both 4-2 nickel and 5-1 nickel, In the 5-1 nickel Ramsey predominantly lined up in the slot and in the 4-2 he predominantly lined up outside (Hill in the slot) but he did not match Diggs

  • There were 5-1 nickel snaps in which Ramsey lined up outside and played man coverage, and 4-2 nickel snaps in which he lined up outside; In the Rams dime package (only 2 snaps) Ramsey lined up on the outside

  • Ramsey played more snaps on the outside as the game progressed regardless of whether it was 4-2 or 5-1 personnel

  • Wagner and Jones the LB in the 4-2 nickel, Wagner the only off the ball LB in the 5-1 nickel

  • Rams played 12 snaps of base defense with a 5-2 front, Ramsey was an outside corner; Rams also featured some loaded fronts out of nickel and dime with Wagner the 3-technique opposite the load

  • Bills featured quick rhythm passing game as their foundation, It essentially eliminated Donald as an inside pass rush factor; Donald some quick pressures in the 1st quarter including sack versus RG Bates

  • Davis 26 yard TD on 3rd + 1 to end first possession came on staple short yardage play out of 22 personnel with an unbalanced OL: Play action boot off power run action to the 4 man surface with Davis showing run blocking on the back side then releasing into his route

  • Rams will be looking for edge pass rush, Floyd is not special or consistent as a pass rusher and on the other side it was Hollins and Lewis both getting significant snaps

  • Rams featured disguise and late movement to cover 2 at times with the slot corner dropping back as a split safety

  • Davis 47 yards on 3rd + 7 to start 4th quarter came versus Rams zero coverage out of nickel, Outstanding block by Singletary crossing the formation to block looping blitzer Jones on the long stunt; Allen calm in the pocket versus pressure laid it out to Davis on the post route versus outside leverage corner Long

  • Allen outstanding game executing the timing and rhythm pass game, He was decisive and precise with his ball placement; Big plays in the pass game came on 3rd down, one versus pressure with no deep safety (Davis 47 yards) and the second off second reaction movement to his right (Diggs 53 yard TD)

  • Allen 7-8 for 162 yards and 2 TD on 3rd down; Bills at times featured motion on 3rd down

  • Ramsey not deployed as a matchup corner with any consistency in the Rams defense, It was that way in 2021 and it continued against the Bills

TITANS OFFENSE VERSUS GIANTS DEFENSE
  • Giants base front was 5-2 with multiple front alignments, Crowder and Calitro/rookie McFadden were the LB; Giants snaps of 5-1 nickel versus Titans 11 personnel with Crowder the only LB, Also snaps of 4-2 nickel

  • Holmes was the Giants slot corner in nickel and dime with Jefferson the dime safety, Giants played 25 snaps of nickel and 10 snaps of dime with 3-2-6 the personnel package (Crowder and Calitro the LB)

  • Titans had good success on 1st down versus the Giants: Henry 17-73 at 4.3 yards per rush with 1 run of 10+ yards, 7 of Henry 1st down runs came out of 21 and 22 personnel; Tannehill 9-10 for 135 yards and 2 TD with 6 of the completions resulting in 1st downs

  • Titans play action pass game was outstanding: Tannehill 10-11 for 151 yards with 1 sack; 1st down play action: Tannehill 4-5 for 70 yards

  • Hilliard 7 yard TD reception on 1st and goal came on well-designed concept out of 13 2x2 with Hilliard offset to the boundary versus Giants base cover 1 with Crowder the free underneath lurk defender, 3 man boundary route concept with Hilliard running the condensed H seam off the natural rub created by Westbrook-Ikhine; Hilliard beat LB Calitro who was picked by Westbrook-Ikhine – Schemed red zone concept

  • Titans first possession was a 5 play TD drive with no 3rd down play, Good mix of personnel and formations

  • First 3rd down (3rd + 5) Giants 5 man pressure out of dime with cover 1 behind it, Tannehill looked to Woods on the crosser and Jackson had excellent coverage resulting in incompletion

  • Hilliard was the predominant 3rd down back for the Titans, He is a good receiver who can detach from the formation

  • 1st down play action out of 21 personnel on second possession Burks at the boundary x ran by Robinson on straight go route, Good ball by Tannehill but Burks was tripped up by Robinson with no penalty

  • Hilliard 31 yard reception on 3rd + 3 on second possession came on well-designed concept versus Giants nickel cover 1, Titans 2x2 set out of 11 personnel with Woods in the backfield and Hilliard stacked behind Hooper to the boundary; Hilliard shallow crosser with LB Crowder trailing him, Crowder initially reacted to Hooper – Good man beater concept

  • Titans at times featured empty sets out of 13 personnel, That kept the Giants in base with strong zone coverage tendency

  • Hollister 22 yards on 1st + 10 on fourth possession came out of 22 straight I, Play action boot with 3 man route concept to the field; Hollister corner route versus Giants cover 2, Hi-low concept defined the throw for Tannehill

  • Henry 18 yards late in the 2nd quarter came out of 22 straight I, Counter with LG Brewer the puller; Outstanding work by rookie RT Petit-Frere climbing to the second level to block Crowder

  • There were 3rd down snaps in which the Giants pass rush did an excellent job squeezing the pocket on Tannehill, They made Tannehill speed up minimizing his progression reading

  • Giants DC Martindale went 4-2 nickel versus Titans 12 personnel on first 2 plays of Titans second 3rd quarter possession, Likely reason was Hilliard not Henry the back

  • Giants bullseye tactic on 3rd + 2 on Titans second possession of the 3rd quarter, Ximines contacted Hilliard out of the backfield disrupting route timing just enough to force Tannehill to hitch on his throw; Hilliard dropped the pass with Giants defenders rallying up

  • Burks 27 yards on 1st + 18 on third possession of the 3rd quarter came out of 11 2x2 with Burks stacked behind Woods to the field, Giants out of 5-1 nickel went cover 1 behind 4 man pressure with Crowder adding in as green dogger off the run action; Switch release off the ball with Burks running the crosser versus trailing off coverage corner Jackson

  • Hilliard featured as a receiver in the Titans offense: 23 yard TD on 1st + 20 late in the 3rd quarter came out of 11 2x2 set with Hilliard offset to the field, Hilliard wheel route underneath 2 vertical routes and it was Crowder’s responsibility to match it based on the coverage but Crowder was tentative and late

  • Burks not in the game on 3rd + 3 early in the 4th quarter, Giants press man to the boundary; Tannehill went to Westbrook-Ikhine on the slant versus Robinson but Robinson outstanding coverage

  • DC Martindale aggressive with pressure and man coverage on Titans final possession including zero coverage on the second play, Tannehill quick out throw to Philips beat unblocked edge blitzer McKinney

  • Haskins was the back on the Titans final possession, He is an excellent in pass protection and the Giants came with pressure on almost every play

  • Big-time throw by Tannehill to Philips 21 yards versus cover 1 to get Titans in FG range

  • Biggest issue for Titans offense was not Tannehill but the lack of big runs by Henry which they expect every week, Against the Giants Henry was a grinder

GIANTS OFFENSE VERSUS TITANS DEFENSE
  • Amadi was the Titans nickel slot corner with Fulton at right corner and rookie McCreary at left corner, In dime McCreary moved inside with Farley at left corner and Kalu the dime safety

  • Titans played 38 snaps of nickel and 12 snaps of dime, Long was the LB in dime (he played every snap), At times in dime they featured loaded fronts

  • Titans played predominantly single high safety coverage with a good mix of cover 3 and cover 1 but they also played meaningful snaps of split safety; Their most played coverage out of dime was split safety

  • In dime Simmons and Autry were the inside pass rushers; Dupree was the Titans predominant edge rusher in the sub fronts with Weaver, Adeniji and Autry (in nickel) all getting snaps opposite Dupree

  • Giants did not start to feature Barkley in the run game until their first possession of the 2nd quarter

  • Barkley 2 yards at 10:38 in 2nd quarter was a great play to watch: Simmons physically manhandled rookie LG Ezeudu and Weaver played off block of rookie RT Neal to tackle Barkley

  • Next play after Barkley 2 yards Simmons beat Ezeudu’s short set to the outside resulting in sack-forced fumble on Jones – It was Ezeudu’s welcome to the NFL moment

  • Titans continued to be effective with T/T stunts, Simmons strong as both a penetrator and looper; Simmons a dominant DT both in run game and as a pass rusher, He schooled both Giants LG Ezeudu and Bredeson

  • Barkley 68 yards was the first play of the 3rd quarter and came on C/G pull scheme to the boundary, Well-designed concept with Shepard motion from the boundary to the field an important mechanic of the play; Safety Hooker took a bad angle filling the alley and Barkley with his speed out-flanked him

  • C/G pull scheme was foundational part of Giants run game approach, They had mixed success at times struggling to control the Titans DL penetration – Barkley 33 yards on winning TD drive came on C/G scheme with Barkley cutting inside

  • Simmons threw down Ezeudu on Shepard 65 yard TD in the 3rd quarter but Jones had the defined one-on-one throw to Shepard on the vertical from #1 to the field, Fulton did not anticipate a vertical route and got stuck

  • Jones legs were a factor in the game and especially on the game winning drive, Giants were patient and composed with no sense of hurry or panic

  • Shepard outstanding insert block on filling safety Hooker on Barkley 7 yards on winning TD drive; Myarick 1 yard TD well-designed goal line concept: Sills zin motion inside of attached TE Myarick, Byard who had Myarick switched inside on Sills with corner Farley now matched on Myarick, Both reacted hard to the run action and Myarick was open in the flat

  • Higher percentage of Titans pass rush came inside not off the edge and that could well be an issue for the Titans as the season progresses with Landry out for the season

LIONS OFFENSE VERSUS EAGLES DEFENSE
  • Eagles played 55 snaps of nickel with no snaps of dime, Their predominant coverages were cover 1 and variations of split safety in a quarters structure

  • Slay played left corner and Bradberry right corner, They did not match up; They both played every snap but 2

  • Swift 50 yards on second play of the game came on wham concept out of 11 personnel versus Eagles nickel, Hockenson wham block on 3-technique DT Hargrave; Bradberry missed open filed tackle and post safety Epps lost his footing

  • Lions showed multiple run game on first possession: Wham, gap scheme, inside zone/duo, trap; They had success running the ball out of 11 personnel versus Eagles 4-2 front

  • Eagles zero blitz out of nickel on 3rd + 6 on Lions second possession, Goff hurried incompletion

  • Eagles 5-2 front versus Lions 12 personnel to start third possession, They played cover 4 behind it – Davis was the 0-technique and he made an excellent play working down the LOS: Swift 1 yard

  • Davis snaps in the 5-2 base front and 4-2 nickel front, In the 5-2 front Davis lined up at 0-technique and shade in reduced front looks – Davis played 22 snaps, He did not play on 3rd down

  • Reddick lined up at stacked LB with Edwards in Eagles 4-2 nickel front on 3rd + 7 on Lions third possession, Reddick blitzed as the fifth rusher; Eagles cover 4 lock behind the pressure versus Lions 3x1 set with Slay the boundary corner matched on Chark

  • Eagles played some 5-1 fronts out of nickel on 3rd down, Edwards was the stacked LB and they worked out of both a quarters structure and 3 deep structure behind it; Great example was 3rd + 7 to end Lions fourth possession, Reynolds 28 yards on 3rd + 5 on sixth possession came versus 5 man pressure with 3 under-3 deep behind it with the Lions working the trips side with a hi-low concept

  • Eagles snaps of 5-1 fronts out of nickel versus Lions 11 personnel, They started the 3rd quarter that way with a quarters structure behind it with Gardner-Johnson a box/stacked player and Maddox in quarters alignment

  • Swift 16 yards on 3rd + 10 on first 3rd quarter possession came on a trap play out of 11 personnel versus Eagles 4-2 nickel, Gardner-Johnson missed tackle playing downhill

  • Eagles more 5-1 personnel/fronts out of nickel versus Lions 11 personnel in the 3rd quarter, Davis played in those fronts; Reddick was at times lined up outside the box in those defenses

  • St. Brown 4 yard TD to end second possession of 3rd quarter came on outstanding red zone design versus man coverage: St. Brown motion across the formation from trips resulted in Epps matchup rather than Gardner-Johnson matchup

  • Swift 25 yard reception on first play of the 4th quarter came on a beautifully designed misdirection screen to the boundary that initially showed Goff boot action to the field off outside zone run action

  • There were 3 3rd down snaps in the game in which Reddick lined up in stacked alignment and blitzed, Eagles different coverage concept behind it each time

  • Eagles predominantly relied on 4 man DL pass rush out of nickel, There were some snaps with 5 man DL pressures and some selected blitzes but it was high percentage 4 man DL pressure

  • Both Gardner-Johnson and Epps matched up to the TE when the Eagles went cover 1 out of nickel

  • Swift only 5 1st down rushes for 28 yards, with a long of 18 yards in the 4th quarter; Lions overall 1st down rushing: 12-53 with only 1 run of more than 10 yards

EAGLES OFFENSE VERSUS LIONS DEFENSE
  • Eagles 49 snaps in 11 personnel (68%) with 18 snaps in 12 personnel (25%) and 5 snaps in 13 personnel (7%)

  • Hughes was the Lions nickel slot corner with Anzalone and rookie Rodriguez/Board the LB, Lions 100% nickel as their sub defense

  • Lions base 4-3 predominantly had Anzalone at the MIKE flanked by Rodriguez and Barnes

  • Eagles empty on 2nd + 10 on first possession with Gainwell #1 to the boundary, Incomplete on quick screen to Gainwell

  • Lions snaps with loaded fronts out of nickel on 3rd down, Hutchinson and Harris at times lined up to the same side; When the Lions went man on 3rd down versus 11 personnel safety Walker or LB Board was the TE matchup

  • In the Lions nickel man coverage schemes they predominantly matched Oruwariye on Brown, and Okudah on Smith; On Brown 54 yards late in the 2nd quarter Harris was the matchup in the Lions cover 1 behind loaded front 4 man pass rush; Great ball by Hurts

  • There were nickel snaps in which Hutchinson lined up inside, at times on the same side as Harris

  • Brown at his best working between the numbers catching the ball on the move with his outstanding run-after-catch

  • Hurts legs are a major part of his game, He continues to drop his eyes and leave the pocket early but he has success doing that and it is a meaningful part of the Eagles ability to sustain drives

  • Eagles continued to feature RPO concepts with Hurts, They are one read concepts that define the throws; Zone read a foundational part of the run game – Pass concept and run concept that simplify the game for Hurts

  • Goedert 27 yards on 3rd + 2 in the 2nd quarter a great example of the zone read element creating a simple throw for Hurts, Brown orbit motion from the boundary to the field also a factor – This was a concept we have seen before from the Eagles on 3rd and short

  • Lions featured double mug fronts in their nickel, They predominantly did that with Anzalone and Board – Double mug looks and loaded fronts were both featured on 3rd down out of nickel; Eagles did not have an answer for the double mug front with the safety coming off the edge

  • Eagles OL struggled at times in pass protection both versus 4 man DL rush and blitz pressure, When you factor in Hurts tendency to drop his eyes and read the rush you get Hurts making plays with his legs

  • Lions aggressive with pressure throughout the game, They rushed 5 on 15 of Hurts 43 drop backs: Hurts 6-10 for 121 yards and TD and sack versus blitz, 3 scrambles on 3rd down all versus blitz with 2 converting 1st downs

VIKINGS OFFENSE VERSUS PACKERS DEFENSE
  • Vikings predominantly an 11 personnel offense versus the Packers, 41 snaps in 11 which was 67% of their offensive snaps; It was a much higher percentage than 2021 when they featured 21 personnel, Against the Packers they played 6 snaps of 21 and 8 snaps of 22 with 7 of the 8 coming in the final 4 minutes of the game

  • Packers did not match up Alexander on Jefferson, They played sides with Stokes at left corner and Alexander at right corner

  • Packers base defense is a 5-2 with Campbell and rookie Walker the stacked LB, They featured reduced fronts

  • Packers played almost nickel as their sub defense: 39 snaps of nickel with only 1 snap of dime; Douglas was the slot corner in nickel

  • Packers like so many teams in the NFL right now featured a good percentage of split safety quarters structure looks that stayed quarters or become cover 6 or cover 8, They also played significant snaps of man coverage

  • Jefferson 22 yards on 2nd + 5 on first possession came out of 11 empty with Jefferson the slot to the boundary inside of Thielen, Packers cover 4 out of base with LB Walker responsible for the boundary flat where Jefferson caught the ball

  • Packers showed loaded fronts out of nickel on 3rd down, At times in those fronts Smith and Gary lined up to the same side

  • Vikings feature a multiple run game out of different personnel groupings and formations, Cook is an explosive downhill runner with velocity and power; He is a load to tackle when he gets by the first level of the defense with speed

  • Vikings did an excellent job with double teams in their run game, They moved the POA and created space at the first level of the defense

  • Jefferson is outstanding with the details and nuances of route running, He is so refined understanding how to use his vertical stem to both turn corners and safeties and to get corners off their spot plus he is so good defeating press coverage with short area burst and stride length

  • Jefferson 36 yard TD late in the 1st half came on a blown coverage by the Packers where Alexander turned Jefferson loose on the crosser and no one picked him up

  • Cousins 6 empty set drop backs: 6-6 for 87 yards with 4 of those 6 completions resulting in 1st downs

  • Vikings have shown they will line up Jefferson in the backfield both as an offset back and behind Cousins in a pistol formation look with an offset back

  • Packers (like so many teams in the league) featured snaps of 5-1 nickel with Campbell the stacked LB, 5 man fronts predominantly reduced

  • Thielen 22 yards to start first 4th quarter possession well designed full field route concept versus cover 8 (¼ ¼ ½ with halves to the field and cover 4 to the boundary), Vikings 2x2 set with Thielen #1 to the boundary running the dig versus off coverage corner Stokes

  • Vikings strong 4 minute run game offense starting with Cook 16 yards out of 22 straight I formation, It was representative of Vikings dominant OL performance all game

PACKERS OFFENSE VERSUS VIKINGS DEFENSE
  • Vikings a base 5-2 defense with predominant split safety quarters structure behind it, Vikings an almost exclusively zone coverage defense with matchup principles

  • Vikings outside corners were Peterson and Dantzler with Sullivan the slot corner, Smith and Hunter the predominant edge rushers but there were 3rd down snaps in which Smith moved inside with Wonnum as the edge rusher with Hunter; Vikings 100% nickel as their sub defense

  • Watson ran by Peterson on the first play of the game and dropped what would have been an easy 75 yard TD

  • Vikings snaps of loaded fronts out of nickel on 3rd down, There were times Tomlinson was lined up as a wide 9 rusher on the loaded side

  • Jones and Wonnum played snaps as on-the-ball edge defenders in the Vikings base 5-2 front and both also were edge rushers at times in the 4 man DL nickel front

  • Smith tough to handle for OG one-on-one as a pass rusher, Vikings good job creating those matchups for Smith with their nickel front alignments especially on 3rd down

  • Rodgers was clearly not comfortable with Watson after his bad drop on the first play of the game, He had Watson open twice in the 2nd quarter and did not turn it loose

  • Vikings DC Donatell did an excellent job with multiple front alignments out of nickel, He looked to create favorable one-on-one matchups; Smith and Jones both deployed as stand up Jokers

  • Hicks sack-forced fumble to end Packers first possession of the 3rd quarter came out of nickel versus designed shot play off Rodgers play action boot left, Smith standup Joker in the middle and Hicks aligned as a wide 9 edge rusher (Donatell multiple front concepts); Smith beat the OC then blew up Dillon, Rodgers had no throw and Hicks who not a primary rusher attacked Rodgers sacking him and forcing the fumble

  • Smith sees things fast with his key and diagnose from split safety alignment as good as any safety in the NFL

  • Wonnum sack on 3rd + 7 early in the 4th quarter came out of nickel with disguise late movement to inverted cover 2with field corner Peterson sinking as a deep half field safety and Bynum rotating inside as the middle hole defender, Vikings loaded front with Smith from 2i alignment looping behind wide 9 edge Wonnum; Hunter delayed rush got in clean forcing Rodgers out of the pocket to his right where Wonnum ran him down

  • Vikings foundational approach versus Packers: Multiplicity of fronts and consistency of coverage out of split safety quarters structure with matchup principles depending on 3x1 and 2x2 and route concepts-combinations

TUA TAGOVAILOA VERSUS PATRIOTS DEFENSE
  • McDaniel has brought the fullback to Miami: Ingold played 22 snaps which was 37% of the Dolphins offensive plays

  • Patriots still remained a foundational single high safety defense but they played much more cover 3 than cover 1, Zone was the foundation more than man coverage

  • Patriots snaps of big nickel with 3 safeties versus Dolphins 12 personnel: Phillips, Dugger and McCourty; Bryant was the slot corner in conventional nickel and dime

  • Hill 23 yards on 1st + 10 a great example of what the Dolphins pass game will look like with Tagovailoa: 21 personnel with Hill motion across the formation to get free access with speed off the ball, Play action with 2 receiver route to the field with Hill the outside receiver off the motion one-on-one screaming at corner Jones trailing him across the formation

  • Dolphins did an outstanding job creating timing and rhythm throws for Tagovailoa, They used personnel and formation and motion to define the reads and throws

  • Smythe 14 yards on second possession came on bang play action off power run action, Great job by Edmonds abandoning the run fake to block blitzing LB Bentley and great job by Tagovailoa sliding left away from the pressure

  • Hill 14 yards on third possession another great example of formation and run action creating a void in cover 3 allowing Tagovailoa to plant and deliver with precise timing

  • Waddle 42 yard TD on 4th + 7 late in the 1st half came on quick in-breaker versus Patriots cover 1 robber with robber Bentley cheated to Hill on the other side of the formation, Waddle beat Mills and post safety Dugger missed the open field tackle

  • Dolphins featured motion as a foundation of their offense and it helped create defined throws for Tagovailoa in the passing game, Hill is clearly going to be a factor as a motion player with his ability to generate explosive burst and speed off free access

  • McDaniel absolutely understands Tagovailoa’s strengths and limitations and he has structured the Dolphins passing game to maximize his strengths and minimize his limitations

BEARS OFFENSE VERSUS 49ERS DEFENSE
  • 49ers sub defense was 100% nickel with Womack the slot corner, Gipson and Hufanga were the safeties; Hufanga predominantly played in the box in the single high safety coverages especially versus Bears bas personnel

  • DT Kinlaw dominant snaps on the Bears first possession, He showed both lateral quickness and the strength to control and displace

  • 49ers snaps with loaded fronts out of nickel on 3rd down, One coverage they showed versus 3x1 sets was zone to the field with the boundary safety in a robber position and the boundary corner locked man-to-man on the x with no over the to help

  • Hufanga interception on 3rd + 7 to end Bears second possession came on 4 man pressure with T/E stunt and cover 3 concept behind it, Omenihu was the looper behind penetrator Armstead and he drove OC Mustipher into the pocket; Hufanga again was in a robber position reading Fields and the routes to the trips side opposite, Fields has to see that

  • Rookie LT Jones had some issues in one-on-one pass protection on 3rd down in the 1st quarter, Ebukam and Bosa both beat him for sacks

  • Safety Hufanga was outstanding playing the run from his box and overhang alignments, Strong key and diagnose and aggressive playing downhill

  • Herbert has more burst and speed than Montgomery, It would not surprise me if Herbert becomes the #1 runner in the Bears offense as the season progresses

  • St. Brown 18 yard TD on 3rd + 2 early in the 4th quarter came on well-designed play out of 21 straight I with Pringle motion into the formation and backfield run action to the field, 49ers defense reacted to the run action and lost St. Brown from his nasty split on his delayed vertical release – Outstanding situational offense

  • Fields and the Bears passing game is a major work in progress right now, Fields has the traits to make special second reaction plays both with his arm and his legs but at this point there is no consistent timing and rhythm to the structured pass game

49ERS OFFENSE VERSUS BEARS DEFENSE
  • Rookie Gordon was the Bears slot corner with Johnson and Vildor outside, Morrow and Smith were the nickel LB; Johnson and Gordon were the corners in the base defense

  • Bears played almost 100% nickel as their sub defense (only 1 snap of dime in the game), Bears played high percentage zone coverage with cover 3 the foundation and they did not blitz (they did not have a 5 man pressure in the game, they had a few 4 man zone exchange pressures)

  • Aiyuk 31 yards on first possession came on a 49ers staple: Samuel jet action, conventional play action, 2 man post-cross route combination; Aiyuk open on the crosser with run-after-catch

  • Samuel featured as the moveable chess piece in the 49ers offense lining up in multiple locations and being deployed as the motion-movement receiver

  • One defined difference in 49ers offense versus Bears was the significant increase in 11 personnel and the decrease in 21 personnel: 8 snaps of 21 personnel and 6 snaps of 22 personnel with 52 snaps of 11 personnel

  • Rookie RG Burford outstanding job working to second level off initial double team block on Mitchell 16 yards to start second possession – Burford an excellent athlete who consistently worked effectively to the second level in the run game

  • Lance badly overthrew wide open Kroft on throwback wheel route on second possession, Great design that would have been a TD

  • Bears rookie DE Robinson played 28 snaps and got his first NFL sack on 3rd + 7 to end 49ers second possession, He beat RG McGlinchey with a quick inside counter off initial stick outside

  • Lance needs work on calculated and comfortable pocket movement, He is too frenetic and unsettled in his movement: Great example was 3rd + 3 to end third possession, Jennings wide open on in-breaker and Lance missed him badly

  • McCloud 20 yards on fourth possession similar concept as Aiyuk 31 yards on first possession, Multiple backfield actions with post-cross combination; Lance excellent ball on McCloud crosser

  • Shanahan called QB draw on 3rd + 13 on fifth possession and Lance ran for 13 yards and a first down

  • It was evident Shanahan tried to keep it basic for Lance, He did not ask him to do much in the passing game; One area Lance will be a factor especially as a runner is the low red zone

  • Lance needs to develop a more refined feel for coverage and how route concepts attack and break them down, Great example was 3rd + 9 in the 2nd quarter: Hi-low concept with Samuel and Wilson and Samuel was open on the in-breaker behind underneath defender Morrow, Lance no patience in the pocket and he threw early to Wilson for 6 yards

  • Lance versus the Bears left throws on the field that were there to be made, He is not yet comfortable turning it loose when pocket patience and more precise timing is demanded

  • Jennings 44 yards on 3rd + 6 on first possession of 3rd quarter came on slot fade, Good ball by Lance on defined read and throw versus single high safety coverage

  • There were 3rd down nickel front snaps in which Robinson lined up at DT, His quickness can pose problems for OG and OC; Inside pass rush on 3rd + 9 on 49ers second possession of the 3rd quarter forced Lance out of the pocket into a run that did not result in a first down

  • Samuel wide open on deep over route on 1st + 10 in the 4th quarter, Inside pressure by DT Watts forced Lance to move (LG Banks took the wrong step) resulting in 1 yard scramble – Lance had room to re-set and deliver but he is not there re: pocket movement

  • Jackson interception on 3rd + 5 in the 4th quarter came on a Matt Eberflus 3rd down staple concept: cover 1 robber (in this case with spy tactic to account for Lance), Jackson from the field was the robber and Lance did not account for him on the in-breaker to Jennings

SEAHAWKS OFFENSE VERSUS BRONCOS DEFENSE
  • Seahawks started 2 rookie OT: Cross at LT and Lucas at RT; They both played well versus the Broncos but Cross had a few bad reps in pass protection allowing 2 sacks and

  • Broncos base front was 5-2, Singleton and Griffith were the stacked LB in the base defense; Browning moved from stacked LB as a rookie in 2021 to edge player this season, At times in the sub defenses Browning would line up as a standup Joker

  • Broncos featured both 5-1 and 4-2 nickel fronts, In the 5-1 front Singleton was the LB and in the 4-2 Singleton and Griffith were the LB

  • Broncos featured 5 man fronts as their front foundation both in their base and sub defenses

  • Broncos predominantly played zone coverage concepts that featured match principles, They played both split safety and single high; They did not play many snaps of cover 1

  • Williams was the nickel slot corner, Broncos played 20 snaps of nickel and 4 snaps of dime with Sterns the dime safety

  • Surtain predominantly matched up on Metcalf throughout the game, He travelled with him

  • Seahawks offense game plan featured a high percentage of base personnel: 14 snaps of 12 personnel, 7 snaps of 13 personnel, 3 snaps of 22 personnel and 2 snaps of 21 personnel

  • Lockett 17 yards on 3rd + 3 on first possession came on outstanding contested pocket throw by Smith, Locket from the field slot ran the delated seam versus Broncos single high safety coverage with man match on the outside and zone inside; No one carried Lockett and Smith great throw with Gregory hitting him as he delivered (Gregory drove back rookie LT Cross into the pocket)

  • Dissly 38 yard TD on 3rd + 2 to end first possession came on outstanding individual play by Smith: Singleton inside blitz blew up Homer forcing Smith to move and run up in the pocket, His movement resulted in zone dropper Chubb reacting to him and turning Dissly loose

  • Seahawks featured snaps of 13 personnel as part of their game plan at times lining up with a 5 man surface, They ran both to the 5 man surface (Penny 26 yards) and to the weak side

  • Parkinson 25 yard TD on 2nd + 6 in the 2nd quarter came on a well-designed play attacking the Broncos 5-2 front and tendency in the game to play man-to-man on the outside receivers and zone match inside, LB Griffith was the defender caught in conflict with his eyes on the screen look to the field resulting in Parkinson running by him on the seam route

  • Seahawks OC Blythe struggled at times in the run game with 0-technique and shade DT, Blythe is not big and he can controlled and displaced

  • Broncos did not play many snaps of dime but they showed loaded fronts at times out of 4-1-6, Singleton was the only LB

JUSTIN HERBERT VERSUS RAIDERS DEFENSE
  • Hobbs and Averett were the Raiders outside corners in the base defense, Hobbs moved inside in sub with Ya-Sin outside

  • Deablo and Perryman/Brown were the Raiders nickel LB, Deablo was the dime LB; Raiders like many NFL teams played 5-2 as their base front

  • Raiders played dime on 3rd down and some selected down and distance/game situations, Harmon was the dime safety

  • Raiders snaps of loaded fronts out of dime on 3rd down

  • Everett 25 yards on 3rd + 8 (first 3rd down of the game) came out of 11 1x3 with Everett reduced split at boundary x and Allen #3 to trips, Raiders cover 1 concept out of dime with boundary safety Abram dropping down to bracket Allen; Herbert poise in the pocket hit Everett on the in-breaker in front of Abram whose body position and eyes were on Allen

  • Allen 42 yards on 1st + 10 in the 2nd quarter came out of 12 closed boundary twins to the field with Allen in the slot inside of Williams, Cross-country dagger versus Raiders nickel cover 3 with Allen running the deep crosser/over; Back side corner Ya-Sin once Everett disappeared retreated hard to get underneath Allen, Herbert big-time throw

  • Herbert is so decisive in the pocket, You rarely see him stuck in the pocket tentative and uncertain where to go with the ball

  • Chargers featured RPO concepts, Herbert quick mind and quick delivery on slant routes with the ability to change his arm angle and throwing platform

  • Carter 30 yards on 1st + 10 in the 2nd quarter came out of 20 personnel versus Raiders base cover 3, Mirrored over routes by slot Carter and x Williams; Herbert pocket movement to his left and a strike to Carter in front of post safety Abram

  • Slater-Jones a good matchup, Chargers did not give Slater help and the second year LT did an excellent job in one-on-one pass protection

  • Carter 23 yard TD late in the 2nd quarter came out of 11 2x2 versus Raiders disguise late movement to cover 2 out of nickel; Herbert read the coverage rotation seeing Deablo dropping as the middle hole defender and he stuck the ball low on Carter on the seam route before Daeblo could get needed depth – Big-time read and throw by Herbert

  • Everett 18 yard TD on 2nd + 10 in the 3rd quarter came on a called RPO concept that the defense took away, Herbert did not have the throw so he had to move to his left ; Great back shoulder throw to Everett well-covered by safety Teamer

  • Raiders showed Crosby as a standup Joker out of dime on 3rd + 5 in the 4th quarter, Ferrell was the edge rusher opposite Jones in that front

  • Everett gives the Chargers the ability line up in 1x3 sets and put speed on the inside to trips, That is a tough matchup for defenses

DAVIS MILLS VERSUS COLTS DEFENSE
  • Colts predominantly a nickel sub defense: 29 snaps of nickel with only 2 snaps of dime; Moore moved inside into the slot with Facyson playing outside with Gilmore

  • Texans higher percentage base personnel groupings than 11 personnel, They only played 38% of their offensive snaps in 11 personnel which was among the lowest percentage in the NFL week 1

  • Texans clearly a base personnel offense versus the Colts and that kept Indianapolis in base defense, Colts played 37 snaps in their 4-3 base

  • Colts more snaps of zone coverage than man coverage, They played both split safety coverages and single high cover 3 with snaps of cover 1 and 1 robber

  • Colts snaps of loaded fronts out of nickel on 3rd down, Snaps with 5 man pressure from loaded front alignment

  • Howard 16 yard TD late in the 2nd quarter came out of 13 personnel with 2 TE closed formation to the boundary, Y/Y vertical concept versus Colts base cover 3; Howard inside seam with no one carrying him and Mills timing throw beating post safety Blackmon

  • Mills as we saw last season is outstanding throwing the dig ball that is part of dagger concept, He makes that throw with excellent timing versus zone coverage; The dig route is a firm throw that requires velocity and Mills can make those throws

  • Colts selectively aggressive with blitz pressure, Mills threw a TD versus blitz (Howard 22 yard TD) and was sacked once by Speed who forced the fumble recovered by the Colts deep in Texans territory

  • Howard 22 yard TD in the 3rd quarter also came out of 13 personnel with 2 TE closed boundary but this time the twins side had 2 split receivers which forced post safety Blackmon to align more in the middle, It was the same Y/Y vertical concept but this time Mills had more room to hit Howard

  • LT Tunsil put on a pass protection clinic versus the Colts (Paye and Ngakoue): Efficient kick slide, knee bend and balance with hands ready to strike, re-set hands when needed; He looked so comfortable and in control

  • First play of OT was a shot play with conventional play action out of 12 balanced with reduced splits, Post-cross combination with Dorsett open on the crosser; TE Jordan chipped Paye then TE Brown blocked him but Paye drove back Brown into the pocket and sacked Mills – Big play opportunity missed

SAINTS OFFENSE VERSUS FALCONS DEFENSE
  • Falcons another defense that plays 5-2 as their base front with Evans and Walker the stacked LB, They also featured 5 man fronts in nickel in addition to 4-2 fronts

  • Falcons sub defense was 100% nickel, Ford was the slot corner with Hayward and Terrell outside, Alford also played significant snaps in the slot

  • Falcons played boundary and field with their corners: Hayward was the field corner and Terrell was the boundary corner; They did not strictly match up to receivers

  • TE Johnson aligned at times at boundary x on the back side of trips in 11 personnel groupings, Johnson was a WR in college who transitioned to TE in the NFL

  • Falcons foundational single high safety coverage defense versus the Saints with cover 1 the most played coverage

  • Hawkins was the predominant TE matchup when the Falcons went cover 1 out of nickel versus 11 personnel, When the Falcons went cover 1 robber the TE matchup was Evans

  • Hill a factor as a shotgun QB in 3rd and 4th down short yardage situations and in the red zone: 11 yard TD to end second possession came on QB sweep with pin-pull concept

  • Falcons DC Pees aggressive with pressure and man-to-man coverage including a snap of zero blitz on 3rd + 6 just outside the red zone late in the 1st quarter

  • Pees among the best DC in the NFL with the use of disguise and late movement, He also featured 4 man zone exchange pressure concepts with match principles behind it

  • Jarrett is one of the best DT in the NFL, Sudden and explosive off the ball with outstanding short area strength and quickness with powerful hands

  • Falcons defense looked fast on tape (much faster than in 2021), They showed a lot of different front looks and they were aggressive on the back end

  • Carter looked much quicker as an edge pass rusher in this game than he did with the Giants, You could see him take advantage of his length and bend

  • Johnson 26 yards and Landry 31 yards on first 4th quarter TD drive both came versus Falcons cover 3, Winston outstanding timing on Landry completion taking Landry inside away from the overlapping corner with the post safety rotating into the deep middle away from the throw

  • Falcons played more zone coverage in the 4th quarter and Winston made throws: Johnson 26 and Landry 31 yards versus cover 3, Olave 20 yards versus cover 2

  • Thomas 21 yards on 3rd + 3 on second 4th quarter TD drive came on well-designed man beater out of trips to the field, Thomas from #3 to trips ran the wheel behind Landry and his delay release put Terrell in trail position; Great ball by Winston

  • Thomas 2 back shoulder fade TD versus Terrell in the 4th quarter, 2 precise ball placement throws by Winston against outstanding coverage

  • Ingram outstanding block on blitzing Evans on Johnson 17 yards that set up winning FG, Big-time winning play by Ingram

  • Winston in the 4th quarter: 13-16 for 213 yards and 2 TD; He read coverage and threw the ball exceptionally well

One of the preeminent NFL analysts in the country, Cosell has worked for NFL Films for over 40 years. Due to his vast knowledge of personnel and matchups based on tape study, Cosell regularly supplies us with valuable and actionable insight and intelligence that cannot be found anywhere else.

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