Week 3 Cosell Coaching Tape

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Week 3 Cosell Coaching Tape

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.

EAGLES OFFENSE VERSUS COMMANDERS DEFENSE
  • With Jackson inactive St. Juste played outside at left corner with Fuller staying at right corner, Wildgoose was the slot corner

  • Commanders went zero blitz out of nickel on first 3rd down, Payne clean through A gap forcing Hurts to move with the resulting incompletion

  • Commanders continued to play snaps of big nickel versus 12 personnel, That has been part of the defense through 3 games

  • Commanders played snaps of dime with 3 corners and 3 safeties, They played snaps of 3-2-6 dime with Holcomb and Davis the LB; Majority of 4-1-6 dime came on Eagles 2 minute drive at the end of the 1st half

  • 11 personnel was the Eagles higher percentage package versus the Commanders just as it was versus the Vikings

  • Smith 45 yards on 1st + 10 on third possession came out of 11 2x2 versus Commanders nickel cover 1, Smith go route versus St. Juste with a great ball by Hurts dropping into the bucket

  • What always stands out with the Eagles pass game is how good a one-on-one pass protector RT Johnson is

  • Commanders second snap of zero blitz came out of nickel on 3rd + 8 in the high red zone on first play of the 2nd quarter, St. Juste excellent coverage on Smith

  • Goedert 23 yard TD on 2nd + 9 early in the 2nd quarter came on well-designed TE screen off power run action away, Both stacked LB Holcomb and Davis reacted to the run action minimizing inside out pursuit and setting up blocks by Kelce and Seumalo

  • Eagles continued to attack vertically out of 11 2x2 sets versus nickel cover 1: Brown 38 yards versus Fuller in the 2nd quarter another example (Smith 45 yards); Throw to the one-on-ones and let your receivers make plays

  • Eagles used run action effectively to set up quick rhythm throws for Hurts: Goedert 23 yard TD, Pascal 13 yards in the 2nd quarter

  • Hurts has been highly effective in empty sets through 3 games: 14-16 for 165 yards and TD with 10.3 yards per attempt; He was 7-8 for 85 yards and TD versus Commanders

  • Commanders overall defensive approach was coverage more than pressure, Only 7 snaps of 5+ man pressure on 40 Hurts drop backs

  • Smith 31 yards on 3rd + 5 in 2nd quarter came out of 11 empty versus Commanders dime cover 1 blitz, Eagles mesh with inside receivers Pascal and Smith; Fuller had to run underneath Pascal and trailed Smith, Easy throw for Hurts with Smith run-after-catch

  • Eagles had good success in the 1st half versus Commanders man coverage working both one-on-ones outside the numbers and schemed concepts like mesh

  • Brown 9 yard TD on 3rd + 8 in the 2nd quarter came out of 11 empty with Brown #1 to twins outside of Smith in the slot, Eagles got the same coverage look they had gotten earlier in the game and Hurts knew he had Brown one-on-one versus corner St. Juste; St. Juste played with inside leverage so Hurts back shouldered Brown on the slant route, Outstanding recognition and throw by Hurts

  • Smith 44 yards late in the 2nd quarter came out of 11 2x2 (Eagles had great success out of 2x2 sets), Tough to tell what coverage the Commanders were in but Hurts did an excellent job reading the safeties

  • Smith strong at the catch point for a 165 pound receiver: 2 yard TD versus Fuller late in the 2nd quarter a great example

  • Calcaterra 40 yards on first play of the 3rd quarter came out of 12 personnel versus big nickel, Commanders were in cover 4 and Calcaterra ran the crosser from #2 to trips in a tight split, Boundary safety Forrest showed no awareness of Calcaterra’s route and it was pitch and catch

  • Through 3 games Hurts leads the NFL in yards per attempt with 9.35, Eagles have receivers who can win one-on-one and can run after catch

  • This was the second consecutive game in which the Eagles called pass plays more than 20 times in the 1st half – Are they making the transition to a passing team?

COMMANDERS OFFENSE VERSUS EAGLES DEFENSE
  • Eagles started the game in their 5-1 package with Edwards the stacked LB versus Commanders 11 personnel, Davis was the 0-technique

  • Second play out of 5-1 front Davis beat OC Schweitzer and batted down Wentz slant to Dotson

  • Eagles 5 man pressure out of 4-2-5 nickel on 2nd + 10 (third play of the game) versus Commanders empty set, Edwards was the fifth rusher

  • First 3rd down Eagles 4 man DL rush versus Commanders 5 man OL protection with offset back McKissic working through the middle of the OL to slow down the interior pass rush, Sweat beat LT Leno playing off contact with strength then showing the flexibility to flatten his rush path

  • Cox power rushes versus OC Schweitzer and RG Turner, Cox sack to start Commanders second possession came versus Turner; Eagles again 5-1 package with Davis the nose shade

  • Eagles third consecutive sack came out of 4-2-5 with Hargrave beating LG Norwell, Commanders 5 man OL protection

  • Slay predominantly lined up over McLaurin but just like Monday night versus the Vikings he did not play high percentage man coverage

  • Sweat at times on 3rd down lined up inside at 3-technique/4i in the Eagles 5 man DL nickel front

  • When Davis comes off the ball low with leverage and fires his hands he plays with excellent POA strength and is then in position to show his short area quickness

  • Eagles game plan featured 5-1 fronts in normal down and distance situations with Davis the 0-technique/nose shade and Edwards the stacked LB

  • Eagles went dime on 3rd + 6 on Commanders third possession with Wallace the dime and White the LB, They rushed 4 DL and played cover 4 behind it; Wentz got stuck in the pocket with no defined throw and was sacked by Reddick re-directing and Graham speed-to-power versus LT Leno

  • Graham sack-forced fumble on 2nd + 6 early in the 2nd quarter came out of 4-2-5 with cover 2, 4 man DL rush with Cox driving back LG Norwell squeezing the pocket on Wentz forcing him to move and Graham cleaning up after clearing the arc versus RT Cosmi

  • Reddick sack-forced fumble on 3rd + 10 in the 2nd quarter came out of 4-1-6 dime, 4 man DL pressure with Reddick beating RT Cosmi off the edge

  • McLaurin 45 yards late in the 3rd quarter came versus Eagles nickel cover 2 with safety Gardner-Johnson not getting deep enough play over the top of the go route, Good ball by Wentz

  • Graham 4th quarter sack he beat RT Cosmi off the edge; Sweat 4th quarter sack he beat RT Cosmi off the edge; Edwards 4th quarter sack came on a blitz-stunt concept with Davis: Edwards was the penetrator and Davis was the looper, Davis lateral quickness to beat Norwell forcing Wentz to move into Edwards sack – Davis was a 2-technique in the 4 man DL on the Edwards, He played some snaps in the 4 man pass rush DL in the 4th quarter

  • Wentz was not sharp versus the Eagles, He was under pressure right from the start of the game and the result was he played too fast often getting into his bad habit of overstriding which led to poor ball placement

  • Bottom line: Eagles DL consistently won one-on-one pass rush matchups, They didn’t stunt much and they didn’t blitz much

  • Eagles played two 5-1 front packages: one was their run front with Davis the 1-technique/nose and the second was their pass rush 5 man front, They played 4-2-5 nickel and they played 5-2 base

  • Eagles rushed 5 on 10 of Wentz 55 drop backs and their coverage approach was more zone than man with an emphasis on two shell coverages

  • Eagles played 67 snaps of nickel and only 3 snaps of dime (all on 3rd down), 53 of those nickel snaps came on 1st and 2nd down; 5-1 nickel fronts were a foundation of the Eagles defense

JAGUARS OFFENSE VERSUS CHARGERS DEFENSE
  • Jackson inactive so Davis was back at boundary corner for the Chargers, Samuel was the field corner with Callahan the slot corner

  • Chargers continued to feature 5-1 nickel fronts (similar front structure as the Eagles) and 5-2 fronts in base

  • Chargers played snaps of big nickel with Gilman the third safety, In that package James was predominantly a box/LOS defender

  • Chargers only played 3 snaps of dime for the Jaguars after playing 21 snaps of dime through their first 2 games

  • Etienne showed strong blitz recognition and solid blocking execution, He was aggressive and physical

  • Jaguars showed a Pony package with Etienne/Robinson and Hasty, They did that out of 21 personnel

  • Chargers aggressive with pressure featuring 5 man pressures and 4 man zone exchange pressures, James was featured as a blitzer; That was game plan approach

  • You can continue to see the development of Lawrence, He is getting quicker in everything he does beginning with his feet; His delivery is more compact and he has shortened his stride making him more effective in the quick timing rhythm passing game

  • Both Kirk and Agnew are multi-location players within the context of the Jaguars offense, Engram also aligned in multiple locations including boundary x and the backfield

  • With Bosa hurt after 13 snaps the Chargers at times used Van Noy as an edge rusher, Rumph was the predominant edge rusher replacing Bosa

  • Z. Jones 14 yard TD on 2nd + 7 in the 2nd quarter came off second reaction movement by Lawrence, Empty set with Lawrence looking to trips then feeling pressure as he looked left; Lawrence moved right and hit Jones who adjusted his route to match Lawrence

  • Lawrence is excellent throwing the ball on the move, He has light feet and easy movement; That is a strength of his game

  • Z. Jones 14 yards on 3rd + 5 a good example of Lawrence improvement: Pocket was squeezed but Lawrence stayed firm, He moved the underneath coverage with his eyes and hit the dig in the hi-low concept

  • Kirk 35 yards on 1st + 10 in the 2nd quarter came out of 12 personnel and the twins formation to the boundary attacked Chargers big nickel with Kirk running his out route versus safety Gilman

  • Pederson doing an outstanding job with pass game structure defining reads and throws for Lawrence, Lawrence playing with rhythm getting the ball out with control and confidence; Overall Pederson did not ask Lawrence to do a lot of progression reading but there were some throws in which Lawrence made late in the down throws in contested pocket

  • Lawrence continued to be efficient in the red zone with a strong combination of play design and execution: Kirk 4 yard TD late in the 3rd quarter a good example with the stack and the stem creating the throw – Lawrence 6 red zone TD passes second in the NFL, He has not thrown an interception and he has not been sacked

  • Chargers dialed back their pressure concepts in the 2nd half relying more on 4 man DL pass rush and playing more zone coverage

  • Jones 11 yard TD on 3rd and goal in the 4th quarter was a confident throw attacking the man coverage on the corner route by M. Jones versus Davis, Big-time throw with precise timing and ball placement

CHARGERS OFFENSE VERSUS JAGUARS DEFENSE
  • Griffith inactive for the Jaguars, Williams played outside with Campbell in the base defense; In nickel Herndon played outside with Williams moving inside into his normal slot position – Jaguars a 100% nickel sub defense through 3 games, No snaps of dime

  • Jaguars featured 5-2 fronts in their base defense, Chaisson got snaps on the outside in the 5-2; Chaisson also got some snaps in the 3rd down nickel front

  • Jenkins showed plant and drive explosiveness as a post safety in cover 1: 3rd + 7 on Chargers first possession a great example

  • Jaguars continued to feature loaded fronts on 3rd down – Jaguars have multi-positional players in their nickel front and they can line up in different spots

  • Both Oluokun and Lloyd matched up to the TE when the Jaguars went cover 1 out of nickel versus 11 personnel; Lloyd had strong reps in pass coverage both man and zone

  • Jaguars best 4 man DL pass rush group has Allen and rookie Walker outside, and Key and Smoot inside, Key at times stood up as a Joker; That was predominantly the 3rd down group

  • Key and Smoot both aligned at DE in the nickel front on 1st and 2nd down, Jaguars have outstanding versatility on their defensive front

  • Smoot sack-forced fumble on 3rd + 10 in the 2nd quarter came on a long inside stunt with Smoot looping behind Key and Walker to get clean to Herbert

  • Williams 15 yard TD on 1st + 10 in the 2nd quarter came out of 11 2x2 with Williams #1 plus split to the field, Jaguars played cover 4 out of base with Campbell locked on Williams; Great back shoulder fade by Herbert

  • Guyton 54 yards on 3rd + 15 on first 3rd quarter possession was an unbelievable throw by Herbert on the move to his right across his body, Ball went 60+ yards in the air and was placed perfectly

  • DT Hamilton had some strong pass rush reps versus the interior of the Chargers OL, It really showed up in the red zone

  • Jaguars multiple with their coverage looks out of nickel, They predominantly went single high with cover 1 and cover 3 but there were still meaningful snaps of split safety

  • Jaguars aggressive with blitz versus Herbert and the Chargers, 16 times on Herbert’s 47 drop backs they rushed 5: Herbert 6-15 for 63 yards with an interception and a sack – Jaguars increased their blitz percentage from the first 2 games

DOLPHINS OFFENSE VERSUS BILLS DEFENSE
  • Bills played nickel on 100% of their defensive snaps with Johnson the slot corner, Their secondary had rookies Elam and Benford at corner and Hamlin and Johnson at safety

  • Tagovailoa continued to look rhythmic in his drop and set and delivery, He is playing with a refined sense of timing; McDaniel clearly understands Tagovailoa’s strengths and limitations

  • Slot corner Johnson continued to be impressive as a run defender, There were snaps he aligned in the box given the Dolphins use of base personnel (10 snaps of 21 personnel)

  • Again the Dolphins featured motion to create space in the secondary and create favorable matchups – Through 3 games no team in the NFL has used motion more than Miami

  • Cracraft 11 yard TD in the middle of the 2nd quarter came out of 11 3x1 with Mostert #3 in trips bunch to the field and Hill offset in the backfield to the boundary, Tagovailoa worked the trips side and made an outstanding timing and anticipation throw that beat two high safety Johnson

  • Rookie free agent Ingram replaced injured Benford at corner in the 2nd quarter and played the rest of the game

  • One concept we have seen from the Dolphins pass game is Hill motion across the formation then releasing with free access and speed, 22 yards to start the 3rd quarter a good example: Dagger concept with Hill exploding off the ball threatening Johnson vertically then breaking inside on the dig

  • Bills had some success with stunts versus Dolphins, Rousseau sack came on T/E stunt and they at times generated pressure on Tagovailoa with stunts

  • Bills high percentage zone coverage versus the Dolphins given their secondary personnel, They featured two shell coverages – Bills only rushed 5 twice in the game, Hamlin/Rousseau split sack early in the 4th quarter came on a safety blitz

  • Milano dropped an easy interception on 3rd + 2 late in the 3rd quarter that could well have been a pick 6, Bills disguised late movement to cover 2 and Tagovailoa did not read it and he threw the quick slant to Hill, Milano as the underneath hook-to-curl defender was sitting right there

  • Waddle 32 yards to start 4th quarter drive came off Sherfield motion across the formation to the side of Waddle, 2 man vertical hi-low concept with Sherfield running to the deeper flat and Waddle running the corner route off an inside stem; Waddle beat corner Ingram cleanly and Tagovailoa was able to throw with timing

  • Waddle 47 yards on 3rd + 22 came out of 11 3x1 with Waddle the boundary x and Hill #1 to trips bunch, Dolphins ran a 3 man vertical route concept versus Bills cover 2 with Hill threatening field safety Hamlin and Sherfield attacking the seam to occupy middle hole defender Edmunds and Waddle one-on-one with safety Johnson on the corner-post route with no one in the middle of the field – Great design and a great ball by Tagovailoa

  • Dolphins only ran 39 offensive plays, had the ball less than 20 minutes and gained only 212 yards of total offense

JOSH ALLEN VERSUS DOLPHINS DEFENSE
  • Dolphins started the game showing 6 man front with double mug look out of nickel, They rushed 6 and played with no deep safety; Bills blocked with 6 and Allen hit Diggs on the post route versus Howard for 28 yards

  • Bills played 20 snaps of 21 personnel with Gilliam the fullback, Dolphins matched up in their base defense

  • McKenzie 27 yards on 2nd + 17 in the 2nd quarter came out of 11 2x1 with Morris in the backfield to pass protect, Dolphins cover 1 out of nickel behind a 5 man pressure; Allen outstanding firm touch throw under pressure to McKenzie on the crosser running away from slot corner Kohou

  • Dolphins featured 6 man fronts with double mug looks out of nickel, They played with no free safety in the middle of the field

  • Dolphins overall very aggressive with their front looks, Their 5 and 6 man pressure percentage was not extreme at just over 31% but they also featured 4 man zone exchange pressures that at times resulted in free rushers at Allen

BENGALS OFFENSE VERSUS JETS DEFENSE
  • Gardner predominantly played left corner and Reed right corner, There were some exceptions

  • Second play of the game the Bengals went empty and the Jets showed a 5 man front dictating one-on-one protection, They dropped out Mosley and rushed LB Williams who was not accounted for; Burrow got the ball out to Higgins for 6 yards but he took a shot

  • Bengals played a lower percentage of 11 percentage versus the Jets than they had in their first 2 games: 86% 11 personnel in the first 2 games, 68% versus the Jets

  • Mosley and Alexander were the nickel LB, Alexander was the third LB in the base defense; Carter continued to be the nickel slot corner; Jets sub defense is high percentage nickel with only 8 snaps of dime through 3 games

  • Jets only snap of dime came on Bengals first 3rd down (3rd + 9), Echols was the dime corner; Jets went 2 man coverage with the Bengals keeping both Perine and TE Wilcox in the backfield to protect, Burrow back shoulder throw to Higgins versus Reed for 19 yards

  • Boyd 22 yards on 3rd + 8 on first possession came out of 11 1x3 flex versus Jets nickel with double mug look with LB Mosley and Williams, Bengals put back Evans in creep alignment for protection; Jets rushed 5 and played zone match coverage behind it with LB Williams dropping out to match Boyd from #3 to trips, Boyd out cut beat Williams leverage and Burrow put the ball on him

  • Jets played a good mix of man coverage (high percentage cover 1) and split safety coverages with significant snaps of cover 2

  • Jets showed loaded fronts on 3rd down and some 2nd and long situations, At times they aligned a LB as a standup 3-technique to make it a 5 man front look and dictate one-on-one matchups

  • Gardner can match vertical routes with his length and speed, He covers ground easily and plays the ball well

  • Boyd 56 yard TD on 3rd + 7 late in the 1st quarter came with TE Hurst and Perine in the backfield for protection, Boyd was the slot to the field; Jets from loaded front rushed 7 with 2 of the rushers green doggers and they played cover 1 behind it, Burrow hit Boyd on the crosser versus Carter and free safety Whitehead missed the tackle

  • Higgins 45 yards on first play of first 2nd quarter possession was a go route versus Gardner and Higgins made a tough catch versus good coverage, Jets were in cover 3 out of base 4-3 versus Bengals 13 personnel

  • What stood with the Bengals run game and its lack of execution was the TE did not block well on the edges

RAVENS OFFENSE VERSUS PATRIOTS DEFENSE
  • Ravens are a base personnel offense with most of it a function of fullback Picard, Ravens through 3 games have played the lowest percentage of 11 personnel snaps in the NFL (only 17 snaps -10%)

  • Ravens 18 snaps of 22 personnel versus the Patriots, 42 snaps of 22 personnel through 3 games which has been 25% of their offensive snaps

  • Patriots played almost exclusively nickel versus the Ravens: 53 nickel snaps, 5 snaps of dime; Patriots base defense is big nickel with 3 safeties

  • Bryant was the Patriots slot corner in nickel, Jones and Mills were the outside corners

  • First 3rd down (3rd + 4) Ravens went 02 personnel in an empty set with TE Andrews and Likely, Patriots matched up with cover 1 out of nickel with Phillips on Andrews at boundary x and Wilson matched on Likely

  • Patriots started the game with Phillips the matchup on Andrews when they played cover 1 out of nickel, Patriots first dime snap came on 3rd + 5 on second possession and dime safety Bledsoe was the matchup on Andrews with slot corner Bryant matched on Likely

  • LT Mekari hurt after 6 plays, Rookie OT Faalele replaced him and played the rest of the game – Faalele was a 3 year starter at RT at Minnesota

  • Patriots snaps of 5 man reduced fronts with LB Wilson aligned on the edge, Godchaux was predominantly the 0-technique in that front

  • Empty sets have been part of the Ravens offense through 3 games, Jackson 23 drop backs out of empty (fifth most in the NFL)

  • Faalalele had issues in one-on-one pass protection, At times slow off the snap and a tight hipped in his lateral movement

  • Depending on Ravens personnel and formation, and Patriots personnel, we saw Phillips/Bledsoe/Jo. Jones/Peppers match up to Andrews and Wilson/Bryant/Mills match up to Likely

  • Jo. Jones interception on 3rd + 16 in the 2nd quarter was the result of great recognition: Patriots cover 1 out of dime with Jones matched on Duvernay plus split to the field, Jackson threw the deep crosser to Bateman working from the boundary; Jones in off man coverage saw the throw and came off Duvernay to make the interception, Jackson never accounted for Jones

  • Counter has been a featured and successful run for Jackson through 3 games, It almost always has the double pull by the OG and the OT; QB power has also been featured with much success

  • Andrews 16 yard TD on 2nd + 7 in the 2nd quarter came out of 12 1x3 with Likely the reduced split boundary x versus Patriots nickel zero with McCourty matched on Andrews, Wilson got in clean but Jackson threw to the matchup and Andrews made a play

  • Duvernay 21 yards on 3rd + 5 on first 3rd quarter possession came out of 12 3x1 with Hill motion to the field, Patriots cover 1 out of dime with Bledsoe matched on Andrews and Bryant on Likely and Mills on Duvernay #1 in the bunch to the boundary; Route concept to the boundary created one-on-one for Duvernay for Mills, Duvernay excellent delayed slant to beat Mills and get into the open area

  • Hill 34 yards on first 3rd quarter possession featured an outstanding block by Picard on Judon, It looked like Picard was the puller and LG Powers was the wrapper on this gap scheme concept

  • Jackson 38 yards on first play of second 3rd quarter possession came on QB power off wide run action fake to Hill, Outstanding concept with the run action expanding the play side defenders setting up the blocks

  • Duvernay 4 yard TD to end second 3rd quarter possession came out of 12 3x1 with Duvernay reduced split on the LOS in stack alignment with Andrews, Patriots cover 1 out of nickel with Bryant matched on Duvernay who ran a corner route with a lot of room; Precise ball placement by Jackson

  • Andrews 25 yards on 2nd + 9 in the 4th quarter came out of 21 empty versus Patriots nickel cover 1, Andrews ran the crosser versus Phillips and easily beat him across the field

  • Bateman has shown explosive run-after-catch traits the last 2 games: 35 yards on 4th quarter TD drive a good example

  • Jackson 9 yard TD in the 4th quarter to seal the win came on QB counter with both back side OL pulling, It is a staple of the Jackson run game

  • Through 3 games Jackson has accounted for almost 87% of the Ravens total offensive yards

49ERS OFFENSE VERSUS BRONCOS DEFENSE
  • Jewell was back at LB for the Broncos, He played in the base and nickel with Griffith

  • Broncos began the game in 5-1 nickel versus 49ers 21 personnel, Jewell was the only LB; Broncos throughout the game snaps of base 5-2 versus 49ers 11 personnel

  • Broncos continued to play dime on 3rd and selected situations, With Sterns one of the starting safeties replacing Simmons on IR Locke was again the dime safety

  • Broncos continued to feature loaded fronts on 3rd down out of dime; Browning was the wild card at times, He could add in as the fifth rusher or be used in coverage

  • Wilson 37 yards on 1st + 10 on 49ers 1st quarter TD drive came out of 11 personnel versus Broncos 5-2 base front, Outside zone with an excellent cutback by Wilson

  • Garoppolo at his best is a timing and rhythm passer, He needs to deliver the ball when he hits and plants his back foot; That is one reason why bang play action is a featured part of 49ers pass game

  • Jewell sack on 3rd + 9 to end 49ers third possession came out of dime with a loaded front, It was a 5 man pressure with Jewell the fifth rusher; Chubb was the penetrator in a T/E stunt concept on the load side and Jewell physically broke down Juszczyk with power and made the sack

  • Samuel 18 yards on 2nd + 11 on fourth possession came out of 21 personnel, Well-designed concept with play action half boot left and dagger concept to the right; Samuel ran the dig into the void in cover 6 with halves to the side of the route concept

  • One thing the Broncos must clean up is how they play trips bunch, In the 1st quarter they had 2 busts on 3rd down each time with the point man in the bunch not covered and running free vertically

  • Samuel 32 yards to start fifth possession came out of 11 personnel versus Broncos 5-2, Samuel offset in the backfield to the boundary opposite trips ran the wheel route and the matchup in the 3 under-3 deep coverage behind the 5 man pressure was LB Jewell; Garoppolo left the ball a little short or it could have been an 85 yard TD

  • When the Broncos went cover 1 out of 4-2-5 nickel versus 49ers 11 personnel safety Sterns was the matchup on Kittle

  • Garoppolo was not sharp mentally or physically much of the game, He didn’t see things as quickly or as clearly as he needed to and his ball placement at times was not as precise as it needed to be

  • 49ers OL did not play up to the standard demanded and needed for this offense to function effectively, Run game was not a factor other than Wilson 37 yards on second possession and Wilson 18 yards late in the 3rd quarter

  • Gregory sack on 2nd + 10 late in the 3rd quarter came on bang play action concept but safety Jackson was sitting in the passing lane to Aiyuk, Gregory beat LT Moore to the inside

  • Garoppolo bad miss to open Aiyuk on 3rd + 18 late in the 3rd quarter, Aiyuk open on the crosser at the sticks but Garappolo off pocket movement to his left threw it short – Big miss

  • LT Moore mental mistake on 2nd + 10 to start 4th quarter allowed blitzing Jewell a clean shot at Garoppolo, Garoppolo got the ball out to open Jennings who double clutched the catch and was not in bounds negating a big gain

  • McKivitz replaced Moore at LT after Moore mental mistake that resulted in Garoppolo getting drilled by Jewell

  • This was not a good performance by the 49ers offense: OL struggled both in the run game and pass protection, and Garoppolo was unsettled and playing a little too fast

  • 3rd + 3 in the 4th quarter a good example of OL and Garoppolo: Samuel out of the backfield open on the angle route versus man coverage off the natural rub by Aiyuk, Protection broke down but Garoppolo has to make that throw, He left it behind Samuel

  • Griffith interception to end the game came a bad read by Garoppolo, Jackson was a free defender in robber position and Garoppolo threw the crosser to Samuel right into Jackson

  • Broncos aggressive with pressure, They had 12 5 man pressures on 33 Garoppolo drop backs but they also had 4 man zone exchange pressures predominantly with Jewell as the fourth rusher

  • One area Garoppolo and the 49ers had success was 1st down passing: 9-11 for 135 yards with the interception coming in comeback mode

BRONCOS OFFENSE VERSUS 49ERS DEFENSE
  • Broncos started their first possession with no huddle put of 11 personnel, 49ers matched up with base 4-3 personnel – 49ers game planned to play base to the Broncos 11 personnel

  • Lenoir was the 49ers nickel slot corner (Womack was the slot corner in the first 2 games), 49ers did not play any snaps of dime (they have only played 1 snap of dime through 3 games)

  • Safety Hufanga continued to flash as a run defender when aligned in the box and on the edge

  • Both safeties Gipson and Hufanga matched up to the TE when the 49ers went cover 1 out of nickel versus 11 personnel

  • Warner always the wild card on 3rd down out of nickel, When the 49ers rush 5 he is almost always the fifth rusher

  • Sutton 34 yards to start fourth possession came out of 12 closed boundary twins to the field, Dagger concept with Sutton running the deep dig

  • Hyder sack to start 2nd quarter was on Wilson, He kept his eyes on Washington too long on the wheel route off motion and did not get to Sutton open on the deep curl to the same side – Too long to eliminate and isolate

  • Cover 2 was the foundation for the 49ers versus the Broncos (as it has been through 3 games), They got to it in multiple ways with different middle hole defenders; Overall the 49ers were high percentage split safety coverage

  • 49ers continued to show loaded fronts on 3rd down out of nickel, Warner was the movable Joker in those fronts

  • Williams 16 yards in the 2nd quarter came on well-blocked duo concept with both double teams clearing out space and LB Warner getting caught inside, 49ers were in a 2 shell coverage so Williams was clean to the third level

  • Al-Shaair hurt late in the 2nd quarter, Flannigan-Fowles replaced him in the base 4-3

  • Jackson sack on 3rd + 16 late in the 2nd quarter came out of nickel with a loaded front versus Broncos 11 empty set, Blitz-stunt concept with 4i Omenihu the penetrator and wide 9 Jackson the looper inside with slot corner Lenoir blitzing off the loaded edge; Jackson off his loop showed clean in front of Wilson and Lenoir was unblocked off the edge

  • Givens sack on 1st + 10 in the 3rd quarter was the result of both coverage and pressure, Broncos ran dagger to the twins side of the formation (12 closed boundary twins to the field); Warner based on the formation anticipated the route concept and got his eyes to the dig taking it away, T/E stunt with Givens the penetrator and Ebukam the looper and Givens beat LT Bolles with excellent hand usage and power

  • Lenoir was deployed as a blitzer at times off the edge – 49ers game plan did not feature high percentage pressure, They rushed 5 on 8 of Wilson’s 40 drop backs

  • Broncos 4th quarter TD featured Wilson second reaction plays on 3rd down: Hinton 27 yards on 3rd + 10, Wilson scramble on 3rd + 6; The third critical play was an outstanding back shoulder throw to Sutton versus Ward 19 yards, 49ers rushed 5 with Hufanga coming off the back side edge but the timing of the throw beat the blitz

  • Overall a dominating performance by the 49ers defense, Broncos averaged 3.7 yards per offensive play; Only 8 of Wilson’s 20 completions resulted in first downs

RAMS OFFENSE VERSUS CARDS DEFENSE
  • Rams through 3 games have played the highest percentage of 11 personnel in the NFL: 96% of their offensive snaps

  • Cards played 43 snaps of nickel and 3 snaps of base versus the Rams

  • Skowronek again used in the fullback position as a foundation of the Rams offense, Skowronek 8 snaps in the fullback position versus the Cards after 20 snaps at fullback week 2 versus the Falcons

  • Against the Cards Rams 6-49 when Skowronek was aligned at fullback, Against the Falcons week 2 Rams 13-48 with Skowronek at fullback; Against the Cards Skowronek caught 1-26 from fullback position

  • Whittaker continued to be the nickel slot corner for the Cards, Collins and Vigil began the game as the nickel LB with Niemann and Vallejo also getting snaps

  • Cards out of nickel played both 5-1 and 4-2 fronts, In the 5-1 front Collins was the edge player on the ball; Cards played significant snaps of 5-1 when Collins was in the game

  • Powell becoming a factor in the Rams offense despite not playing many snaps, He is used in specific ways to take advantage of his ability in space

  • Kupp 14 yards on 2nd + 11 on second possession a great example of Kupp’s route running ability: Pace and tempo, changing speeds, getting the corner to be reactive – Kupp had to get inside Whittaker who was playing with inside leverage

  • Rams have not featured empty sets as much as they did in 2021 – Will that change as the season progresses?

  • Kupp 20 yard TD to end second possession came on jet sweep from reduced split z alignment with Skowronek the straight I formation fullback – One thing that was evident on the first 2 possessions was the Rams game planned to attack the perimeter of the Cards defense

  • Skowronek 26 yards on 1st + 10 late in the 1st quarter came with Skowronek aligned as the I formation fullback, Iso lead run action versus Cards 5-1 front and man coverage; No one picked up Skowronek on his corner route underneath Atwell post route, LB Vallejo caught with eyes in the backfield and no awareness of Skowronek

  • Both Kupp and Powell snaps aligned offset in the backfield, Kupp ran a corner route early in the 2nd quarter and dropped a perfectly thrown Stafford pass that would have been a TD

  • Cards played snaps of base defense with 4-3 personnel versus Rams 11 personnel, Simmons was the hybrid LB-DB in that personnel grouping

  • When Simmons was in the game (he only played 16 snaps) he was the TE matchup when the Cards went cover 1 versus 11 personnel, Collins was the matchup on the back - Baker rarely used as a man-to-man defender

  • Watt sack on 2nd + 5 on first 3rd quarter possession came off stunt-blitz concept, Watt and Golden T/E stunt with Watt the penetrator and Golden the looper inside to clear the edge for Baker blitz; Akers picked up Baker but RG Jackson and RT Havenstein did not handle the stunt effectively

  • LT Noteboom continued to get better in one-on-one pass protection after a tough week 1 versus the Bills

  • Cards showed both loaded fronts and double mug looks on 3rd down, In the double mug looks it was Collins and Simmons in the A gaps

  • Stafford big-time avoid and throw on 3rd + 11 in the 3rd quarter, Cards double mug front with Collins coming on delayed blitz off the edge, Cards 3 under-3 deep behind the 5 man pressure and Stafford knew where Kupp had settled into the void

  • Higbee 26 yards on 1st + 10 in the 3rd quarter came on well-designed screen concept to the field off Skowronek motion across the formation to the boundary resulting in second level adjustments by the Cards defense, Cards were in their 5-1 front and they were out-numbered to the screen side

  • 5-1 front can cause issues at the second level in run defense, Akers 14 yards late in 3rd quarter showed that; With stacked LB Niemann run blitzing inside there were no second level defenders

  • Akers 14 yard TD late in the 3rd quarter came out of straight I formation with Skowronek the fullback versus Cards 4-2 nickel front, Iso lead weak with Skowronek outstanding lead block on stacked LB Collins

  • Skworonek 32 yards on 3rd + 1 in the 4th quarter great example of situational football and the details that result in success: Skowronek from nasty split to the field initially showed run blocking action, Corner Whittaker eyes went into the backfield and he was late reacting when Skowronek ran the crosser

  • Skowronek the last 2 games has been an important part of the Rams offense: He has been used as a fullback and he has been featured as a movement receiver; McVay has found a way to make Skowronek a factor in the offense

TITANS OFFENSE VERSUS RAIDERS DEFENSE
  • Raiders played snaps of big nickel versus both Titans base personnel and 11 personnel, Hobbs and Ya-Sin were the outside corners with Brown and Deablo the nickel LB

  • Titans played more than 50% of their offensive snaps in base personnel groupings, They only played 11 personnel on 46% of their snaps

  • Henry 23 yard reception on second play of the game came on well-designed screen to the field versus Raiders cover 3 out of big nickel

  • First possession of the game Titans showed a Pony personnel package with Henry and Haskins offset in the backfield

  • Raiders played high percentage nickel as their sub defense but they did play 5 snaps of dime, Robertson was the third corner in diem and in conventional nickel

  • Raiders showed loaded fronts out of dime and featured stunt concepts, Deablo was the only LB in dime

  • Henry 10 yards on first possession came out of 22 personnel versus Raiders big nickel, Counter with RG Davis pulling and I formation fullback Carter leading into the hole; Swaim shifted to play side to widen DE Jones giving Davis more time and a better angle on his kick out block

  • Woods 16 yards on 2nd + 12 on first possession came on RPO concept versus Raiders conventional nickel: Power run action with Woods from the field slot running the slant route

  • Swaim 2 yard TD on 3rd + 1 to end first possession came off shotgun inside zone run action, Swaim leaked out into the flat and was turned loose by the Raiders defense

  • Raiders played snaps of base defense with 5-2 reduced front, They played 19 snaps of base versus the Titans

  • Woods 41 yards on 2nd + 5 on the second possession came out of 12 personnel versus Raiders base 5-2 personnel: Outside run action to the boundary with Tannehill showing boot action, 2 man vertical post-cross route concept with Burks running the post and Woods the deep cross versus 3 under-3 deep; Outstanding throw by Tannehill

  • Burks 13 yards on second TD drive showed his strength to physically handle corners, He pushed Hobbs aside on his outside stem before breaking inside on the slant route

  • In the 2nd quarter the Raiders conventional nickel had Hobbs in the slot with Ya-Sin and Webb outside, When Robertson played he was in the slot with Hobbs outside

  • What stood out with the Titans passing game was the focus on pass protection, There were 6 and 7 man protection concepts: Woods 21 yards on 1st + 10 on third possession came out of 12 personnel with 7 man protection, Woods excellent out route to beat Ya-Sin

  • Tannehill 6-7 for 122 yards out of 12 personnel, Protection first was the approach the Titans took – Henry 24 yards on third possession came out of 12 personnel, Outside zone to the 2 TE side of the formation with both TE attached

  • Rookie RT Petit-Frere had some rough snaps versus the Raiders which was to be expected given the high-quality DE he was playing against in Crosby and Jones

  • Harmon interception on 3rd + 11 to end first 3rd quarter possession came with the Raiders playing 2 man out of dollar personnel, They rushed 3 and played with Abram as a robber

  • Hilliard has become a factor in the passing game, He is the Titans 3rd down back and he brings some juice to the offense: 30 yard reception on 3rd + 9 from the -3 yard line was a big play in the game

  • LT Daley missed his block on Nichols and RT Petit-Frere missed his block Crosby on 3rd + 1 in Raiders territory early in the 4th quarter: Henry -3 yards

  • Titans 4th + 4 early in the 4th quarter resulted in an incompletion to open Burks on the in-breaker, Jones beat LT Daley to the outside and impacted Tannehill’s throw (?) with the ball a little too far outside

  • First play of the next possession Tannehill had Burks open on the timing speed out but did not turn it loose, Result was a late throwaway

  • Titans OL at times struggled with back side blocks in the outside zone run game, Henry did not cutback opportunities when the front side was cluttered

RAIDERS OFFENSE VERSUS TITANS DEFENSE
  • Titans continued to play dime on 3rd down (also other selected situations depending on the game), They had McCreary in the slot with Fulton at right corner and Mitchell at left corner

  • Titans played both 4-1-6 dime with Long the only LB and 3-2-6 dime with Long and Cunningham the LB

  • First 3rd down (3rd + 15) Titans out of dime doubled both Waller and Adams with safeties over the top, They left Mitchell one-on-one with Hollins #3 to trips; Hollins ran an excellent route and beat Mitchell on the in-breaker – It was the only 3rd down the Raiders converted in the game

  • Titans showed loaded fronts out of dime on 3rd down, Dime pass rush group predominantly featured Simmons and Autry inside with Weaver and Walker outside with Ray also getting significant snaps outside

  • Autry played outside in the nickel front and inside with Simmons in the dime front

  • Carr and Waller just missed on 3rd + 7 connection late in the 2nd quarter, Waller from flexed alignment ran the sail route versus Byard in man coverage and was wide open; Carr’s throw was a little long but likely catchable, Carr needed to make a more precise throw

  • When Adams lined up inside on 3rd down the Titans game plan was to double/bracket him with a safety over the top, Titans also doubled/bracketed Waller on 3rd down

  • Titans used both Johnson and Hooker to line up over Waller in their man coverage concepts out of dime

  • Weaver showed good bend and flexibility on his 3rd down sack of Carr on 3rd + 4 late in the 2nd quarter, He beat rookie RT Munford who initially looked inside to Simmons thinking stunt and could not recover to close the arc

  • Titans 3rd down game plan out of dime was high percentage man coverage with brackets and doubles on Adams and Waller, When the Raiders were in 12 personnel on 3rd down Johnson was the LOS matchup on Waller and McCreary was on Moreau

  • What also stood out on 3rd down was the effective use of stunts from different front alignments, Simmons and Autry going back to last season have been outstanding with T/T stunts inside

  • 3rd + 9 in the high red zone in the 3rd quarter a great example of coverage and pressure working together, Brackets on Adams at boundary x and Waller #2 to trips and a well-executed T/T stunt by Autry the penetrator and Simmons the looper – It was out of the Belichick school of red zone defense

  • 3rd + 18 late in the 3rd quarter Titans ran another T/T stunt with Autry the penetrator and Simmons the looper, Simmons off his loop read the screen and ran down Bolden for -2 yards – Big-time recognition and athleticism by Simmons

  • Byard end zone interception came on well-schemed tight red zone concept by the Raiders to get Waller open on the shallow crosser, Waller should have made the catch but Walker’s presence in coverage got Waller to take his eyes off the ball

  • Moreau 22 yards on 1st + 10 early in the 2nd quarter came out of 11 2x2 versus nickel cover 3, Play action with a well-timed boundary seam to Moreau in the intermediate void

  • Cunningham hurt in the 3rd quarter, He was replaced by Cole in the base and the nickel

  • Hollins 60 yards on 1st + 10 in the 4th quarter came on a big-time throw by Carr versus nickel cover 2, Fulton actually did an excellent job sinking with depth but Carr made a great throw to the field safety from the boundary hash

  • Hollins 48 yards on 4th + 15 late in the 4th quarter came out of 11 2x2 versus Titans dime 2 man coverage, Hollins #1 to the right of the formation with Waller inside; Johnson lined up over Waller and they played over the top with Byard leaving Hollins one-on-one versus Mitchell with an excellent throw by Carr

  • Titans played 31 snaps of nickel and 17 snaps of dime, What surprised me was the almost 100% man coverage concepts on 3rd down but that was likely a function of the bracket/double principles on Adams and Waller

CHIEFS OFFENSE VERSUS COLTS DEFENSE
  • Colts nickel had Gilmore and Facyson at outside corner with Moore in the slot, Okereke and Franklin were the LB; Rodgers also got significant snaps at outside corner

  • Colts through 3 games have been almost exclusively a nickel sub defense, They have played 134 snaps of nickel and only 2 snaps of dime; Against the Chiefs they played 56 snaps of nickel and no snaps of dime

  • First 3rd down (3rd + 7) Colts went cover 1 out of nickel with safety Blackmon the matchup on Kelce; Mahomes overthrew Valdes-Scantling on the slot fade, Valdes-Scantling had run by Moore

  • Colts through 3 games have not been a high percentage blitz defense overall but their pressure percentage increases dramatically on 3rd down

  • Against the Chiefs the Colts defense was strongly coverage based, They only rushed 5 on 4 of Mahomes 40 drop backs

  • Kelce 29 yards on 3rd + 7 on third possession came out of 11 2x2 versus Colts 3-3-5 nickel cover 3, Mahomes worked the 2 man boundary concept with Hardman and Kelce with Kelce matched on LB Okereke based on Hardman’s short pivot route; Mahomes excellent throw on the corner route

  • Colts deployed LB Speed as a spy at times on 3rd down, They went 3-3-5 nickel when they did that; That was part of 3rd down game plan, In addition they did it on the Chiefs final 2 plays of the game

  • Colts featured 7 man coverages that had both zone and man principles, My sense was the coverage call was zone but it had man match concepts built in depending on offensive formation and the routes

  • Colts 4 man DL pass rush was a factor through the 1st half, They generated enough pressure that Mahomes (who can be over-reactive in the pocket) at times broke down and left the pocket unnecessarily leaving some throws on the field – Good example was 3rd + 9 with just over 5 minutes remaining in the 2nd quarter

  • Blackmon got hurt in the 1st quarter, Rookie 7th round pick Thomas replaced him and played every snap with McLeod the rest of the game

  • Colts are a front four based defense, They were able to generate some consistent pressure on Mahomes with straight 4 man rushes and some stunt concepts

  • Colts played well in the secondary with their zone match principles, They did an excellent job recognizing routes then matching and carrying and delivering – Zone match coverage defense played at a high level

  • Mahomes is not a pocket mover in response to what he sees as pressure as much as he is a pocket leaver to make a second reaction play, He does climb the pocket effectively at times

  • Colts did an excellent job taking away the deep over routes by #3 and #2 in the Chiefs trips and twins formations, The hook-to-curl LB recognized it immediately and matched it with speed

  • Smith-Schuster 53 yards on 3rd + 13 in the 4th quarter came out of 11 2x2 versus Colts cover 1 concept with dedicated bracket/double on Kelce #2 to the boundary and post safety Thomas playing over the top of Hardman #2 to the field, Colts matched Gilmore man-to-man on Smith-Schuster with no help; Mahomes climbed the pocket and made a great throw to Smith-Shuster on the crosser

  • There were snaps especially in the 4th quarter in which the Colts bracketed Kelce and a second receiver depending on location within the formation, Colts felt comfortable with Gilmore playing zero man

  • McLeod interception to end the game came with the Colts playing man to the boundary versus Hardman in the slot and Smith-Schuster outside, Gilmore undercut the slant to Smith-Schuster batting the ball in the air

  • Colts through 3 games have been a high percentage single high safety defense playing cover 1 and cover 3, They have mixed in some split safety looks with a quarters and cover 2 foundation

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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