Cosell Coaching Tape: Week 10

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Cosell Coaching Tape: Week 10

We are proud to share NFL Films Legend and Tape Wizard Greg Cosell’s raw notes from his film observations. We’ll be releasing his notes every week, either on Wednesday or Thursday.

TITANS OFFENSE VERSUS COLTS DEFENSE

  • Foreman 5 yard TD reception to end Titans first possession came out of 6 OL / 2 back personnel with Henry in the offset fullback position and Foreman the I back, Inside zone run action to Henry with Tannehill play action boot throwing in the flat to open Foreman; Both Willis and Okereke had eyes in the backfield – Well-designed tight red zone concept

  • Tannehill big time throw to Brown versus Rhodes on vertical route on 3rd + 11 on second possession, Tannehill hit by Buckner just as he released the ball (Buckner beat LG Saffold) and he put the ball right on Brown’s hands but Brown dropped it

  • Colts continued to feature 5 across fronts out of sub nickel with Leonard on the LOS in a standup 0-technique alignment, Leonard used at times as a looper in the stunt game from that alignment

  • Henry 20 yards on third possession came out of 11 personnel on pin-pull concept to the field with RT Kelly the puller – Henry with room on the perimeter to generate velocity and speed

  • Colts showed some different front looks out of sub nickel on 3rd and long, Muhammad used as a standup Joker behind a 3 man DL front with Autry and Houston the wide 9 edge rushers

  • Titans continued to feature base personnel as their higher percentage personnel package, That has been their MO this season

  • Titans pass offense limited right now, It is product of the run game and the play action that comes off the run game; Titans need to better develop a pass game that can operate independently of the run game

  • Lewis an excellent rotational piece on the Colts DL, He plays both DE and DT and consistently shows up on film

  • Titans 2 well-designed tight red zone TD: Foreman 5 yard TD reception, Smith 1 yard TD run off motion

  • Tannehill just overthrew Smith on short sail route to start late 3rd quarter possession: 6 OL personnel closed formation to the field with Smith the outside TE, Smith initially showed run blocking then released – Schemed big play that did not work

  • Colts 1-tecchnique DT Stewart shows up on film every week, He has been one of the best 4-3 1-techniques playing the run this season

  • Titans continued to produce no big plays in the passing game, It has been an issue in recent weeks; Titans are a shot play offense, They do not feature a well-coordinated and well-integrated immediate and vertical passing game that stands on its own

  • Moore hurt in the 3rd quarter, Carrie was the Colts nickel slot corner the rest of the game

  • Titans played out of 12 personnel when they got the ball with over 9 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter trailing by 17, Smith and Firkser were the TE

  • Overall the Titans OL had issues throughout the game in pass protection, Tannehill took too many shots in this game

COLTS OFFENSE VERSUS TITANS DEFENSE

  • King continued to be the Titans slot corner in both sub nickel and sub dime, Titans continued to play 3-2-6 dime with LB Brown and Evans

  • Butler and Borders were the outside corners with Butler predominantly at right corner and Borders at left corner

  • Titans started the game in cover 1 out of sub nickel versus Colts 11 personnel, Byard was the TE matchup

  • Byard, Vaccaro, Hooker and LB Brown all matched up to the TE depending on Titans personnel and man coverage concept

  • In the Titans sub nickel front Jones was predominantly the 1-technique and Simmons the 3-technique, There were some snaps in which Simmons was the 1-technique

  • Tart and Murchison were the rotational DT, with Crawford getting snaps at both DE and DT; Roberson only played 11 snaps in this game

  • Clowney is at his best in the run game when he slants hard off the ball and beats OT and TE to the inside

  • Titans predominant single high safety coverage out of their sub defenses, cover 1 and cover 3

  • Colts pass game approach was timing and rhythm based, Ball came out of Rivers hands quick

  • Pascal 18 yards on 1st + 10 on second possession came on mesh concept, Colts saw the Titans game plan featured cover 1 as a foundation and they attacked it with a man beater concept

  • Pittman 30 yards on 3rd + 2 in the 2nd quarter came out of 11 2x2 with nasty splits on both sides of the formation, Titans out of sub nickel played a split safety coverage (cover 2, cover 4, cover 6?) with the vertical routes by Hilton and Pittman attacking the split safeties; Pittman on the deep crosser underneath Hilton go route

  • Hines 13 yard TD reception on 2nd + 6 in the 2nd quarter was a schemed 2 man route concept to the boundary side of the formation out of 11 1x3, Alie-Cox was the nub TE and Hines was offset to the boundary, Titans cover 1 out of sub nickel with Brown matched on Hines; Concept was to get Hines on Brown with a lot of room to the boundary

  • As the game progressed the Titans played more snaps of split safety coverage, especially out of sub dime; And they played more snaps of zone coverage

  • Byard has been the robber when the Titans play 1 robber coverage out of sub dime but there was a snap of 1 robber late in the 2nd quarter in which Hooker was the robber and Byard was the post safety

  • Hines played 39 snaps in this game, the most snaps he has played in a game since week 1

  • Colts effective working the boundary side of the formation with their passing game, Basic route concepts and defined quick reads for Rivers

  • Colts ran the ball effectively on first possession of 3rd quarter, They featured Hines out of base personnel groupings (including 13 personnel) versus Titans base defense

  • Titans went zero out of sub dime on 4th + 2 from +25 yard line on Colts first possession of the 3rd quarter: Pascal 9 yards on quick out from the inside slot to trips

  • DT Jones flashed in this game, both as a run defender and inside pass rusher – Titans strong DT duo with Jones and Simmons

  • Pittman 40 yards on 1st + 10 on Colts 4th quarter TD drive came out of 11 personnel with Pittman motion across the formation, Titans cover 1 out of sub nickel with Butler running with Pittman, Pittman shallow cross and Butler passed him on but no one picked up Pittman – Bust by the Titans defense

RAVENS OFFENSE VERSUS PATRIOTS DEFENSE

  • Patriots personnel approach versus Ravens 12 and 21 personnel was big nickel with Phillips and Dugger, Second year free agent Hall was the MIKE LB for the second consecutive game

  • Winovich was major part of Patriots game plan approach playing all but 1 snap, He lined up both on the ball and off the ball

  • Phillips and Dugger consistently aligned as overhang defenders just outside the box, Patriots did not want Jackson / Ravens run game to outflank the defense on the perimeter

  • Patriots seemed to take the tactical approach that they would play with a light box, defending the run game from the outside in with Dugger and Phillips

  • Jones played in the sub nickel in normal down and distance situations versus Ravens 11 personnel, Patriots sub dime featured 3 corners and 3 safeties

  • Ravens continued to feature a multiple run game with Jackson, They want to get him attacking and threatening the perimeter of the defense: zone read, sweep concepts, speed option

  • Patriots DT Davis a lot of good snaps in the run game, He controlled and displaced interior OL to make plays

  • My sense watching the tape was the Patriots believed they could control the interior of the Ravens OL with their DL and they structured their defense accordingly, They did not load the box

  • Jackson had no explosive runs in the game, He never cleared the edge and the Ravens OL did not create space inside

  • One of the main issues the defense faces defending the Ravens shotgun ply action pass game is second level defenders keeping their eyes in the backfield reacting to the run action and being late to their underneath zone coverage responsibilities: Snead 21 yards on 2nd + 5 in the 1st quarter a good example

  • Duvernay snaps at boundary x on the back side of trips: 14 yards on slant versus Jackson in the 3rd quarter a good example

  • Snead 18 yard TD on 2nd + 5 late in the 3rd quarter came out of no huddle speed tempo: 11 3x1 tight bunch to the boundary with Snead the point man, Patriots cover 3 out of 3 safety sub dime; Cover 3 beater route concept with Snead running the over route attacking back side hook-to-curl defender Phillips

  • Patriots played more dime later in the 3rd quarter into the 4th quarter, They had the lead and they were defending the pass game more than the run game from an explosive play standpoint

  • There were sub defense snaps in which Phillips was used as an underneath lurk-spy defender, in position to react to Jackson leaving the pocket; There were also sub defense snaps in which Uche was used as a spy

  • Patriots also played snaps of dollar with 7 defensive backs and snaps with 8 defensive backs, with Bryant getting snaps in both sub defenses

  • Ravens did not produce any explosive plays in the run game, and they had no explosive plays to WR in the pass game; Patriots defense was disciplined and sound in its execution

  • Patriots played all single high safety coverage versus Jackson drop backs, with a high percentage of cover 3 (72%); Patriots only played cover 3 and cover 1 in the game

PATRIOTS OFFENSE VERSUS RAVENS DEFENSE

  • Patriots have been heavy 21 personnel offense the last 2 weeks, Fullback Johnson played 56% of the offensive snaps versus the Jets and 64% of the offensive snaps versus the Ravens

  • Harris has had 85 carries this season, 76 of those 85 have come out of 21 personnel; All 22 of his carries versus the Ravens came out of 21 personnel – That is the Patriots offensive identity right now

  • Patriots opened the game with wham-trap concept out of 21 personnel: Harris 7 yards

  • With Smith inactive Humphrey played outside in the sub nickel, with Peters the other outside corner; Bonds was the slot corner

  • Harrison played in the sub nickel with Queen on 1st and 2nd down, Board played with Queen in the sub nickel on 3rd down

  • Harris is an urgent decisive competitive naturally powerful downhill runner who keeps his feet churning, But he is more than a power back; He has light feet with burst and enough bounce to get outside

  • Patriots featured multiple run game concepts: wham-trap, straight wham, gap scheme, iso lead, pin-pull, inside zone, outside zone – Significant snaps out of the straight I formation

  • Ravens multiple front looks out of base versus Patriots 21 personnel: 5 across fronts with two 3-techniques at times, 4-3 front with Judon/Bowser off the ball as stacked LB

  • Izzo 20 yards on 2nd + 7 in the 2nd quarter came out of 21 straight I: Gap scheme run action with Patriots staple bang play action, Izzo on the shallow crosser behind the second level defenders

  • Burkhead 7 yard TD reception came out of 11 personnel versus Ravens sub nickel cover 1, Great design versus man coverage with motion by Byrd across the formation and the legal pick by Harry on safety Elliott who had Burkhead in coverage; Burkhead clean to the flat for the easy TD

  • Due to injuries and inactives at the corner position Humphrey stayed outside in the sub nickel, Williams replaced injured Bonds at slot corner in the 2nd quarter

  • As the game progressed and it was evident what the Patriots approach was Ravens DC Martindale got more multiple with his front alignments out of base

  • Harris started the 3rd quarter with 16 and 25 yard runs: 16 yards was gap scheme out of shotgun with a physically dominant play side double team by LG Thuney and LY Wynn on 3-technique Washington, Good lead block by fullback Johnson on LB Queen

  • Harris 25 yards was iso lead out of the straight I versus Ravens 4-3 front, Harris excellent vision and short area burst with velocity and power

  • Newton missed an easy 2 yard TD to Meyers in the 3rd quarter, He never set his feet and delivered off balance which made the bad weather more of a factor than it needed to be

  • Ravens played in their base defense on all of Harris runs, Patriots offensive approach kept the Ravens out of their sub defenses which is where the high percentage of their multiple pressure schemes come from

SEAHAWKS OFFENSE VERSUS RAMS DEFENSE

  • Rams continued to play 2 sub nickel fronts: 5 across with Kiser the stacked LB, at times with reduced fronts; 4 DL with Kiser and Young the LB usually stacked

  • Collins 13 yard TD finished an impressive opening drive by the Seahawks, It came out of 12 personnel versus Rams 5 across nickel front: Toss sweep to the field with an outstanding block by LT Brown on LB Kiser

  • Rams played nickel as their base defense versus Seahawks 12 personnel, Ramsey predominantly played outside with Hill in the slot

  • Lockett from boundary x ran by Williams on second possession, Donald pass rush versus LG Iupati forced Wilson to throw it a beat early and under duress with the result he overthrew Lockett

  • Ramsey lined up over Metcalf when Metcalf lined up outside, When Metcalf was the boundary x Ramsey predominantly played man technique even if the overall coverage was zone

  • Floyd flashed right from the start of the game, He was a factor in the run game and as a pass rusher

  • Donald continued to line up in multiple positions in the Rams sub nickel and sub dime fronts, In the tilted fronts he at times lined up opposite the tilt as a wide 9 DE

  • Wilson in the 2nd quarter overthrew Swain on deep over route from just outside the red zone that should have been a TD, Rams cover 4 out of sub nickel and Swain from inside slot to trips got on top of boundary safety Fuller

  • Rams played snaps of dime on 3rd down and selected situations with safety Scott the dime, Scott played the back end with Johnson moving into the box – Scott was used as a blitzer in one of Rams few snaps of cover 1 on 3rd + 8 in the 4th quarter

  • Williams end zone interception resulted from Wilson running up in the pocket rather than stepping up and delivering, Dissly was open on the wheel route versus cover 3 but Wilson was late with the throw, Wilson lost his poise and broke from what was essentially a clean pocket

  • Wilson did not see things clearly in the 1st half, He left too many throws on the field including a couple to Metcalf

  • Two pressure concepts stood out with the Rams: 4 man zone exchange schemes to match a LB on a back opposite the OC slide to Donald, and 5 across diamond fronts to get Donald matched one-on-one inside

  • Rams played high percentage zone coverage concepts with cover 4 a foundation, They have not been a man-to-man defense this season

  • Rams featured multiple stunt concepts out of their sub fronts, It was a foundation of their pressure approach versus the Seahawks; Kiser also featured as a rusher in both 4 man zone exchange schemes and 5 man pressures

  • Wilson continued to not see things clearly in the 3rd quarter, He missed a big play opportunity to Moore on a deep post on 2nd + 20

  • Seahawks only took one deep shot to Metcalf in the game and it didn’t come until the 4th quarter, Metcalf got on top of Ramsey late in the go route and Wilson’s throw just went off his hands

  • Fullback Bellore was used at times in passing situations as a blocker in the backfield, That limited the Seahawks passing game

  • Seahawks played reactively versus the Rams, They did not line up Metcalf at boundary x on many snaps avoiding the Ramsey matchup instead of being proactive and attacking the matchup with the most physically impressive WR in the game

  • This was a bad game for Wilson, both mentally and physically; He struggled with what he saw, was indecisive in the pocket, left too many throws on the field, and missed some throws with poor ball placement

JARED GOFF VERSUS SEAHAWKS DEFENSE

  • Seahawks sub nickel: Flowers at right corner, Reed at left corner and Amadi in the slot – Griffin and Dunbar inactive

  • Kupp 31 yards on 1st + 10 on first possession came on no huddle fast tempo: Rams 11 3x1 with tight bunch to the field and Kupp the point man in the bunch versus Seahawks nickel cover 4, 2 man quarters beater route concept with 7 man protection off outside zone run action to the boundary; Kupp isolated on safety Diggs on corner-post with Reynolds route eating up boundary safety Adams

  • On 3rd + 4 on Rams second possession Neal was the safety with Diggs, Rams went empty out of 11 personnel and the Seahawks matched with cover 1 out of 3-3-5 nickel with Neal matched on Higbee, Seahawks rushed 3 with LB Wagner and Brooks dropping into underneath zone coverage; Higbee sail route beat Neal and Goff made an excellent throw for 39 yards

  • Seahawks featured 5 man fronts out of both base and sub nickel, Wright was the on the ball LB; Reduced fronts with two 3-techniques featured in 5 man fronts

  • Jet motion and play action boot off outside zone continued to be foundations of the Rams’ offense, Woods featured with jet motion – Everett 16 yards on second possession a great example: Flood concept

  • No huddle part of Rams’ offense, They used it selectively and featured different tempos to keep Seahawks defense static

  • Seahawks on 3rd + 9 in the 2nd quarter showed tilted front out of 4-2-5 sub nickel with Dunlap the wide 9 rusher opposite the tilt, They blitzed Adams from the Dunlap’s side and zone matched behind the 5 man pressure with a single high safety; Goff out of empty hit Brown on the screen away from the blitz for 11 yards

  • Seahawks went dime for the first time on 3rd + 3 late in the 2nd quarter, They played cover 1 behind a tilted front; They matched Neal on Everett and Diggs on Brown with Adams the single high safety

  • Whitworth hurt late in the 2nd quarter, Noteboom replaced him at LT for the rest of the game

  • Rams featured play action as a foundation of their passing game, both play action drop back and play action boot; They did a nice job with 2 man route concepts attacking Seahawks high percentage zone coverage concepts – Reynolds 21 yards on first possession of 3rd quarter a good example

  • Rams featured flood concepts as a foundation, They get to them in different ways out of multiple personnel and formations

  • Seahawks predominantly featured zone coverage but they dialed up more man coverage as the game moved later in the 3rd quarter, It was almost all cover 1; What was interesting was they did not match Adams on the TE

  • Rams only 6 snaps of empty versus the Seahawks, They had been averaging about 9 snaps per game

  • Goff play action versus Seahawks: 10-15, 66.7 %, 122 yards, 1 sack; Rams a few more play action calls for Goff in this game than their average in the first 9 games

  • Seahawks played zone coverage concepts on about 2/3 of Goff drop backs with cover 3 the foundation but also snaps of cover 4 and cover 2, Single high was the coverage foundation

  • Seahawks 16 snaps of 5 man pressures in this game, That was 40% of Goff drop backs; Adams and Wagner were the primary blitzers, Wright used in 4 man zone exchange schemes

JOSH ALLEN VERSUS CARDINALS DEFENSE

  • Cards sub nickel: Peterson and Kirkpatrick the outside corners with Murphy the slot corner, Hicks and Campbell the LB; Peterson matched up to Diggs with Kirkpatrick predominantly matched on Brown

  • Brown 31 yards on 3rd + 8 on first possession came out of 10 personnel versus Cards nickel zero, Tunnel screen to the trips side of the formation – Simmons part of 3-3-5 sub nickel

  • Cards aggressive with multiple blitz concepts out of their sub nickel versus Bills 11 personnel, both man and zone pressures; They also featured disguise and late movement – They showed Allen a lot of different looks

  • Simmons played in the 3-3-5 sub nickel on 3rd down, He lined up both on the ball and off the ball; At times in cover 1 he matched up man-to-man on the TE

  • Cards some snaps of dime versus Bills 10 personnel, Joseph was the fourth corner – First time the Cards went dime they played 2 man coverage

  • Allen has the traits of a power velocity thrower, He shows a tendency to be half a beat late on some throws but his arm strength compensates

  • Cards played snaps of 2 man coverage out of both sub nickel and sub dime versus 10 personnel on 3rd down, They featured cut technique by safety Baker on shallow crosses by the boundary x which freed up the boundary corner to help on #3 to trips when it was nickel and LB Campbell was the matchup

  • Cards played significant snaps of man coverage out of sub nickel and some sub dime, featuring cover 1, 1 robber and 2 man; Baker was the robber in 1 robber, He was also used with cut technique to attack shallow and intermediate crossers

  • Bills started first 3rd quarter possession with no huddle tempo to develop some offensive rhythm and minimize Cards pressure concepts

  • Cards stayed aggressive with pressure in the 3rd quarter, That was clearly foundational part of defensive game plan; They featured some snaps of zero

  • Beasley 22 yard TD on 2nd + 2 on second possession of 3rd quarter came out of 11 1x3 nub with Beasley the inside slot to trips and Diggs #2 to trips, Cards cover 1 out of sub nickel with Peterson matched on Beasley; Beasley beat Peterson off the LOS and was wide open on the crosser

  • Campbell hurt in the middle of the 3rd quarter, Simmons replaced him in the sub nickel with Hicks

  • Peterson interception on 2nd + 10 late in the quarter came out of Cards nickel 2 man concept with Baker double on boundary x Diggs in Bills 11 3x1 set, Allen throw was to Knox on the deep over versus Simmons but Peterson with bracket help from Baker was able to read the throw and drop off Diggs to make the interception

  • Cards featured 4 man zone exchange pressure concepts throughout the game, at times coming from 6 and 7 man pressure fronts including double mug looks; Late movement to zone coverage concepts including cover 2 invert

  • Allen was consistently under duress throughout the game, Cards multiple pressure schemes had an impact on the efficiency of Allen and the Bills passing game

  • Allen took an extra hitch on the Kirkpatrick interception and was therefore a beat late, He also left the ball a little too far inside; Flood concept with Davis running the intermediate crosser from the back side

  • Cards stayed aggressive with pressure front looks and blitz schemes on the Bills final TD drive, Cards did not play conservatively

  • Diggs 21 yard TD late in the 4th quarter came out of 11 1x3 nub with Diggs the inside slot to trips, Cards cover 1 out of nickel with Peterson matched on Diggs; Diggs sail-corner route beat Peterson and Allen made an excellent throw with precise timing and ball placement

  • What consistently stands out with Allen is he just plays each snap, There is no carryover from bad plays

  • Cards rushed 5 on 19 of Allen’s drop backs (38%) but they also featured 4 man zone exchange pressure concepts – It was an aggressive pressure game plan

CARDINALS OFFENSE VERSUS BILLS DEFENSE

  • Jackson was the corner opposite White with both Wallace and Norman inactive, Worley also got some snaps opposite White

  • White had been the boundary corner almost all season but versus the Cards he predominantly lined up over Hopkins

  • Edmonds 25 yards on Cards first possession came on split flow inside zone, Bills cover 1 out of sub nickel with fire x blitz by stacked LB Klein and Edmunds; That put Poyer crossing the formation with TE Daniels in position to make the play but he missed the tackle

  • On 3rd and goal from the 5 yard line on Cards first possession Hopkins was the boundary x on the back side of trips and Jackson was the man-to-man matchup, Jackson made the play on the fade ball

  • Cards continued to feature no huddle tempo as foundational part of their offense

  • Bills played sub nickel versus Cards 12 personnel, They wanted more athleticism and speed on the field – Slot corner Johnson played every snap

  • Cards featured a multiple run game: split flow inside zone, gap scheme, delay draw (all 3 of these concepts came on their first possession), straight inside zone, C/T pull scheme off pistol toss, outside zone – They consistently got Drake and Edmonds to the second level

  • Drake looked quick and explosive with short area burst, lateral agility and re-acceleration; He has a slashing darting running style

  • Murray designed run game continued to be a foundational part of the Cards offense: zone read concepts, delay draw

  • Bills featured notable snaps in which Edmunds was on the ball in 5 man fronts, You don’t see that very often from the Bills with Edmunds almost always a stacked LB

  • Bills DT struggled to control, stalemate, displace and win at the POA in the run game; They did not make plays at the LOS

  • My sense watching the tape was that LB Edmunds did not have a strong game, He was blocked too often on run plays; He did not read and avoid to be in position to make plays, or physically defeat blocks

  • Hopkins 35 yards on 1st + 10 in the 3rd quarter came out of 11 3x1 with Hopkins the single receiver to the field, Bills out of sub nickel played cover 4; Gap scheme play action with a 3 man vertical route concept with Kirk and Fitzgerald from the boundary running posts and Hopkins running the deep crosser into the boundary void outside the numbers – Well-designed route concept that broke down cover 4

  • Murray can beat the defense even when they have a clean defender to him, even if that defender is an athletic corner: 28 yards on zone read late in the 3rd quarter boundary corner Worley was unblocked but he took one step inside and Murray re-directed outside with explosion and speed to the perimeter

  • Murray 15 yard TD late in the 3rd quarter came out of 12 3x1 pistol; formation with both TE Williams (LOS TE) and Arnold (wing alignment) to the side of the zone read, Both Williams and Arnold were lead blockers

  • Drake 20 yards in the 4th quarter another example of the Bills DL getting moved in the run game: Inside zone with Drake able to bounce outside off the double team by TE Arnold and Williams on DE Murphy up to stacked LB Klein

  • Drake ran predominantly out of 12 personnel late in the 3rd quarter into the 4th quarter

  • This was another game in which Murray’s legs were a bigger factor than his arm, He missed too many throws that are routine by NFL standards

DOLPHINS OFFENSE VERSUS CHARGERS DEFENSE

  • Tagovailoa first throw was play action boot out of 13 personnel with all 3 TE closed to the field: Good route design versus Chargers cover 3 attacking both the corner and the flat defender, Good read by Tagovailoa to recognize he had Gesicki on the intermediate route for 23 yards

  • Again what you saw with Tagovailoa was timing and rhythm throws where he planted his back foot and delivered, and play action boot – OC Gailey doing a masterful job with route concepts versus anticipated coverages allowing Tagovailoa to be decisive with his reads and throws

  • Campbell continued to be the slot corner for the Chargers, with Murray and White the nickel LB; Perryman the third LB in the base defense

  • Chargers continued to play snaps of dime on 3rd down and selected situations, with safety Addae again the dime

  • Perry was the Dolphins third WR with Parker and Grant in 11 personnel, Dolphins featured significant snaps with multiple TE including snaps of 13 personnel

  • Tillery continued to play predominantly DE but some snaps inside the sub dime front, Both Ingram and Nwosu used as standup Jokers in the dime front

  • Dolphins continued to feature Gesicki as the boundary x in 1x3 sets out of 11 personnel, Versus single high safety zone coverages he is matched on corners

  • Chargers showed multiple front looks out of sub dime with a lot of pre-snap movement, They often featured disguised zone coverages behind it

  • At this point Tagovailoa is a first read thrower, The ball is coming out; That caused some problems versus the Chargers with some forced throws

  • Gailey playing beautifully to Tagovailoa’s traits as a QB: He is running a highly schemed pass game with defined reads and throws, Tagovailoa is a ball distributor not a late-in-the-down drive the ball velocity thrower

  • Ahmed featured on inside zone runs with play action boot and zone read (Perry, a college QB) part of the play design influencing the defense and opening holes

  • Ahmed is a straight line speed back who can fit in a schemed run game just like the Dolphins run, He is not overly shifty or elusive

  • Rookie LB Murray still struggling with play recognition with the result being that he is late to react in the run game, You see the explosive athletic traits at times but he is still a work in progress

CHARGERS OFFENSE VERSUS DOLPHINS DEFENSE

  • Second play of the game Dolphins 5 man pressure with slot corner Needham getting in clean for the sack on Herbert, It resulted from Ogbah and Van Noy slanting inside and Ballage reacting to Van Noy – Dolphins 3 under / 3 deep behind the blitz

  • Dolphins continued to play both nickel and dime as their sub defenses; They played dime on 3rd and long and selected situations with safety Jones the predominant dime and Perry also getting some snaps, They featured 3-2-6 dime with LB Van Noy and Baker

  • Dolphins continued to feature 2 predominant fronts out of sub nickel: 5 across with Roberts the stacked LB, at times in a reduced front; 4 man DL with 2 stacked LB, Roberts and Van Noy/Baker

  • Dolphins continued to play big nickel at times versus base offensive personnel, Safeties Jones and Rowe can both play in the box and on the back end

  • Dolphins went with 8 defensive backs on 3rd + 3 on Chargers first possession, They lined up in an amoeba front with a lot of pre-snap movement; Dolphins went zero ending up with a 7 man pressure due to safety Fejedelem green dog, Herbert rushed his throw with a scattershot incompletion

  • Rowe continued to be the Dolphins TE matchup out of sub nickel and dime versus 11 personnel

  • Dolphins rookie NT Davis flashed in the run game, showing the hand usage and strength to control and displace interior OL and make plays in the run game

  • Dolphins second snap with 8 defensive backs came on 3rd + 10 late in the 2nd quarter: Same amoeba look with pre-snap movement; This time they rushed 4 with Fejedelem the fourth rusher and played cover 1 behind it with a bracket double on Allen #2 to trips with safety Jones inside of Needham, Van Ginkel beat LT Tevi and hit Herbert as he delivered

  • Chargers first possession of the 3rd quarter featured 21 personnel with fullback Nabers, Dolphins matched up with base personnel with Roberts and Baker the stacked LB – Halftime approach by the Chargers

  • Chargers featured run game out of base personnel on first possession of the 3rd quarter, 7 of 11 plays on the TD drive were called runs – Ballage effective running inside for the second consecutive week

  • There were snaps in this game in which Herbert anticipated pressure and either broke down in the pocket prematurely or hurried throws resulting in incompletions – Herbert missed wide open Allen on 2nd + 12 on the play before his interception, leaving the pocket too early

  • Howard interception on 3rd + 12 early in the 4th quarter came on Dolphins third snap with 8 defensive backs and amoeba front, 4 man rush (this time safety Frazier was the fourth rusher) with cover 3 behind it; Herbert with no pressure threw the out to Williams but Howard read both Williams and Herbert

  • Dolphins went zero out of sub nickel on 2nd + 8 in the 4th quarter then followed that on the next play with zero out of 8 defensive backs: Two Herbert incompletions under duress – Dolphins dialing up the pressure in critical 4th quarter situations

  • Dolphins went zero out of dime on 4th + 1 in the 4th quarter, Ogbah clean off the edge tipped the pass to open Allen

  • Dolphins showed Herbert a lot of different front and coverage looks, some with disguise and late movement; They made Herbert have to eliminate and isolate after the snap

  • Dolphins more snaps of zone coverage than man coverage versus the Chargers, both cover 3 and split safety including snaps of cover 2

  • Dolphins played 25 snaps of nickel (40%) and 20 snaps of dime (32%), They played more snaps of sub dime versus the Chargers than they’re season average coming into the game

BUCS OFFENSE VERSUS PANTHERS DEFENSE

  • Panthers continued to be a big nickel 4-2-5 base defense with safeties, Chinn, Boston and Franklin/Burris; Douglas was the field corner and Jackson was the boundary corner

  • Bucs started Shipley at OC and moved Jensen to LG with Marpet still inactive, Haeg played LG last week and really struggled

  • Panthers played significant snaps of dime on 1st down and normal down and distance situations, That was their game plan

  • Elder continued to be the Panthers slot corner in sub dime, Pride was the fourth corner when they went 4 corner dime; Panthers played both 4-1-6 and 3-2-6 dime

  • Panthers a predominant zone coverage defense with cover 3 and cover 4 the foundations, Panthers play cover 3 about 40% of opposing QB drop backs

  • Brady poor ball placement throw to open Brown on deep post on second possession, Brady took Brown up the field rather than across the field

  • Evans 19 yards on 3rd + 2 on second possession came out of 02 empty with Evans the slot to twins: Man beater concept with Evans wheel route underneath Brate putting Douglas in trail position

  • Panthers more snaps of man coverage than I would have expected: They played cover 1, 1 robber and 2 man

  • Bucs featured empty sets out of 02 and 01 personnel on their first 2 possessions, They did not come back to it much at all the rest of the game – Brady out of empty versus Panthers: 5-6, 50 yards, Brate TD to end second possession

  • Bucs clearly focused on a more balanced offensive approach in this game: In the 1st half Brady 21 drop backs with Jones and Fournette totaling 12 called runs

  • Jackson got hurt after 19 snaps, Pride replaced him at outside corner; Douglas became the boundary corner with Pride the field corner

  • Arians pass game features far more intermediate route concepts and throws than what Brady did in New England with all the short option and choice routes

  • Gronkowski 44 yards on 2nd + 13 late in the 2nd quarter came out of 11 2x2 with Gronkowski LOS TE to the boundary, Panthers went 1 robber with boundary safety Burris robbing Goodwin from the slot to the field; Gronkowski one-on-one versus Chinn with no safety help over the top, Gronkowski straight vertical release got on top of Chinn – The Godwin factor

  • Godwin 31 yards on 3rd + 1 on first possession of the 3rd quarter resulted from Brady reading the blitz to the blitz and throwing “smoke” to Godwin off called inside zone run

  • Jones 98 yard TD to start second possession of the 3rd quarter came out of 13 personnel with a closed formation to the boundary, Panthers were in big nickel; Two excellent blocks by LT Smith on DE Gross-Matos and LG Jensen climbing to block safety Burris

  • Brady missed 2 big play TD in this game: Brown in the 1st quarter, and Evans in the 3rd quarter

  • Gross-Matos played more snaps in this game than in any previous game this season, He played 46 snaps and flashed at times

  • Panthers played 42 snaps of dime, which was 55% of all defensive snaps; They played 26 snaps of nickel

  • Panthers featured matchup zone concepts in the tight red zone, with double team elements on the slot receivers at times part of the coverage

  • Evans 14 yards on 4th + 3 on first play of the 4th quarter came out of 11 3x1 set versus Panthers dime cover 1 blitz with Chinn the fifth rusher, Excellent job by Fournette picking up Chinn blitz allowing Brady to hit Evans on the shallow crosser part of mesh concept

  • Panthers went zero blitz out of sub nickel on 2nd + 11 in the high red zone early in the 4th quarter, Thompson clean off the edge forcing hurried Brady incompletion

  • Chinn was featured as a blitzer when the Panthers went cover 1 blitz out of sub dime

  • Bucs had 33 snaps with multiple TE including 9 out of 13 personnel and one each out of 03 and 02 personnel, Brady was 10-12 for 110 yards and 3 TD out of multiple TE sets

EAGLES OFFENSE VERSUS GIANTS DEFENSE

  • Giants sub nickel: Bradberry and Yiadom the outside corners with Holmes the slot corner, Peppers and Ryan the safeties; Giants sub dime had Love the third safety

  • Giants continued to feature snaps of big nickel versus 12 personnel with Peppers, Ryan and Love the safeties

  • Opeta started at LG and Pryor at RG for the Eagles, Peters and Johnson were the OT

  • Wentz scattershot overthrow to wide open Jeffrey on crosser from inside slot to trips out of 11 1x3 set on second throw of the game, Giants cover 3 behind 4 man zone exchange pressure

  • Wentz again too high with his throw to Goedert on 3rd + 1 on Eagles first possession, He stepped too far to his left with his front foot and opened his hips; Another throw he must make

  • Bradberry snaps as the field corner and the boundary corner to line up over boundary x Fulgham

  • Giants continued to feature 4 man zone exchange pressure concepts with both LB and defensive backs the fourth rusher, They also featured multiple stunt concepts

  • Eagles continued to feature 1x3 sets out of 11 personnel, Jeffrey predominantly the inside slot to trips; Jeffrey also snaps at boundary x in 3x1 sets with Fulgham on the trips side – Jeffrey played 18 snaps

  • 2nd + 10 in the 2nd quarter Giants showed a 2 man look pre-snap out of sub dime versus Eagles 11 1x3 set with Peppers matched on Goedert and Bradberry in the inside slot over Hightower, At the snap they rotated to cover 3

  • Giants blitz concepts were predominantly zone pressures but they did feature some man pressures

  • Giants predominant zone coverage concept was cover 3, out of both sub nickel and sub dime; They played almost 50% cover 3 on Wentz drop backs

  • Overall the Giants played high percentage zone coverage in the game, more than 70% on Wentz drop backs; They played a lot of 2 man on 3rd and long, That’s been a staple all season

  • Two things you did not see from the Eagles in this game: Meaningful use of motion, and Wentz designed movement; They need to do both – Ward 16 yards in the 3rd quarter was the first time the Eagles featured play action boot

  • What continued to stand out was the Eagles are very limited in how they challenge defenses, Very few route combinations that attack and break down zone coverage; Their pass game is basic re: route concepts and therefore not tactically difficult to defend

  • Downs and Mayo both played snaps with Martinez in the Giants sub nickel, Martinez was the only LB in the sub dime

  • Giants are not a high percentage man-to-man defense but when they do play man out of sub dime Peppers is the predominant TE matchup unless he is part of a pressure scheme

  • Wentz is absolutely missing too many routine throws by NFL standards (and that must change) but he is not getting any help from the overall offensive approach, route concepts and play design

  • Wentz another poor ball placement throw on 3rd + 10 in the 4th quarter, Eagles on the +36 yard line trailing by 7: Wentz had Fulgham on the out cut from the inside slot to trips if he put it right on him but he left it too far inside

  • Eagles run game featured inside zone (zone read element part of that), G/C pin-pull concepts (Scott 56 yard TD: LG Opeta and OC Kelce pulled with excellent seal blocks by TE Goedert and Rodgers), wham-trap concepts (Sanders 13 yards in 3rd quarter a good example with Opeta the trap block and Goedert the wham block)

  • Sanders looked more decisive and confident overall than he has all season, He got downhill quicker than he had earlier in the season

GIANTS OFFENSE VERSUS EAGLES DEFENSE

  • Giants started the game with no huddle tempo: Slayton 22 yards on 2nd + 15 on first possession came out of 21 closed to the boundary twins to the field, Play action with precise timing and ball placement throw by Jones in the zone window on the field hash versus Eagles split safety coverage

  • Eagles again matched Slay on Slayton, Maddox was the corner opposite Slay

  • Gallman 17 yards on 2nd + 4 on Giants first possession came on trap play out of 11 personnel versus Eagles sub nickel with LB Singleton and Edwards: LG Lemieux trapped 3-technique Cox and RT Fleming a and RG Zeitler climbed to the second level to block Edwards and Singleton

  • Gallman showed better lateral quickness and change of direction than he has showed in the past, He was decisive with his reads and cuts and showed strong finishing traits; He was a confident runner

  • Jones 34 yard TD on 1st + 10 to end first possession came on zone read concept, It was blocked in a way that had a pin-pull element to it with TE Smith crossing the formation as the puller and slot receiver Mack sealing play side stacked LB Edwards, LT Thomas got just enough of back side stacked LB Singleton to keep the alley clean for Jones – Well-designed zone read concept with a creative blocking scheme

  • Singleton continued to be the strong side LB in the base 4-3 with Edwards the MIKE and Riley the WILL; Singleton and Edwards were the predominant nickel LB with Riley some snaps with Singleton

  • Jones throwing with more confidence now, He is showing a greater willingness to trust what he sees and to turn it loose into tight windows: Lewis 17 yards on 3rd + 5 in the 2nd quarter another good example

  • Eagles LB struggled in the run game, They did not see things clearly at times and that resulted in slow recognition and reaction; Too many snaps in which they played laterally without needed aggression

  • LeBlanc and Robey-Coleman both played significant snaps in the slot in the Eagles sub defenses

  • Jones legs hurt the Eagles both by design and improvisation, It was a big factor in the game

  • Shepard 27 yards followed by Tate 38 yards on Giants opening TD drive of the 3rd quarter both came on one-on-one throws versus Eagles man coverage, Shepherd catch came versus Maddox on the outside while Tate was a slot fade-go versus slot corner Robey-Coleman

  • Slayton 40 yards on 2nd + 10 to set up game sealing FG came on stutter-go versus Slay in mirror press man coverage – Aggressive play call and throw by Jones

SAINTS OFFENSE VERSUS 49ERS DEFENSE

  • Moseley continued to be the boundary corner for the 49ers with Verrett the field safety, They do not match up to specific receivers; Taylor continued to be the slot corner with Williams out

  • 49ers played big nickel with safeties Ward, Harris and Moore versus Saints 12, 21 and 6 OL personnel; Harris did not play in the conventional sub nickel

  • 49ers some snaps of dime on 3rd down with safety Johnson the dime – Ward was the TE matchup when the 49ers played man coverage out of sub nickel and dime

  • When Cook lined up outside in 2x2 sets out of 11 personnel and the 49ers played cover 1 out of sub nickel the 49ers felt comfortable with Ward on a slot WR and the corner matched on Cook

  • 49ers continued to feature significant snaps of split safety coverage out of sub nickel, They played snaps of cover 4 and cover 6 in addition to snaps of cover 2; They did not play many snaps of cover 3

  • Warner was responsible for Kamara in man coverage on Kamara 3 yard TD reception

  • Winston replaced injured Brees to start the 2nd half – The first thing that stood out was how much stronger Winston’s arm is than Brees

  • Verrett started playing boundary corner late in the 2nd quarter and that continued into the 3rd quarter, Moseley moved to field corner; Verrett played majority of snaps at boundary corner in the 2nd half

  • DT Kinlaw struggled at times in the run game, He was moved too easily by double teams and driven out of his gap; Kinlaw had some better snaps when he was one-on-one showing control and displace ability

  • Kamara 19 yard reception to start late 3rd quarter possession was quick elimination and isolation by Winston: Route design was a zone beater versus cover 3 or cover 4 but LB Greenlaw immediately read the over route by Cook and got underneath it, Winston right away came down to the check down giving Kamara room to run

  • You can’t play Kamara on wheel route from offset alignment in the backfield if you’re out-leveraged before the snap, That was the case with Greenlaw on Kamara 15 yard reception late in the 3rd quarter; 49ers cover 1 blitz with Warner the fifth rusher

  • 49ers heavy man coverage in the tight red zone out of both sub nickel and sub dime, A lot of 5 man pressures with Warner the fifth rusher and safety Moore matched on Kamara

  • Winston should have thrown an interception in the 4th quarter, Ward dropped what was not an easy catch on a quick 5 step drop timing in-breaker to Thomas; Winston threw that ball out of the huddle without any awareness of Ward in the passing lane

  • Saints pass game will be a little different with Winston, He is not as rhythmic as Brees nor as quick a decision-maker both pre-snap and post-snap but he has a stronger arm and can push the ball downfield – Payton will feature different parts of his playbook, I wonder if Cook will be featured more on intermediate and vertical route concepts

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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