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Cosell Coaching Tape: Week 1

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Cosell Coaching Tape: Week 1

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

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

COWBOYS OFFENSE VERSUS BUCS DEFENSE

  • Davis was primarily the Bucs boundary corner, They did not match up to specific receivers; Cockrell played the slot after Murphy-Bunting got hurt – Davis and Murphy-Bunting the outside corners in base

  • First 3rd and long (3rd + 15) Bucs were in base versus Cowboys 11 showing 7 man front, They rushed 5 and played 3 under-3 deep; LB David part of pressure

  • Cowboys 3 plays of 10 personnel, Bucs matched up with nickel – Bucs only 1 snap of dime in the game

  • Bucs aggressive and multiple with nickel front looks on 3rd down, Both David and White used as blitzers coming from multiple alignments – Bucs forced Elliott to stay in to pass protect

  • Bucs red zone defense on 3rd down: Single high zone behind pressure; Split safety quarters look with matchup principles

  • Bucs featured loaded fronts on 3rd down, Multiple stunt concepts to the 3 man side

  • Lamb 22 yard TD late in 1st quarter was a schemed play out of 12 personnel: 2x2 set with all 4 receivers outside the numbers, Mirrored screen and go/in-breakers on both sides; Murphy-Bunting jumped Lamb and Lamb got on top of him on the go

  • Bucs matched up with nickel to Cowboys Pony package with Elliott and Pollard – Lamb 22 yards in 2nd quarter came out of Pony package

  • Bucs featured 3rd down base package with 3 corners and 1 safety versus Cowboys 11 personnel, They showed a 7 man front pressure look then rushed 5 (David the fifth rusher with Tryon dropping into underneath coverage) and played 3 under-3 deep with the boundary corner at times locking man-to-man on the x receiver

  • There were zone coverage snaps (cover 3 , cover 4) in which Bucs locked boundary corner Davis man-to-man

  • Bucs also featured diamond front on 3rd down with David on the ball on the edge as the fifth rusher in 5 man pressure, Bucs predominantly went cover 1 behind that front

  • Bucs showed a 2 corner/1 safety package versus Cowboys 12 personnel – Davis interception in 3rd quarter came out of that package, 5 man rush with 3 under-3 deep behind it

  • Cooper 21 yard TD on 3rd + 4 late in 3rd quarter: 11 3x1 with tight bunch versus nickel cover 1, Wilson return motion; 3 man route concept resulted in Bucs switch with Cooper gaining leverage on Cockrell on corner route – Great throw by Prescott

  • Rookie Tryon lined up both outside and inside in the Bucs multiple front alignments on 3rd down

  • Cowboys featured 1x3 sets out of 11 personnel, and they featured tight bunch to the field; They also showed an empty set of 12 personnel with both WR twins to the boundary (Cooper in the slot, Lamb outside; Cooper 28 yards on first possession)

  • Bucs predominant single high safety coverages (cover 1, cover 3) but also significant snaps of 2 man, David was the TE matchup versus 11 in 2 man

  • Bucs featured both man and zone pressure concepts, They showed zero blitz in tight red zone (Cooper 5 yard TD)

  • Lamb ran 20 routes out of the slot with only 4 targets and 1 reception for 9 yards, He ran 47 routes in the game with 15 targets; Cooper ran 18 routes out of the slot targeted 4 times with 3 receptions for 49 yards

BUCS OFFENSE VERSUS COWBOYS DEFENSE

  • Diggs and Brown the outside corners with Lewis in the slot versus 11 personnel – Cowboys played nickel on almost every snap in the game, Kearse was predominantly the nickel in big nickel versus Bucs 12 personnel

  • Diggs predominantly lined up at right corner with Brown at left corner, Diggs lined up on Evans on significant snaps

  • Rookie Parsons at times used as an edge pass rusher from the right side in diamond 5 across fronts

  • Gronkowski 19 yards on 2nd + 10 in 1st quarter came versus 2 man coverage, Fournette shift to offset alignment on trips side in 3x1 set; Fournette and Gronkowski (attached TE to trips side) releases created momentary hesitation in man responsibilities for stacked LB Neal and Parsons

  • Godwin 5 yard TD in 1st quarter a well-schemed tight red zone concept versus man coverage, Godwin motion across the formation to get free access versus Lewis on bang post and power run action freezing stacked LB Parsons

  • Cowboys played predominant man coverage with cover 1 and 2 man the foundations, They played some snaps of 1 robber with safety Wilson the robber

  • Play action was not a foundational part of the Bucs passing game but Brady had great success when they did use play action – Godwin 17 yards on 1st + 10 great example of how you do not need to establish the run in order to execute play action effectively

  • Cowboys played 2 sets of nickel LB: Smith and Vander Esch played together, and Neal and Parsons played together

  • Gronkowski 11 yard TD on 3rd + 6 in 3rd quarter came out of 11 empty versus Cowboys zero blitz with safety Wilson matched on Gronkowski in attached TE alignment to the trips side, Parsons off the right edge and Neal from stacked alignment were the fifth and sixth rushers; Gronkowski initially showed pass protection with Wilson green dogging, Gronkowski then released into pop route with DE Lawrence reacting and trying to match Gronkowski

  • It will be interesting to see Parsons development as the season progresses (he played 51 snaps), Cowboys used him as an edge pass rusher at times and he also rushed the QB as the LB opposite loaded fronts

  • Cowboys generated almost no pressure on Brady throughout the game, They played predominant man coverage and played it well but Brady made precise ball placement throws; Brady worked the pocket masterfully with subtle movements staying balanced with a firm base

  • Bucs pass game a mix of one-on-one matchups with 3 excellent receivers and schemed concepts that were more reminiscent of Brady in his Patriots days

  • Bucs predominant personnel package was 11 (64% of snaps) with almost the remaining snaps in 12 personnel, 3 snaps of 10 personnel

SEAHAWKS OFFENSE VERSUS COLTS DEFENSE

  • Colts base defense: Moore and Ya-Sin outside corners with Leonard, Okereke and Franklin the LB; Carrie the nickel corner playing outside with Moore the slot corner – Colts a foundational over front defense out of base

  • Colts played snaps of nickel versus Seahawks 12 personnel – A function of Everett?

  • Seahawks offense under OC Waldron: 12 personnel (23 snaps, 43% of offensive snaps), no huddle tempo, reduced splits, 1x3 sets with Everett the boundary x, shifts and motions (12 plays with motion), empty sets, jet sweep action (featured with different receivers, Eskridge 13 yards late in 2nd quarter and 9 yards in 4th quarter), conventional play action, play action boot, misdirection sweep run game out of shotgun opposite pulling OG and OT

  • Moore blitzed out of nickel on first 3rd and long (3rd + 9) from loaded front side of the alignment, Paye long stunt into A gap forced Wilson out of the pocket: 11 yards – Colts 3 under-3 deep behind 5 man pressure

  • Carson 33 yards on 3rd + 1 in 1st quarter outstanding job by OC Fuller and RG Jackson, Carson skinny through small crease

  • Lockett 23 yard TD on 3rd + 6 in 1st quarter came out of shift to 1x3 set in 11 personnel versus Colts nickel cover zero blitz, Lockett (shift receiver) from inside slot beat safety Willis; Leonard matched on back Penny green dogged from stacked alignment and could not get to Wilson

  • Dissly 22 yards out of 12 personnel in 2nd quarter showed the communication issues change of strength motion can have on a defense – Flood concept to the boundary

  • Everett 9 yard TD in 2nd quarter came out of 12 3x1 with Everett #1 to trips versus base red zone split safety 2/4 coverage, Everett shallow crosser underneath stick nod and inside pivot route

  • Colts showed loaded fronts out of nickel on 3rd down, Multiple stunt concepts from 3 man side

  • Slot corner Moore and safety Willis featured as blitzers in Colts nickel: Willis sack late in 2nd quarter versus empty set, Willis unaccounted for and got in clean; OC Fuller set away from Buckner who aligned at wide 4i to the blitz side

  • Lockett 69 yard TD on 2nd + 20 late in 2nd quarter came out of 11 2x2 versus Colts cover 6 with 2 to the boundary and 4 to the field, Lockett #1 to the boundary ran corner-post versus safety Willis; RG Jackson excellent one-on-one protection versus Buckner

  • Colts a nickel sub defense, They played 40 snaps of nickel and no snaps of dime

  • Colts more multiple with fronts in 2nd half, and they showed some 4 man pressure concepts with LB as fourth rusher and DL dropping out into coverage

  • Metcalf 30 yards to start 4th quarter TD drive came out of 12 1x3 with Dissly nub TE, Reduced bunch look to trips with Metcalf #1 inside the numbers; Outside zone run action to trips with boot look by Wilson, Metcalf one-on-one versus off coverage corner Carrie ran out route

  • Metcalf 15 yard TD in 4th quarter came out of 12 closed to the boundary twins to the field with Metcalf the slot inside of Swain, 4 verticals concept versus Colts cover 3; No second level defender carried Dissly’s seam so post safety Blackmon reacted to it leaving the middle open on Metcalf skinny post versus outside leverage slot corner Moore

  • Seahawks offense had a more structured feel to it under new OC Waldron, Wilson efficient with fewer pocket breakdowns and random plays – Seahawks 27 plays in 11 personnel and 23 snaps in 12 personnel, Wilson 8-10 for 99 yards in play action

COLTS OFFENSE VERSUS SEAHAWKS DEFENSE

  • Seahawks nickel: Flowers right corner and Reed left corner with Amadi the slot corner, Blair also played significant snaps at slot corner

  • Seahawks matched up to Colts empty sets with split safety coverage, with elements of cover 2 and cover 4, behind 4 man DL rush; Adams played on the back end as one of the split safeties

  • There was an empty snap just outside the red zone in the 2nd quarter in which the Seahawks rushed 5 (Wagner the fifth rusher) and matched routes from an initial split safety look

  • Seahawks went cover 1 out of nickel versus Colts empty set on 3rd + 7 in the 2nd quarter, Colts shifted to empty and Seahawks defensive call was cover 1; Brooks was the matchup on Alie-Cox

  • First 3rd and long (3rd + 9) Seahawks double mug look with LB Wagner and Brooks, Wagner rushed with Brooks dropping into underneath coverage; Adams blitzed off the boundary edge with DE Dunlap dropping into coverage on the field side making it a 5 man pressure with a matchup zone concept behind it

  • Seahawks featured 5 man fronts versus 11 personnel with SAM LB Brooks on the ball and Wagner stacked, That 5 man front often featured reduced alignment with 0-technique and two 3/4i techniques

  • Seahawks also featured 5 man reduced fronts versus 12 personnel with Wagner and Brooks stacked, Taylor and Mayowa predominantly were the standup edge defenders in that front

  • There were red zone snaps in which the Seahawks played the base 5 man front versus 11 personnel: Taylor tackle beating TE Doyle on 1st and goal from 9 yard line

  • Seahawks predominant split safety coverage in the red zone out of nickel, Cover 2 and cover 4 foundations

  • Campbell 24 yards to start 3rd possession came out of 11 versus nickel, Colts featured run action that looked like Taylor runs in the 1st quarter, Campbell from the field slot ran the over route versus cover 3; Play design attacked Adams who hit the run action hard and was not in position as the hook-to-curl defender to the boundary

  • Pascal 12 yard TD in 2nd quarter came out of 11 1x3 versus Seahawks base 5 man reduced front, Adams blitzed off the field edge with Taylor crossing the formation to account for him; Pascal from inside slot to trips ran stick nod and Brooks stayed in the middle of the field resulting in throwing window for Wentz

  • Seahawks showed first loaded front on 3rd + 7 in 2nd quarter with Wagner opposite the load, Wagner long stunt looping behind the 3 man side – We saw that a lot last season

  • LT Davenport had some bad snaps in one-on-one pass protection throughout the game

  • Seahawks played the run well in both their 5 man reduced front concepts, out of base and nickel

  • 1x3 sets out of 11 personnel part of Colts formation looks, Both Alie-Cox and Doyle lined up as the boundary x TE

  • Seahawks defense was high percentage zone coverage with split safety concepts predominant, They played about 70% split safety versus Wentz drop backs; The 4th quarter with an 18 point lead inflated the percentage but that was a foundation of the game plan

  • Adams was not used as a blitzer in this matchup, He played a lot of split safety and while there were snaps in which he moved around close to the LOS he was not as active as he was a year ago; The defense made Adams more disciplined and structured

  • Pascal 11 yard TD late in 4th quarter came versus zero blitz with Pascal beating Reed on the crosser, Wentz read the blitz pre-snap and changed the protection to make it 7 man to account for the pressure; Outstanding mental play by Wentz but lower body mechanics were poor even though the throw was precise with touch and location

  • Colts high percentage 11 personnel versus Seahawks, almost 85% of offensive snaps; Seahawks therefore played over 80% nickel with no snaps of dime

TITANS OFFENSE VERSUS CARDS DEFENSE

  • Cards base defense was 5-2/3-4 front with Jones and Simmons the edge players – On first play of the game Jones beat LT Lewan with quick inside move to tackle Henry for -3 yards on outside zone run

  • Murphy left corner and rookie Wilson right corner were the corners in the base defense, Murphy was the slot in nickel with Alford and Wilson outside – Cards played 47 snaps of nickel with no snaps of dime

  • Cards split safety look out of nickel on first 3rd and long but they rotated to cover 3 cloud, Cards played cover 3 cloud versus both 3x1 and 2x2 sets

  • Titans game plan approach was Henry run game out of base personnel (12, 21 and 22) but too many blocking breakdowns, the flow of the game and the score took them out of that approach

  • Simmons lined up in multiple positions: He lined up on the ball in 5-2 front, he played off the ball LB in the sub nickel, he lined up in the A gap in double mug looks, he played safety versus 22 personnel; Simmons was the TE matchup in 2 man versus 11 personnel

  • Second 3rd and long Cards rushed 4 from loaded front and spun from split safety look to cover 3, Multiple stunt concepts from loaded fronts

  • Jones and Golden were the predominant edge rushers in the Cards nickel fronts, There were also nickel snaps in which Jones and Golden aligned on the same side with Watt the edge rusher on the opposite side

  • Jones second sack (and first versus Lewan) came out of base and resulted from lack of timing between Tannehill and Jones, Tannehill bang play action with 3 step drop timing but Jones ran his out route at 5 step drop timing; That sack was not on Lewan

  • Cards multiple with coverages in long yardage situations: split safety concepts both zone and man including hybrid zone-man schemes and snaps of cover 2 with Baker the middle hole defender, Cards also featured cover 2 read concept behind zone exchange pressure with slot corner Murphy and boundary corner Wilson part of 4 man rush

  • Cards also played significant snaps of cover 1 including 1 robber, Simmons was the TE matchup versus 11 personnel

  • Titans OL and TE had individual breakdowns in the run game in the 1st quarter and Henry struggled to get to the first level of the defense

  • Rookie Collins played stacked LB in the base defense and he played fast in the run game, flowing in the box and hitting gaps; My sense is offenses will look to exploit Collins in coverage by being multiple with formations and looks out of base personnel

  • Collins did not play in the nickel until the 2nd half when he played snaps in 3-3-5 nickel with Simmons and Hicks

  • Cards defense has length and athleticism through their front seven, If they can get solid corner play they could become one of the NFL’s better defenses – DC Joseph multiple with fronts and coverages, A tough defense to play against

  • Brown 13 yard TD to end first 3rd quarter possession came with Brown #2 to trips and Jones the boundary x, Cards base cover 1 behind 5 man rush with safety Thompson matched on Brown; Great throw by Tannehill on post route

  • Simmons interception on 3rd + 5 to end Titans second possession of the 3rd quarter came out of 3-3-5 nickel with Simmons, Hicks and Collins the LB; Alford excellent coverage on Jones

  • Titans ended up playing a high percentage of their offensive snaps out of 11 personnel, More than 80% of snaps were in 11; My sense is that is not how they want to play

CARDS OFFENSE VERSUS TITANS DEFENSE

  • Titans nickel: Jenkins right corner and Fulton left corner with Molden the slot corner, Evans and Brown the nickel LB – Titans high percentage nickel as sub defense with 5 snaps of dime all on 3rd down, Safety McDougald was the dime

  • Jenkins was the right corner on every snap: Will he be the right corner every week or was that a function of Hopkins always lining up on the left side of the formation?

  • Cards first 3 plays came out of 12 personnel with TE Williams and Harris, They went empty out of 11 on their fourth snap

  • Green 21 yards on 2nd + 17 on first possession came out of Edmunds shift to 11 empty versus Titans nickel split safety (looked like ¼ ¼ ½ with halves to the trips side), Fulton jumped the quick out by #2 Kirk to trips and Murray went over the top of Fulton to hit Green in the outside void

  • Titans split safety zone in the high red zone, Versus 3x1 set with Green #1 to trips it looked like “quarters special” with Fulton matching Green in man coverage

  • Murray designed run game again a central part of Cards red zone offense, Multiple concepts

  • McDougald post safety in dime on 3rd down in high red zone, Hooker in the box with Byard matched on #3 to trips

  • Hopkins 5 yard TD on 3rd and goal in 1st quarter came off Murray second reaction movement, Titans 2 man out of dime with Hooker matched on the TE

  • In cover 1 out of dime McDougald was the post safety with Byard the matchup on the TE or #3 to trips versus 10 personnel – Byard almost always the TE matchup in cover 1 versus 11 personnel

  • Outside receivers in the Air Raid almost always align on the same side, Hopkins lined up on the left side of the formation and Green on the right side

  • Titans showed a mix of cover 1 and split safety zone coverage that had principles of both cover 4 and cover 2, Snaps that looked like ¼ ¼ ½ - Titans played more snaps of split safety than I would have anticipated: Cover 4, cover 4, some cover 2

  • Hopkins 17 yard TD on 2nd + 5 in 2nd quarter came out of 11 empty with Hopkins boundary slot inside of Edmunds versus Titans nickel zero blitz with all 5 man defenders playing matchup off coverage, Hopkins slant in front of Byard then run-after-catch for TD

  • Titans showed loaded front and 5 man DL out of nickel (with loaded front alignment), Simmons sack on 3rd + 10 in 3rd quarter came out of 5 man DL; They also showed double mug look out of nickel with Brown and Evans in the A gaps

  • Titans snaps of 5-2 front versus multiple TE personnel, Evans and Brown were the stacked LB

  • Empty sets part of Cards pass game out of all 3 personnel packages (12, 11 and 10), Murray 8 empty snaps versus Titans: 8-8 for 104 yards – Kirk 22 yards on 3rd + 6 in 2nd quarter came out of 10 empty with Kirk #3 to trips running crosser versus Byard

  • Titans high red zone snaps of zero blitz versus empty with all 5 man defenders playing matchup off coverage – Game planned defense in high red zone versus empty

  • McDougald played the 2nd half at safety with Byard in the base and the nickel, Hooker hurt (now on IR)

  • Rookie Moore effective on tunnel screens with outstanding short area burst and explosiveness and high-level run-after-catch traits

  • Kirk 26 yard TD on 3rd + 3 early in 3rd quarter came out of 3x1 with Kirk #3 to trips versus Titans nickel cover 1 blitz with single high safety Byard outside the boundary hash to help with Hopkins, Kirk beat slot corner Molden off the ball and Murray threw a rainbow that Kirk ran under – McDougald was the TE matchup on this play

  • Kirk 11 yard TD on 3rd + 4 late in 3rd quarter came out of 10 2x2 with Kirk the slot to the field versus Titans nickel cover 1 with Byard matched on Kirk, Slot fade with outstanding back shoulder throw by Murray

  • Cards offensive personnel breakdown not what you might expect: 24 snaps of 12 personnel, 20 snaps of 11 and 12 snaps of 10; Murray out of 10 personnel: 6-8 for 102 yards and TD; Murray out of 12 personnel: 6-12 for 90 yards and an interception

EAGLES OFFENSE VERSUS FALCONS DEFENSE

  • Falcons nickel: Terrell and Moreau outside corners with Oliver the slot corner, Jones and Oluokun the nickel LB

  • Eagles offense: Multiple personnel groupings and formations, 12 closed to the boundary twins to the field, 3x1, 1x3; One thing the Eagles did not feature was motion, They rarely used motion

  • Eagles first 2 plays were bubble screens to Watkins lined up #3 to trips in 1x3 nub set out of 11 personnel: One read throw, Gets Hurts comfortable and gives him completions; Third play looked like an RPO with zone read split flow inside zone action but it was a designed throw to Watkins in the flat

  • Fourth play was zone read with Hurts keeping for 13 yards, Another 11 1x3 nub set with Hurts zone read to trips

  • Sanders first run came on misdirection concept with Sanders shotgun sweep to the field opposite RG Brooks and RT Johnson pulling to the boundary

  • Falcons went nickel versus 12 personnel with Goedert and Ertz on Eagles first possession, They did that throughout the game

  • Smith 18 yard TD on 3rd + 4 to end first possession came out of 11 empty, Man beater concept with Ertz #1 to twins inside motion to create natural rub on vertical stem for Smith to run the fade; Great design versus anticipated man coverage – Falcons cover 1 behind 5 man rush with safety Harris the matchup on Ertz (Harris was the TE matchup in cover 1 versus 11 personnel)

  • Eagles second possession featured vertical-wheel concept both to the field and the boundary: Ertz 28 yards came on post-wheel out of 12 personnel to the closed boundary with Goedert running the post and Ertz the wheel, Hurts poor ball placement throw prevented run-after-catch

  • Eagles showed a lot of different formation looks through first 2 possessions, out of both 11 and 12 personnel – Overall Eagles multiple with their use of personnel and formations

  • Smith significant snaps at boundary x, There were some 2 man route concepts with the offset back giving Hurts basic one defender reads; All part of the game plan approach to allow Hurts to settle in and be comfortable

  • Siriani and staff great job with game plan for Hurts: Bubble screens, quick game, one defender read throws, 2 man route concepts that attacked zone coverage putting defenders in conflict

  • Falcons coverage template was much heavier zone than man, Cover 3 and cover 2 were the foundations

  • Eagles went empty out of 13 personnel in the 2nd quarter, Falcons out of base rushed 3 with cover 2 behind it: Smith 19 yards off Hurts second reaction movement

  • Eagles showed Pony package with Sanders and Gainwell both offset in the 2nd quarter, It came out of 21 personnel

  • Eagles featured empty sets 5 times, Hurts was 5-5 for 45 yards – I wonder if we will see more empty sets as the season progresses, Gives Hurts room to make plays with his legs

  • Eagles have gone from being arguably the slowest team in the NFL 2 years ago to one of the faster teams with their group of skill position players

  • Gainwell driven back into the pocket by LB Jones on blitz late in the 2nd quarter, He will need to be a good blocker to play in 3rd down situations

  • Falcons started to show more multiple front looks and some disguise and late movement late in the 2nd quarter, They had done little of that up to that point

  • One area Hurts needs to continue to improve is trusting his protection versus pressure, There were some snaps in which a blitzer was accounted for but the flash of pressure caused Hurts to break down and move

  • Deeper drops expose Hurts tendency to break down in the pocket and leave some throws on the field, That’s why Siriani and staff did such a good job with the game plan and overall approach

  • Hurts excellent execution of 2 minute drive at end of 1st half, He was controlled and efficient versus Falcons defense that increased pressure tempo from multiple fronts and disguised coverage looks with late movement

  • Goedert 9 yard TD to end 1st half came out of 11 3x1 versus Falcons 2 man with Jones matched on Goedert #3 to trips, Hurts on the move threw Goedert open with Jones back turned – Great second reaction play by Hurts knowing Goedert could see him and would react to the throw away from Jones

  • Eagles started 3rd quarter with wham out of 12 closed to the boundary, Goedert from wing alignment was the wham blocker on 1-technique Davison: Sanders 23 yards

  • Hurts 14 yards on first possession of 3rd quarter came on zone read concept to the boundary, Great job by RT Johnson blocking slanting DE Means and reduced split WR Arcega-Whiteside crack block on overhang defender safety Harmon

  • Eagles multiple run game concepts in 3rd quarter featuring Sanders and Hurts: Wham, zone read, pin-pull; Kelce still one of most athletic OC in the NFL

  • Falcons out of base (5-2-4) versus 11 personnel showed zero blitz in the high red zone in the 3rd quarter

  • Gainwell 8 yard TD late in 3rd quarter came out of wide 2x2 stack versus 6 man box, Duo concept with outstanding double by Kelce and Seumalo on 1-technique Comiskey up to stacked LB Oluokun

  • Sanders outstanding block crossing the formation on blitzing safety Hawkins on Smith 19 yards on 3rd + 9 early in the 4th quarter, Half field read to the field with Hurts subtly climbing the pocket with eyes downfield; Falcons 6 in coverage with 2 deep shell and a big void to the field for Smith deep curl

  • Reagor 23 yard TD came on zone read/RPO concept with the pass element being the tunnel screen to Reagor to the boundary

  • Eagles predominant personnel grouping was 11 with 40 snaps, They ran 18 snaps of 12 personnel and 8 snaps of 13 personnel

FALCONS OFFENSE VERSUS EAGLES DEFENSE

  • Eagles nickel: Slay and Nelson outside corners with Maddox the slot corner, Harris and Epps (then Wallace) the safeties with Singleton and Wilson the LB, Avery also snaps at LB in nickel

  • Eagles featured different personnel groupings in nickel depending on down and situation and field location

  • Epps was the starting safety with Harris in the base defense; Avery started at SAM LB in base and played snaps on the ball in what was often a 5 man reduced front (although he did not always line up on the strong side of the offensive formation), Wilson was the MIKE and Edwards/Singleton the WILL with Edwards getting most of the snaps

  • Eagles featured significant snaps out of base in reduced fronts with 0-technique and two 4i DL, That was their front foundation out of base

  • Slay did not match up on Ridley, He played left corner and Nelson right corner; Eagles played high percentage zone coverage concepts with split safety the foundation

  • Eagles pressure approach on 3rd down and long yardage situations was 4 man DL rush, They rarely blitzed versus the Falcons

  • In single high safety coverages out of nickel (predominantly cover 3, Eagles did not play many snaps of cover 1) Epps was the post safety until he left with a concussion early in the game

  • Hargrave quickly beat rookie LG Mayfield with hand usage and lateral quickness and burst on second 3rd down of the game; Hargrave gave Mayfield issues on multiple 3rd downs with hand usage, power and quickness including 4th quarter sack

  • Overall Eagles DL dominated the Falcons OL on 3rd down, They consistently collapsed the pocket both from inside and outside; They featured some stunts but not many, It was predominantly straight 4 man rush

  • Eagles defense looked fast on tape, DL was quicker and stronger than Falcons OL and their LB showed strong play recognition and reaction

  • Edwards is a strong box LB, Good short area quickness and explosion as a tackler; Singleton played in the nickel, He’s a better athlete with more play speed and range

  • Rookie Johnson got some snaps at SAM and Bradley played some snaps at stacked LB in the base defense

  • Rookie DL Williams showed up on tape both in the base defense as a 4i and in the sub nickel front as a 3-technique

  • Eagles tendency in this game was to bump out their SAM LB (Avery or Johnson) to the twins side of the formation versus 12 closed to the boundary and twins to the field, He would be an overhang defender playing the midpoint of the OT and the slot WR

  • Falcons best runs versus Eagles defense were cutback runs off outside zone, Edge was taken away by 5 man front and the back (Davis and Patterson) worked a gap or two back inside

  • Outside zone is the foundation of the Falcons run game, They want to be a base personnel offense – Against the Eagles they ran 19 plays out of 12 personnel, 11 plays out of 21 and 12 out of 22

  • Ridgeway played significant snaps at 0-technique in the base 5 man front, Cox played the higher percentage of his snaps in the nickel front but when he played in the base he aligned at 4i

  • Eagles showed an excellent DL rotation in this game, No DL played more than 57% of the defensive snaps (Cox); Score could have been a factor but their depth is outstanding

  • Eagles played 41 snaps in nickel and 23 snaps in base, They did not play any snaps of dime

49ERS OFFENSE VERSUS LIONS DEFENSE

  • 49ers are a foundational base personnel offense featuring 12 and 21 personnel – Against the Lions they ran 15 plays out of 12 and 15 plays out of 21

  • 49ers offense starts with the outside zone run game and works off that, Play action and play action boot derive from outside zone run game – Kittle 23 yards on second possession came off outside zone toss action to the field with Garoppolo boot to the boundary, 21 personnel

  • 49ers use motion more than any team in the NFL, They led the league in 2020 with the highest percentage of plays that featured motion (over 70%) and 23 of their 55 offensive plays against the Lions had motion

  • Lions in their nickel cover 1 doubled boundary x Kittle in the high red zone with safety Walker and LB Anzalone, 49ers shifted Sanu across the formation to get 1x3 set validating pre-snap it was man coverage; Lions loaded front to the boundary side of the offensive formation

  • Samuel 29 yards on third possession came of 21 straight I (Juszczyk shift from wing TE alignment to I formation fullback) closed to the boundary twins to the field, Iso lead weak run action with dagger concept and Samuel dig route

  • 49ers as good any team in the NFL playing with both the eye discipline and conflict responsibilities of second level defenders, They do it in multiple ways: motions, misdirection concepts, run action

  • Lions played both nickel and dime with dime predominant on 3rd down, Parker was the nickel slot corner and rookie Melifonwu was the dime

  • 49ers featured Kittle as the boundary x on the back side of trips out of 11 personnel, They often got to that formation look by shifting or motioning a WR across the formation

  • Lions showed double mug out of dime with Anzalone and Melifonwu in the A gaps

  • Kittle 35 yards to start 3rd quarter came out of 12 personnel versus Lions 6 man front with safety Walker in the box and Harris the post safety, Another play action boot concept off split flow outside zone; Lions played cover 1 and Kittle ran away from Walker on the crosser to the boot side

  • Samuel 79 yard TD on 3rd + 8 on second possession of 3rd quarter came versus Lions nickel cover 1 blitz, Garoppolo under duress threw to the one-on-one with Samuel versus Okudah; Okudah had good coverage but did not locate the ball

  • Garoppolo was 9-12 for 159 yards off play action and play action boot, 49ers feature multiple play action concepts; Play action a staple of the 49ers offense

  • Lions more aggressive with blitz in the 4th quarter to try to create turnovers, Blitz was not part of initial game plan approach

  • Mitchell 38 yard TD early in the 2nd quarter came out of 12 personnel, Outside zone toss to the field; Jennings shift across the formation to 3x1 set with trips closed to the field, Lions 8 man box with safety Walker to the field side of the formation – Outstanding block by Kittle on Okwara

  • As the game progressed Lions matched up to 12 personnel on 1st down with 6 man fronts and Anzalone as the stacked LB, It was a front designed to defend the run game

  • LT Williams is such a good athlete for a man his size, He makes outstanding blocks in space versus LB and defensive backs with great balance and body control

  • Mitchell excellent downhill burst and explosiveness, Fits the profile of a one cut zone runner

  • 13 of Mitchell’s 19 rushes came out of base personnel including 38 yard TD: 13-88; He was not as effective out of 11 personnel: 6-16

MAC JONES VERSUS DOLPHINS DEFENSE

  • Dolphins safeties in base were J. McCourty and Rowe, Dolphins also played snaps of big nickel versus 12 personnel with B. Jones/Holland as the third safety; Needham was the slot corner in the sub defenses

  • Dolphins safeties Rowe and McCourty both have strong corner backgrounds and that allows the Dolphins to be multiple with pressure concepts knowing they can match up man-to-man all across the back end

  • Dolphins snaps of 3-2-6 dime with LB Baker and Eguavoen, Rookie Phillips significant snaps as edge pass rusher in sub fronts

  • Dolphins showed snaps of cover 3 and 3 under-3 deep on 1st down versus Patriots 12 personnel

  • Dolphins featured disguise and late movement out of both nickel and dime, They showed inverted cover 2 with LB Baker the boundary corner

  • Rookie Holland played snaps in dime on 3rd down, He played post safety in single high coverages; Dolphins played snaps of dime with 4 corners and 2 safeties, Needham the slot corner with Coleman the fourth corner in dime

  • Meyers 22 yards on 3rd + 7 in 2nd quarter came on rub concept versus cover 1 press, Bourne from #2 to trips picked Coleman in press man versus Meyers in the inside slot; Scheme presented easy throw for Jones

  • Dolphins showed cover 2 out of base in the high red zone, Baker was the middle hole defender

  • There’s a natural poise and calmness to the way Jones plays, Jones looks comfortable as if nothing is too fast for him; He trusts his protection and delivers versus pressure without speeding up his mechanics

  • Patriots top 3 wide receivers are Myers, Bourne and Agholor – They played 27 snaps out of 11 personnel versus the Dolphins

  • Jones excellent job seeing blitz and getting the ball out to the right receiver, He was not beaten mentally

  • Agholor 25 yards in 2nd quarter excellent seam throw by Jones versus cover 2, Slot corner Needham was the fourth rusher with DE Ogbah dropping as underneath defender and Baker the middle hole defender; Jones read it all the way pumping to the right before making the seam throw to Agholor versus the split safety coverage

  • Agholor 21 yards on 2nd + 15 in 3rd quarter was an excellent read and throw by Jones, Dolphins showed cover 1 and then spun to a split safety matchup zone/pattern reading concept behind a 5 man pressure; Jones outstanding read and hole shot from the boundary hash to the field taking shot from Eguavoen just after he delivers

  • White 26 yards on 3rd + 11 came out of 11 1x3 with White offset to the boundary versus Dolphins cover 1 out of 4 corner-2 safety dime with Baker matched on White, Jones great touch and ball placement on White wheel route

  • You will see a lot of 1x3 sets from the Patriots, both out of 12 and 11 personnel; Smith can line up as the boundary x

  • Jones showed efficient movement within the pocket, He had a good feel for pressure and where it was coming from and how to move to avoid it without breaking down, Jones a great feel for managing the pocket – Jones has an innate feel for what’s pressure and what’s not pressure, Bodies around him are not pressure

  • Dolphins showed multiple pressure concepts, both man pressures and zone pressures

  • Dolphins played predominantly cover 1 on Jones drop backs but also played significant snaps of cover 2, They also played some zone coverage concepts that were specific to pressure schemes

  • Jones out of 11 personnel: 18-21 for 196 yards, Dolphins blitzed 8 times on Jones 21 drop backs

  • Overall Jones was efficient versus blitz: 13-17 for 100 yards; Jones read pressure and knew where to go with ball within the structure of the offense

DEREK CARR VERSUS RAVENS DEFENSE

  • First third (3rd + 9) Raiders out of 12 1x3 went tight bunch to the boundary (shift from tight bunch to the field) with Edwards the point man and Waller #1, Ravens played cover 4 out of dime with Humphrey and Averett the outside corners; Play design was to get the ball to Waller with 3 man route concept that attacked both man and zone with Edwards the point man running vertically and Renfrow running the shallow cross, That left Waller one-on-one underneath versus slot corner Young: 13 yards

  • Ravens played significant snaps of both nickel and dime; They featured 5, 6 and 7 man fronts out of dime with a lot of disguise and bluff pressure looks, Safeties Clark and Elliott featured as blitzers

  • Young started as the Ravens slot corner, As the game progressed Westry took snaps from Young but he played outside with Averett moving into the slot

  • There were snaps in cover 1 versus 12 personnel when Humphrey matched man-to-man on Waller with a safety matched on Moreau

  • Rookie RT Leatherwood welcome to the NFL moment came on 3rd + 10 in 2nd quarter when veteran pass rusher Houston schooled him on an edge rush for a sack

  • Jacobs will deliver a blow in pass protection, He blew up looping DE Oweh on a T/E stunt in the 2nd quarter

  • Raiders continued to feature tight bunch concepts on 3rd down, They also featured flood concept to trips with Waller running the intermediate out cut from the inside slot

  • Raiders significant snaps of 12 personnel on 3rd and long with Waller and Moreau, Moreau at times the boundary x on the back side of trips bunch

  • There were 3rd down man coverage snaps out of dime versus 11 personnel in which the Ravens doubled with Waller with 2 safeties

  • Raiders made big plays versus zero coverage: Ruggs 37 yards on 3rd + 10 on late 4th quarter TD drive running away from safety Stephens on deep crosser, Humphrey was matched on Waller versus 11 personnel; Edwards 32 yards on 3rd + 4 in OT back shoulder catch versus Westry; Jones 31 yard GW TD which came out of 12 tight bunch to the boundary, Bunch resulted in Humphrey press man on point man Jones colliding with Westry as he turned to run with Jones deep over route

  • Raiders featured no huddle tempo at times to help kick-start their offense

  • There are still snaps at times in which Carr is a little hesitant to turn it loose on intermediate and deeper throws that are there

  • Ravens multiple with their pressure concepts out of both nickel and dime, They also feature disguise and late movement

  • Waller 10 yard TD late in 4th quarter came out of 11 empty (Drake shift to #1 to the field) versus Ravens nickel cover 1 robber, Bunch route concept resulted in Waller one-on-one versus safety Clark; Play was designed for Waller

  • Empty sets part of Raiders pass game, Carr in empty 14 snaps: 7-12 for only 56 yards with a TD and an interception

  • Raiders were a base personnel offense versus the Ravens: 52 snaps in base personnel with only 21 in 11; They featured 24 snaps in 12 and 18 snaps in 21 with 10 snaps in 13

  • Ravens a high percentage single high safety and man coverage pass defense, They played predominantly cover 1 with some snaps of cover 3 and not many snaps of split safety

MATTHEW STAFFORD VERSUS BEARS DEFENSE

  • Bears nickel: Johnson right corner and Vildor left corner with Christian the slot corner, Ogletree and Smith were the nickel LB – Bears a nickel sub defense playing only 1 snap of dime

  • Jefferson 67 yard TD came on 1st + 10 shot play out of 11 personnel: McVay staples included reduced splits in 2x2 set, outside zone run action, 7 man protection, play action boot; 2 man route concept with Woods running the curl to attack and hold boundary split safety Gipson, with Jefferson running the post-corner-post versus field safety Jackson – Stafford big-time throw off boot left throwing across the field

  • McVay staples: Reduced splits, bunch, jet sweeps, outside zone play action, play action boot, attacking middle of the field

  • Rams 1x4 empty set on 2nd + 9 in 1st quarter with Jackson #3, Ogletree had to run with Jackson on the over route with boundary safety Gipson cutting the shallow crosser by reduced split boundary TE Higbee: Jackson 18 yards

  • Empty sets part of Rams pass game, Stafford would go 8-10 for 107 yards and TD out of empty including Kupp 56 yard TD; 11 of his 28 drop backs came out of empty

  • Bears showed loaded front out of nickel on 3rd down, They played cover 1 behind it the first time they showed it in the 1st quarter

  • Bears played split safety zone coverage in the high red zone but their predominant coverage versus Rams was cover 1

  • Mack at times lined up as a Joker in the nickel fronts, He would work inside versus OG in addition to being part of stunt concepts

  • Kupp 56 yard TD early in 3rd quarter came out of 11 empty with mirrored flat-curl concept and Kupp from #2 to trips running the vertical, It’s a concept designed to attack split safety coverage which they got (cover 6 or ¼ ¼ ½); Bears had a coverage mistake allowing Kupp to get on top of the defense with no one reacting to him

  • Higbee 37 yards late in 3rd quarter classic cover 3 beater with two-through-a-zone: Play action, jet sweep, 3 man route concept to the field which included Kupp jet sweep action; Higbee corner route underneath Jackson go route put corner Vildor in conflict

  • Henderson showed willingness to pass protect with competitiveness and tenacity versus blitz, Great example late in 3rd quarter versus Ogletree blitzing in the A gap

  • Rams predominantly 11 personnel versus Bears: 36 snaps of 11 and 14 snaps of 12 – Stafford 18-23 for 291 yards out of 11 personnel

TREVOR LAWRENCE VERSUS TEXANS DEFENSE

  • Texans nickel: Mitchell left corner and Hargreaves right corner the outside corners with King the slot corner, Cunningham and Kirksey the nickel LB; Grugier-Hill was the third LB in the base defense – Smith played right corner in the 4th quarter

  • First 3rd and long Texans disguised look with late movement to cover 2, Double mug front with Cunningham and Kirksey walking up late in the A gaps then dropping out with Kirksey the middle hole defender

  • Jones 33 yards on second possession came on well-schemed concept with Lawrence boot right from the shotgun off outside zone-sweep action opposite, Jones slow release from reduced split then corner route behind Mitchell who had his eyes in the backfield; Lawrence firm touch throw on the move with precise ball placement versus cover 3

  • Jones 15 yards on second possession came out of 12 2x2, Bang play action off spilt flow zone with Lawrence under center hitting Jones on the 5 step slant versus cover 2 with the underneath defenders sucked up by the run action

  • Omenihu played in the base and moved inside at times to DT in the nickel front with Mercilus and Martin the predominant edge rushers, Walker and Jenkins also were edge rushers in nickel fronts with Walker getting snaps inside as well

  • Jaguars featured tunnel screens to Shenault in the 1st quarter to help Lawrence get comfortable early in the game

  • With Lovie Smith the DC in Houston you see a good amount of cover 2 out of nickel on 3rd down and long yardage situations, Kirksey was the middle hole defender – Can the Texans 4 man DL generate enough pressure to make cover 2 a viable 3rd down defense for the Texans?

  • Chark 27 yards on 3rd + 17 to start 2nd quarter a big-time throw by Lawrence versus cover 2, Lawrence subtly climbed the pocket and drove the ball with velocity into the weak side void in the zone; Lawrence showed quick feet with the ability to re-set in a phone booth and deliver on balance

  • Manhertz 22 yard TD came out of 12 empty with Lawrence under center (Robinson shifted from I back to #1 to the boundary on the side of both TE), Texans cover 3 out of base with no one carrying Manhertz on his seam route; Lawrence read it quickly and delivered with timing

  • Empty sets part of Jaguars game plan approach with Lawrence, Could have been specific to Texans since they are not a high percentage pressure defense

  • Lawrence first interception was an inaccurate throw to an open receiver after being flushed out of the pocket to his left, Second interception came against cover 2 and my sense is Lawrence read the coverage and did not expect the corner to sink as deep as he did on the corner route, Third interception in the 4th quarter was a bad read and throw by Lawrence

  • There were times Lawrence rushed his mechanics in clean pocket and as a result his ball location suffered

  • Jaguars OL was not strong enough in pass protection versus Texans 4 man DL rush given how many times Lawrence had to drop back, It was an issue throughout the game

  • Texans continued throughout the game to show some disguise and late movement to get to cover 2

  • What stood out was Lawrence continued to let it rip and make throws as the game progressed despite being under consistent pressure and throwing 2 interceptions

  • Chark 41 yard TD late in 3rd quarter a big-time throw by Lawrence off conventional outside zone run action into the deep outside void in cover 2, Climbed the pocket with quick feet and re-set with firm base and delivered a great ball – Arm talent

  • Lawrence will need to become more consistently precise with his ball location to work effectively out of muddied pockets, He showed some flashes but he must be more consistent; Some scattershot tendencies

  • Mercilus sack in the middle of the 4th quarter came on one of the few blitzes Texans showed versus Jaguars, Double mug stunt with Cunningham the picker and Kirksey the looper to eat up the back; Mercilus beat LT Robinson off the edge and chased down Lawrence

  • Texans played about 65% cover 2 – A function of the game and the score or will that be Smith’s template throughout the season

  • Overall I thought Lawrence showed outstanding mental and physical toughness in a situation you do not want your rookie QB in his first NFL start to be in, The traits showed up on many throws and while there is much to clean up it was evident he has the skill set and toughness to be a quality NFL starter

ZACH WILSON VERSUS PANTHERS DEFENSE

  • Horn left corner and Jackson right corner for Panthers, They did not match up

  • Burns sack on 2nd + 14 on Jets first possession resulted from Panthers disguise even though Burns got in clean, Panthers movement at the snap to zone exchange pressure with Reddick dropping into underneath coverage from first level alignment, Wilson wanted to hit Moore on the quick slant and he had time to deliver that throw (he pumped it) but Reddick and slot corner Hartsfield dropped into the passing lane and took away what Wilson anticipated to be a clean throw

  • Burns looked quick and explosive right from the start and he beat RT Fant easily with quick inside move on second possession

  • 3rd and long on second possession Jets aligned TE Kroft on RT Fant’s side and he was used as a primary blocker to help with Burns, Wilson had Moore wide open on in-breaker from the inside slot versus Horn for the first down but came off that to throw to RB Johnson on the vertical versus LB Thompson – Missed opportunity

  • Panthers multiple front looks out of nickel and late movement at the snap created problems for Jets pass protection through the early part of the game – Disguised late movement was Panthers game plan approach

  • Wilson a twitchy athlete with light feet and quick set up and delivery off movement, A natural thrower with a live loose arm

  • Davis 35 yards on 2nd + 8 in 2nd quarter was first Wilson long yardage drop back in which Panthers showed a conventional 4 man DL front and did not disguise cover 3 with late movement, Wilson comfortable in the pocket looked to the boundary flat-snag concept moving underneath defender Thompson and then hit Davis on the crosser

  • Thompson interception came in cover 3, Griffin ran stick nod behind Thompson and Wilson thought he had the throw on the secondary read off slant to Moore on the opposite side; Athletic interception

  • Jets had protection issues throughout the 1st half, Too many clean rushers at Wilson; Rt Fant had all kinds of issues in one-on-one protection, LT Becton also struggled in one-on-one protection before he got hurt

  • Panthers a predominant zone coverage defense with cover 3 and cover 4 their higher percentage coverages with some snaps of cover 2, They are not a big cover 1 defense

  • In the 2nd half Burris played slot corner in nickel and Chandler played snaps at safety with Chinn – Panthers a nickel sub defense, They played 36 snaps of nickel and no snaps of dime

  • Davis 20 yards in 3rd quarter came out of 12 closed to the boundary twins to the field with Moore from the slot running the crosser and Davis the deep dig, Play action 7 step drop behind 7 man protection with Wilson driving the dig ball to Davis

  • Davis 22 yard TD late in 3rd quarter came on second reaction movement by Wilson throwing a strike running to his right, Play design was scissors concept to the boundary and Davis was wide open on the post but pressure off inside stunt forced Wilson to leave the pocket

  • Panthers showed fire x cross dog pressure concept with stacked LB Thompson and Carter

  • Wilson had some snaps in which he just didn’t see things, didn’t get a clear picture and the result was some throws left on the field; That’s to be expected of a rookie QB in his first start

  • Thompson sack on 3rd + 10 midway through the 4th quarter came on beautifully executed stunt by Luvu the picker and Thompson the looper in double mug front, It was one of few snaps Panthers played cover 1; They rushed 6 knowing the back would be in the protection versus the double mug look

  • Panthers featured some zone exchange 4 man pressures with Thompson the fourth rusher

  • Berrios 25 yards late in 4th quarter an excellent throw by Wilson versus 5 man zone pressure, Wilson quick to see the void in the 3 under-3 deep coverage and put the ball on Berrios on the crosser

  • Panthers featured more blitz than one might think (23% of Wilson drop backs), They were predominant zone pressures with a few man pressures; Panthers featured double mug looks almost always with Thompson and Carter in the A gaps

  • Overall a strong first start for Wilson showing both mental and physical toughness after a rough start in which he faced consistent pressure and took some hits

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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