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Cosell Coaching Tape: Week 11

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Cosell Coaching Tape: Week 11

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.

PATRIOTS OFFENSE VERSUS FALCONS DEFENSE

  • Smith 17 yards to start second possession is a perfect representation of what Jones is at this point in the process: It was a called shot play out of 12 personnel off conventional play action with post-cross combination, Meyers intermediate crosser would break wide open versus Falcons zone coverage but Jones saw he had Smith open immediately in the flat and he took it; Jones did not wait in the pocket for the deeper developing route, He got the ball to an open receiver with room to run

  • Stevenson 21 yards on second play of second possession was a great play call versus an anticipated front and coverage: 11 personnel versus nickel cover 1 with Bourne motion from the field to the boundary and reduced split Meyers to the field, There would be no defender to contain on the field side of the formation

  • Harris 17 yards late in 1st quarter came out of 21 straight I and was pin-pull scheme to the field with RT Brown and fullback Johnson leading the way, Johnson outstanding block on LB Oluokun; Meyers great inside seal block on LB Copeland

  • Harris featured on some pin-pull schemes, They ran it out of both 21 personnel and 11 personnel

  • Patriots run game has become one of the most multiple in the NFL as the season has progressed: Personnel, formations and schemes; It is both schematic and physical

  • Grant was the slot corner in the Falcons nickel versus the Patriots, He had been splitting snaps with Williams the last couple of games but in this game Williams did not play any snaps on defense; Rookie Hall got snaps at slot corner

  • Henry 15 yards on 3rd + 4 in 3rd quarter came out of 11 2x2 with Henry flexed to the boundary, Henry was the primary read in the full field route concept versus Falcons nickel cover 1 with Harris matched on Henry; Precise ball placement throw by Jones

  • Jones continues to show functional movement both inside and outside the pocket, He is not a second reaction QB but he has a good feel for when and how to move when necessary

  • Patriots among the NFL leaders in rushing attempts and Jones is not part of the run game - Harris and Stevenson have combined for 210-908, 4.3 yards per rush; Patriots have rushed for 120 or more yards in 7 consecutive games

FALCONS OFFENSE VERSUS PATRIOTS DEFENSE

  • Patriots continued to be a big nickel base defense with safeties Dugger, Phillips and McCourty; Both Dugger and Phillips are physical and competitive in the box - Patriots this season have played only 54 snaps with 4 defensive backs

  • Patriots consistently line up in 5 man fronts in big nickel versus offensive base personnel, Often those fronts have a reduced Bear look

  • Patriots also play 4-2 fronts out of big nickel, Bentley always aligned at stacked LB with Hightower and Van Noy both on the ball and off the ball defenders

  • Hightower and Van Noy both versatile defenders who played both on the ball and off the ball in the nickel and dime packages

  • Patriots 3rd down defense is almost always dime, Bryant was the dime corner versus the Falcons lining up in the slot

  • When the Patriots play cover 1 out of dime versus 11 personnel Dugger is the predominant TE matchup and he matched up to Pitts versus the Falcons

  • Jackson continued to be the matchup corner for the Patriots, He will travel with the offense’s best receiver – Williams played significant snaps outside opposite both Jackson and Mills

  • Rookie Barmore fits the profile Belichick wants for his DL: He can play multiple positions across the defensive front and he can both 1-gap and 2-gap

  • Patriots in the last few games have decreased the percentage of cover 1 they have played, They have played more cover 3

  • One thing Belichick has always done is play a lot of different people on defense, A lot of players get snaps and you never know what situation you will see different players

  • Judon is the Patriots edge pass rusher who can win one-on-one versus OT, Barmore is starting to show the inside pass rush ability to win one-on-one versus OG and OC

  • Patriots continued to be multiple with their front alignments especially out of dime, A lot of different looks with different personnel

  • Godchaux flashed on tape, both in the run game and at times as a pass rusher; 4th quarter sack came on power bull rush versus LG Mayfield (who continued to struggle for the Falcons)

  • Patriots do not have strongly defined coverage tendencies but they will play more cover 1 out of dime especially on 3rd down, and you will likely see more cover 3 out of nickel on 1st and 2nd down; They are still a predominant single high safety coverage defense

  • Patriots have not been a high percentage blitz defense this season, It’s been selective and effective; Their blitz tendency does not increase on 3rd down and they have not featured zero blitz the way they have in the past

  • McCourty interception early in 4th quarter result of inside stunt blitz by Bentley the penetrator and Hightower the looper from double mug look, Hightower forced Ryan hurried undefined throw; Patriots cover 1 out of nickel behind the 5 man pressure

  • Patriots have played dime on almost 60% of 3rd downs this season and they have played nickel on 30% of 3rd downs

  • Patriots among the best 3rd down defenses in the NFL allowing 35.5 conversion rate

TITANS OFFENSE VERSUS TEXANS DEFENSE

  • King and Mitchell were the outside corners in Texans nickel with Thomas the slot corner, Cunningham and Grugier-Hill were the nickel LB – Texans have been an exclusive nickel sub defense, They have not played any snaps of dime this season

  • Hilliard first carry 11 yards: Outside zone to the boundary out of 11 personnel from I back alignment, Good vision with one cut downhill burst, Low center of gravity

  • Peterson 16 yards and 12 yards both came out of 21 personnel, Both runs the POA was clean at the first level of the defense; Peterson not the same runner as he once was when he gets into space, Now his tendency is to run to get tackled

  • Peterson and Foreman had success running out of 21 personnel with fullback Carter, Titans good job with multiple formation looks out of 21 personnel including straight I formation

  • Hilliard ran exclusively out of 11 personnel and he looked quick downhill with short area burst: Hilliard 7-35

  • Titans ran the ball better versus Texans than they had the 2 previous games, They featured predominant zone concepts against a defense that does not play the run very well; OL much better job at the POA and working to the second level of the defense

  • Grugier-Hill interception on 3rd + 6 on final play of 1st quarter came out of nickel, Texans initially showed double mug look with Grugier-Hill and Cunningham in the A gaps, They dropped out at the snap into what became cover 6 with Grugier-Hill the hook-to-curl defender to the field; Tannehill did not account for Grugier-Hill and threw the in-breaker to Brown

  • Titans had some struggles on short yardage versus Texans especially on 3rd down and that limited the Titans offense

  • Texans more snaps of cover 1 than I would have expected based on what they had done this season, Cover 1 was Texans most played coverage on 3rd down – Murray the predominant TE matchup in cover 1 out of nickel versus 11 personnel

  • Cover 1 and split safety zone were the predominant coverages out of nickel on 3rd down for the Texans

  • Fitzpatrick 18 yard TD on 1st + 10 late in 3rd quarter came out of 11 3x1 with tight bunch to the field versus Texans nickel cover 1 behind 5 man pressure, Fitzpatrick from #1 in the bunch ran a precision route versus Mitchell creating separation at the top of his stem; Tannehill outstanding timing and precise ball location, Play was designed for Fitzpatrick to get him one-on-one

  • Blacklock sack in 4th quarter came with Tannehill in the shotgun, 3 step drop timing and Tannehill did not feel he had a throw; Blacklock drove back RG Brewer but if the ball had come out with the right timing it would not have been a sack

  • Martin sack late in 4th quarter he beat RT Quessenberry off the edge with the result being a sack-fumble

  • King interception on 3rd + 13 late in the 4th quarter came on Texans 5 man pressure out of nickel with Cunningham the blitzer and Grugier-Hill green dogging behind Cunningham, With Hilliard picking up Cunningham and OL slide away from the pressure there was no blocker for Grugier-Hill; Tannehill did not recognize the pressure and therefore did not pick up his drop tempo and his reading speed, He threw to boundary x Fitzpatrick as Grugier-Hill hit him

  • Tannehill fourth interception with less than 2½ remaining was also surprising: Tannehill no awareness of the outside corner when he threw the out cut to Firkser

  • Hilliard played 51 snaps, far more than Peterson and Foreman; That was likely a function of the score of the game since Hilliard is the best receiver of the 3 backs

  • The 3 receivers who played the most snaps were Fitzpatrick (64), Rogers (56) and Westbrook-Ikhine (54); Brown only played 42 snaps and Johnson hurt his hamstring after 14 snaps

  • Titans play action pass game has not been very effective the last 3 games: Tannehill 15-20 but only 119 yards with no explosive plays, 18 of those 20 drop backs have come with Tannehill under center in conventional play action

  • Titans have not been able to orchestrate explosive pass plays on 1st down the last 3 games: Tannehill 23-34 for only 184 yards, 5.4 yards per attempt

  • Titans have only had 3 pass plays of 20+ yards in the last 3 games and one was a screen to Foreman and another was a slant to Johnson that was all run after catch

EAGLES OFFENSE VERSUS SAINTS DEFENSE

  • This was predominantly a game of Eagles 11 personnel versus Saints nickel with Davis and Alexander the LB, Werner some snaps in the nickel

  • Eagles 55 snaps out of 11 personnel with 16 snaps out of 12 personnel and 6 out of 13 personnel

  • Lattimore predominantly lined up over Smith but the Saints did not play a high percentage of cover 1 and they played few snaps of cover 2, Saints played a much higher percentage of zone coverage – Hurts factor?

  • Second consecutive game Hurts almost exclusively in the shotgun with zone read dimension featured, Eagles multiple with run game concepts including misdirection and jet action and speed option toss, Eagles use of easy releases by the TE an important tactic; Some snaps of empty

  • Eagles started second possession with a shot play: Hurts under center out of 13 personnel, Play action with flood opposite concept with Goedert the intermediate crosser; Hurts hit as he threw or the Eagles likely would have had a big play to open Goedert, Davenport drove back TE Jackson into the pocket

  • 3rd + 6 on second possession Goedert 16 yards on out route versus Jenkins: 11 2x2 with Goedert slot to the boundary, Saints cover 1 out of dime with P. Williams spy on Hurts and Alexander and Davenport defending Hurts movement to his right

  • Sanders 25 yards to start third possession came on C/T pull scheme to the boundary, Kelce athleticism and balance on the move

  • Hurts 20 yards on 3rd + 2 on third possession great design on a man coverage down and distance for the defense: Zone read element off gap scheme action by OL and outside zone action in the backfield, Goedert easy release from play side to remove Jenkins as a run defender; Hurts held the mesh point to create uncertainty for unblocked DE Jordan – QB power read concept with outside zone element

  • Eagles another shot play concept to start fifth possession: Hurts under center out of 12 personnel, Play action with same flood opposite concept with Goedert on the intermediate crosser; Hurts wanted Smith on the deep post but Saints took it away and he ran for 4 yards

  • Smith 33 yards on 3rd + 2 on fifth possession result of OL pass protection: Play design was Smith on slant underneath natural rub by Watkins (man beater concept to get 1st down), Smith was open but Hurts was not looking there; Hurts then broke down in the pocket and happened to see Smith continuing running across the field

  • Hurts had Reagor open on deep sail route on fifth possession, It was a throw that demanded some anticipation but it had to be made; Hurts didn’t give it a chance, He broke down in the pocket early with no pressure and made the play random

  • Howard 18 yards to start sixth possession came on gap scheme concept off Reagor jet action whose timing made it look like Reagor could have been handed the ball, Impact on stacked LB Alexander and Davis

  • Sanders excellent job in pass protection on Goedert 14 yards on 3rd + 6 on sixth possession, Saints 5 pressure out of dime with Roby and P. Williams coming from the same side; Sanders looked to Williams who showed first then saw that Roby was more immediate threat from the inside, He got just enough of Roby to allow Hurts to make the throw; Great catch by Goedert on a ball thrown too far inside

  • Saints defense snaps in which they rushed 3 and dropped 8 in coverage, It was more of a mush rush with the goal of keeping Hurts in the pocket

  • Overall Saints were very restrained in pressuring Hurts, It was clear the objective was to keep him in the pocket and not give him any immediate lanes to run

  • What was interesting was the Saints did not blitz much, It was selective featured predominantly out of dime on 3rd down from pressure front looks

  • Smith 14 yards on 3rd + 6 was a great example of the Eagles coaching staff anticipating Saints zero pressure on 3rd down out of dime, especially just outside the red zone; They called a WR tunnel screen to the field

  • Eagles final TD drive in the 4th quarter when they already had a 2 score lead feature Hurts under center but that was not the foundation of their offense

  • Hurts 24 yard TD on 3rd + 6 in the 4th quarter came on zone read out of 11 personnel with Reagor orbit motion that impacted stacked LB Davis and removed him from the box, Hurts beat DE Granderson

  • 28 of Hurts 31 drop backs came out of the shotgun, Hurts in the gun has been the Eagles approach the last 2 games

  • Eagles’ offense has evolved as the season has progressed into a high percentage shotgun offense with Hurts as the foundation of a multiple run game and a pass game that features base concepts with defined reads and 1st down shot plays often starting possessions – It’s a similar approach to what the Ravens did with Lamar Jackson in his first 2 years as the starter

SAINTS OFFENSE VERSUS EAGLES DEFENSE

  • Eagles opened the game playing cover 1 out of nickel versus Saints 11 personnel, Nelson outstanding coverage on back shoulder fade to boundary x Callaway

  • First 3rd down (3rd + 4) Eagles went cover 3 out of nickel with Edwards and Singleton the LB, Ingram 5 yard reception on flat pass part of 3 level concept

  • Slay played left corner and Nelson right corner, They played sides and did not match up to any specific receivers

  • Eagles played 5 snaps of dime all on 3rd down, Safety Epps was the dime – Eagles on 3rd + 11 on Saints first possession went zero blitz out of dime with Maddox and Epps coming off each edge, Maddox clean off the front side big hit on Siemian resulting in incompletion

  • Saints first snap of base personnel came on first play of second possession, Eagles matched up with nickel with Edwards and Taylor the LB; Nickel was Eagles game plan approach versus Saints base personnel

  • Edwards interception on first play of second possession was a bad throw by Siemian and a great play by Edwards, Siemian did not account for Edwards and he threw it too flat to open Trautman on the second level crosser

  • Taylor hurt after 7 snaps and did not return, Singleton replaced him in the nickel and played snaps in the dime

  • It was evident the Eagles game plan featured dime on 3rd down, They showed zero out of it and cover 1 blitz out of it; They featured defensive backs as blitzers using Maddox, Epps and McLeod

  • Eagles also showed disguise and late movement out of dime on 3rd down: 3rd + 8 early in 2nd quarter featured a lot of movement at the snap with Epps becoming the post safety in cover 3

  • Eagles first snap of 5-2 base came early in the 2nd quarter with the Saints in the tight red zone – It was evident that front was not part of Eagles overall game plan approach

  • Trautman 18 yard TD on 3rd and goal came versus Eagles nickel not dime because Maddox had been injured a couple of plays earlier, Eagles went cover 2 with Edwards the middle hole defender matching Trautman seam route; Siemian movement made it a second reaction play and he threw to the matchup

  • In the 1st half the Eagles featured blitz on 3rd down out of dime and they used both defensive backs and LB as blitzers, They also featured man coverage; Blitz and man coverage was Eagles profile out of dime on 3rd down – Maddox got in clean on zero blitz and Singleton got in clean on cover 1 blitz

  • Slay 51 yard interception return TD late in 2nd quarter came out of nickel cover 3, Slay from off coverage read Harris and jumped the throw by Siemian; Siemian made the timing spot throw on Harris out route but Slay read it all the way, Cox pressure forced Siemian to drift and leave the throw too far inside

  • First 3rd down (3rd + 9) of 3rd quarter Eagles went nickel not dime but they went 5 man zone pressure with Singleton and Harris part of the rush and 3 under-3 deep behind it

  • Eagles again went nickel on Saints second 3rd and long in the 2nd half, They went cover 3 with Maddox carrying the field slot Callaway; Callaway got inside of Maddox and Siemian hit him on the seam throw for the 26 yard TD

  • Rookie McPhearson came in for Slay at left corner late in the 3rd quarter

  • Eagles have continued to increase their percentage of cover 1 with each game, Cover 1 was a foundation coverage versus the Saints

BUCS OFFENSE VERSUS GIANTS DEFENSE

  • Giants base defense had Bradberry and Jackson at corner with Love and McKinney at safety, Crowder and McKinney were the stacked LB

  • Giants base front was 5-2 at times reduced in a Bear look, Roche and Olujari were the edge players’ Roche and Olujari were also the predominant edge rushers in the sub fronts

  • Holmes was the slot corner in nickel, Ragland was the LB with Crowder in nickel; Robinson and Reed were the inside corners in dime, Giants snaps of 3-2-6 dime with Crowder and Ragland – Giants have played dime this season about 25% of their defensive snaps

  • Giants defined coverage approach versus Brady and Bucs passing game was split safety zone coverage

  • Bucs pass game approach was quick game which featured WR screens, swing passes to the backs and rhythm throws off 3 step and 5 step drop timing; Brady has always been outstanding taking the throws that present themselves within timing, He is a master at the sustaining pass game

  • When the Giants went cover 1 out of dime versus 11 personnel Love was the matchup on Gronkowski, Bradberry at times matched up to Evans but it was not specifically game planned

  • Giants also played snaps of 2 man coverage out of dime (both 4-1-6 and 3-2-6), McKinney and Reed were the deep safeties with Love matched on Gronkowski

  • Giants snaps of 1 robber out of dime to take away the in-breaking routes that are a tendency of the Bucs passing game; Saw that on first 3rd and long of 3rd quarter (3rd + 11), Brady worked outside the numbers to Evans versus Bradberry or 17 yards

  • Giants could not generate any pressure on Brady with their 4 man DL pass rush, They showed different personnel groupings and position alignments (Williams snaps at DE, Olujari snaps at DT) but Brady was clean in the pocket all game

  • Giants played more single high safety coverage as the game progressed because it was too easy for Brady versus split safety zone with no pass rush pressure

  • Evans 21 yards in 1st + 10 in 4th quarter came out of 21 personnel versus Giants base defense, Godwin motion from the boundary to the field making it a closed boundary formation; Giants went cover 1 with Bradberry matched on Godwin and Jackson matched on Evans, Evans crosser beat Jackson and Brady off conventional play action put it right on him

  • Brady has thrown the most 3rd down TD of any QB in the NFL (12), He has been sacked only 4 times on 96 3rd down drop backs; Brady has also thrown the most TD on 1st down (11)

COLTS OFFENSE VERSUS BILLS DEFENSE

  • Edmunds inactive for the Bills, Klein was the nickel LB with Milano – Bills played every snap in nickel versus the Colts, For the season they have highest nickel percentage in the NFL (94% of defensive snaps)

  • White played boundary corner with Wallace the field corner, White did not match up to Pitman

  • Colts continued to use the Pony package with Taylor and Hines: Hines 8 yards on jet sweep on first possession

  • Pitman 18 yards on 2nd + 14 on first possession came out of 11 2x2 with Pitman nasty split to the boundary, Bills cover 1 out of nickel with boundary corner White matched on Pitman in press man; Wentz looked to Alie-Cox on the crosser then came back to Pitman on the in-breaker, Good ball by Wentz to beat strong coverage by White

  • Colts featured multiple motion concepts on first possession and it resulted in a lot of communication and movement for the Bills defense especially at the second level

  • Taylor 3 yard TD to end first possession came on wham-trap concept, LG Nelson trap block on 1-technique DT Butler and Doyle wham block on 3-technique DT Phillips; Taylor clean POA then he ran through corner White

  • Colts came back to wham-trap concept on second possession this time out of shotgun with a delay draw element, Nelson again trapped the 1-technique and Doyle again wham block on 3-technique: Taylor 11 yards – Bills a foundational over front so the Colts knew what they were getting and how to block it

  • Taylor 23 yard TD reception on 2nd + 5 to end second possession came out of Pony package, Hines jet motion from the boundary to the field with Taylor offset to the field, Same side power run look with Nelson pulling and Wentz play action boot to the field; Throwback concept with Taylor working through the LOS on the rail route to the boundary versus Bills cover 4 – Great design working off run game and boot action

  • Colts run game was very multiple re: concepts, They did a good job attacking the Bills foundational over front defense; Doyle was a big factor featured as a wham blocker and an insert lead blocker

  • Hilton 18 yards on 3rd + 6 on first possession of 3rd quarter was a big-time throw by Wentz under pressure, Bills cover 1 blitz became a 6 man pressure based on their reduced front with Milano blitzing through the A gap as the 6th rusher; Obada beat Nelson and drilled Wentz just as he delivered to Hilton on the shallow crosser that was part of mesh concept, Wentz perfect ball placement allowing Hilton run after catch

  • Taylor 40 yards on 1st + 10 in 3rd quarter was the Colts third wham-trap concept of the game, Again Colts got the Bills over front and they used RG Glowinski as the trap blocker on the 1-technique and Doyle as the wham blocker on 3-technique Oliver; Stacked LB Milano and Klein reacted to the wham and trap movement and scraped away from play side

  • Taylor 10 yard TD in 3rd quarter was designed by the blocking scheme to get him one-on-one with field corner Wallace

  • Taylor 23-121 as an I back, 64% of Taylor’s carries this season have come as an I back; Against the Bills he was 16-110 on 1st down

BILLS OFFENSE VERSUS COLTS DEFENSE

  • Bills first possession featured Allen under center with fullback Gilliam in the game in 21 personnel, They also went 6 OL personnel on first possession

  • Play action with Allen under center was featured on Bills first possession – They continued profile from last week versus Jets

  • Colts coverage game plan featured split safety zone as the foundation, They did not play much cover 1 or cover 3; Objective was to take away the intermediate and deeper throws and force Allen to be patient or force OC Daboll to run the ball which the Bills do not want to do

  • Ya-Sin was the Colts outside corner opposite Rhodes in nickel with Moore in his usual slot corner position – Colts a nickel sub defense, They have played only 4 snaps of dime all season and one of them came on Odum interception on 3rd + 18 to end Bills first possession

  • Odum interception came out of 3-2-6 dime versus Bills 11 empty: 3 man rush with Leonard the spy on Allen and 2 man coverage behind it, Allen late throw to Davis on the dig with an easy interception for Odum

  • Colts on 3rd and long again snaps of 3-3-5 nickel with Speed the third LB, They featured multiple front looks out of that package including Buckner as a standup 0-technique; 3-3-5 nickel was the Colts pressure personnel package

  • Diggs 6 yard TD in 2nd quarter came out of 11 3x1 with Diggs #1 to trips versus Colts cover 4 special with Ya-Sin man-to-man on Diggs, Outstanding timing spot throw by Allen on the out route

  • Allen still has a tendency to be reckless at times both with ball security in the pocket and undisciplined throws outside the pocket, Those tendencies pop up once in a while

  • Colts at times on 3rd down deployed spy tactic on Allen, They used LB Leonard and Okereke

  • Bills came out on second possession of 3rd quarter and ran the ball with Brieda, They wanted to get him on the perimeter and the featured pull schemes

  • Second possession of 3rd quarter was about the commitment to run the ball out of base personnel: 12 personnel and 6 OL personnel

  • Allen poor ball placement throw to open Beasley on 3rd + 5 on second possession of 3rd quarter, A throw Allen must make

  • Moore interception on 3rd + 8 to end Bills third possession of 3rd quarter came out of 3-3-5 nickel with Buckner lined up at standup 0-technique, Allen did not trust his protection and moved unnecessarily; Result was a pressure throw to Sanders one-on-one versus Rhodes that Rhodes got his hands on resulting in Moore interception

  • When the Bills cannot orchestrate/produce explosive plays in the pass game their offense stagnates, It’s very difficult to execute a sustaining offense with the only dimension being the pass; Bills still have no viable running game and their OL is not good enough to pass protect snap after snap

  • Bills offense is too dependent on Allen being great every week, That is unrealistic; Allen has no margin for error

  • Allen only 6 play action drop backs under center: 4-6 for 29 yards – Would there have been more if the game was more competitive?

  • Bills only ran 54 offensive plays, Much of that was a function of their defense but 54 is not enough in an NFL game

  • Colts high percentage zone coverage versus the Bills with split safety the foundation, They did an excellent job squeezing the throwing windows for Allen

JUSTIN HERBERT VERSUS STEELERS DEFENSE

  • Steelers secondary due to injuries and COVID: In nickel Sutton and Pierre the outside corners with Maulet the slot corner, Edmunds and Norwood the safeties; In dime Sutton moved inside with Witherspoon at right corner and Joseph the third safety, Spillane continued to be the dime LB

  • What continues to stand out is that Herbert has a rhythmic feel to his game, The ball comes out within the structure and timing of the play; Herbert rarely gets stuck in the pocket, He is a quick processor and decision-maker

  • Herbert is a desirable combination of pocket efficiency and special throwing talent both from the pocket and second reaction; Ball placement consistently stands out with Herbert, He is a power thrower with precise ball location (Aikman, Palmer)

  • Williams 17 yards on 3rd + 3 on first possession came out of 11 personnel versus Steelers dime, Guyton jet motion across the formation as the man-zone indicator, Steelers were in man coverage in what became 1 robber; Chargers play call was mesh which is a man beater concept with a zone beater element, Herbert looked to the wheel by Ekeler then came to Williams on shallow crosser that was part of mesh

  • Rookie LT Slater is very advanced in pass protection, What consistently stands out is his balance to play with his feet always under him

  • 2 man was a staple coverage for the Steelers in this game especially on 3rd down, They played it both out of nickel and dime; They featured it more versus the Chargers than they had all season

  • Ekeler 10 yard TD reception on 2nd goal in the 2nd quarter came out of 11 2x2 versus Steelers nickel cover 4, Steelers played 3 over 2 to both sides which left LB Bush matched on #3 Ekeler on any inside release; Bush floated without awareness of Ekeler releasing into a route and Herbert tossed it to Ekeler for the easy TD

  • Allen 30 yards on 3rd + 13 on first possession of 3rd quarter came out of 11 3x1 with Allen #2 to trips versus Steelers dime 2 man with Sutton matched on Allen, Allen seam route and Herbert drove the ball with high-level velocity and precise ball placement – Big-time throw

  • Split safety was more of a coverage foundation than single high for the Steelers versus the Chargers especially on 3rd down where 2 man, cover 2 and cover 4 were featured

  • Ekeler 17 yard reception on winning TD drive came versus Steelers nickel 2 man coverage with Ekeler beating Bush on an option route through the LOS

  • Williams 53 yard TD late in 4th quarter came out of 11 2x2 versus Steelers nickel 5 man pressure with slot corner Maulet the blitzer and trap concept to the field, Allen from the slot shortened his route to give Herbert a quick throw and both corner Sutton and half field safety Norwood reacted to Allen; Williams from the outside ran vertically and Herbert as soon as he read Sutton body position went over the top, Norwood would not have defended the throw under any circumstance but his initial forward move was what resulted in the TD, Great block by Ekeler crossing the formation to get Maulet – Quickness of decision making by Herbert

  • Herbert was outstanding on 1st down versus Steelers: 15-20 for 210 yards and 2 TD including Williams 53 yard TD

COWBOYS OFFENSE VERSUS CHIEFS DEFENSE

  • Sneed continued to play inside in the slot in the Chiefs nickel and dime, Fenton was the right corner and Ward the left corner; Sorensen continued to be the dime safety with Niemann the dime LB

  • Chiefs did not play many snaps of base defense, When they did Sneed was the right corner opposite Ward; The three LB were Hitchens, Gay and Bolton

  • All 3 LB played in the Chiefs nickel in different combinations, Hitchens and Gay played together along with Bolton and Gay playing together

  • Chiefs went nickel versus Cowboys Pony package with Elliott and Pollard on the field together in 21 personnel

  • Pollard 31 yards on direct snap on second possession, Pony package with Elliott offset in the backfield

  • There were 3rd down snaps out of dime in which the Chiefs doubled Lamb depending on his receiver location, Saw that for the first time on 3rd + 5 on second possession when Lamb was the boundary x

  • Ingram snaps in the base, nickel and dime – This game Ingram played the most snaps in his 3 games with the Chiefs

  • Beginning in the 2nd quarter the Chiefs predominantly played nickel versus Cowboys 12 personnel, Sneed is a multi-dimensional slot

  • Jones lined up both at DT and DE depending on down and distance, and Chiefs personnel package; In the last month Jones has played about an equal amount of snaps inside and outside

  • Jones significant snaps versus Cowboys in which he was a force inside at DT, He had dominant snaps versus LG McGovern

  • Cowboys did not feature the run game with Elliott, That did not seem to be a foundation of game plan approach

  • Chiefs on 3rd down out of dime continued to feature cover 1, cover 2 and some zero with cover 1 the predominant coverage; First snap of zero came on 3rd + 5 in the middle of the 2nd quarter with Sneed getting in clean front side and impacting Prescott’s throw

  • What was evident in the 1st half was the Cowboys passing game was not targeting their wide receivers at the intermediate and deeper levels with any consistency, Passing game was very condensed

  • Prescott took a vertical shot to Lamb with less than half a minute remaining in the 1st half, Ward in press man coverage locked onto Lamb’s inside hip and located the ball for the interception; Prescott threw the ball too flat but Ward played it just the way you teach it

  • Cowboys had no sense of rhythm in the 1st half, They did not commit to running the ball and they had no intermediate passing game – Lamb hurt on Ward interception and did not play in the 2nd half

  • Chiefs second snap of zero came on second play of 3rd quarter, This time it came out of nickel and again resulted in a Prescott incompletion

  • Chiefs continued at times to match Sorensen on TE when they went cover 1 out of dime versus 11 personnel, Sorensen has struggled in man coverage this season

  • I got the sense watching the tape that the Cowboys were playing offense to compensate and camouflage for what they believed was their OL weakness versus the Chiefs defensive front; Steele again at LT and he has not played well there, and McGovern at LG

  • Chiefs played with outstanding awareness and discipline in zone coverage, They read and matched routes closing the windows for Prescott

  • Jones sack on 3rd + 13 in the 4th quarter just outside the red zone came versus LG McGovern, OC Biadasz slid opposite Jones and that resulted in the one-on-one matchup – Good example of coverage and pressure working together

  • Jones-Reed split sack on 3rd +7 in middle of 4th quarter came with Jones matched on RG Martin, Prescott felt outside pressure and climbed the pocket and Jones beat Martin; Chiefs 2 man concept and they doubled Gallup who was #1 to trips to the field

CHIEFS OFFENSE VERSUS COWBOYS DEFENSE

  • Cowboys continued to be a foundational nickel defense, They have played the second highest percentage of nickel in the NFL this season behind the Bills: 80% of defensive snaps have come in nickel

  • Cowboys base defense is high percentage big nickel with Kearse, Hooker and Wilson the safeties; Conventional nickel had Lewis as the slot corner with Neal and Vander Esch

  • Cowboys continued to play significant snaps of dime with 3 corners and 3 safeties, Kazee was the third safety not Hooker, Neal was the LB in dime

  • When the Cowboys play man coverage out of dime versus 11 personnel Kearse is the high percentage TE matchup, There was a 12 personnel snap with Kelce the boundary x with Diggs the matchup

  • Parsons is already a big-time edge pass rusher with his high-level combination of explosiveness off the ball, speed-to-power, hand usage, change of direction, counters, balance, body flexibility and closing burst to the ball

  • Chiefs second called pass was Mahomes designed movement out of the pocket off outside zone run action: Hill 10 yards on out route from the slot

  • Cowboys played high percentage 2 shell coverage on the Chiefs opening possession, They played predominant zone concepts but went 1 robber out of dime on 3rd + 7 in the high red zone

  • Cowboys out of dime showed Armstrong as a spy on Mahomes on 3rd + 7 on Chiefs first possession and Neal as a spy on 3rd + 4 on third possession

  • Pringle 37 yards on 1st + 10 on third possession came out of 3x1 off Hill motion across the formation, Cowboys out of nickel matched with cover 3 with Kearse becoming the post safety off the Hill motion; Levels concepts with Pringle the point man in the bunch running the corner route outside of Kearse and on top of Diggs – Well-designed concept to attack cover 3

  • Chiefs continued to feature a good percentage of quick game to keep Mahomes rhythmic and throwing with timing, Hill was consistently used as the motion receiver to get free access into short routes to define the throws for Mahomes – Hill 23 yards on 2nd + 10 in 2nd quarter a good example

  • 3rd + 4 in middle of 2nd quarter was great defense by the Cowboys: 1 robber out of press with Wilson the robber behind 3 man rush with Armstrong the spy on Mahomes, Chiefs 1x3 set with Hill #3 to trips running the over route right into robber Wilson; Parsons inside spin versus RT Wylie forced Mahomes to move in the pocket, Mahomes tried to hit Hill late but Wilson matched Hill and stayed with him

  • Parsons running down Mahomes for the sack-forced fumble late in the 2nd quarter looked like Lawrence Taylor, Parsons is a physical freak with his size/balance/flexibility/burst/speed profile – Parsons is the best edge pass rusher in the NFL right now

  • Chiefs featured a lot of condensed formations with stack and bunch concepts, Great example was Kelce 24 yards on first possession of 3rd quarter: 13 3x1 with Kelce #1 in tight bunch and Hill boundary x, Flash play action to the boundary with corner-cross combination part of 3 level hi-low concept versus cover 3; Kelce wide open on the crosser behind the hook-to-curl and flat defender

  • One trait Mahomes has at a high level is vision on the move, He sees receivers find open space when he breaks the pocket

  • Armstrong was consistently used as the spy on Mahomes on 3rd down out of dime, Cowboys rushed 3 and played man coverage behind it when Armstrong was used as a spy

  • 3rd + 6 in 4th quarter a great example of Cowboys defense stopping Chiefs: Armstrong spy, Parsons edge rush forced Mahomes to step up and throw the shallow to Hill who was tackled by Kazee cutting the crosser for 4 yards

  • Armstrong sack on 3rd + 7 late in 3rd quarter came out of dime cover 4 with boundary lock, Armstrong from Joker alignment (same alignment when he was the spy) rushed and drove back LG Thuney into the pocket

  • Chiefs pass game featured a good amount of motion and condensed formations with stacks and bunch, What stood out was they did not attack much at all at the intermediate levels and Mahomes took no deep shots

49ERS OFFENSE VERSUS JAGUARS DEFENSE

  • Jaguars continued to feature 5-2 as their base front with Jack and Wilson the stacked LB, Chaisson continued to play both on the ball and off the ball in the base defense

  • Jaguars continued to use Griffin as their matchup corner, He lined up over Samuel; Rookie Campbell continued to be the other corner

  • Jaguars continued to play dime on 3rd down with corner Lawson the dime, Ford was the slot corner in both nickel and dime as he has been for a good month now

  • When the Jaguars went cover 1 out of nickel versus 11 personnel safety Jenkins was the matchup on Kittle

  • Jaguars featured disguise and late movement to cover 2 out of both nickel and dime with different players as the middle hole defender

  • Aiyuk 34 yards to start second possession came out of 11 with jet motion by Jennings versus Jaguars nickel cover 4, Outside zone run action to the field with flood opposite concept to the boundary, Aiyuk ran the intermediate crosser with boundary corner Griffin a beat late reacting to Aiyuk crossing into his outside quarter; Good ball by Garoppolo and strength at catch point by Aiyuk to run after catch

  • Griffin hurt in 2nd quarter, Lawson became the outside corner opposite Campbell with Ford staying in the slot; Jenkins disqualified in 2nd quarter, Thomas and Cisco played snaps at safety with Wingard

  • This game you saw more play action from the 49ers than you did a week ago versus the Rams when there was almost no play action

  • Garoppolo was able to play in rhythm versus the Jaguars and that is when he is at his best, He is a timing and rhythm passer who needs the throws presented within the structure and design of the pass game

  • Samuel lined up in offset backfield alignment on 49ers first possession and ran power for 2 yards; Sermon was split #1 to the field outside of Jennings

  • Samuel 12 yards on first possession came on straight I formation toss to the boundary with Juszczyk lead block on corner Campbell, It was 21 personnel with Wilson nasty split to the field

  • Samuel 9 yards on first possession came on pin-pull concept to the field from offset backfield alignment, RT Moore was the puller with Kittle and Aiyuk the inside seal blocks; Again 21 personnel with Sermon aligned in deep wing TE position motioning away from play side just before the snap

  • Wilson 11 yards on second possession came on split flow zone concept, Juszczyk from straight I formation released opposite play side which pulled stacked LB Jack out of the box and his cutback responsibility

  • Samuel 25 yard TD to end second possession came out of 21 closed to the boundary with both Sermon and Samuel offset in the backfield with Samuel offset to the field, Sermon motion to the field with Samuel running G pull scheme to the boundary behind LG Tomlinson; Outstanding block by Kittle on play side stacked LB Jack

  • Aiyuk 6 yard on 3rd and goal in 2nd quarter came out of 11 2x2 versus Jaguars red zone cover 2/4, Well-designed 3 man concept that broke down the coverage to the boundary with safety Thomas put in conflict

  • Samuel 11 yards on first possession of 3rd quarter came out of 21 closed to the boundary with Samuel offset to the field and Wilson #1 to the field in stack behind Aiyuk, Juszczyk from wing TE alignment motion to the boundary; Power scheme with Samuel cutting inside pulling OG Brunskill

  • Samuel 21 yards on next play after 11 yards was the same play with the same personnel from the same formation, This time Samuel took it outside Brunskill’s block

  • What really stood out was how multiple the 49ers were re: personnel and formations especially with Samuel aligned in the backfield, Samuel was a viable part of the run game

VIKINGS OFFENSE VERSUS PACKERS DEFENSE

  • In Packers 4-2-5 nickel Campbell and Barnes were the LB with P. Smith and Garvin the predominant edge rushers; Burks also played snaps with Campbell in the nickel, More 5-1 fronts with Burks

  • Campbell nickel snaps in which he aligned head up on the OC with Barnes the stacked LB

  • Stokes played left corner and King right corner, They played sides and did not match up to Jefferson or Thielen

  • Packers continued to play dime on most 3rd down and other selected situations, Safety Black continued to be the dime; Cover 4 was a foundational coverage on 3rd down

  • Jefferson 43 yards on 3rd + 6 on first possession the result of a coverage bust by the Packers, Outstanding block by Cook on Campbell blitzing through the A gap

  • P. Smith sack to end Vikings first possession resulted from disguised late movement to cover 2 from initial double mug 6 man pressure front, Cousins had no throw to his progression side

  • Packers showed some 6 man fronts on 1st down versus Vikings base personnel with Ham at fullback and 13 personnel, P. Smith and Burks were the edge players

  • Jefferson 56 yards on second possession came out of 21 closed boundary twins to the field versus Packers base cover 3, 2 man vertical route concept with Jefferson running the deep sail and Thielen the out route; It essentially became 2 receivers in the outside third at the intermediate and deep level and Stokes got stuck with post safety Amos not able to get to Jefferson on the deep sail – Well-designed shot play with 7 man protection and a good ball by Cousins

  • Douglas came in at right corner for King to start the Vikings third possession, Douglas has played well for Green Bay

  • Clark continued to flash for the Packers, A lot of good snaps in both the run game and pass rush especially versus OC Cole

  • Thielen 10 yard TD on 3rd and goal in 2nd quarter came out of 10 empty (Vikings first snap of 10 in the game), Packers matched the personnel with 4 corner dime and played 1 robber concept; King was the matchup on Thielen and Thielen off motion to stack with Jefferson beat King on a quick out route

  • An interesting player on the Packers defense is edge defender Galeai who played in his first game versus the Vikings (Gary inactive), He played 36 snaps; Galeai has size and length and plus movement and has the look of a quality edge player

  • Cook 16 yards on 2nd + 10 on first possession of 3rd quarter came out of 10 personnel versus Packers 3 corner-3 safety dime, Inside zone versus light box

  • 10 and 01 personnel has been a part of Vikings offense this season with more snaps of 01 personnel, Westbrook has been the fourth WR

  • Jefferson 9 yard TD on 3rd and goal to end first possession of 3rd quarter came out of 11 personnel with Jefferson offset in the backfield to the boundary and Mattison #2 to trips to the field, Packers out of dime played 5 across match concept behind 5 man pressure; Jefferson angle route with no defender matching him, It was pitch and catch

  • Jefferson detailed and nuanced as a route runner which allows him to create separation at the top of his route stem: 21 yards versus Sullivan late in 3rd quarter a great example

  • Jefferson leads the NFL in 3rd down receptions: 23-425, 18.5 and 4 TD; 21 of the 23 receptions resulted in 1st downs

  • Osborn 17 yards on 2nd + 10 in 4th quarter was same route concept as Jefferson 56 yards earlier in the game, This time Packers were in 2 shell coverage so Osborn ran a corner route rather than a deep sail as Jefferson did versus cover 3

  • Jefferson 23 yard TD on 3rd + 3 late in 4th quarter came versus Packers nickel zero with left corner Stokes on Jefferson, Vikings anticipated man coverage and ran mesh with Thielen and Conklin but the quick inside pressure by Savage through the A gap forced Cousins to throw it up to the one-on-one matchup on the outside

  • Cousins outstanding on 3rd down versus Packers: 7-8 for 111 yards and 3 TD; All 7 completions resulted in 1st downs

PACKERS OFFENSE VERSUS VIKINGS DEFENSE

  • Peterson and Breeland started at outside corner for the Vikings, Dantzler also snaps at outside corner

  • Peterson predominantly lined up over Adams when Adams was #1, There were some snaps of man coverage but the Vikings did not play high percentage man

  • Vikings a predominant over front defense out of base, Always have been under Zimmer; Vigil was the third LB with Kendricks and Barr

  • Double mug looks on 3rd down out of nickel with Kendricks and Barr in the A gaps are a staple of the Vikings, They feature multiple coverages and pressures from that look; Barr featured at times as a rusher from that front often delaying then attacking the B gap not the A gap

  • Packers continue to feature snaps of 10 personnel, Vikings matched up with nickel; Vikings are a nickel sub defense, They have played only 6 snaps of dime all season

  • Cover 2 is a staple coverage for the Vikings especially out of nickel, They will get to it at times with disguise and late movement; Kendricks is almost always the middle hole defender

  • Vikings some snaps of big nickel with Bynum the third safety versus 11 personnel, Smith was both a box player and a slot defender in that personnel package

  • There were conventional nickel and big nickel snaps in which Richardson lined up at wide 9 DE, There were nickel snaps in which Wonnum lined up inside at DT

  • Vikings on 3rd down out of nickel showed multiple front looks including 6 man pressure fronts, What they showed pre-snap was not what they played post-snap; Disguise and late movement featured part of 3rd down game plan

  • Deguara 25 yard TD on 3rd + 5 late in 2nd quarter was a big-time second reaction throw by Rodgers running to his left, Vikings went 2 man out of nickel with Kendricks matched on Daguara

  • Adams 10 yard TD late in 3rd quarter also came on second reaction throw by Rodgers, Route concept was mirrored crossers by Adams and Valdes-Scantling but Vikings single high safety zone coverage took that away; Great example of chemistry between Rodgers and Adams

  • A staple of Zimmer pressure schemes are zone overload concepts featuring LB and either the slot McKenzie or safety Smith, Coverage behind that is zone match

  • Adams 18 yard TD on 3rd + 6 in 4th quarter came out of 10 empty versus Vikings nickel zero pressure with off coverage man behind it, Adams #2 to trips with Alexander matched on him; Adams ran the stutter-fade and McKenzie played the pressure and anticipated the quick in-breaker, Adams wide open over the top and that allowed Rodgers to beat unblocked edge rusher Griffen with his throw

  • Twice in the game the Packers got Valdes-Scantling matched on safety Woods on vertical routes: 39 yards on deep sail from #3 to trips in 2nd quarter, 75 yard TD on post route from #3 to trips late in 4th quarter which came versus Vikings double mug pressure

  • Vikings played predominantly single high coverage versus the Packers featuring cover 1 and cover 3, They did play snaps of split safety with cover 2 the foundation

RAIDERS OFFENSE VERSUS BENGALS DEFENSE

  • Bengals continued to show 5-1 fronts out of 1st and 2nd down nickel with Pratt on the ball and Wilson the stacked LB

  • Bengals went cover 1 out of 5-1 nickel on first snap of Raiders second possession with Bates matched on Waller, Waller from tight slot quick out cut beat Bates: 25 yards with run after catch

  • Bengals game plan approach was to play nickel with Wilson and Pratt the LB versus Raiders 12 personnel with Waller and Moreau, Slot corner Hilton played 44 of Raiders 47 offensive snaps

  • Raiders pass game approach very condensed, They did not attack at the intermediate and vertical levels as part of initial game plan approach; Carr had Edwards on a seam route on the second possession but he did turn it loose

  • 3rd + 3 from +29 yard line on Raiders third possession good example of Bengals zone coverage discipline out of cover 3 matching the 3 level concept and the back side in-breaker, Carr had no throw within timing of the drop and left the pocket resulting in a throwaway – 3rd + 3 is predominantly a man coverage down and distance but the Bengals went cover 3

  • Waller 21 yards to start fourth possession well-designed play with Edwards jet motion to the boundary and shotgun zone run action to the field to get the ball to Waller on 5 step slant from reduced boundary x split

  • Bengals played 29 snaps of nickel and 15 snaps of dime, First snap of dime came on 3rd down in the tight red zone on Raiders first possession with corner Flowers the dime, Every dime snap that followed had safety Allen as the dime

  • When the Bengals went cover 2 out of dime Wilson was the middle hole defender with Bates and Allen the half field safeties

  • LB Pratt flashed as a run defender versus the Raiders, He was very effective playing downhill and working through blocks

  • Bengals first snap of 5-2 base came on 2nd + 6 on first possession of 3rd quarter, 5-2 has been a staple of Bengals base defense this season; At times they aligned in reduced fronts out of that personnel

  • Bengals aligned in reduced fronts out of both 5-1 nickel and 5-2 base, That’s a foundation front for the Bengals

  • Carr had too much unnecessary movement in the pocket on some snaps versus the Bengals, This was one of those games in which he was not comfortable

  • Waller 31 yards on 1st + 10 early in 4th quarter came out of 11 3x1 bunch with Waller the point man in the bunch versus Bengals 4 man zone exchange pressure with Hilton the fourth rusher and cover 2 invert behind it with Pratt the middle hole defender, Waller seam route over top of Pratt with Carr showing good toughness in the pocket

  • Moreau 19 yard TD on 1st + 10 in 4th quarter came out of 12 1x3 with Moreau #1 to trips versus Bengals 5-1 nickel cover 1 with Wilson matched on Moreau, Moreau sluggo beat Wilson with a good ball by Carr

  • Apple interception in the 4th quarter came out of dime cover 6 with Apple the cover 2 corner to the boundary, Carr threw to Waller on the out route from the inside that was part of hi-low concept to the boundary but Apple read the 2 man route combination and sunk just before Carr turned it loose, Carr did not account for Apple on the throw

  • Raiders had a limited intermediate and vertical passing game, They did not stretch the field with their route concepts and combinations

  • Raiders only ran 47 offensive plays and had 7 3rd downs, They only converted 1 3rd down

  • Bengals overall defensive approach versus Raiders was predominant zone coverage behind 4 man DL rush, They featured some man coverage and some pressure but not much of either

SEAHAWKS OFFENSE VERSUS CARDS DEFENSE

  • Cards base 5-2 front had Hicks and Simmons as the stacked LB with Jones and Golden the predominant edge players

  • Simmons again lined up at times on the edge in Cards nickel 5-1 fronts, Hicks was the stacked LB in that front

  • Jones sack on first possession came out of Cards base 5-2 front, Jones beat RT Shell off the edge; Play action 7 step drop and Wilson had 2 throws if there was no pressure: Dissly down the seam versus split safety or Metcalf on the deep out versus Murphy

  • Simmons sack on 3rd + 10 to end Seahawks first possession came off initial pressure front look, 5 man pressure versus 7 man protection; Simmons beat Homer off the front side – 2 sacks on the Seahawks first possession

  • Cards matched up to Seahawks 13 personnel with 3 safeties and 1 corner, Murphy was the corner

  • Seahawks clearly wanted to establish continuity and stability by running the ball, That was game plan foundation of the offense; Zone run game was the staple

  • Seahawks featured both 12 and 13 personnel as the foundations of their initial game plan, Overall they played 18 snaps of 12 personnel which was close to 40% of offensive snaps

  • Lockett 25 yards on 1st + 10 in 2nd quarter came on shot play concept out of 12 personnel with Everett offset in the backfield, Post-cross combination with Metcalf running the post and Lockett the intermediate crosser versus Cards base cover 3; Wilson a beat late with the throw on what could have been a TD with Lockett instead having to run out of bounds

  • First time in red zone: Fade to Metcalf versus rookie corner Wilson on 2nd down which was incomplete; Front side pressure and Swain moving away from zone void prevented 3rd down completion that might have been a TD

  • Cards went zero the second time the Seahawks got in the red zone, They also went with a 2 shell zone match coverage: Wilson had Everett for the TD on 2nd + 6 from the 9 yard line but overthrew him; On 3rd and 6 Wilson had Lockett open on the slant route and initially looked right at him but immediately came off him with no other throw

  • Seahawks another shot play concept on second possession of 3rd quarter, Lockett wide open on out cut but Wilson went over the top to Metcalf on the deep post who was bracketed by corner Wilson and safety Baker; Wilson threw to the wrong receiver

  • Cards played almost zone coverage versus the Seahawks with cover 3 the foundation, They did not play any snaps of cover 1

  • Cards continued to show loaded fronts on 3rd down at times with Golden and Jones part of the 3 man load, Jones sack on 3rd + 10 in 3rd quarter came on a stunt with Golden the penetrator and Jones the looper

  • Golden sack late in the 4th quarter also came on a stunt this one out of 5 man diamond front with Hicks lined up as the 0-technique: Golden the looper behind Gardeck the penetrator

  • Cards featured 5 man diamond fronts to dictate one-on-one pass protection and the Seahawks OL is not very good in individual protection

  • Cards a lot of disguised looks showing one thing before the snap and something after the snap, Wilson has always struggled when he has to read and decipher after the snap slowing down his decision making and too often resulting in him getting stuck in the pocket

PANTHERS OFFENSE VERSUS WASHINGTON DEFENSE

  • Washington continued to play big nickel as their base defense, They also went big nickel versus 11 personnel in normal down and distance situations

  • Toohill and Smith-Williams were the predominant DE for Washington

  • Newton gives the Panthers the designed QB run game, Multiple run game concepts including misdirection elements

  • Moore 10 yard TD in 1st and goal was a game planned red zone play: Newton from the shotgun initial look of QB draw with OC Elflein firing out as if he is the lead blocker, Newton then pulled up and hit Moore on the condensed skinny post; Elflein and Newton draw action brought Collins and Holcomb forward out of the passing lane

  • Washington continued to feature snaps with 5 DL, They played 5-2 fronts versus Panthers 21 personnel; Holcomb and Mayo were the stacked LB, Collins and McCain were the safeties

  • Washington also played 5 DL fronts out of nickel with Holcomb the only LB versus 11 personnel, They also played 5 man fronts out of big nickel with LB Davis on the ball on the outside

  • When Washington went conventional nickel with 3 corners Johnson continued to be the slot corner, Collins did not play in the conventional nickel

  • Washington also played dime predominantly on 3rd down but also selected situations, It was 3 corner-3 safety dime

  • Washington showed loaded fronts out of dime, Holcomb was the only LB and he was the wild card re: alignment and role

  • Newton still showed a tendency to throw the ball too hard on passes that demanded pace and touch, That’s not likely to change at this point in his career

  • Washington showed significant snaps of split safety coverage out of big nickel with McCain and Curl the back end safeties

  • Newton 24 yard TD on 1st + 10 in 2nd quarter came on zone read to the boundary versus Washington 4-2-5 big nickel, Both unblocked play side DE Rotimi and play side stacked LB Davis reacted to Abdullah inside and Newton was clean to the outside with lead blocker Thomas out in front, Play side safety Curl also had eyes inside so he did not have a good angle to make a tackle on Newton

  • DT Allen has flashed every game as an inside pass rusher with his power/strength/leverage traits, He drives back OG into the pocket

  • McCaffrey 27 yard TD reception on 1st + 10 in 4th quarter came out of Pony package 2x2 set with McCaffrey offset to the field, Play concept was Abdullah jet motion with All Go H Seam with McCaffrey running the H Seam; Washington played cover 3 out of big nickel and while the second level defenders got excellent depth no one carried McCaffrey and Newton made an outstanding throw layering it over Holcomb

  • What stood out was Washington deployed the bullseye tactic on McCaffrey was he was offset in the backfield, Toohill executed the tactic on 4th + 3 late in the 4th quarter and that may have had an impact on shortening McCaffrey’s out cut on what became a 2 yard reception

  • On the Panthers final possession on 3rd and 4th down Washington went man coverage and matched Collins on the TE and Curl on McCaffrey, Curl a better man coverage defender than Collins

  • Washington played a higher percentage of zone coverage versus Panthers, They did the same thing versus Brady and the Bucs the week before

  • Washington throughout the season more of a single high safety coverage defense than a split safety defense but they have also shown that they will be opponent specific

  • Washington on 3rd down will increase their percentage of cover 1, That has been their tendency throughout the season

WASHINGTON OFFENSE VERSUS PANTHERS DEFENSE

  • Panthers a 5-2 base front with Burns and Reddick the edge players, Carter and Luvu were predominantly the stacked LB with Thompson also snaps with Carter

  • Gilmore was the third corner in the sub defenses, He played outside with Bouye moving into the slot; Panthers showed a 5-1-5 nickel with Thompson the only LB

  • Panthers played both nickel and dime, Dime was 3 corner-3 safeties with Gilmore and Jackson outside and Bouye in the slot

  • Gilmore did not match up to McLaurin when the Panthers went man coverage, Jackson was the predominant matchup on McLaurin

  • Panthers showed big nickel package with Hartsfield and Burris at safety with Chinn, and Taylor/Henderson and Jackson the outside corners; Gilmore snaps in big nickel starting later in the 2nd quarter

  • McLaurin 30 yards to start second possession came out of 11 1x3 nub set with reduced trips to the field, McLaurin #2 to trips ran the over route versus Jackson in Panthers big nickel cover 1; Shotgun power run action with a great ball by Heinicke, Washington chipped both Burns and Reddick

  • Play action boot with Heinicke under and in the shotgun part of Washington offense, Heinicke very comfortable on the move

  • Carter at times deployed in jet motion; Washington also used McKissic as a movement player at times in Pony package with Gibson – Motion had an impact on Panthers second level defenders: Gibson 10 yards on second possession one example

  • Washington showed a snap of 10 personnel versus the Panthers, It came on 2nd + 8 in the high red zone

  • McLaurin 39 yards on 3rd + 9 on third possession came out of 11 2x2 with McLaurin #1 to the field, McLaurin go route versus Jackson in zone coverage with his body and eyes inside; McLaurin ran by Jackson who was in recovery mode and unable to react to the throw, McLaurin high-pointed the ball

  • Sims 6 yard TD to end third possession came off shotgun inside zone run action with Sims slant versus Henderson, Panthers bracketed/doubled McLaurin from reduced split boundary x alignment; Run action impacted Chinn and Carter and opened the tight window for Heinicke

  • McKissic an important piece in the Washington offense both as a runner and receiver, Depending on the game he plays 40-60% of the offensive snaps and he can be deployed in multiple alignments

  • LT Leno and LG Flowers have provided the stability and continuity on the OL, Leno has played every snap this season and Flowers has played every snap in every game but one where he missed a few plays

  • Panthers played a lot of secondary combinations including nickel snaps with 4 corners and safety Chinn, Big nickel was a featured personnel package with Jackson always at one corner and different players at the other corner position

  • Empty sets part of Washington pass game, Heinicke has been in empty on 71 drop backs which is almost 20% of his drop backs; McLaurin 12 yard TD at end of 1st half came out of empty with McLaurin #3 to trips, Panthers were in a match coverage with no post safety and McLaurin beat Chinn on skinny post

  • Heinicke has a good feel in the pocket for progression reading, He knows where to go with the football re: route concepts versus coverage: Sims 13 yards on 3rd + 5 on first possession of 3rd quarter a good example

  • Carter 4 yard TD on 3rd and goal to end first 3rd quarter possession came on well-designed 3 man boundary route combination versus man coverage: Initial look was Carter quick slant underneath Bates vertical release and that was what Jackson reacted to, Carter then pivoted back outside easily beating Jackson

  • Gibson a strong powerful competitive downhill runner with burst and speed, He is a little stiff in his core and is not naturally shifty and elusive but he has at times showed the ability to make defenders miss in space

  • Washington run game featured zone and gap scheme concepts, They also ran trap in the 3rd quarter with Gibson 9 yards

  • RG Scherff one of the best interior OL in the NFL climbing to the second level in the run game, He is highly athletic with the mobility and balance to effectively strike on the move

  • Heinicke gives the Washington offense the designed run game situationally and Heinicke also has effective second reaction ability, He has made a lot of critical plays outside of structure this season

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.