Cosell Coaching Tape: Week 13

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Cosell Coaching Tape: Week 13

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 BILLS DEFENSE

  • Patriots ran 49 offensive plays versus the Bills, 30 of them had 6 OL personnel, Fullback Johnson played 25 snaps; 46 of the 49 plays were called runs

  • Bills had been an exclusive nickel defense the last 5 months playing no snaps with 3 LB, Against the Patriots they went 4-3 on the second play of the game with Dodson the third LB versus Patriots 6 OL/21 personnel

  • Bills would play 28 snaps of 4-3 personnel versus the Patriots, Dodson was the third LB with Edmunds and Milano

  • Pin-pull concept with Harris is a staple of the Patriots running game, You see every week: 64 yard TD on 3rd + 5 on third possession, It came out of 6 OL/21 personnel versus Bills 4-3 with LT Wynn the puller kicking out Wallace and FB Johnson the lead blocker on play side LB Dodson

  • Patriots run game was multiple re: concepts but they were all basic run game concepts like zone, zone counter, gap scheme, pin-pull, trap, wham-trap; They also featured TE Smith in the backfield and an Agholor reverse and a Bourne jet sweep

  • Bills continued to be a foundational over front defense and the Patriots did an excellent job doubling the 3-technique DT on runs like power strong: Harris 17 yards late in 2nd quarter 3-technique Lotulelei was doubled and moved back into LB Edmunds and Dodson

  • Bills went nickel when the Patriots lined up in 11 personnel, That was predominantly when Johnson played along with 3rd down and some 2nd down snaps in longer yardage situations

  • Harris 22 yards to start 3rd quarter possession also came on pin-pull concept this time with RG Mason the puller, Patriots 6 OL/21 personnel versus Bills base 4-3

  • Stevenson 10 yards late in 3rd quarter also pin-pull concept with RG Mason again the puller, Another play out of 6 OL/21 personnel

  • Patriots also did an excellent job with angle/leverage blocks on the 3-technique DT when they ran to the strong side, They controlled the play side of the run effectively with different blocking concepts

  • What stood out was Edmunds was not a big factor defending the Patriots run game, He was not making plays at the POA

  • Patriots featured the pin-pull concept throughout the game running it 2 different ways: OT pulling with the seal blocks by WR and flexed TE, and OG pulling with pin blocks by attached OT and TE

  • Jones threw the ball 3 times in the game, Stevenson and Harris combined for 34-189; If you remove the 5 Jones runs the 2 backs carried the ball on 34 of 41 plays

BILLS OFFENSE VERSUS PATRIOTS DEFENSE

  • Bryant was the Patriots nickel corner, and he replaced Dugger (COVID) in the Patriots nickel versus 12 personnel

  • Jackson continued to be the Patriots matchup corner, He lined up on Diggs throughout the game; Mills matched up on Sanders, and Bryant on Beasley

  • Patriots would only play 4 snaps of dime versus the Bills and they all came on 3rd down, Safety Davis was the dime

  • First 3rd and long (3rd + 7) Bills double mesh concept versus Patriots nickel cover 1, Knox dropped Allen’s throw on the shallow crosser

  • DT Godchaux was dominant in the run game through the Bills first two possessions, He lined up in multiple positions along the defensive front

  • Barmore from 0-technique on 3rd + 17 on Bills second possession club-rip move to beat OC Morse and pressure Allen into a hurried incompletion

  • Patriots on 3rd down out of nickel: Cover 1, cover 3 – Phillips was the matchup on Knox in cover 1 versus Bills 11 personnel

  • Davis 14 yard TD after muffed punt came out of 11 2x2 with Davis zin motion versus Patriots nickel cover 1 with post safety McCourty cheated to the field, Shotgun power run action with Allen strike to Davis on the condensed skinny post

  • Bills still struggling to find an efficient run game, Against the Patriots they featured snaps with 6 OL personnel and 2 TE through their first four possessions but had little success running the ball

  • Ekuale sack on 2nd + 14 in 2nd quarter resulted from Allen coming off dagger concept to the field too fast, He had Sanders on the dig versus Patriots nickel cover 3 but he got impatient in the pocket

  • Knox tough drop on 3rd + 19 in 2nd quarter off Allen second reaction movement to his right, Great throw by Allen and Knox must catch that

  • Patriots first snap with no deep safety came on 3rd + 3 at 2:00 of 2nd quarter, They showed 6 man pressure front and Judon got in clean off the back side edge; Van Noy knocked down Allen pass to Beasley on quick out from the boundary slot

  • Diggs dropped a TD on 1st + 10 in the middle of the 3rd quarter, Great deep ball throw by Allen; Allen sluggo got on top of Jackson and post safety McCourty was rotating away, Tough catch but Diggs can make it

  • Allen had a throw to Davis on whip route on 2nd + goal from the +6 yard line with 8:00 remaining in the game, He didn’t turn it loose and the result of the play was a Judon sack

  • Diggs 26 yards to start final possession was a big-time back shoulder throw by Allen into a tight sideline window, Jackson had no chance to play the ball

  • Allen missed open Sanders on inside sit route on final possession, Sanders in front of Allen but it didn’t register and Allen ended up throwing an incompletion; An opportunity missed and Sanders had room to run

  • Allen had a chance on back shoulder fade to Diggs from the +13 yard line with just over 2:00 remaining but he left it too wide

  • Allen got impatient in the pocket on 3rd + 14 with just over 2:00 remaining, Diggs tempoed route from the boundary was open in the middle but Allen had already broken down in the pocket and missed the opportunity, Result was a random run-around incompletion

  • On 4th + 14 with 2:00 remaining the Patriots out of dime went zero with off coverage man on the 3 WR, Double posts to the field with Beasley from the slot and Davis outside; Allen went to Davis who got inside of Mills but Bryant outstanding job reading both Beasley and Allen and dropping off to make a play on the ball, McCourty green dog got in clean on Allen’s front side but it did not affect the throw

  • Bills inability to run the ball with any consistency was again an issue, and a main reason why they averaged only 4 yards per play versus the Patriots

EAGLES OFFENSE VERSUS JETS DEFENSE

  • Goedert 16 yards on 2nd + 10 on first possession came on well-designed boundary screen out of 12 closed boundary twins to the field, RT Johnson excellent kick-out block on LB Williams

  • Eagles game plan approach was to play out of multiple TE sets, They would play 19 snaps out of 12 personnel and 16 snaps out of 13 personnel

  • Jets almost always matched up with nickel to the Eagles multiple TE sets, They played 29 snaps of nickel versus Eagles 12 and 13 personnel

  • Goedert 36 yard TD on 2nd + 1 to end first possession came out of 12 1x3 nub set off Goedert motion across the formation, 4 verticals concept versus Jets nickel cover 3 with Goedert running the deep over from #3 to trips; Conventional inside zone play action with Goedert getting on top of LB Williams who had to carry him on the vertical route

  • Screen game to Goedert a game planned concept, Eagles ran it on both first and second possessions; They got to it out of different personnel and with different backfield actions

  • Jets continued to play Dunn as the fourth corner and Pinnock as the safety with Davis in their dime sub-package

  • Goedert 25 yard TD on 3rd + 4 to end second possession came out of 11 empty versus Jets dime cover 1, Eagles natural rub concept to twins with Scott from #1 to twins motion tighter to Goedert; Goedert ran the slot fade off Scott and Guidry with eyes on Goedert who tempoed his release got caught having to work underneath Scott – Excellent design versus man coverage to define the throw for Minshew

  • Smith 13 yards on third possession came with Smith offset in the backfield to the single receiver side in 11 1x3 set with Gainwell #1 to trips, Smith option route versus LB Williams ran an out cut

  • Gainwell 18 yard TD on 1st + 10 to end third possession came out of 11 shotgun 2x2, Same side power with RG Herbig the puller to block play side stacked LB Williams; Outstanding combo block by LG Dickerson and LT Mailata on 3-technique DT Shepherd with Mailata climbing to get back side stacked LB Mosley

  • Minshew a good example of a QB who has a strong understanding of his throwing limitations, He knows the throws he can make and just as importantly he knows the throws he can’t make; He gets in trouble when he lets his aggressive mindset overtake his throwing ability

  • Slot corner Carter hurt in the 3rd quarter, Guidry moved inside with Dunn playing right corner opposite Hall at left corner

  • Sanders 34 yards on 2nd + 2 early in 4th quarter came out of 12 shotgun 3x1 tight bunch to trips versus Jets nickel, Gap scheme concept with Kelce and Mailata pulling

  • Sanders ran high percentage zone concepts with the Eagles also featuring trap and gap scheme; Sanders showed desirable combination of patience and decisiveness with short area burst and finishing traits, He got hard yards with almost all his runs inside in what was much more of a sustaining effort than a big play performance

  • 12 of Sanders 24 carries gained 4 or more yards, It was a grind-it-out kind of performance for Sanders with only 1 run of 10+ yards; 16 of Sanders 24 carries came out of 12 or 13 personnel

  • Sanders 15-82 out of shotgun, He predominantly ran out of the shotgun with only 9 of his 24 carries coming with Minshew under center

  • Minshew predominantly threw out of the shotgun, 24 of 28 drop backs came out of the shotgun: 17-22 for 182 yards and TD

JETS OFFENSE VERSUS EAGLES DEFENSE

  • Eagles continued to feature 5-2 as a base front with Avery the SAM LB predominantly aligned on the ball, Edwards and Singleton the stacked LB in that front

  • Eagles also showed 5 man front with Avery in their sub nickel, Edwards was the stacked LB

  • Moore 3 yard TD on 3rd + 2 to end first possession came out of 11 2x2 versus Eagles nickel, Shotgun split flow inside zone run action with Moore quick slant getting inside of Nelson and Wilson holding safety McLeod on the back side

  • Wilson still issues with pace and touch on short throws, That is an area he must improve or he will miss too many routine lay ups like Crowder on 2nd + 7 on second possession

  • The other area Wilson must improve is ball placement, He is not precise and is at times scattershot missing too may routine throws

  • First 3rd and long (3rd + 7) Eagles out of nickel showed disguise and late movement to cover 2 invert with Maddox a half field safety and Edwards the middle hole defender

  • Rookie Williams continued to line up in different positions in the Eagles multiple front looks, Against the Jets he did not flash the way he had in recent games

  • Jets started third possession with 6 OL personnel: Coleman 15 yards on power, Moore 29 yards off outside zone run action versus Eagles cover 2 settling into the intermediate void just inside the numbers

  • Crowder 19 yards on 3rd + 4 on third possession was an excellent throw by Wilson showing an understanding of what he had and the timing and precision demanded, Great route by Crowder versus Maddox to create separation on the skinny concept and Wilson drove the ball with conviction

  • McPhearson replaced injured Nelson at corner in the 2nd quarter, On first 3rd down with McPhearson in the game Eagles moved Slay to right corner to match up to Moore; Sweat sack on that 3rd + 3 was result of Hargrave driving back rookie LG Vera-Tucker into the pocket

  • Slay predominantly matched up to Moore on the outside once Nelson got hurt and McPhearson was the other corner, Eagles viewed Moore as the more dangerous threat than Davis

  • Hargrave had some strong one-on-one power rushes versus LG Vera-Tucker that squeezed the pocket on Wilson

  • Epps more snaps at safety versus Jets in rotation with Harris and McLeod – Epps interception on 3rd + 10 early in 4th quarter came on Eagles disguise late movement to what looked like invert cover 3, Wilson tried to hit Crowder on sit route in the middle but he overthrew it right to Epps, Hargrave controlled and displaced Vera-Tucker’s hand and won to the outside

  • Eagles played more snaps of zone coverage versus the Jets especially in the 2nd half because the score of the game allowed them to, and my sense is the coaching staff is not overly confident in rookie McPhearson’s ability to match up on the outside

  • Moore from boundary x stutter-go versus Slay in the 4th quarter, Moore got on top of Slay but Wilson left the ball short due to outstanding inside spin move by Sweat versus Moses that prevented Wilson from completing his delivery; Slay was able to make a play on the ball

  • Eagles showed 5 man diamond front on 3rd + 10 in the 4th quarter with Avery the fifth on the ball as standup 3-technique, Cox aligned at wide 9 DE in that front; They featured a long T/T stunt concept with Avery looping behind Hargrave and Barnett

  • Eagles played almost exclusively nickel sub defense versus the Jets, They only played 2 snaps of dime with the first coming on 4th + 10 in the 4th quarter

  • Cover 2 invert and disguised late movement to cover 3 (at times invert cover 3) were part of Eagles coverage concepts versus the Jets

  • Overall this game could be a positive step for Wilson, His mechanics were cleaner and he was decisive with his reads and throws; He must learn to throw with pace and touch (he is a one speed thrower right now) and he must become more consistently precise with his ball placement to become a quality NFL QB

COWBOYS OFFENSE VERSUS SAINTS DEFENSE

  • Davis and Lattimore continued to be the Saints nickel LB with P. Williams the slot corner; Saints dime continued to be 3-2-6 with Roby playing inside

  • Saints 3rd and long: 2 man out of 3-2-6 dime with M. Williams and P. Williams the deep safeties, Davis the fourth rusher; 2 man versus 1x3 set with zone match on Lamb #3 to trips, Alexander the fourth rusher; Zero man match off 7 man pressure front; Zone pressure with robber concept; Cover 1 behind 5 man pressure with green dog

  • Saints matched up with base 4-3 personnel to the Cowboys 12 personnel, Werner and Baun were the LB with Davis; Saints featured 5 man fronts with Baun on the ball as the SAM

  • Cowboys OL continued to struggle to generate movement and push in the run game, What also stood out throughout the game was the attached TE did not block DE effectively; Run game static and ineffective, This has been an issue for a month or so

  • Saints out of nickel on 3rd and 3 on Cowboys second possession showed zero pressure look with 6 man front and no post safety, They dropped out Davis and Alexander from the A gaps and played man-to-man; Prescott out of empty set anticipating 6 man pressure got the ball out quick to Pollard in the flat but M. Williams made the tackle for a 1 yard gain – Saints pre-snap look beat Prescott

  • 4th + 2 on second possession said a lot about where Cowboys are with their run game, They threw the ball and it was incomplete

  • Roby continued to get snaps outside opposite Lattimore in both the base and nickel defense

  • Cooper 41 yards on 3rd + 7 on third possession an excellent read and throw by Prescott versus Saints 2 deep man-zone combination, Prescott read field safety P. Williams react inside to Lamb #3 to trips and hit Cooper #2 to trips on the seam ball, Slot corner Roby anticipated inside help that was not there once P. Williams vacated his deep half

  • Cowboys on 3rd and long featured 1x3 sets out of 11 personnel with Lamb #3 to trips, Saints matched that with robber concept out of both initial 2 deep and single high looks; They took Lamb away on 3rd down when he was aligned at #3 to trips, Lamb was the focus on 3rd down out of that offensive formation

  • P. Williams sack on 3rd + 7 in 2nd quarter came out of 3-2-6 dime versus Cowboys 1x3 set, Zone pressure with both Williams and Roby part of 5 man pressure blitzing from the field, Zone match behind the pressure with trap concept to the field – Staple zone pressure concept we have seen from the Saints throughout the season

  • Lamb 20 yards on 3rd + 5 late in 2nd quarter came out of empty with Lamb #2 to trips, Saints 2 man out of 3-2-6 dime but again with robber element; Great throw by Prescott on glance route versus excellent coverage by Roby, Robber P. Williams not a factor on that throw

  • Lamb was the focus of the Saints defense especially on 3rd down and especially when he was aligned at #3 to trips but also #2 to trips when he ran crossers or overs, Robber concept was one of coverage foundations

  • Lattimore predominantly played right corner and did not match up to any Cowboys WR, Saints clearly viewed Lamb as the Cowboys best WR but he predominantly lined up in the slot

  • Cowboys passing game never developed any sense of rhythm and timing and without a productive run game the entire offense operated in fits and starts with little stability and continuity

  • Pollard 58 yard TD on 2nd + 10 later in 3rd quarter came on pin-pull concept to the field out of 11 personnel versus Saints nickel, Brown was #1 trips play side because he is a strong blocker and he made an excellent block on P. Williams

  • Lattimore interception came on 3rd + 7 in the middle of the 4th quarter, Saints disguised late movement to cover 2 out of dime with Lattimore the boundary half field safety; Lamb from #3 to trips ran the over route, Prescott did not read the coverage and threw it right to Lattimore

  • Saints predominantly went nickel in 3rd and short-to-medium and they at times featured double mug looks with Davis and Alexander in the A gaps

  • Cowboys pass game not efficient on 3rd down: Prescott 5-11 for 70 yards with an interception and a sack, Only 2 completions resulted in 1st downs; Cowboys also did not create any explosive pass plays on 1st down: Prescott 12 1st down completions for only 76 yards

SAINTS OFFENSE VERSUS COWBOYS DEFENSE

  • Saints starting OT were Hurst at LT and Mills at RT, Both Armstead and Ramczyk were out with injuries

  • In Cowboys conventional 3 corner nickel Parsons was a stacked LB, Lawrence was back at DE which moved Parsons back to LB

  • Diggs was at right corner with Brown at left corner and Lewis the slot corner, Diggs did not match up to any Saints WR

  • Cowboys continued to play snaps of big nickel as their base defense, Hooker was the third safety with Kearse and Kazee; Against the Saints they did not play any snaps with 3 LB

  • Cowboys continued to be a dime defense on 3rd down with Hooker the third safety, Parsons was the only LB in dime

  • Humphrey 25 yards on 3rd + 5 on second possession came out of 11 2x2 versus Cowboys nickel cover 1, Well-designed natural rub concept from reduced splits to the field with Humphrey from the slot wheel route behind Callaway vertical release

  • Parsons was used as a spy on Hill on 3rd down, He lined up on the ball and mirrored; That was the tactic with Parsons versus Hill and the Saints – Great example came on 3rd + 8 with 7:51 remaining in the 2nd quarter

  • Parsons was not used as an edge pass rusher as part of the Cowboys 3rd down game plan – An interesting tactic since he has been the best edge pass rusher in the NFL this season

  • Johnson 27 yards to start fourth possession came on an old school Sean Payton special: Sluggo seam; Cowboys cover 3 out of big nickel and sluggo seam is a great call versus cover 3

  • Humphrey 24 yard TD on 1st + 10 early in 2nd quarter came out of 11 condensed versus Cowboys nickel cover 1, Brown was matched on Humphrey and he ran into Kearse as he looked to stay with Humphrey on his crosser

  • Saints 16 snaps of OL personnel versus Cowboys with 10 rushes and 6 called passes – Saints by a wide margin have played with 6 OL personnel more than any team in the NFL

  • Parsons outstanding job as stacked LB hunting up the crosser off conventional play action (4:57 in 2nd quarter), Hill forced to throw check down to Montgomery 1 yards

  • Cowboys continued to be multiple with personnel alignments in their dime fronts even without Parsons being used as a pass rusher, We saw Lawrence and Armstrong line up inside

  • Cowboys started to feature 5 man reduced fronts out of nickel with Parsons aligned on the edge as a pass rusher, This front became much more a part of Cowboys approach in the 2nd half

  • Kearse interception on 2nd + 10 late in 2nd quarter came out of 11 2x2 versus Cowboys nickel cover 4, Stills delayed wheel from the slot to the boundary initially got on top of Parsons but Parson showed excellent recovery speed; Boundary corner Diggs recognized the wheel and spun off Johnson to squeeze the throwing window for Hill, Ball went off Stills hands on a tough catch and safety Kearse was in position to pick it off

  • Kearse has flashed in every game this season, He is asked to do a lot of things in the Cowboys defense (blitz, match up to TE, play both in the box and on the back end) and he shows up every week

  • Hill missed an easy TD just outside the red zone on first 3rd quarter possession: Smith wide open on crosser, Hill was late and then made a bad throw; Should have been a walk-in TD

  • First 3rd down Parsons was used as an edge rusher came on 3rd + 10 just outside the red zone on Saints first 3rd quarter possession, Cowboys went zero for the only time in the game

  • Saints offense in the 3rd quarter featured more designed QB runs for Hill with gap scheme runs the focus, Hill a physical highly competitive power runner

  • Hill does not see things fast enough as a pocket QB, He is too often a beat slow to eliminate and isolate; He is not a quick processor

  • Parsons sack on first play of 4th quarter came on 3rd + 2 with Parsons aligned on the outside as an edge pass rusher, Hill play action boot to Parsons side and Parsons ran him down with explosive closing speed

  • Cover 2 was part of Cowboys game plan approach versus Saints, We saw that on 3rd down; They used different players as the middle hole defender

  • Diggs 4th quarter interception came as a cover 2 corner, He got excellent depth with no threat in the flat and got underneath Hill throw to Harris on the corner route; That might have been the only snap in the game Hill was at left corner

  • Cowboys continued to be a predominant cover 1 defense, They have played a higher percentage of cover 1 than any team in the NFL; What’s interesting is that their cover 1 percentage drops on 3rd down where their tendency has been more zone concepts

RAIDERS OFFENSE VERSUS WASHINGTON DEFENSE

  • Collins inactive for Washington, Base defense initially featured 3 LB with Hudson the third LB with Holcomb and Davis

  • As the game progressed Washington went more to big nickel with Everett the third safety versus both base and 11 personnel

  • Washington continued to play 5 man fronts out of big nickel, Davis the edge defender on the LOS

  • Smith-Williams and Toohill continued to be the predominant DE in Washington’s 4 man DL, Wise also significant snaps at DE with Rotimi and Toney also snaps

  • Washington also continued to play a 5-1 front out of base with LB Davis on the ball on the edge, We have seen Davis in that alignment much more over the last month

  • Washington rarely matches up their corners, Jackson is the left corner and Fuller is the right corner

  • Johnson continued to be the slot corner in Washington’s conventional nickel; With Collins out Curl was the slot corner in the big nickel versus 11 personnel, Everett was a back end safety in 2 shell coverages

  • DT Allen has been outstanding in the last 4 games as an inside pass rusher, He has had dominant snaps both with power/hand usage and with quickness off the ball

  • Raiders well-designed flood opposite concept on first 3rd quarter possession but Carr was a beat late to Moreau on the intermediate crosser and that allowed LB Holcomb to play the throw from underneath; Carr stayed too long on Edwards vertical route before coming to Moreau, That’s a throw you have to make

  • Ioannidis sack on 3rd + 11 to end Raiders first possession of 3rd quarter came out of dime (first dime snap of the game), Washington showed a 6 man front with Everett walking up on the outside from the field to make it a 7 man pressure front; T/T stunt with Payne the penetrator and Ioannidis the looper with Payne doing a great job controlling RG Leatherwood

  • Carr too many plays in which he breaks down in the pocket with no pressure, Result is he leaves intermediate and vertical throws on the field – Carr has had that issue throughout his career

  • When Washington went cover 1 on 3rd down out of conventional nickel versus 11 personnel Curl was the TE matchup

  • Washington played almost all conventional nickel in the 4th quarter, Johnson the slot corner with LB Holcomb and Davis; They played almost all zone coverage

  • Raiders had success attacking the seams in Washington zone coverage with 4 receivers to the field: Moreau 34 yards in 3rd quarter, Renfrow 16 yards in 4th quarter

  • The more I watch Washington’s defense the more DT Allen and Payne flash, They are both dominant inside players

  • Washington continued to feature multiple stunt concepts out of their nickel and dime fronts

  • In the last 4 games beginning with the Bucs Washington has been a high percentage zone defense with the focus on split safety coverages but also cover 3, They have played cover 1 only about 12 % of QB drop backs in the last 4 games

  • On 3rd down the last 4 games the cover 1 percentage has gone up significantly to about 33%, Along with that has been a high percentage of blitz at almost 50% of QB drop backs on 3rd down (the highest 3rd down percentage in the NFL)

BENGALS OFFENSE VERSUS CHARGERS DEFENSE

  • Chargers nickel had Davis the boundary corner and Campbell the field corner with Harris the slot corner; Chargers both 4-2-5 nickel with White and Tranquill the LB, and 5-1-5 nickel with White the stacked LB

  • Chargers continued to play 5-2 as base front, White and Tranquill were the stacked LB – Bosa left the game after 9 snaps (concussion protocol)

  • Nwosu sack-forced fumble to end Bengals first possession prevented a big play, Burrow getting ready to turn it loose to Higgins on the deep crosser (post-cross combination with Chase) versus 3 under-3 deep zone coverage; Nwosu beat LT Williams off the edge, Bengals doubled Bosa with Williams one-on-one versus Nwosu

  • Bengals continued to feature significant snaps of 6 OL personnel, With Prince starting at RT in place of injured Reiff the sixth OL versus Chargers was Carman

  • What continued to stand out with Burrow is his willingness and confidence in working and throwing to the one-on-ones outside the numbers versus both man and zone coverage: Higgins 21 yards versus cover 4 on 3rd + 14 in 1st quarter a good example

  • Burrow great ball to Chase on go route on top of corner Davis but Chase could not catch it and it became a Davis interception, Could have been a 71 yard TD

  • Chargers continue to feature loaded fronts on 3rd down, White and Tranquill were the wild card LB aligning in different spots in that front look

  • Chargers played almost all nickel as their sub defense, Only 2 snaps of dime; That was a bit of a departure from what they had done throughout the season when they played more snaps of dime

  • Boyd 32 yards on 3rd + 4 in 2nd quarter came versus Chargers second and last snap of dime, Chargers went 1 robber with dime Marshall the robber; Bengals 11 3x1 with bunch to the field, James was matched on Boyd who was #3 in the bunch, Chargers played the man not releases and Boyd beat James with an outside stick on his angle route inside

  • Higgins 29 yard TD on 2nd + 2 in 2nd quarter came out of 11 2x2 versus Chargers nickel cover 3 with post safety Adderley cheated to the field, Higgins from reduced boundary split ran the seam inside of corner Davis and Burrow throw beat both Davis and Adderley

  • Bengals came out on first possession of 3rd quarter featuring the run game, Develop some continuity with their offense – Bengals stayed with the run game through first 2 possessions of 3rd quarter

  • Boyd 20 yards on 3rd + 3 on first 3rd quarter possession was big-time throw by Burrow on corner route versus tight coverage by slot corner Harris

  • 3rd + 7 on Bengals third 3rd quarter possession trailing by 2, Chargers out of dime blitzed James off the boundary edge and Adderley off the field edge as part of 5 man zone pressure scheme with Davis boundart lock on Chase, Adderley was not accounted for and Burrow did not recognize the front side pressure; Adderley was clean and James beat RB Perine with quickness for the split sack

  • Chargers picked up pressure frequency on 3rd down beginning late in 3rd quarter: Adderley-James sack on 3rd + 7 in 3rd quarter, Tranquill sack on 3rd + 10 on first possession of 4th quarter; Tranquill sack came on a man pressure out of nickel with cover 1 behind it and he was unaccounted for through the A gap

  • Chargers were not high percentage blitz versus Bengals but they had success in the 2nd half with both man and zone pressures, especially on 3rd down

  • Chargers played predominantly zone coverage versus the Bengals featuring both split safety and single high, They played some cover 1 but it was not their featured coverage even on 3rd down

  • Burrow excellent passing numbers on 3rd down: 8-9 for 125 yards but he was sacked 3 times with 2 coming on blitzes; Overall this season Burrow has been good on 3rd down with 73-102 for 935 yards but he has thrown 5 interceptions and been sacked 15 times on 3rd down – Burrow has blitzed on almost 30% of his 3rd down drop backs this season

CHARGERS OFFENSE VERSUS BENGALS DEFENSE

  • Bengals continued to play snaps of dime on 3rd down with Allen the dime safety, They also continued to feature loaded fronts on 3rd down

  • Wilson and Pratt continued to be the nickel LB, Bengals continued to feature snaps of 5-1 reduced fronts with Pratt on the ball on the edge

  • Did not see it versus Chargers until the 4th quarter but Bengals all season have featured 5-2 as a base front and you will see that versus the 49ers whom they play next week; Bengals have faced among the fewest rushing attempts of any defense in the league (only 18 per game)

  • Ekeler big time block on blitzing safety Bell on first 3rd down of the game, allowing Herbert to climb the pocket and hit Allen for 1st down

  • Williams 41 yards on 2nd + 11 on first possession came out of 11 2x2 reduced splits versus Bengals nickel cover 3, Deep sail-cross combination with post safety Bates jumping the Allen crosser and Herbert going over the top to Williams on the sail versus Awuzie; My guess is the Chargers knew how the Bengals played cover 3 with Bates jumping the crosser and the back side corner overlapping the vertical but Apple could not overlap the sail away from him

  • Allen 4 yard TD on 4th + 4 to end first possession came on a seed by Herbert in a tight window, Chargers anticipated man coverage but got zone coverage so Herbert after looking to Ekeler on the wheel came back to Allen in the middle

  • Bengals played significant snaps of nickel versus Chargers 12 personnel, They defended the Chargers as a passing team not a running team

  • Allen 7 yard TD on 2nd + 3 to end third possession a well-schemed concept that began with a zone read and Herbert run element, That dictated the defensive reaction to the boundary including post safety Bates attacking the LOS; No one reacted to Allen off the ball due to the backfield action, Pitch and catch for Herbert

  • Wilson hurt late in the 1st quarter and did not return, Bachie replaced him in the nickel with Pratt; Pratt replaced Wilson as the only LB in dime

  • Bengals went zero with no deep safety out of dime on 3rd + 7 early in the 2nd quarter, They showed 7 man front but Bell and Pratt dropped into underneath coverage behind 5 man rush

  • Cook 23 yards to start third 2nd quarter possession came on flood opposite concept with Cook running the intermediate route from a nasty boundary split to the field in the 3-level stretch versus Bengals nickel cover 3

  • Bengals played 6 snaps with dollar personnel, They played with 5 corners and safeties Bates and Bell; Hargreaves and Flowers were the extra corners but Flowers played post safety in that package – All 6 snaps of dollar came on 3rd down

  • In the 2nd half with Awuzie hurt and Hargreaves playing outside corner in the nickel Davis was the fifth corner in the dollar sub-package

  • Bengals were a high percentage sub defense versus the Chargers, They played almost 75% nickel with only 3 snaps of dime but 6 snaps of dollar; They only played 6 snaps with base personnel in the game

  • Awuzie hurt at the end of 1st half, Hargreaves played outside corner opposite Apple in the 2nd half

  • Chargers featured a lot of condensed splits, They were a staple of their pass game versus the Bengals; Zone read element also a factor at times: Allen 7 yard TD, Guyton 33 yards in the 4th quarter

  • Herbert did not have his best game throwing the ball (Guyton TD was late and well underthrown) but as is always the case he made a couple of big-time throws

  • Bengals have been a predominant single high safety coverage defense this season with Bates the post safety, Cover 1 and cover 3 have been the primary coverages with a good amount of cover 2 mixed in but single high has been the higher percentage coverage on 3rd down

SEAHAWKS OFFENSE VERSUS 49ERS DEFENSE

  • Al-Shaair and Flannigan-Fowles were the 49ers nickel LB – 49ers did not play any snaps out of 4-3 base even though the Seahawks played 15 snaps with multiple TE

  • Hufanga continued to be the dime safety with Al-Shaair the dime LB, Ward was the predominant TE matchup when the 49ers went cover 1 out of dime versus 11 personnel

  • Seahawks made a determined effort to get the ball to Metcalf in the 1st quarter: Tunnel screen to start the game, Fade ball from boundary x on third possession (Metcalf got on top of Moseley but Wilson left it out of bounds)

  • Moseley hurt after 9 snaps, Johnson and rookie Lenoir played left corner opposite Norman

  • Rookie LG Curhan was beaten by Armstead for a sack to start Seahawks fifth possession, He struggled at times throughout the game in one-on-one pass protection allowing 2 sacks to Armstead and Key – Curhan an undrafted FA who was a 4 year starter at RT for California

  • Slot corner Williams continued to show the physicality and competitiveness to be a factor in the run game; Hufanga has the size and physical traits to be an effective box safety

  • 49ers continued to show loaded fronts on 3rd down out of dime, That has been a staple all season; Ebukam and Key line up both on the edge and inside in those fronts

  • Metcalf 33 yards on 3rd + 14 in the 2nd quarter was a game changer: Metcalf boundary x on back side of trips versus 49ers dime 1 robber with Hufanga robbing from the boundary and Al-Shaair spy on Wilson, Metcalf straight vertical route versus Lenoir and Wilson put the ball on him

  • 49ers pass rush front out of dime continued to be Bosa, Armstead, Ebukam and Key; Ebukam and Key lined up both outside and inside at DT

  • 49ers approach out of dime on Seahawks final possession of 2nd quarter staring at 1:42 was 4 man DL pass rush with zone coverage behind it

  • Rookie corner Lenoir had a couple of rough plays in the 1st half: Metcalf 33 yards which jump-started the Seahawks offense followed by PI in the end zone, then he was too soft and reactive in Eskridge 7 yard TD that ended the 2nd quarter

  • Johnson started the 3rd quarter at outside corner opposite Norman after Lenoir’s tough 1st half as the initial replacement for the injured Moseley

  • Norman predominantly (not always) lined up over Metcalf in the 2nd half, 49ers did not play higher percentage man coverage but Norman still travelled with Metcalf

  • Williams red zone interception to end Seahawks first possession of 3rd quarter came on a straight drop by Everett on what should have been an easy TD, Well-designed concept versus 49ers tight red zone quarters that overloaded the boundary and got Everett wide open on the back side shallow crosser

  • Eskridge 17 yards on second possession of 3rd quarter resulted from outstanding block by Penny on blitzing safety Hufanga, Deep sail-cross combination off conventional play action with Eskridge running the crosser; Penny abandoned the run fake when he saw Hufanga blitz and that allowed Wilson to make the throw against the 3 under-3 deep zone coverage

  • Wilson poor throw to Metcalf on go route versus Norman on second 3rd quarter possession, Metcalf got on top of Norman and Wilson threw the ball out of bounds; It should have been a 31 yard TD

  • Lockett 12 yard TD on 3rd + 6 late in 3rd quarter came out of 11 3x1 off Metcalf motion across the formation with Lockett the boundary x, 49ers out of dime went cover 1 behind 5 man pressure with Norman now matched on Lockett in press man; Lockett great job winning off the ball on his corner route and an outstanding timing spot throw by Wilson – Big-time execution by both Wilson and Lockett

  • Seahawks passing game still has work to do to develop some rhythm and continuity, There were a few more individual plays versus the 49ers but it is not where it needs to me

  • 49ers run defense continued to be a strength, and they were strong versus the Seahawks out of nickel

  • Penny 27 yards on 2nd + 10 came on boundary screen out of 11 3x1 with Penny offset to the boundary, It was a quick screen versus 49ers blitz with slot corner Williams rushing off the edge from the field with a combination coverage behind the 5 man rush that was man to the boundary and zone match to the field; Flannigan-Fowles was matchup on Penny and LT Brown got him blocked and Penny showed strong open field running ability

  • My sense watching the Seahawks offense is they can do more with the play action pass game out of 12 personnel with Wilson under center, They have been effective with that at times this season; Wilson has had 48 conventional play action drop backs this season: 34-41 for 540 yards, 13.2 yards per attempt

49ERS OFFENSE VERSUS SEAHAWKS DEFENSE

  • 49ers continued to be a base 21 personnel offense, They have played 37% of their offensive snaps out of 21 personnel this season

  • Reed right corner and Jones left corner were the Seahawks outside corners, Austin some snaps at left corner; Amadi continued to be the slot corner

  • Seahawks continued to play 5-2 as their base front with Wagner and Brooks the stacked LB, Mayowa was the wild card who predominantly played out of 2 point stance and his DE alignment was dictated by the offensive formation

  • Seahawks continued to show some 5-1 reduced nickel fronts with Brooks on the ball on the edge, They played single high behind that front

  • First 3rd and long (3rd + 10) the Seahawks played dime and went 1 robber (Adams the robber) to take away the staple in-breaking routes and throws the define the 49ers passing game, Dime safety Neal was the matchup on Kittle versus 49ers 1x3 set; Garoppolo with time in the pocket got stuck and threw a late-in-the-down incompletion

  • Wagner interception to start 49ers third possession came on conventional bang play action with Garoppolo throwing to Sherfield on the shallow crosser, Garoppolo never located Wagner who was sitting in the passing lane as an underneath cover 3 defender

  • 49ers showed gap scheme and pin-pull in the 1st quarter to attack the Seahawks 5 man front, Outside zone tougher to run effectively versus wider defensive front

  • 49ers missed opportunity on wheel to Juszczyk on fourth possession, Well-designed post-wheel concept to the boundary off Juszczyk jet motion; Garoppolo a little high and outside with the throw

  • Kittle 28 yards on 3rd + 2 on second TD possession came out of 11 2x2 versus Seahawks nickel cover 1 with Adams matched on Kittle attached to the boundary, Outside zone play action boot with Kittle selling run blocking then releasing into the flat, Adams played run and dropped coverage on Kittle

  • 49ers started to have some success running the ball in the 2nd quarter out of 11 personnel versus Seahawks 5-1 reduced nickel fronts

  • Wagner outstanding read and reaction on 49ers screen on 2nd + 25 in 2nd quarter, His key and diagnose allowed him to get to the numbers before RG Brunskill could get there to make the block; Wagner tackled Mitchell for 4 yards

  • Adams hurt late in the 2nd quarter and did not return, Neal replaced him at strong safety

  • Kittle 48 yard TD on 2nd + 6 at 2:00 of 2nd quarter another play action boot concept off outside zone this time with Garoppolo booting left and Kittle working across the formation on the shallow crosser, Neal was the flat defender to the field in 3 under-3 deep coverage and he had his eyes in the backfield with the run action not aware of Kittle until he crossed his face

  • Dunlap sack on 3rd + 8 for a safety to end 49ers first 3rd quarter possession came on 4 man DL rush with nickel cover 1 behind it, Dunlap powerful hands drove RG Compton to the ground

  • Garoppolo second interception came versus cover 3, My sense was Garoppolo believed he could make a tight window throw to Kittle between hook defenders Brooks and Wagner but Brooks walled off Kittle and the pass went right to post safety Diggs

  • Seahawks showed some disguise and late movement to cover 2 with Amadi a half field safety and Diggs the middle hole defender

  • Seahawks approach when the 49ers got the ball with 4:03 remaining in the 4th quarter with a 7 point lead was 4 man DL pass rush with zone coverage behind it

  • Seahawks played first snap of man coverage with their first pressure on the seventh play of the drive, It was cover 1 with Neal matched on Kittle

  • Seahawks only 2 snaps of man coverage on the first 9 plays until the 49ers got into the tight red zone

  • Garoppolo outstanding on 3rd and goal on final possession, Play was designed for Kittle crossing the formation into the flat but Neal took it away; Garoppolo came back to Sherfield with a precise ball placement throw but Jones had excellent coverage

  • 4th down was excellent play design with Sherfield open on delayed in-breaker underneath Kittle stick nod but Dunlap got his hand up to knock down Garoppolo pass

  • Both of Garoppolo’s interceptions came on 1st down, 49ers aggressive on 1st down throwing the ball with 16 Garoppolo drop backs and only 10 Mitchell runs

  • Seahawks played a higher percentage of single high safety coverage versus the 49ers than had been their percentage breakdown through the first 11 games, Significantly more cover 1 and more cover 3

RAMS OFFENSE VERSUS JAGUARS DEFENSE

  • Campbell right corner and Lawson left corner were the outside corners for the Jaguars with Ford continuing to be the slot corner, Jack and Wilson continued to be the nickel LB

  • Jaguars snaps of dime on 3rd down and selected situations, Rookie safety Cisco was the dime

  • Jaguars continued to feature 5-2 as their base front with Allen and Chaisson predominantly the edge players; Jaguars also continued to play 5-1-5 nickel with Jack the only LB

  • Jaguars showed double mug look out of nickel on 3rd down, Wilson and Jack were the A gap players; Multiple pressures and coverages out of that look

  • Jaguars showed loaded fronts out of dime with multiple stunt concepts coming from that front, Allen effective as a looper

  • Rams have moved Jefferson to the z receiver with Woods out for the season, Beckham predominantly the x; Jefferson is now the movement receiver in the Rams offense

  • Loss of blocking TE Mundt had resulted in Rams playing almost exclusively out of 11 personnel, Jaguars game a way to re-calibrate the offense with a renewed focus on the running game with a sixth OL replacing Mundt

  • Second play of the game Rams went 6 OL and 2 TE personnel: Michel 6 yards; They ran duo to the 4 man surface

  • Beckham 27 yards on 1st + 15 on second possession was flood opposite concept off outside zone run action boot versus Jaguars nickel cover 3, Condensed formation with Jefferson slow motion across the formation to the run action side; Stafford hit Beckham on the back side crosser the intermediate route in the flood

  • Rams OL came out moving people in the run game often out of 6 OL, They featured double teams at the POA; Michel 5 yard TD to end second possession featured outstanding double team by LG Evans and LT Whitworth

  • Rams 16 snaps with 6 OL personnel with 10 of those 16 coming on 1st down and 6 of those 10 running plays; In the 11 previous games the Rams had played 1 snap of 6 OL personnel, Clearly a game planned approach

  • Skowronek 35 yards on 2nd + 6 early in 2nd quarter came versus Jaguars double edge blitz by both corners, MIKE LB Wilson has to carry Skowronek down the seam from Skowronek’s nasty split but Wilson had his eyes in the backfield on the shotgun play action

  • Allen and Smoot the predominant edge pass rushers for the Jaguars in their sub fronts, Jaguars have struggled this season to find a player who can provide inside pass rush pressure

  • This was the first game in which empty sets were not a featured part of the Rams pass game approach

  • Jaguars defense played well in the 1st half, They featured multiple front looks with different pressure concepts and some disguise and late movement on the back end

  • Kupp 43 yards on second play of first 3rd quarter possession was a well-designed throwback off Stafford play action boot left versus Jaguars nickel cover 1, Kupp nasty split to the boundary with slot corner Ford matched on him in the run front; Kupp initial blocking action on what looks like outside zone away getting Ford’s eyes in the backfield, Kupp releases on rail route up the sideline to the field

  • Kupp 29 yard TD on 2nd + 4 to end first 3rd quarter possession resulted from Stafford reading the slot blitz by Ford before the snap, 11 2x2 set with Kupp in the slot to the field with Stafford moving Michel from the field to the boundary; When Ford blitzed the middle of the field was open with MIKE LB Wilson having to push to the 3 receiver boundary side, With Ford blitzing Kupp ran the in-breaker versus safety Wingard who dropped down to match him with the other safety Jenkins rotating to the deep middle away from Kupp’s route

  • Ford has been an important part of the Jaguars pressure schemes since he became the slot corner about 6 weeks ago

  • Higbee 22 yards on 1st + 10 in 3rd quarter came out of 6 OL and 2 TE personnel closed to the boundary, Stafford play action with a boot look; Higbee versus Jenkins in man coverage showed back side crosser off the field than ran the corner route, Throwback element to the play

  • Jaguars aggressive with pressure and they featured corners in their blitz schemes, They featured 5 or 6 rushers on 15 of Stafford’s 39 drop backs; Stafford outstanding versus blitz: 10-14 for 120 yards and TD with 1 sack

  • Stafford outstanding off play action versus Jaguars: 10-11 for 173 yards; He was 7-7 for 142 yards out of 11 personnel

  • Jaguars predominantly a single high safety coverage defense versus the Rams, Cover 1 was their most played coverage and that percentage jumped significantly on 3rd down

LAMAR JACKSON VERSUS STEELERS DEFENSE

  • Sutton right corner and Witherspoon left corner were the outside corners in the Steelers nickel, Maulet continued to be the nickel slot corner

  • Steelers dime had Layne at right corner and Witherspoon at left corner with Sutton and Norwood in the slot

  • Fitzpatrick end zone interception on 3rd + 6 to end first possession came out of 11 empty off Murray motion to the field, Steelers out of nickel played match coverage behind 6 man pressure; Watt clean off Jackson’s front side and Jackson just threw it up in the end zone for Andrews, Easy interception for Fitzpatrick

  • Ravens featured some empty sets as part of initial game plan including 4x1 distribution to overload Steelers zone coverage concepts; Overall Jackson 8-9 for 92 yards and TD out of empty versus Steelers

  • Jackson missing too many throwing opportunities by not turning it loose to defined open receivers, No better example than Wormley sack on 1st + 10 with 3:56 remaining in 2nd quarter: Brown wide open on out-and-go stop, Jackson no pressure in the pocket and did not turn it loose; Pitch and catch throw that must be made

  • In the last 7 games Ricard has not played less than 51% of the offensive snaps in any game, Ravens are a foundational 2 back offense with Ricard’s alignment versatility a key component

  • Jackson is simply not throwing the ball on basic route concepts – Is he not seeing it? Is he uncertain in the pocket? Great example was 3rd + 4 in high red zone in middle of 3rd quarter: Empty set with Andrews #3 to trips working against LB Bush versus Steelers 2 shell coverage with the middle open, That was the favorable matchup but Jackson did not work it instead throwing to Freeman on the outside hitch that was incomplete

  • Steelers on 3rd down showed some 6 man pressures with man-zone match behind it (similar concept to what the Dolphins did week 10), Ravens have not been executing versus blitz

  • Ravens OT with LT Villanueva and RT Mekari struggle at times in one-on-one pass protection, That is another issue with the Ravens passing game

  • Jackson 2 big throws on final TD drive were Brown 22 yards and Duvernay 18 yards, They came versus 4 man rush and deep shell coverage

  • Watkins 6 yard TD in the final 20 seconds was a big-time throw by Jackson: Empty set with Jackson initially working to the trips bunch side looking to Andrews on the sit route but Bush was in the passing lane, Jackson came back side to Watkins with a precise ball location throw on Watkins route adjustment

  • Steelers very few snaps of cover 1 versus Ravens, They were high percentage zone coverage with cover 3 the most predominant and cover 4 also featured

  • Defenses are attacking the Ravens passing game with pressure, In the 3 games beginning with the Dolphins game Jackson has been blitzed on 41% of his drop backs: 24-43 for 188 yards with 1 TD and 2 interceptions with 9 sacks; QB rating in those 3 games is 9.4

  • On 3rd down in last 3 games Jackson has been blitzed on 18 of 37 drop backs: 9-15 for 59 yards with a TD and an interception and 2 sacks

  • Jackson last 3 games: 13 sacks and 6 interceptions; Only 30 of his 69 completions have resulted in 1st downs

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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