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Cosell Coaching Tape: Week 17

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Cosell Coaching Tape: Week 17

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.

JOE BURROW VERSUS CHIEFS DEFENSE

  • Chiefs sub defense had Ward at left corner and Fenton at right corner with Sneed the slot corner, Hitchens and Gay were the predominant nickel LB with Bolton also getting significant snaps

  • Sorensen continued to be the dime safety with Niemann the dime LB – Chiefs have played dime this season on more than 27% of their defensive snaps

  • What consistently stands out with the Chiefs defense especially on 3rd down out of dime is a lot of movement and disguise before the snap of the ball

  • Chase 72 yard TD on 2nd + 7 to end third possession came out of 11 2x2 off Boyd shift across the formation outside of Chase versus Chiefs nickel cover 6 with quarters to the field, Chase from the slot ran an out cut in front of quarters safety Mathieu; Chase run-after-catch and explosive speed to run away from the defense

  • Burrow continued to be aggressive throwing to the one-on-ones outside the numbers, He gives his receivers a chance to make plays

  • Chiefs selective with pressure versus Burrow and the Bengals passing game, They did not bring 5 or more at the same percentage rate they had done throughout the season but they had success getting free defenders to Burrow at times

  • Chase 18 yard TD on 1st + 10 in the middle of the 2nd quarter came out of 11 3x1 with Chase the boundary x versus Chiefs nickel zone to the field and man lock to the boundary, Matchup was Ward on Chase and Chase beat him with the back shoulder catch on a great ball by Burrow

  • Chiefs continued to feature cover 2 as a foundational coverage especially out of dime with Mathieu almost always the middle hole defender, Chiefs a lot of disguise and late movement to get to cover 2

  • Chiefs also played significant snaps of 2 man coverage out of dime, Mathieu was the TE matchup in 2 man with Thornhill and Sorensen the deep safeties

  • Chiefs showed cover zero out of dime on 2nd + 10 late in the 2nd quarter, Niemann clean through the B gap forcing Burrow to move and throw it away – They went cover zero again on 3rd + 7 on Bengals second possession of 3rd quarter: Burrow hit Chase on 5 step out cut versus Fenton 6 yards

  • Higgins 39 yards on 1st + 10 early in 4th quarter came out of 11 3x1 with Chase the boundary x and Higgins #1 to trips, Chiefs out of nickel went cover 1 with Fenton press man on Higgins; Higgins straight go route with Burrow again aggressively throwing to the vertical one-on-ones on the outside

  • Boyd 5 yard TD on 2nd and goal in the 4th quarter came out of 11 3x1 with Chase the boundary x and Boyd #3 to trips versus Chiefs nickel man lock to the boundary and zone to the field (it had the look of cover 3 boundary lock), Bengals ran double smash to the field with Boyd running the corner route versus Mathieu; Outstanding touch and ball location throw by Burrow

  • Chase 35 yards on 2nd + 8 on winning FG drive came out of 11 3x1 with Chase the boundary x versus Chiefs nickel cover zero, Chase fade route versus Ward with Burrow again going right to the one-on-one

  • Spagnuolo went cover zero out of dime on 3rd + 27 from the +41 yard line with 3:19 remaining in the 4th quarter in a 31-31 game: Chase 30 yards on back shoulder fade versus Ward

  • Burrow had a lot of success versus Chiefs man coverage which was cover 1, 2 man and cover zero: 13-19 for 186 yards and TD; Vertical routes outside the numbers were a major part of Burrow’s success

PATRICK MAHOMES VERSUS BENGALS DEFENSE

  • Wilson and Bailey were the nickel LB with Hilton the slot corner in nickel and dime, Flowers was the dime corner and Wilson was the dime LB

  • Bengals base front continued to be 5-2 with two stacked LB, Wilson and Bailey were the LB

  • Awuzie right corner and Apple left corner were the outside corners, They played sides and did not match up

  • Cover 2 was a foundational coverage for the Bengals out of both nickel and dime, At times the Bengals played cover 2 invert and featured 4 man zone exchange pressures

  • Thuney moved from LG to LT when LT Niang got hurt on Chiefs second possession, Allegretti came in to play LG

  • Robinson 29 yard TD on 1st + 10 to end second possession came on a Chiefs staple concept cover 3 beater just outside the red zone: 12 personnel with a closed boundary and twins to the field, Hill from the slot runs the deep over to threaten and occupy the post safety and Robinson runs the corner-post into the open middle – Chiefs have featured Robinson on this play the last couple of years

  • Bengals played significant snaps of nickel versus Chiefs 12 personnel

  • Bengals went dime on 3rd and goal from the 3 yard line on the third possession, Flowers was the dime and he matched up on Kelce in the Bengals man coverage; Kelce initially showed blocking which got Flowers to turn to bracket Hill, Kelce then ran the shallow cross and Flowers was late with the result being a 3 yard TD

  • Bengals as they have done at times this season versus quality TE matched dime corner Flowers on Kelce in their man coverage concepts, They did this on both 2nd and long and 3rd down

  • Hardman 53 yards on 3rd + 10 on fourth possession came out of 12 1x3 with Hardman #2 to trips, Bengals out of dime showed 2 shell then spun the coverage to cover 1 behind 5 man pressure with Apple matched on Hardman; Hardman deep sail route got on top of Apple and Mahomes dropped it right into his hands

  • Bengals played 2 snaps of dollar personnel both on 3rd down with safety Thomas the seventh DB – Pringle 27 yards on 3rd + 4 in 2nd quarter came versus Bengals dollar, Bengals went with 4 man zone exchange pressure with Bell and Bates rushing off each edge and cover 3 behind it; Mahomes climbed and moved right and no underneath defender carried Pringle

  • Mahomes has become much more of an executor and ball distributor, Ball is coming out quick with the focus on the short to intermediate pass game; You see fewer second reaction movement plays

  • Bengals came out in the 3rd quarter and were not afraid to play man coverage, They played snaps of 2 man and 1 robber out of dime and dollar with Flowers the matchup on Kelce

  • Mahomes still has snaps where he is not comfortable in the pocket, A little unsettled with too much head movement – Chiefs pass game looks different, Mahomes still has outstanding numbers and he is among the league leaders in 20+ yard completions but it doesn’t have the same feel on film

  • 3rd + 12 late in 3rd quarter Bengals out of dollar bracketed Kelce from boundary x alignment with Flowers in press man and safety Bell dropping down from boundary safety

  • Bengals went zero blitz out of nickel on 3rd + 5 in the high red zone in the middle of the 4th quarter, Bates clean off the edge forced Mahomes to move and throw an incompletion – All part of Bengals aggressive 2nd half approach that resulted in the Chiefs only getting a FG in 3 possessions

  • One statistic that has dropped dramatically this season with Mahomes is yards per attempt, I sensed that all season watching tape; The Chiefs pass game does not have the same explosive feel it had in Mahomes first 2 seasons

49ERS OFFENSE VERSUS TEXANS DEFENSE

  • First 3rd down (3rd + 10) 49ers went 01 personnel for the first time this season, It would be the only snap of 01 in the game

  • Thomas continued to be the slot corner for the Texans with King right corner and Mitchell left corner the outside corners, Kirksey and Grugier-Hill were the nickel LB

  • First 2 possessions 49ers featured misdirection concepts with their run game: Samuel sweep off counter trey action opposite, Lance designed sweep off counter trey action opposite

  • Free safety Reid was a factor on 49ers first 2 possessions playing downhill with speed and range in the run game, He was a missile

  • It took Lance a while to settle into the game, He was quick to break down in the pocket and he didn’t see things clearly: Second play of third possession Shanahan called mirrored double glance and Samuel was wide open with Lance looking right at time but Lance did not turn it loose

  • Play action boot a more viable part of 49ers pass game with Lance: Sherfield 13 yards on third possession, Tough throw by Lance with Martin pressure in his face

  • King interception on first play of 49ers fourth possession came on designed throwback rail route by Kittle off outside zone run action, Lance underthrew it and King playing cover 2 was able to sink and make the easy interception – Rail route to Kittle was the play design and that’s where Lance was throwing the ball

  • Aiyuk 27 yards in 2 minute at end of 1st half was Lance best throw up to that point: Timing and anticipation and ball placement in void just inside the numbers in cover 2, Lance read it instantly and turned it loose

  • Aiyuk 43 yards on 3rd + 6 on first 3rd quarter possession came out of 11 2x2 with Juszczyk the offset back versus Texans nickel cover 3 behind 4 man DL pass rush, Aiyuk glance route from slot to the field got inside slot corner Thomas; Lance a beat late with the throw but his eyes looking down the middle and his arm strength beat hook defender Kirksey, Aiyuk run-after-catch beat post safety Reid and Grugier-Hill

  • Designed QB run game was part of 49ers offense with Lance, QB draw, QB power, QB sweep – Another dimension to the 49ers offense

  • Mitchell 8 yard TD reception on 1st and goal in the 3rd quarter another misdirection concept off outside zone action by the 49ers OL, Lance booted away from OL action and Mitchell ran the flat route to the side of the boot with no Texan defender accounting for Mitchell

  • Samuel 45 yard TD on 1st + 10 in the 4th quarter came on a staple 49ers shot play: Conventional play action boot away from outside zone run action, Initial look is flood opposite to the side of the boot action but Samuel crossed the field on deep post/over route depending on the post safety and in this case the back side cover 3 corner King who played with no awareness of overlapping the front side vertical – It’s a concept we have seen many times from the 49ers

  • Mitchell run game was high percentage zone schemes with outside zone the foundation – 49ers outside zone philosophy: Attack and take the edge until the defense takes it away then work back one gap at a time

  • Lance settled in as the game progressed, Shanahan called a totally different game versus the Texans than he did back in week 5 versus the Cards; It was evident he had much more confidence in Lance executing the passing game

  • Mitchell 37 yards on 4th quarter FG drive came on zone lead weak out 22 straight I with both TE attached strong, Nice cut back off by Mitchell off Juszczyk lead block

  • Lance on 3rd down versus Texans: 6-7 for 109 yards; Texans one of lowest percentage blitz defenses in the NFL and they rushed 5 on only 1 of 9 Lance 3rd down drop backs

TEXANS OFFENSE VERSUS 49ERS DEFENSE

  • Warner and Harris were the 49ers nickel LB, Flannigan-Fowles also some snaps with Warner in the nickel; Key continued to line up both inside and outside in the nickel fronts

  • Norman right corner and Thomas left corner were the outside corners in all packages, This was Thomas fourth consecutive start at left corner

  • 49ers almost exclusively played nickel with only 5 snaps of base and 2 snaps of dime, They played nickel versus Texans 12 personnel and 6 OL personnel

  • 49ers continued to play high percentage zone coverage out of nickel, Split safety was the foundation with some cover 3

  • When the 49ers went dime on 3rd + 12 on Texans third possession running back Wilson was the dime, They went 2 man with Wilson a back end safety with Tartt; Texans were in 12 personnel so the TE matchups were Ward and Warner

  • When 49ers went man coverage out of nickel versus Texans 11 and 20 personnel on 3rd down they played more 2 man than cover 1, Ward and Tartt were the back end safeties

  • 49ers played cover 1 in 3rd and short situations (that’s a high percentage cover 1 down and distance for the defense), Ward was the predominant TE matchup in cover 1 versus 11 personnel

  • 49ers continued to show loaded fronts on 3rd down out of nickel, 49ers featured multiple stunt concepts out of their different 3rd down fronts

  • 49ers good depth on their DL: Their second unit DL had Givens and Street inside at DT, with Willis and Omenihu outside at DE

  • Cooks 24 yards on 3rd + 3 on Texans 1st half TD drive came out of 11 empty versus 49ers nickel cover 1, Cooks #2 to trips slot fade versus Williams with a precise ball placement throw by Mills

  • 6 OL personnel was a foundational part of Texans offense versus the 49ers, They played 13 snaps which was more than one-fifth of their offensive play; They ran the ball on 10 of the 13 snaps – Texans had only played 14 snaps with 6 OL personnel through their first 15 games

  • Empty sets a part of Texans pass game with Mills and he has been efficient out of empty: 49-67, 73.1%, 2 TD with no interceptions and only 3 sacks

  • Cooks 8 yard TD on 3rd and goal at 2:00 of 2nd quarter came out of 11 3x1 with Cooks #3 to trips versus 49ers nickel red zone 2/4 with Warner the middle hole player (2 plays earlier the Texans out of empty with Cooks #3 saw how the 49ers played coverage in the low red zone with Warner the matchup in that position so they came back to it); Great back shoulder throw by Mills on the short seam, Well-designed to get Cooks on Warner

  • 49ers on 3rd + 3 on Texans first possession of 3rd quarter showed cover 1 out of nickel then at the snap rotated to split safety zone behind 4 man DL pass rush, I don’t know what Mills read but he did not see Harris in his underneath coverage; Conley read zone on his shallow crosser and settled in the void but the throw was not there due to Harris who intercepted it

  • Norman was benched after PI call early in the 4th quarter, Johnson replaced him at right corner and was called for PI on his first snap

  • Key sack on 3rd + 3 in the high red zone early in the 4th quarter came out of loaded front with a wrinkle: Bosa as a standup 1-technique just off the ball to the load side; 5 man pressure with T/T stunt with Warner the penetrator and Bosa the looper, Armstead drove back RG McCray and Key beat RT Heck to the inside quickly squeezing the pocket on Mills

  • Key has been an important part of the 49ers defense over the last month or so, He has position versatility and he has shown the ability to rush the QB from both the inside and off the edge

  • 49ers have not been a high percentage blitz defense but when they have pressured they have been successful

  • What was interesting was the 49ers went 2 man late in the game, My sense is they feel more comfortable with 2 man than cover 1

RAMS OFFENSE VERSUS RAVENS DEFENSE

  • Smith right corner and Young left corner were the outside corners for the Ravens with Seymour the slot corner, Queen and Bynes continued to be the nickel LB

  • Ravens played some snaps of big nickel with Jefferson/Stone the third safety with Clark and Stephens; With Stone the third safety Ravens at times featured 5-1-5 with Queen the only LB, Clark 17 yard interception return TD on 3rd + 2 on Rams second possession came out of 5-1-5

  • When the Ravens went dime (only 6 snaps) safety Stone was the dime and Board was the LB, Stone also played significant snaps with Clark in the conventional nickel

  • First snap of dime came on 3rd + 14 on Rams first possession and featured disguise and late movement resulting in Stafford throwing the ball away within structure

  • Ravens showed double mug look out of nickel with Queen and Bynes in the A gaps, First Rams possession they both rushed with a stunt concept: 5 man pressure with 3 under-3 deep behind it; Higbee 18 yards on hi-low concept

  • Rams 11 personnel on every snap but one versus Ravens, They have been the highest percentage 11 personnel offense in the NFL this season (more than 83% of offensive snaps)

  • Ravens DC Martindale continued to play to his secondary personnel, Ravens high percentage zone coverage with not many snaps of cover 1; Ravens have evolved over the last month or so into a zone coverage defense

  • Ravens featured split safety zone coverage as the foundation versus the Rams: Cover 4, cover 6, cover 2; There were snaps versus 3x1/1x3 sets in which they locked the boundary x

  • 2 base pass game concepts you see from the Rams versus zone coverage: hi-low predominantly between the numbers, and flood (at times off Stafford play action boot)

  • What you see every game from the Rams are no huddle tempo and empty sets, They often go together because tempo results in regulation of the defense re: pressure and coverage

  • Disguise and late movement was part of Ravens 3rd down approach out of dime, They also showed pressure: Kupp 22 yards on 3rd + 9 on third possession came versus disguise/late movement and 5 man zone pressure, Stafford throw beat unblocked blitzer Seymour

  • Clark second interception on 3rd + 10 came out of dime with the Ravens playing 2 man coverage, Clark and Stone were the back end safeties with Jefferson matched on Higbee

  • Kupp 18 yard TD on 2nd + 10 late in 2nd quarter came out of 11 2x2 with Kupp shift to the boundary and back Michel offset to the field, Ravens out of nickel went cover 4 which essentially put over 3 to the field and 3 over 2 to the boundary; The 2 man route combination to the boundary from reduced splits forced LB Queen to match Kupp on his in-breaker and with the split safety coverage Queen had no help in the middle

  • Jefferson 35 yards on 3rd + 7 on first 3rd quarter possession came out of 11 3x1 with Beckham the boundary x and Jefferson #2 to trips, Ravens went cover 2 out of big nickel with Bynes the middle hole defender; Jefferson from the slot ran the post/over route versus cover 2 safety Clark - Another good example of the Rams attacking split safety coverage

  • Rams started winning TD drive with hi-low concept versus Ravens strong split safety tendency: Higbee 15 yards on the in-breaker on top of Kupp sit route to hold down Bowser

  • Kupp 24 yards on 1st + 10 came out of 11 2x2 off Skowronek motion across the formation with Kupp slot to the field in a reduced split, Ravens out of 5-1-5 big nickel rushed 5 and went 3 under-3 deep; Rams 2 outside verticals with Kupp running the deep crosser into the void to the boundary

  • Ravens continued to play 5-1-5 big nickel on Rams final drive, They went cover 1 matching up safety Clark on Skowronek who caught the in-breaker for 15 yards; Strong throw by Stafford beating Campbell pressure

  • Beckham 7 yard winning TD came on well-designed man beater concept out of empty: Kupp motion across the formation from initial bunch set validated the man coverage, Beckham now in 2 man stack with Skowronek with Skowronek natural rub to get Beckham clean on quick out cut with Young unable to work through

  • Stafford and Rams passing had good success versus Ravens split safety coverages, Ravens could not generate consistent pressure o Stafford and the Rams did an excellent job with their route concepts breaking down the split safety coverages

TITANS OFFENSE VERSUS DOLPHINS DEFENSE

  • Dolphins started the game in a 6-1 front out of base to match up to Titans 12 personnel, Dolphins also played 5-2 fronts out of base versus 12 personnel

  • First 3rd and long (3rd + 10) Titans went empty out of 02 personnel and kept both TE in as part of the protection, Dolphins went dime but did not show a pressure front – We saw the Titans go 02 with 7 man protection last week versus the 49ers

  • Dolphins bracketed Brown from #2 to trips on first 3rd and long, Corner Jones was the matchup with safety Jones the double/bracket defender

  • Dolphins played Titans running tendency at times staying with 5-2 front out of base personnel versus 11 personnel, Dependent on down and distance and field location

  • When the Dolphins stayed base versus Titans 11 personnel they matched up in the secondary with 3 corners and Holland the only safety, Needham was the third corner

  • Brown 25 yards on 2nd + 15 on second possession representative of Titans pass game: 12 personnel, Quick 5 step drop play action with Tannehill under center, Brown running the in-breaker versus man coverage – Brown 16 yards on 1st + 10 on fourth possession same concept with Brown running the sit route versus zone coverage

  • It was evident that this would be a base personnel game on both sides: Titans only 20 snaps of 11 personnel, Dolphins 45 snaps in base personnel with only 13 snaps out of sub nickel and dime

  • Dolphins initial game plan approach on 3rd down did not feature pressure fronts, They played more conventionally with 4 man (and at times 3 man) DL pressure with both man and zone coverage behind it

  • Foreman 14 yards on 1st + 10 in high red zone on second possession TD drive came out of 13 personnel with Foreman the I back versus Dolphins 6 man front: Outside zone with a nice cut back by Foreman off outstanding one-on-one block by RG Davis on 1-technique DT Davis

  • Dolphins again bracketed Brown from #2 to trips on 3rd + 6 in high red zone on third possession, It was corner Jones and safety Holland – Tannehill had Westbrook-Ikhine on the slant (possible TD?) but came off that to Firkser back side check down resulting in FG

  • Titans featured 1x3 sets out of 11 personnel on 3rd down with Brown #2 to trips, Dolphins game plan featured brackets and doubles on Brown on 3rd down

  • Titans run game was almost all zone, Foreman ran multiple zone concepts; Titans OL did an excellent job both with combo blocks and one-on-one blocks – Foreman ran gap scheme once and that was on a direct snap on 3rd + 1 in the 4th quarter: 35 yards

  • Foreman 21 yard TD on 2nd + 10 later in 2nd quarter came out of 11 3x1 versus Dolphins nickel, Outside zone to the single receiver side of the formation; Outstanding combo block by OC Jones and LG Saffold along with excellent sustaining one-on-one block by LT Lewan on 3-technique DT Wilkins, Patience and vision by Foreman letting the blocks play out

  • Titans started to feature 6 OL personnel in the 3rd quarter, Brewer was the sixth OL; Titans played 6 OL personnel most of the 4th quarter – Titans would finish the game with 18 snaps of 6 OL personnel, 16 of those snaps were runs

  • First time Dolphins showed their pressure front with zero match behind it was 3rd + 5 on Titans first possession of 3rd quarter, Tannehill boot right throwback screen left to Hilliard beat the pressure and gave Hilliard a lot of open space – Excellent call to beat the pressure and attack the weakness of the coverage

  • Phillips at times lined up inside at 3-technique in the dime fronts to get him matched up on OG

  • Firkser 15 yard TD on 2nd + 11 in middle of 4th quarter came out of 12 closed to the field twins to the boundary, Play action boot off outside zone to the boundary with Firkser releasing on a corner route – Well-designed concept in the high red zone

  • Titans continued to show almost no meaningful passing game, Tannehill has not been efficient on 3rd down this season – Can a strong running game and good defense be a template for winning in the playoffs?

DOLPHINS OFFENSE VERSUS TITANS DEFENSE

  • Dolphins opened the game in 11 personnel which was against their strong 12 personnel tendency, Well-designed play with Ford motion from the boundary to the field making Parker the boundary x; Tagovailoa off inside zone run action hit Parker on the skinny post versus off coverage zone corner Fulton for 20 yards

  • Titans matched up to Dolphins 12 personnel predominantly with nickel, Dolphins 40 snaps of 12 personnel and the Titans only played 7 snaps out of base personnel; Titans went with base personnel when Shaheen was one of the TE

  • Molden was the slot corner in nickel, Skrine was the slot corner in dime with Cruikshank the third safety and Long the dime LB; Cunningham and Evans continued to be the nickel LB with Long also getting snaps

  • First 3rd and long (3rd + 10) Titans out of dime went cover 6 behind 4 man DL pass rush with T/T stunt (Simmons the penetrator and Autry the looper); Tagovailoa had no timing and rhythm throw (he wanted Gesicki on the out route to the boundary but cover 2 corner Fulton was in trap position) and got stuck in the pocket late in the down, Result was Autry sack

  • Second 3rd and long (3rd + 9) Titans went 1 robber out of dime with Byard the robber and Cruikshank the matchup on Gesicki, 4 man DL pass rush forced Tagovailoa out of the pocket; Autry quick violent club-arm over move beat LG Jackson inside and Landry beat RT Davis off the edge, Tagovailoa poor throw on the move to open Hollins

  • Cruikshank has become the Titans TE matchup in man coverage out of dime, When the Titans went cover 1 out of nickel Byard was the matchup on Gesicki

  • Titans featured multiple stunt concepts out of their dime fronts and it caused problems for the Dolphins OL at times forcing Tagovailoa to break the pocket

  • Simmons was moved by double teams in the run game a couple of times in the 1st half resulting in Johnson 10+ yard runs; Dolphins featured double teams in the inside zone run game

  • It was evident after Tagovailoa’s first throw of the game that he never got into a rhythm, Tagovailoa is a plant and throw QB and if he can’t do that with precision and consistently his efficiency drops dramatically

  • Tagovailoa ball placement was not as consistently precise versus the Titans as it has been over the last month, That must be a foundation of his game; Tagovailoa is an executor and ball distributor in the short to intermediate passing game

  • Split safety zone, cover 1 and 1 robber were coverages the Titans played on 3rd down out of dime; 5 man pressures were at times part of cover 1

  • Titans only blitzed selectively versus the Dolphins, They have not been a high percentage blitz defense this season

  • Waddle 45 yards on 1st + 10 in the 4th quarter came out of 12 1x3 nub versus Titans nickel cover 4, Well-designed 3 level stretch concept with Waddle running the deep sail route (it’s a concept the Dolphins have featured throughout the season) over the top of corner Fulton and outside of split safety Hooker; Great throw by Tagovailoa

  • 3rd + 11 just outside the red zone in the 4th quarter the Titans out of dime bracketed Gesicki from #3 to trips with Cruikshank and Hooker and had Fulton play zero man versus boundary x Hollins, It was a man concept with Byard outside the hash to the trips side

  • 4th + 11 on the next play the Titans played the same coverage versus another 3x1 set with another bracket on Gesicki from #3 to trips with Cruikshank and Hooker and Fulton zero man on the boundary x (this time Ford)

  • This game continued the defensive profile that has been successful for the Titans all season re: the pass game: High percentage 4 man DL pass rush with the ability to generate pressure especially in passing down and distance situations, and a good mix of coverage on the back end; Cruikshank as the TE matchup on 3rd down out of dime has become a key component over the last month

EAGLES OFFENSE VERSUS WASHINGTON DEFENSE

  • Fuller and Johnson were the outside corners for Washington in base and big nickel; They played base with 4 defensive backs versus Eagles 13 personnel and big nickel versus 12 personnel, Some snaps of base versus 12 and some snaps of big nickel versus 13

  • Washington played snaps of big nickel versus Eagles 11 personnel depending on down distance and field location

  • Elder was the nickel corner in conventional nickel, He played outside with Johnson moving into the slot

  • Washington’s base defense front was predominantly 5-2 with 5 DL, It has been a staple all season

  • Smith 30 yards on 2nd + 10 on first possession came out of 13 personnel, Hurts conventional play action with a one receiver route by Smith versus Johnson; Smith ran the intermediate curl and got away with a blatant push off to create separation

  • Hurts still not seeing the field with needed clarity but his legs can bail him out and result in positive plays, 7 yard scramble on first possession a great example: He had Gainwell wide open on the check down to the read side of the progression but broke the pocket with no pressure, Play design was Goedert on the corner route which wasn’t there so he took off

  • Eagles again versus Washington played a high percentage of multiple TE sets: 17 snaps of 12 personnel and 14 snaps of 13 personnel

  • One tactic that stood out in the Eagles game planned run game approach was the TE inserting into the formation as either a lead blocker and with wham concept, Eagles ran wham-trap to start second possession

  • Eagles went no huddle on second possession out of 13 personnel versus Washington big nickel, Clearly game planned - Goedert 14 yards on 2nd + 7 came on flood opposite concept, Washington went cover 1 and Goedert beat Curl on the intermediate crosser

  • Eagles second possession featured 13 personnel, Scott 19 yards on angle route out of the backfield good read and throw by Hurts

  • Eagles looked to work the seams out of 13 personnel versus Washington cover 3 on second possession, Eagles must have had a tendency based on film study; Goedert 18 yards came off Hurts second reaction movement but play design was 4 verticals to attack cover 3

  • Two elements of Hurts game that at times compensate for his lack of overall field vision and his tendency to be a beat late with some throws: His second reaction ability, and he does not turn the ball over

  • Hurts 22 yards on 3rd + 8 came versus Washington cover 1 behind 5 man pressure, Outstanding man-to-man coverage by Washington but Hurts beat the pressure and the coverage with his legs

  • Scott and Howard combined for 9-15 in the 1st half, Washington DL had some dominant snaps winning one-on-one matchups

  • Eagles first 3rd quarter possession featured both 12 and 11 personnel and some no huddle – No huddle was part of Eagles game plan approach, They featured it throughout the game

  • Goedert 13 yards on 3rd + 4 on first possession of 3rd quarter good ball by Hurts, RG Herbig driven back into the pocket by Ioannidis and Hurts still delivered an accurate throw; Eagles ran drive concept to the trips side and hi-low concept to the boundary

  • Ward 27 yards on 3rd + 14 on first 3rd quarter possession came on Hurts second reaction movement, Washington cover 4 out of conventional nickel behind 4 man DL pass rush; Hurts immediately broke down in the pocket and made it a second reaction play, He was able to get out to his right (his strength) and hit Ward in a void in the coverage – That is Hurts game

  • Again Hurts was predominantly in the shotgun: 15-23 for 179 yards; 25 of his 29 drop backs came out of the shotgun, There were a couple of conventional play action concepts

  • Scott 14 yards to start second 3rd quarter possession was Eagles longest run by a running back, Shotgun inside zone out of 11 personnel

  • Two tactics Washington featured versus Eagles passing game: 5 man pressures (12 of 29 Hurts drop backs), and more cover 1 than they had been playing

  • This was the first game in quite some time in which the Eagles OL struggled in the run game, Run game never developed any rhythm throughout the game

  • Hurts had an efficient game, He made some good throws within structure with precise ball placement and continued to make critical second reaction plays both throwing and running; Hurts was strong on 3rd down: 4-7 for 55 yards and a 22 yard scramble versus man coverage

WASHINGTON OFFENSE VERSUS EAGLES DEFENSE

  • Eagles played almost the entire game out of nickel: 53 snaps out of nickel, 6 snaps out of base and 2 out of dime

  • Eagles continued to play both 5-1-5 nickel with Avery and Edwards and 4-2-5 nickel with Edwards and Singleton, They have played both all season using Avery often as a pass rusher off the edge

  • First 3rd down (3rd + 3) Eagles went cover 3 boundary lock with Nelson locked on boundary x Carter, Eagles 5 man front with Avery the fifth pass rusher off the boundary edge and Edwards the only LB – Heinicke good ball to Sims on the crosser just beating McLeod driving on the throw from post safety

  • Heinicke 2 good throws on Washington opening TD drive: Sims 16 yards crosser on 3rd + 3, Bates 24 yards on corner route on 1st + 10

  • Eagles just as they did in week 15 matchup predominantly lined up Slay over McLaurin but they did not play high percentage man coverage

  • Patterson 11 yard TD to end Washington opening possession came versus Eagles 5-1-5 personnel with Avery on the ball on the edge, What was interesting was Sweat was a standup edge player and not aligned inside as he has been almost exclusively in the 5 man fronts

  • Rookie DL Williams continued to flash with desirable combination of knock back strength and short area quickness; Williams consistently played 3-technique/4i in the 5-1-5 nickel

  • Sweat also continued to show up every week, He is a strong edge pass rusher with a desirable of length/quickness/flexibility/closing speed profile – If he played predominantly at wide 9 DE he would be among the league leaders in QB sacks

  • Brown 25 yards on 1st + 10 on second possession came out of 12 closed boundary twins to the field off motion with Brown becoming #1, Eagles in 5-2 base with Brown running the dig versus off coverage zone corner Slay and Heinicke hitting him with excellent timing and ball placement

  • Washington featured motion as a foundational tactic, About one-third of their offensive snaps versus the Eagles had motion often across the formation

  • Eagles played almost all zone coverage on Washington’s 2 minute drive at the end of the 1st half

  • Sweat sack on 3rd + 6 in 3rd quarter came on 4 man zone exchange pressure with cover 2 behind it, Edwards was the fourth rusher eating up back Smallwood and McLeod was the middle hole defender; Sweat beat LT Leno off the edge

  • Avery sack on 3rd + 9 late in 3rd quarter came out of initial 5 man diamond front look with Avery and Johnson standup 3-techniques, Johnson dropped out as underneath defender in cover 6; T/T stunt with Avery the penetrator and 0-technique Hargrave the looper, Avery drove into OC Ismael and creating space for the sack

  • McLeod interception with less than a minute remaining in the game came out of nickel cover 1 with McLeod the post safety, Heinicke went to Bates on the crosser versus Harris and Bates feet got tangled with Harris causing him to fall down; Outstanding diving interception by McLeod

  • On Washington’s final possession (11 plays) the Eagles played zone coverage on almost all of them, That was their overall coverage approach in this matchup

  • Eagles played significantly less cover 1 versus Washington than they have since week 8 when they began to turn around their season, Against Washington the Eagles played significantly more split safety zone coverage

  • Eagles did not blitz as much versus Washington as they have been since week 8, Their blitz percentage has never been high this season but they had increased its frequency over the last 2 months

COWBOYS OFFENSE VERSUS CARDS DEFENSE

  • Murphy and Peterson were the outside corners for the Cards, In the base 5-2 front Collins lined up on the ball on the edge opposite Jones with Simmons and Hicks the stacked LB

  • Cards also played a 4 man base front with Hicks and Vallejo the stacked LB, Against the Cowboys 11 personnel Simmons was essentially the slot corner in that personnel package

  • In the Cards conventional 3 corner nickel Murphy was the slot corner with Peterson and Hamilton the outside corners

  • Cowboys continued to play snaps with 6 OL personnel, McGovern again the sixth OL

  • Cowboys have gone from having a dominant run game through the season’s first 6 weeks to having an erratic and inconsistent run game that they no longer feel comfortable as a foundation of their offense

  • My sense watching the tape is that OC Biadasz and LG Williams have struggled in the run game, Overall the Cowboys OL has not been consistently generating movement

  • Prescott at times not seeing things as clearly as he needs to right now resulting in throws left on the field, He is getting stuck in the pocket too often; Too many snaps in which he is not playing with a calm helmet

  • Another issue Prescott has been having at times is lack of precise ball placement, He has shown some scattershot tendencies

  • Given the injuries at corner and Simmons playing slot corner in in one of the nickel packages the Cards game plan featured high percentage zone coverage; In the 1st half Cards played some snaps of cover 1 also playing a snap of cover zero

  • Baker and Simmons give the Cards defense tremendous versatility re: alignment and traits, They can both play multiple positions effectively

  • Cards predominantly on 3rd down played snaps of 1 robber out of conventional nickel versus Cowboys 11 personnel, Baker was the robber with Simmons matched on TE Schultz

  • 3rd + 11 early in 2nd quarter Cards out of conventional nickel showed a 7 man pressure front and what looked like cover 1, At the snap they dropped out 4 on the ball defenders and went inverted cover 2 to the boundary behind a 4 man rush with Baker and Murphy part of the pressure; Prescott had Cooper in the outside void to the field but never quite got his head there breaking the pocket and getting sacked by Baker

  • Cards DC Joseph very multiple with his use of personnel and his fronts, A lot of different looks with players who are movable chess pieces (Simmons, Collins, Baker)

  • Joseph also featured a lot of disguise and late movement to get to different zone coverage concepts, Zone exchange pressures were part of that with Baker often featured as a rusher; Result was Prescott at times got stuck in the pocket

  • Cards a challenging defense to play against with their multiple front looks, different 4 and 5 man pressures and disguise and late movement at the snap

  • Cards played some snaps of 2 man coverage out of conventional nickel, On 3rd + 9 later in the 3rd quarter they went 2 man and matched Simmons on Cooper with corner Hamilton matched on TE Schultz

  • With a 2 score lead in the 2nd half the Cards played conventional nickel almost exclusively, Peterson and Hamilton were the outside corners

  • Wilson 2 yard TD on 3rd and goal early in 4th quarter came versus Cards cover zero, Wilson from the slot to the field beat Murphy at the top of his stem to create separation and then ran away from him on the crosser

  • DC Joseph stayed aggressive with pressure in the 4th quarter with the lead, He did not back off and play soft zone – Cooper 4 yard TD with under 5 minutes remaining came versus zero coverage, the second time he went zero in the low red zone and the second time the result was a Cowboys TD

  • Cowboys’ offense is trying to find its way right way, There is no consistent running game and Prescott has struggled too often both mentally and with ball location

ZACH WILSON VERSUS BUCS DEFENSE

  • Bucs nickel had Desir at right corner, Davis at left corner and Edwards the slot corner; White and Minter were the nickel LB – Murphy-Bunting and Dean also played snaps opposite Davis

  • Bucs have not been a man coverage defense this season but against the Jets they played significantly more snaps of cover 1

  • Smith 13 yards on 3rd + 2 on second possession showed pocket poise and awareness by Wilson, He looked left and did not see the 2 man route concept as defined, He then came back to the dig on the other side; Ability to sit on his back foot and drive the ball with velocity

  • Wilson looked much more decisive versus the Bucs, He was getting the ball out with conviction versus both man and zone coverage

  • Wilson ball placement can still be erratic, That is an area he must become more consistent as he continues to get more experience

  • Bucs showed disguise and late movement out of nickel to try to force Wilson to think after the snap, They also featured 4 man zone exchange pressures as part of that disguise and late movement

  • Berrios 9 yard TD on 3rd + 4 early in 2nd quarter came on a staple West Coast red zone concept out of trips: double stick; #1 clears the corner and #2 and #3 run stick routes with the QB choosing which one to throw, Wilson took Berrios from #2 location since he quickly got outside of Edwards, Wilson good ball with velocity and location

  • Overall Wilson played with more awareness and understanding of what can be done, what can’t be done and the game situation; He was less reckless and undisciplined

  • Cole 21 yards on 1st + 10 in the 3rd quarter was an excellent throw by Wilson versus cover 3: It was essentially a 2 man route concept with Berrios from the slot controlling the post safety with Wilson also holding him in the middle and Cole from the outside running the dig versus of coverage corner Davis – Wilson knew what he had and let it rip

  • Bucs continued to feature loaded fronts on 3rd down, At times Suh was aligned at wide 9 DE; Bucs also used Tryon as a standup Joker at times

  • Bucs picked up their blitz frequency as the game progressed with multiple pressure concepts, They have been one of the highest percentage blitz defenses in the league this season

  • This game was a good performance by Wilson, He was much more settled in the pocket and he was much more decisive with his reads and throws; He still at times shows a tendency to play a little fast with bodies around him which is why it is critically important for the reads and throws to be defined by the route concepts versus the coverage

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.