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Cosell Coaching Tape: Week 8

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Cosell Coaching Tape: Week 8

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.

CARDS OFFENSE VERSUS PACKERS DEFENSE

  • Stokes right corner and Douglas left corner the outside corners for the Packers with Sullivan continuing to be the slot corner, Campbell and Barnes the nickel LB; Black continued to be the dime safety

  • Packers did not play any snaps of base defense, They continued to play snaps of 5-1 reduced versus 12 personnel with Campbell the stacked LB

  • Packers continued to feature loaded fronts out of nickel and dime; There was a 3rd + 11 snap on Cards third possession out of a dime loaded front in which Campbell was used as a spy on Murray, Murray left the pocket vertically and Campbell sacked him

  • Garvin continued to get significant snaps as an edge rusher in the sub fronts, Mercilus also got significant snaps as an edge rusher

  • Edmunds 11 yard TD to end second possession came out of wildcat formation with Murray lined up in the slot to the field, Both Edmunds and Connor on the field with Connor the offset back and there were 2 TE so it was 22 personnel; It was counter to the boundary with LG Jones the puller and TE Ertz the wrapper

  • Two Packers defensive tactics stood out on 3rd down out of dime: Campbell spy on Murray, and a safety sitting in the middle as a robber

  • Cards did not feature many snaps of 10 personnel in the 1st half, They kept Ertz on the field; They played more snaps of 10 personnel in the 2nd half

  • Two players that have consistently stood out watching the Packers defense this season are DT Clark and LB Campbell, The argument could be made that Campbell has been the most important player on the defense

  • Black interception on 3rd + 16 deep in Cards territory to end first possession of 3rd quarter came on a screen, Inside pressure by Gary forced Murray to throw it a beat early before it was defined and it went off Moore’s hands

  • What you continued to see from the Packers in their sub fronts was edge rushers lining up inside as 3-technique DT, Gary has done that all season and Mercilus did it versus the Cards

  • Packers were able to generate consistent pressure on Murray throughout the game with 4 man DL pass rush

  • Cards showed 4x1 sets out of empty – That has become more and more a trend in the NFL this season, Defenses often match up with man coverage across the board or zone to the to 4 receiver side and man lock to the single receiver side

  • Murray just overthrew wide open Kirk on seam route versus dime cover 2 early in 4th quarter, That’s the kind of throw he has been making all season that he missed too often in 2019 and 2020

BUCS OFFENSE VERSUS SAINTS DEFENSE

  • Bucs first called pass came out of empty with 00 personnel, Saints matched up on the 2nd + 11 with nickel and went cover 3 boundary lock

  • Lattimore as he always does versus the Bucs matched up to Evans – Saints a predominant man coverage defense with cover 1 and 2 man the foundations, 2 man is a foundation coverage out of dime

  • Jenkins the matchup on the TE in Saints 2 man coverage out of 3-2-6 dime versus 11 personnel with Alexander predominantly the matchup on the back

  • When the Saints went cover 1 out of dime versus 11 personnel P. Williams was predominantly the matchup on the TE

  • Saints dime continued to be 3-2-6 with Davis and Alexander the LB, Davis one of most versatile sub defense LB in the NFL

  • Godwin 25 yards on 3rd + 6 on second possession came out of 11 motion to tight bunch versus Saints dime 2 man with Gardner-Johnson matched on Godwin the point man in the bunch, Godwin stop-and-start shallow crosser working to the boundary where Evans the boundary x released vertically to clear space

  • Godwin 12 yard TD on 3rd + 7 to end second possession came out of 11 1x3 with Godwin and Evans stack alignment as #2 and #3 to trips, Saints 2 man out of nickel with Gardner-Johnson matched on Godwin; Evans vertical release resulted in natural rub element for Godwin on the shallow crosser and Gardner-Johnson was immediately in trail position

  • Roby continued to split snaps with Adebo in the nickel and dime – Saints played only 1 snap of base defense versus Bucs and that was versus Bucs only snap of 6 OL personnel

  • Brady overthrew open Evans on go route on third possession, Evans got on top of Lattimore

  • Saints at times featured zone pressures out of dime on 3rd dime, A staple concept had the slot corner blitzing from the field with the outside corner playing trap technique – They ran this on 3rd + 6 on third possession and they forced Brady to make a post-snap decision, Brady broke down physically and threw a hurried incompletion

  • Johnson 31 yards on 3rd + 1 on fourth possession showed Brady’s arm strength: far hash stutter-go comeback; Saints out of dime disguised late movement to cover 1 behind 4 boundary overload pressure concept which the Bucs picked up matching numbers with back Bernard staying in to pass protect

  • Jordan sack-forced fumble recovered by Onyemata on 3rd + 6 to end fourth possession came out of 3-2-6 dime with Saints rushing 3 and playing 2 man behind it, Brady did not have a clean throw within timing and Jordan drove back RT Wirfs into Brady

  • Gardner-Johnson interception late in 2nd quarter a big time play: Saints cover 1 out of nickel behind 5 man pressure with Gardner-Johnson press man on Johnson #2 to trips, Gardner-Johnson physically controlled Johnson’s vertical release slowing him and not allowing him to clear for the out cut by Godwin from #3 to trips; Brady threw the out cut to Godwin expecting there to be room but Gardner-Johnson could see the throw and react

  • What always stands out watching the Saints versus the Bucs is they are willing to match up and play man coverage, both cover 1 and 2 man; They are proactive and aggressive

  • What you see versus the Saints that you rarely see is Brady at times getting stuck in the pocket unable to deliver with timing and rhythm

  • Saints under DC Allen a big green dog team off their 5 man pressures, Davis one of the best adding into the pass rush when he has the back man-to-man and the back pass protects versus blitz

  • Godwin matchup with Gardner-Johnson was a good one with Godwin making some plays on short throws where the Bucs route concept created space for him to work – 44 yards on first possession of 3rd quarter a good example with Godwin beating press Gardner-Johnson press man allowing Bready to beat 5 man pressure/Davis green dog with timing throw

  • Evans 41 yard TD on 3rd + 3 late in 3rd quarter came out of 11 3x1 with Evans the boundary x versus Saints 3-2-6 dime 2 man with boundary safety P. Williams robbing inside, Evans beat Lattimore (Lattimore essentially playing zero man) on deep sail route; Brady looked to trips side as his primary read then came back to Evans

  • Grayson 50 yard TD in 1st + 10 in 4th quarter came out of 11 1x3 nub with bunch to the field versus Saints cover 1 behind 5 man pressure with Davis green dog, Adebo thought Lattimore would take the outside vertical while Lattimore matched Evans who was not the outside vertical; Grayson wide open on deep sail route for easy pitch-and catch TD

  • P. Williams late 4th quarter interception came out of 3-2-6 dime 2 man, Brady threw to Godwin on the crosser from the field to the boundary and Williams was sitting there for the easy interception; I was surprised Brady threw that

  • Brady was outstanding on 3rd down versus the Saints: 7-11 for 132 yards and 3 TD

  • Saints played almost 60% man coverage versus Brady and Bucs passing game with 2 man accounting for about ¼ of Brady drop backs, Brady did not really struggle with the 2 man coverage he just threw the bad interception with less than 2 minutes remaining

PATRICK MAHOMES VERSUS GIANTS DEFENSE

  • Holmes was the Giants slot corner in nickel, Jackson was the field corner with Bradberry the boundary corner; Crowder and Ragland/McKinney were the nickel LB

  • Robinson and Love were the slot corners in Giants dime with Crowder the only LB, Holmes replaced Robinson in the dime in the 2nd quarter

  • Giants did not play many snaps of base defense, This was a sub defense game for them

  • Chiefs looked to get Mahomes comfortable on the first possession with one read and no read throws, Allow him to develop a feel for the game

  • Mahomes continued to be too quick to break down in the pocket, He remains a little too unsettled – Good example was 1st + 10 in the high red zone on first possession: Pringle from #3 in bunch ran the seam skinny post versus split safety zone, It’s a throw we have seen Mahomes make routinely but he looked then broke the pocket running for 5 yards: No progression reading, no comfort in a clean pocket

  • Love tight red zone interception another example of Mahomes not playing with a calm helmet and seeing things within the structure and the order and the purpose of the progression, Giants rushed 3 and dropped 8 in a 3 deep-5 under zone concept

  • Mahomes too much head movement on his drop and set on Love interception and that is almost always indicative of not getting a clear picture; Again unnecessary movement resulting in another trick shot throw that had too much velocity and was too high to wide open Gordon in the end zone

  • Hill 6 yard TD on 3rd and goal was another example of Mahomes not seeing things clearly within structure, Giants played same tight red zone coverage rushing 3 and dropping 8 in 3 deep-5 under look; Kelce wide open to the boundary within the designed timing and structure of the play but Mahomes did not allow it to develop coming off it almost instantly on his drop, He looked back side and the throw to Hardman was there but Mahomes did not take it breaking down and then finding Hill on the crosser at the back of the end zone – Random luck

  • Mahomes right now is just not processing things cleanly which is speeding him up in the pocket resulting in a bit of a frenetic feel, He is not playing with needed pocket patience

  • Kelce lack of targets versus Giants a function of Mahomes, Kelce would have had a 1st quarter TD plus a few other catches

  • Bradberry almost interception early in 2nd quarter resulted from Giants disguise and late movement: 2 man look out of dime pre-snap became cover 2 after the snap, Mahomes did not process the change and tried to hit Hill on the in-breaker with Bradberry sitting in the passing lane

  • What also stood out was Mahomes was not as precise with his ball placement as we have seen him over the last couple of years, He was not scatter-shot but he was forcing receivers to make tough catches

  • One tactic we have seen the last 2 weeks with the Titans and Giants is corners and safeties getting physical with Kelce off the LOS – Bradberry strong jam on Kelce on first possession of 3rd quarter when Kelce was the boundary x

  • Robinson 18 yards in 3rd quarter was Mahomes best looking play of the game, He hit his back foot and planted and drove the ball to Robinson in an intermediate void in cover 4; Mahomes read the coverage and delivered the ball with conviction

  • Giants predominantly played split safety coverages but they featured just enough disguise and late movement and different looks to force Mahomes to make decisions after the snap

  • Hill 15 yards on 3rd + 11 in 4th quarter came out of 11 1x3 set with Hill #2 to trips versus Giants dime split safety with boundary safety Ryan looking to rob the first route that shows from trips; Mahomes strong and patient in the pocket

  • Crossen sack on 3rd and goal before the winning FG came in high red zone, Chiefs well-designed concept with Kelce motion across the formation in one-on-one matchup with Love, Kelce pivot route to the inside was wide open; Mahomes again looked at Kelce and came off him almost immediately breaking down and breaking from a clean pocket running into Crossen sack

  • Giants high percentage split safety coverage versus Chiefs featuring cover 2, cover 4, cover 6 and 2 man; They played very few snaps of cover 1

  • Mahomes is a sandlot player right now (much like he was at Texas Tech): His lower body mechanics are poor, he is playing with little sense of discipline both fundamentally and within structure, he is not seeing things clearly resulting in pocket breakdowns both mentally and physically with far too much unnecessary movement

CHARGERS OFFENSE VERSUS PATRIOTS DEFENSE

  • Patriots continued to be a sub defense playing very few snaps of base, Their base defense is big nickel with 3 safeties

  • Jackson lined up over Allen when Allen lined up outside but did not travel with Allen into the slot – Williams also played snaps at outside corner

  • Bryant was the slot corner in the conventional nickel and dime playing for the injured and inactive Jones, Patriots dime featured 3 corners and 3 safeties and they predominantly played dime versus Chargers 11 personnel

  • Allen 41 yards on second Herbert drop back came out of 11 personnel versus Patriots conventional nickel, Allen outstanding corner route to beat Jackson

  • Dugger continued to be the predominant TE matchup versus 11 personnel in the Patriots nickel and dime

  • First 3rd down in the high red zone Patriots out of 3-2-6 dime played man coverage and doubled/bracketed Williams with Bryant and safety McCourty, Jackson was the man-to-man matchup on Allen

  • First two 3rd downs Patriots went man coverage – cover 1 – out of dime versus Chargers 11 personnel, Second 3rd down they rushed 5 and stunted with one-on-one matchup of Judon on RT Norton

  • What stood out immediately was Patriots use of multiple stunt concepts on 3rd down, My sense was they were attacking backup RT Norton and the right side of the Chargers OL

  • Patriots game planned approach on 3rd down was more multiple versus Chargers, While they played man coverage they also featured zone and 5 man pressures including out of double mug look

  • Cover 2 was featured part of Patriots coverage plan versus Chargers, That has not been a foundational coverage for the Patriots this season; Belichick again being opponent specific

  • Phillips interception late in the 1st half came out of dime with the Patriots played a 2 man robber concept, Phillips was the read safety sitting low to the boundary looking for any in-breaking routes

  • First 3rd and long of 3rd quarter (3rd + 8) Patriots out of 3-2-6 dime went cover 1 behind 5 man pressure with slot corner Bryant the fifth rusher from trips side of the formation, Patriots initial front alignment held Ekeler to the boundary and he was late crossing the formation to pick up Bryant and Judon beat RT Norton inside forcing Herbert out of the pocket into an incompletion

  • Patriots much more multiple with their coverage looks versus Chargers than they usually are with a good mix of cover 2 and cover 3

  • Phillips 26 yard interception return TD came out of same coverage as his first interception: 2 man robber/read concept with the boundary safety looking inside, This time Phillips was the man-to-man matchup on Cook

  • Patriots increased their 3rd down blitz frequency versus Chargers, That was another tactic that was clearly specific to this game

  • Right side of Chargers OL with RG Schofield and RT Norton is a weakness in pass protection, It showed up consistently versus the Patriots

PATRIOTS OFFENSE VERSUS CHARGERS DEFENSE

  • Gilman continued to be the Chargers dime safety with Harris the slot corner in both nickel and dime, Davis continued to be the boundary corner regardless of who was the boundary x receiver

  • Chargers continued to show loaded fronts on 3rd down out of dime, Tranquill was the dime LB

  • In 2 man and 1 robber out of dime versus 11 personnel James was the TE matchup and Tranquill was the running back matchup

  • Patriots effective use of motion and bunch/stacks to help define reads and throws for Jones especially on 3rd down

  • Agholor 44 yards on first possession came out of 12 2x2 with Agholor in the slot to the field versus Chargers nickel cover 1 with James the post safety, Agholor ran the deep over route running away from slot corner Harris and crossing James face; Jones efficient pocket movement with quick feet re-setting to deliver on balance and throwing a great ball with precise placement

  • Chargers initial game plan featured nickel versus Patriots 12 and 21 personnel, James allows them to do that with his multi-dimensional skill set; As the game progressed they played more snaps of base predominantly out of a 5-2 front with White and Tranquill the stacked LB

  • Slot corner Harris essentially a safety when the Patriots went nickel versus 21 and 12 personnel, It was more of a big nickel concept with James the wild card re: where he lined up

  • There were snaps out of base versus 21 personnel (and 12 personnel in the 4th quarter) in which the Chargers played a 6-1 front with 6 DL

  • Chargers continued to feature both 4-2 nickel with White and Tranquill the LB and 5-1 nickel with White the only LB, 5-1 at times featured reduced fronts

  • Jones has shown a little more mobility the last couple of weeks scrambling when necessary for meaningful yardage

  • Henry 33 yards on 1st + 10 in 2nd quarter was the right call versus the right defense, Chargers rushed 5 out of nickel and played 3 under-3 deep behind it; Patriots 3 man vertical route concept off conventional play action attacked the intermediate void to the field with corner Samuel running with Agholor post route and flat defender White held near the LOS by the run action, There was no one to react to Henry on the crosser

  • With Davis injured and out after 19 snaps Campbell replaced him as the boundary corner, When Samuel got hurt early in the 3rd quarter Smith replaced him in the sub defenses with Harris moving outside in the base defense

  • There were nickel and dime snaps in which Smith was the boundary corner and Campbell the field corner

  • Chargers tendency out of 5-1 nickel front was to play cover 1 with James matched on the TE and White matched on the back, There were snaps in which James was the post safety and Adderley matched up to the TE

  • Patriots featured wham concept in their run game using both fullback Johnson and TE Smith as the wham blocker depending on personnel and formation, They also featured the wham-trap combination

  • Patriots featured chips on Chargers edge rushers especially Bosa on 3rd down, Bolden outstanding chip on Bosa late in the 1st half – It was evident that Belichick was not going to allow edge pressure to short-circuit the passing game

  • Jones continued to show excellent vision from the pocket with the ability to both work through progressions when he was secure and to speed up his tempo while maintaining pocket poise and awareness when necessary

  • Two things help Jones be effective versus muddied and noisy pockets: He is a short strider and he has a very compact delivery both allowing him to get the ball out quick when the pocket is collapsing

  • Jones 2 big completions on Patriots 4th quarter FG drive: Meyers 17 yards on crosser off 21 straight I play action, and Harry 15 yards on well-timed out route off 21 I strong power run action; Both came on 2nd and long

  • Through the first 7 games Chargers have predominantly been a single high safety defense but HC coach Staley has shown he will be opponent specific with his coverages, He has featured significant snaps of 2 man coverage as well as split safety zone coverage

LIONS OFFENSE VERSUS EAGLES DEFENSE

  • Eagles started the game with Edwards and Taylor the stacked LB in the base defense – They blitzed on the first play with Avery who was bumped out over the slot the fifth rusher

  • Avery would bump out over the slot when there was a closed formation to the boundary and it was twins to the field

  • There were nickel cover 1 snaps on 1st down versus Lions 11 personnel in which Edwards was matched on TE Hockenson

  • First 3rd down (3rd + 5) Taylor and Edwards were the nickel LB, Eagles cover 3 with the outside corners locked in man-to-man coverage

  • Eagles continued to feature different combinations at nickel LB depending on Lions personnel, and down and distance

  • Eagles featured 3rd and long snaps in which Avery and Singleton were the nickel LB, Avery on the ball and used as a fifth rusher; Eagles predominant 3 under-3 deep coverage behind 5 man pressure with Avery the fifth rusher

  • Sweat sack on 2nd + 9 on Lions second possession came out of nickel with Sweat aligned as a 7-technique to the 2 TE side, Sweat beat RT Nelson with a club-rip move and ran down Goff; Eagles cover 3 boundary lock behind the 4 man DL rush, Goff looked to TE Wright down the seam but back side hook-to-curl defender McLeod took it away

  • Eagles also featured 3rd and long snaps with Singleton and Edwards the nickel LB – On 3rd + 8 in the 2nd quarter Singleton blitzed as the fifth rusher with back Swift picking him up, Singleton was able to impact Goff who spun out to his left right into Barnett for the sack; Eagles 3 under-3 deep behind the 5 man pressure with Nelson locked man-to-man on the boundary x

  • Eagles played 2 snaps of dime with safety Chachere the dime, First time they went dime was Lions fourth 3rd down of the game (3rd + 7), Singleton was the only LB and they played cover 1 with Chachere the post safety and Epps matched on TE Hockensen with Singleton the inside lurk defender behind 4 man DL pass rush

  • Eagles second snap of dime came on 3rd + 6 late in the 2nd quarter, Again Singleton was the only LB and again he was the fifth rusher with cover 1 behind it

  • Williams sack on 4th + 1 late in 2nd quarter came on straight bull rush with Williams driving back OC Brown into the pocket, Timing of Goff drop did not synch up with Hockensen out cut from the inside and Goff was forced to hold the ball

  • Eagles 5 man pressure out of nickel on first play of 3rd quarter with Taylor the fifth rusher from stacked LB alignment, 3 under-3 deep behind the pressure and Goff hit Brown on the crosser (flood concept to the boundary) in the open void for 34 yards

  • Stacked LB Taylor run game snaps in which he showed excellent short area quickness and burst in the box

  • Kerrigan had some strong one-on-one pass rush snaps versus RT Nelson, Speed-to-power driving back Nelson into the pocket; One of them occurred on Slay 33 yard fumble return TD

  • Eagles rushed 5 on 3 of Goff’s 9 drop backs on 3rd down – Overall the Eagles rushed 5 on 9 snaps which was their highest total of the season

  • Eagles played 48 snaps of nickel, 83% of defensive snaps came out of nickel; Likely a function of the score

  • Eagles featured cover 3 as a foundation but with some wrinkles based on the call and the offensive formation: Boundary lock, and man-to-man outside the numbers with zone match inside – Overall Eagles featured more man match principles in their foundational zone coverage concepts: cover 3 and cover 4

EAGLES OFFENSE VERSUS LIONS DEFENSE

  • With all the injuries to their secondary Lions had safety Harris playing slot corner with Marlowe at safety with Walker

  • Eagles featured Hurts in the shotgun as the foundation of their offense, That has been the case all season

  • First 3rd down (3rd + 5) Lions went 5-1-5 nickel with a 5 man front and Anzalone the only LB and they played cover 1 behind it matching up Marlowe on Goedert, Lions dropped out Okwara and rushed Anzalone in a man pressure concept

  • OC Kelce and RT Johnson flashed early in the run game, Both plus athletes for their respective positions and it showed

  • Eagles game plan featured 11 personnel versus Lions nickel, Eagles used Reagor in the run game twice in the 1st quarter both times with Hurts under center

  • Watkins 16 yards on first TD drive came out of 11 2x2 with Watkins slot to the field versus Lions nickel cover 1 with Harris matched on Watkins, Lions no pass rush at all and Hurts hit Watkins on the crosser in what was essentially a back side flood concept

  • Eagles started third possession with Hurts under center in 13 personnel: Scott 8 yards on outside zone strong, Scott 6 yards on split flow inside zone, Howard 10 yards on split flow inside zone, Howard 4 yards on outside zone strong

  • Lions lined up in 5-2 front versus Eagles 13 personnel, Anzalone and Barnes were the stacked LB; Lions also showed a 6 man DL front versus 13 personnel

  • 3rd + 3 on first FG drive Hurts missed open Smith on hi-low concept to the boundary, Lions disguised cover 2 but the hi-low concept is a cover 2 beater and Hurts must see that; It should have been pitch and catch for the easy 1st down but Hurts never processed it despite looking right at Smith and left the pocket with no pressure throwing an incompletion

  • Scott 19 yards to start fourth possession came with Hurts under center in 12 personnel: Outside zone weak to the boundary away from Lions over front, Outstanding reach by Kelce and LT Mailata dominated DE Harris

  • It was evident beginning with third possession the Eagles committed to the running game with Hurts under center, 13 personnel was part of that equation

  • Howard 4 yard TD late in 2nd quarter came out of 12 personnel with Hurts in the shotgun: Inside zone with outstanding interior blocking washing the Lions defensive front

  • As the game progressed Eagles more snaps with multiple TE with 12 personnel the foundation but also snaps of 13 personnel – Goedert 17 yards on first possession of 3rd quarter came out of 13 2x2 with Hurts under center closed to one side of the formation and Watkins the x, Play action with another back side flood concept with Goedert running the crosser as the intermediate route

  • Eagles continued to work the same basic concept that we saw last week in the loss to the Raiders: Goedert as the intermediate receiver in the flood concept, Against the Lions they featured it off the play action pass game with Hurts under center

  • Howard 10 yards on first TD drive of 3rd quarter came on inside zone out of shotgun with split flow element and tunnel screen element with LT Mailata releasing as lead blocker to the field

  • Smith 15 yards on 3rd + 9 on second 3rd quarter TD was Hurts best throw of the game: 11 3x1 with Smith the boundary x, Smith ran a deep comeback and Hurts delivered the spot throw with timing and precise ball placement

  • Foundation of Eagles run game both with Hurts under center and in the shotgun was zone, Howard ran predominantly inside zone – 6 of Scott’s 12 carries came with Hurts under center, 4 of Howard’s 12 carries with Hurts under center

  • Hurts did not have to throw much in this game (only 17 drop backs) but he was effective off play action: 4-5 for 53 yards

49ERS OFFENSE VERSUS BEARS DEFENSE

  • Bears did not match up Johnson on Samuel, Johnson played right corner and Vildor left corner; Shelley continued to be the slot corner with Tabor again the dime safety

  • First 3rd and long (3rd + 10) Bears went zero blitz out of dime with a double mug look, Garoppolo with excellent timing hit Sanu from the boundary slot on the in-breaker versus Vildor; LG Tomlinson outstanding job blocking both A gap blitzer Houston-Carson and 4i DT Nichols – Bears wanted to test Garoppolo on first possession with pressure and he beat it

  • One issue that continues to show up with Garoppolo is that he is not as consistently precise with his ball placement as he needs to be given that he is a pocket QB

  • 49ers continued to be a 21 personnel offense, Against the Bears 50% of offensive snaps came out of 21 personnel; For the season that number is 35% but you can also factor in the 8% in 22 personnel

  • Mitchell 27 yards to start second possession came out of 21 personnel with Juszczyk jet motion across the formation, It was outside zone blocked beautifully

  • Bears played snaps of big nickel versus 21 personnel with Tabor the third safety with Gipson and Houston-Carson, Tabor was a corner in college at Florida; Tabor predominantly played post safety in cover 1 out of dime

  • Cover 1 was the Bears foundational coverage versus the 49ers playing it a higher percentage than they had through the first 7 games, They featured it out of both nickel and dime, They also played some snaps of 1 robber; On 3rd down out of dime they played cover 1 and cover 3

  • Aiyuk 23 yards on 2nd + 11 in 2nd quarter came on Garoppolo second reaction movement which is something we do not see from him very often, Garoppolo wanted Aiyuk on the slant from the slot versus nickel cover 1 but Smith as the underneath lurk defender took it away; Garoppolo outstanding ball placement throw on the move

  • Samuel 50 yards late in 2nd quarter was a great throw by Garoppolo versus dime cover 4, Samuel deep post versus outside leverage corner Vildor with safety Gipson sitting low on vertical release by #2 Dwelley

  • 49ers most rushing attempts off motion in the NFL, 78 rushes with motion for 4.9 per rush; Motion a significant part of 49ers approach, Juszczyk featured as a motion player

  • Samuel 84 yards on 3rd + 19 from deep in 49ers territory in middle of 3rd quarter was a give up play, It was a tunnel screen designed to give the punter more room; Bears defense played it poorly but you have to give credit to OC Mack making a critical block on post safety Tabor 20 yards down the field

  • Big-time route by Aiyuk versus Houston-Carson from #4 alignment in 4x1 empty set on 49ers 2 point conversion after Mitchell TD early in 4th quarter

  • Mitchell 27 yards in middle of 4th quarter came out of 21 I left strong versus Bears nickel, Outside zone toss left with outstanding play side blocking and Mitchell showing the ability to get skinny through a small crease at the POA

  • 49ers went empty 10 snaps versus Bears and Garoppolo was 6-10 for 72 yards including Hasty 23 yards on angle route versus cover 8 in the 4th quarter – 49ers went empty versus the Bears more than they have done with Garoppolo this season, A function of protection?

  • Garoppolo 5 yard TD in 4th quarter came on zone read to the boundary off the inside zone fake to Mitchell, Quinn crashed hard inside and Dwelley motion across the formation both established him as a lead blocker and expanded Houston-Carson

  • Mitchell 39 yards to start 49ers 4th quarter game sealing FG possession came out of 21 personnel with Juszczyk jet motion across the formation, Outside zone toss with outstanding blocking play side including an unbelievable block by LT Williams on LB Ogletree

  • 49ers got the ball with 4:24 remaining in 4th quarter and closed out the game with Mitchell, 39 yard and 12 yard runs set up FG

  • 15 of Mitchell’s 18 carries came out of 21 personnel, with 125 of his 137 yards; For the season Mitchell is 46-260, 5.7 yards per rush out of 21 personnel

  • 12 of Mitchell’s 15 runs out of 21 personnel came on 1st down, for 112 yards; For the season Mitchell is 31-188, 6.1 on 1st down out of 12 personnel

BEARS OFFENSE VERSUS 49ERS DEFENSE

  • Flannigan-Fowles played nickel LB with Warner with Harris also getting snaps with Warner in the nickel

  • Norman continued to play right corner with Moseley at left corner, Williams continued to be the slot corner; Safety Wilson was the dime

  • Second play of the game Fields play action boot left with 2 available open throws: Mooney in the flat right away or Kmet on the back side crosser timing up with the boot action, Fields did not throw either instead running for 4 yards

  • Herbert 22 yards on first possession (his first run of the game) came on outside zone to the left side of the formation working behind LG Whitehair and LT Peters

  • Bears Pony package on first possession with both Herbert and Williams offset in the backfield

  • Rookie safety Hufanga (playing for the inactive Tartt) showed good build up speed and range as a pursuit player

  • Harris continued to be third LB in base for the 49ers, There were base defense snaps in which the 49ers aligned in 5 man reduced front with Flannigan-Fowles or Harris on the ball on the edge

  • Fields excellent timing on delayed pop pass to Kmet 16 yards on 1st + 10 on second possession, Shot play concept off outside zone run action but 49ers coverage took away both the deep post and the crosser; Fields within the timing and structure of the play design hit Kmet

  • Herbert outside zone run game and Fields play action boot 2 game planned tactics for the Bears offense – James 8 yard TD to end second possession came on Fields play action boot left with a precise ball placement throw

  • 49ers played snaps of both base and nickel versus Bears 12 personnel, Bears 26 snaps of 12 personnel which was 39% of their offensive snaps and the 49ers only played 20 snaps of base defensive personnel

  • 49ers DL pursuit from the back side was an important part of the 49ers effectively defending the Bears outside zone run game

  • Bears continued to feature outside zone with Herbert but they also showed trap in the 2nd quarter, with LG Whitehair trapping 3-technique DT Armstead

  • 49ers did a good job taking away the shot plays playing over the top, Overall the 49ers a pretty static defense that does not feature a lot of pre-snap movement and disguise

  • Fields clearly looking better as he is gaining more experience, More poise and composure overall; Bears did a good job with Fields featuring designed movement including boot left: Kmet 19 yards on first possession of 3rd quarter

  • Fields is an explosive mover, He is a big athlete with speed and power who at times looks like a combination of Vick and Newton

  • Goodwin 22 yards on 3rd + 13 on first possession of 3rd quarter came out of 11 3x1 with Goodwin the boundary x, 49ers out of dime rushed 5 with an overload to the field with safety Hufanga getting in clean off the edge; Fields read the late movement of Ward dropping into deep coverage and hit Goodwin on the slant

  • Fields at times missed some routine throws with poor ball placement and there were snaps he should have turned it loose and did not, What consistently stood out was Fields can drive the ball with velocity

  • Bears OL must continue to improve both in run blocking and pass protection, Right now they can be a liability depending on the opponent

  • Ebukam sack on 3rd + 10 with 5:00 remaining in the 4th quarter came out of loaded front: E/T stunt concept with Ebukam from wide 9 alignment opposite the load attacking hard inside as the picker and Key from 1-technique the looper, Ebukam got inside of LT Peters and with LG Whitehair focused on Key Ebukam was clean to Fields

  • 49ers high percentage single high safety versus the Bears featuring cover 1 and cover 3; 49ers more cover 1 than they had in their previous 6 games

RYAN TANNEHILL VERSUS COLTS DEFENSE

  • Ya-Sin back at left corner with Rhodes at right corner in the Colts nickel, Moore always the slot corner

  • Moore interception on Tannehill’s first pass was a great play, It was cover 2 and Moore passed off Brown from the slot and looked to the second slant which was Johnson; My sense is Tannehill read the coverage to the field as man and did not expect Moore to be in the passing lane

  • First 3rd down (3rd + 6) Colts went cover 1 out of nickel with safety Willis an underneath lurk defender and Okereke the spy on Tannehill

  • Colts clearly wanted to prevent Tannehill from beating them with second reaction movement out of the pocket, Okereke spy on first 3rd down and DT dropped out in spy position on 2nd + 7 on second possession

  • On 3rd + 3 on second possession Colts went cover 1 out of nickel behind 5 man pressure from loaded front with Willis the fifth rusher, Tannehill hit Firkser versus Leonard on shallow cross for 8 yards

  • Swaim 6 yard TD on 3rd + 3 came out of 13 personnel versus Colts base defense: Well-designed play that featured misdirection element with jet motion by Firkser and power run action to the boundary with Swaim from the closed side of the formation to the boundary running the quick in-breaker to the field

  • Lewis interception on 3rd + 11 in the 2nd quarter came out of nickel with a loaded front that was part of 7 man pressure front look, Colts rushed 6 knowing back McNichols would be part of the protection with interior DL dropping out to be part of a 4 on 3 coverage to the trips side of the Titans formation, Rhodes locked man-to-man on x receiver Johnson; Safety Odum clean off the edge and Tannehill under duress tried to hit #3 Firkser on the in-breaker but Lewis was right in the passing lane – Lewis ruptured his patella tendon running with the ball and fumbled with the Titans recovering

  • Strong safety Willis hurt in the 2nd quarter and did not return, Odum replaced him so the Colts were playing with 2 backup safeties in Sendejo and Odum

  • Brown 57 yard TD came on the very next play and that changed the game: 13 personnel with Brown the x receiver to the field opposite the closed boundary, Bang play action with Tannehill looking for Firkser on the pop pass but that was not clean so Tannehill went to Brown on the other side, Brown beat Rhodes on the out route and then used his strength to break Rhodes tackle and score on run after catch

  • Brown ran 17 routes from the slot versus Colts and was targeted 5 times with 5 catches for 60 yards, Brown has 26 targets from the slot this season with 18-207 and TD

  • Colts featured loaded fronts on 3rd down with both Leonard and Okereke on the ball opposite the load making it a 6 man pressure front, They were dictating protections and forcing the back to be part of the protection

  • Colts snaps of nickel versus both 12 and 13 personnel in the 3rd quarter, Strong safety Odum was the box player in single high coverages

  • Westbrook-Ikhine 5 yard TD on 3rd + 4 in the 3rd quarter came out of 11 3x1 with Henry motion to the boundary and Sendejo reaction giving Tannehill his read, Colts were in man coverage and Firkser crosser from #3 to trips and Brown corner route from #2 opened the window for Westbrook-Ikhine from #1 on the slant; Precise ball placement by Tannehill

  • Colts did not blitz a high percentage overall featuring some 3rd down pressures but they had some success when they did blitz

  • Titans had issues in pass protection throughout the game – Rookie Radunz replaced Davis at RG (concussion) in the 4th quarter and he was mentally late resulting in being physically beaten on Turay late 4th quarter sack

  • Colts multiple with their coverages versus Titans, They predominantly played single high with cover 1 and some cover 3 the foundation but they also featured significant snaps of split safety with cover 2 featured; Cover 1 was the predominant coverage on 3rd down

COLTS OFFENSE VERSUS TITANS DEFENSE

  • Long and rookie Rice were the base and nickel LB with Rice playing 54 snaps, Long played every snap for the fourth consecutive week and the fifth in the last 6

  • Mabin for the second consecutive week was the right corner opposite Jenkins, Molden again the slot corner in nickel and dime with Cruikshank the dime safety; Jackson also played snaps in the slot

  • Autry continued to play snaps at OLB on the ball in the Titans base 5-2 front, Autry also snaps as an edge pass rusher in the 4 man nickel DL

  • Landry played every defensive snap for the second time this season, He continued to be used as a Joker at times in the dime fronts

  • Landry and Dupree off the edge with Simmons and Autry inside is the Titans best sub front DL pass rush, Titans feature multiple front alignments including loaded fronts

  • Rice flashed on the Colts first possession matching up man-to-man on Alie-Cox and flowing to the football in the tight red zone

  • Safety Byard has the coverage ability to match up man-to-man at times on WR giving Titans flexibility in man coverage schemes

  • Pittman 2 yard TD on 4th and goal to end Colts first possession was the result of double jet motion by Hilton, Titans man-to-man with Molden matching Hilton; Second jet motion from the boundary to the field resulted in Mabin and Molden switching with Molden taking Pitman but he was not in good position to play the back end in-breaker by Pitman

  • Pitman 7 yard TD on 1st and goal resulted from Wentz coming off his primary read to the left and hitting Pitman on the crosser from left to right, Good late-in-the-down QB play by Wentz with a precise ball placement throw

  • Titans continued to feature 4 man zone exchange pressure schemes, They have not rushed 5 much over the last 3 games; Titans a few more 5 man pressures versus the Colts but versus Mahomes and Allen in the previous 2 games they rarely rushed 5

  • Landry sack on 3rd + 6 in 2nd quarter came out of dime cover 4 with 4 man DL pass rush, Autry and Landry T/E stunt with Landry selling the upfield edge rush before looping behind Autry; Taylor was offset to Landry’s side to chip but Landry disappeared inside on the stunt – Coverage and pressure working together

  • Autry over the last month has played well especially as an inside pass rusher, He is winning one-on-one versus OG

  • Titans continue to feature multiple stunt concepts out of their 4 man sub DL: T/E, E/T and T/T stunts all part of 4 man DL pressures – Titans 4 man sub DL pass rush has become a factor over the last month

  • 2 man and 1 robber are not coverages the Titans play a lot of but we saw some snaps out of dime in the 2 minute at the end of the 1st half, Cruikshank has been the TE matchup out of 2 man/1 robber versus 11 personnel

  • Titans on first 3rd down of 3rd quarter featured disguise and late movement out of dime to get to cover 2 behind 4 man zone exchange pressure with corner Jenkins and Cruikshank both coming from the boundary; Great concept that resulted in Wentz incompletion

  • Doyle 5 yard TD late in 3rd quarter came on well-designed concept out of Pony personnel: Zone read with split flow action across the formation by Doyle who kept going into the flat with no one accounting for him

  • Wentz very inconsistent throwing the deep ball this season, He has made some good throws but also has been short on too many

  • Wentz was not as comfortable in the pocket versus the Titans as he has been through the last month, He was not as rhythmic with the same sense of timing

  • Wentz had been very good with conventional play action from under center through 7 games (21-27 for 419 yards and 3 TD), Against the Titans Wentz was 0-6 in conventional play action

MATTHEW STAFFORD VERSUS TEXANS DEFENSE

  • Texans continued to be an exclusive nickel sub defense, They have not played 1 snap of dime this season; Thomas continued to be the slot corner, Hargreaves was the right corner with Mitchell at left corner

  • Texans more snaps of single high safety versus the Rams featuring cover 1 and cover 3, They still played their foundational cover 2 but on 3rd down they were almost 100% single high

  • Rams continued to be a high percentage 11 personnel offense, Through 8 games 84% of their offensive snaps have come out of 11 personnel

  • Texans have been a foundational zone coverage defense through most of the season with the emphasis on split safety, They have played more snaps of cover 2 than any team in the NFL

  • What continues to stand out is the Texans are not very good squeezing and closing down the voids in zone coverage plus they play their safeties so deep they are not factors in hi-low concepts that every team runs versus zone coverage

  • Woods 2 yard TD came on basic tight red zone 3 man route concept with a flat route, a spot or snag route and a corner route versus Texans cover 3: Texans played the 3 man concept well with flat defender not getting out-leveraged by back Henderson and curl defender Grugier-Hill matching Woods spot route, Great adjustment by Woods sliding inside of Grugier-Hill with Stafford driving the ball with velocity

  • Kupp 52 yards on 2nd + 6 late in 2nd quarter came on staple Rams flood concept off outside zone run action with Kupp running the crosser from the back side, Texans were in cover 3 and flat defender Grugier-Hill to the flood side got lost and was not in his coverage responsibility

  • Texans featured some double mug looks out of nickel with LB Grugier-Hill and Kirksey in the A gaps, They blitzed and played cover 1 behind it

  • What stood out versus Texans was the Rams use of bunch sets, It is normally a staple of their offense but they featured it quite a bit in this game

  • Stafford play action under center this season: 26-41 for 10.9 yards per attempt with 3 TD and 1 interception

  • Kupp 11 yard TD on 2nd + 10 in 3rd quarter came out of 11 empty with Kupp #1 to twins versus Texans nickel cover 1 behind 5 man pressure with corner Mitchell playing with outside leverage on Kupp, Rams full field concept with flat/snag/corner combination to the field and hi-low combination to the boundary with Kup running the bang 8; Stafford looked left to hold post safety Johnson then came right to Kupp

  • Stafford continued to be outstanding out of empty sets, Against the Texans he was 6-9 for 82 yards and TD; For the season Stafford has the most empty set snaps of any QB in the NFL and has been exceptional: 64-87, 9.4 yards per attempt, 8 TD, 1 interception

  • Stafford has been blitzed on 20 of his 91 empty set snaps, He is 15-19 for 200 yards with 3 TD and 1 sack with 12 of those completions resulting in 1st downs

JOSH ALLEN VERSUS DOLPHINS DEFENSE

  • Needham continued to be the Dolphins slot corner, Roberts and Riley were the nickel LB

  • First 3rd down (3rd + 5) Dolphins out of dime rushed 6 and played zero coverage, Safety Holland clean through the A gap forcing Allen out of the pocket into an incompletion

  • Allen 34 yards on 3rd + 10 on second possession came versus Dolphins 2 man concept with boundary safety Jones bracketing/doubling Diggs who was aligned #3 to trips, Allen saw the boundary open and ran

  • Dolphins went back to playing significant snaps of dime after playing only 2 snaps of dime versus the Falcons in week 7 (Falcons a base personnel offense) - No team in the NFL has played a higher percentage of dime than the Dolphins (28% of defensive snaps)

  • Dolphins continued to play more zone coverage, Against the Bills their highest percentage coverage was cover 3; What stood out however was they played significant snaps of zero coverage behind 6 and 7 man pressures, They did not play press and at times DL would drop out late

  • Beasley 20 yards on 1st + 10 in 2nd quarter came out of 10 2x2 with Beasley the slot to the field versus Dolphins nickel cover 3, 4 verticals concept with Allen seam ball

  • Third time Allen saw zero coverage (2nd + 7 in 2nd quarter) he changed the protection to get it blocked so he could attack vertically, Corner Jones excellent play to get his hands on the ball on sluggo by Sanders

  • Dolphins very aggressive with pressure, They brought 5 or more on more than 50% of Allen drop backs – Allen made no big plays versus blitz, He was 14-24 for only 108 yards but he did throw the TD to Diggs early in the 4th quarter

  • Dolphins 9 snaps of zero coverage all out of dime, Their pressures were almost all man pressures with zero coverage and cover 1 with dime being the personnel package that featured the most pressures

  • Dolphins man pressures a big factor in the 1st half, Bills could not generate any explosive plays in the passing game

  • Bills featured no huddle on second possession of 3rd quarter to try to develop some tempo with their offense that had been stagnant through the 1st half, Second possession produced a TD

  • Beasley 15 yards on 3rd + 14 on second possession of 3rd quarter was a defining play: 11 3x1 versus Dolphins dime 2 man with LB Riley rushing and edge rusher Van Ginkel peeling to play Moss, Protection was strong and Beasley separated from Needham on pivot route at the intermediate level

  • Davis 8 yard TD in 1st and goal to end long 3rd quarter TD featured jet motion by McKenzie from the field to the boundary with Davis in a wing alignment to the boundary crossing the formation behind the LOS at the snap, Dolphins zero blitz/coverage out of nickel got screwed up with McKenzie motion and Davis post-snap movement with no one covering Davis

  • Beasley 17 yards on 2nd + 10 on second 2nd half TD drive came out of 11 empty with Beasley #3 to trips versus Dolphins nickel cover 1 with LB Roberts spy on Allen and Needham matching Beasley with outside leverage, Allen hit Beasley on the crosser

  • No huddle shotgun was the adjustment the Bills made at halftime and it proved effective, It calmed down the Dolphins pressures

  • Beasley key factor on second 2nd half TD drive beating Needham twice, once on 2nd + 10 and the second time on 3rd + 13 for 14 yards; Both came versus Dolphins cover 1

  • Diggs 19 yard TD on 2nd + 10 early in 4th quarter came out of 11 2x2 with Diggs #1 to the boundary, Dolphins went zero coverage with Howard off coverage man match on Diggs; Power run action out of shotgun slowed down edge rusher Van Ginkel who was unblocked, Allen had to speed up his delivery and fade away with Ogbah unblocked attacking his throwing side, Great ball by Allen with touch and precise ball placement

  • Beasley 20 yards on 3rd + 11 on final TD drive came out of 11 3x1 with Beasley #2 to trips versus Dolphins zero coverage out of dime with DL Phillips and Butler dropping out, Bills 7 man protection gave Allen time in the pocket to hit Beasley on the in-breaker versus Coleman

  • Bills used the quick screen game effectively essentially as a substitute for the run game

  • Two potential concerns for the Bills going forward: Lack of volume and production in the run game, and an OL that can be inconsistent in pass protection versus quality pass rushing DL

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.