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Cosell Coaching Tape: Week 9

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Cosell Coaching Tape: Week 9

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.

COLTS OFFENSE VERSUS JETS DEFENSE
  • Colts continued to feature snaps with both Taylor and Hines on the field in a Pony package: Taylor 9 yards on first possession had Hines jet motion to the boundary which was the side of the zone run, The motion changed the Jets secondary run support

  • What stood immediately was the effectiveness of both double team blocks and reach blocks by the Colts OL in the zone run game, Hines 34 yard TD one of many examples

  • Jets stacked LB Moseley and Davis did not play zone run game well, They played laterally rather than attacking gaps and that allowed the second level blocks to be defined for Colts OL

  • Taylor 13 yards out of 11 personnel in 2nd quarter came on wham-trap concept with Doyle wham block on 3-technique DT Fatukasi and RG Reed trap block on 2-technique DT Williams, That allowed LT Fisher and OC Kelly to climb to the second level to block stacked LB Moseley and Davis

  • Taylor 21 yard TD on 1st + 10 early in 2nd quarter came out of 11 personnel versus Jets nickel, Jets 5 man box and they stayed with that alignment even when Doyle shifted into wing position to the boundary; Another outstanding double team this time by OC Kelly and LG Nelson on 2-technique DT Shepherd, Backs side 4iDT Rankins played laterally and was washed past play side by RG Reed – Taylor was not touched

  • Taylor has been outstanding on 1st down through 9 games: 80-537, 6.7 with an NFL-leading 14 runs of 10+ yards; 36 of those 80 runs have come out of 11 personnel

  • Colts Pony package effective in run game with use of Hines jet motion from the field to the boundary: Taylor 9 yards on zone run to the boundary on first possession, Hines 25 yards on jet sweep in 3rd quarter

  • Taylor 78 yard TD on 1st + 10 in 3rd quarter came out of Pony package with Taylor the I back, Mid-zone run to the boundary with another outstanding double team this time by OC Kelly and RG Glowinski on 2-technique DT Rankins, Again stacked LB Davis and Mosely moved laterally with Davis trying to be physical versus climbing LG Nelson and losing his gap, Post safety Davis took a bad angle and was not in good position to make a tackle

  • Taylor 4 runs versus Jets out of Pony package for 110 yards including 78 yard TD, He has had 13 runs for 199 yards out of Pony for the season

  • Pitman 13 yards on 3rd + 5 late in 1st quarter designed for him with natural rub element by slot receiver Pascal on his angled stem, Pitman tempoed slant off Pascal; Jets cover 1 out of dime behind 5 man rush out of loaded front

  • Wentz another game in which he was decisive getting the ball out within the structure and timing of the pass game, He did not get stuck in the pocket

  • Granson 27 yards on 3rd + 3 on first possession of 3rd quarter came out of 13 personnel with all 3 TE attached to the boundary versus Jets base cover 1, Great use of formation and route design to attack and defeat man coverage with Granson shallow cross underneath both Doyle and Alie-Cox, Stack/bunch look beat the coverage – Pitch and catch for Wentz

  • Pascal 31 yards on 1st + 10 on first possession of 3rd quarter another well-designed concept: Shotgun play action boot off wide zone run action to the boundary, Pascal from the slot to the field ran the corner-over route and his corner stem got post safety Davis to react, Jets were in cover 1 out of nickel versus Colts 11 personnel – Play designed for Pascal

  • Colts featured some well-schemed misdirection concepts in the passing game in the 2nd half: Pascal 31 yards in 3rd quarter versus cover 1, Alie-Cox 28 yards in 4th quarter versus cover 3, both working off outside zone run concepts

  • Wentz excellent on 1st down: 11-15 for 140 yards and 2 TD; 15 of his 33 drop backs came on 1st down

EAGLES OFFENSE VERSUS CHARGERS DEFENSE
  • Chargers opened the game in 5-1 nickel front with White the stacked LB, Campbell the boundary corner and Smith the field corner with Harris the slot corner

  • First 3rd down (3rd + 5) Hurts out of the shotgun second reaction movement to his left: Goedert 18 yards – LT Mailata one-on-one versus Bosa with no help

  • Chargers also snaps of 4-2 nickel with White and Tranquill the stacked LB – They have played both 5-1 and 4-2 nickel all season

  • Goedert wide open on over route from #3 to trips versus Chargers nickel cover 3 on 3rd + 5 on first possession, Hurts under pressure from Tillery driving back RG Driscoll into the pocket threw the ball up the field rather than taking Goedert across the field

  • Driscoll on first 2 possessions a couple of bad snaps in one-on-one pass protection, the first versus Tillery and the second versus Jones

  • Howard 18 yards on second play of third possession came out of 12 balanced with Hurts under center: Split flow mid-zone with boot look by Hurts, Chargers 5-2 base front

  • Smith 27 yards on 2nd + 6 on third possession came out of 21 Pony personnel with Scott in wing TE alignment opposite Goedert in same wing alignment, Hurts under center: Inside zone run action with post-cross combination versus cover 3 – Defined read and throw on a basic 2 man route concept off conventional play action

  • Eagles ran the ball on 3rd and goal from the 4 yard line on third possession: Howard inside zone out of shotgun, OC Kelce beaten by 1-technique DT Joseph off the ball but Howard quick cut inside; LT Mailata block on 3-technique DT Tillery

  • First 11 plays of Eagles fourth possession came out of 13 personnel with 9 of those 11 coming with Hurts under center, 9 of the 11 were called runs; Eagles featured some no huddle tempo on that possession

  • The 12th play on that possession came out of 12 personnel and was a QB run by Hurts out of the shotgun – Overall it was a 16 play FG drive with 12 called runs out of the 15 offensive plays, 12 plays came out of 13 personnel

  • Hurts poor ball placement throw to open Smith on out route from the slot on 3rd and goal from the 6 yard line, That resulted in the FG; Hurts never set in the pocket, He kept drifting to his left and threw off-balance

  • Foundation of Eagles run game was inside and mid-zone at times with split flow element from the shotgun giving it zone read look

  • Chargers played dime with Webb the sixth defensive back on the Eagles first possession and then didn’t come back to it until Eagles first possession of 3rd quarter but this time Marshall was the dime

  • Bosa sack to end Eagles first possession of 3rd quarter came out of loaded front with Bosa pushing back RG Driscoll into the pocket

  • Smith 23 yards on 2nd + 10 on second possession of 3rd quarter came out of 12 closed boundary twins to the field, Conventional play action with Smith from #1 to twins refined subtle route running versus off coverage corner Smith on the deep comeback – Good timing by Hurts on the spot throw, 7 man pass protection

  • There were too many snaps in which the Chargers did not contain Hurts allowing him to get outside to his right, That is exactly where you don’t want him to go

  • Smith 19 yards on 2nd + 16 on 4th quarter TD drive came out of 12 3x1 with Smith the reduced split boundary x, Conventional play action behind 7 man protection with Smith working one-on-one on the outside versus Campbell; Hurts another strong timing spot throw on the out route, One read concept

  • Eagles all zone run concepts until final TD drive in the 4th quarter when they ran some gap scheme with RG Driscoll and RT Johnson pulling across the formation, Scott was the back

  • Smith 28 yard TD in the 4th quarter came out of 11 1x3 nub with Smith #2 to trips versus Chargers nickel cover 1 with James sitting low in the intermediate middle in position to react to Hurts movement, Hurts clean pocket behind 7 man protection with Smith running the crosser versus Harris; Good ball by Hurts

  • Howard carried the ball 17 times with 8 of those carries (for 38 yards) coming with Hurts under center

  • Hurts only 24 drop backs versus the Chargers but the Eagles only ran 57 offensive plays, That’s not enough in an NFL game

  • Eagles 11 snaps of 12 personnel and 13 snaps of 13 personnel, 11 of which came on the fourth possession of the 1st half; Eagles 29 snaps of 11 personnel which was about 50% of their offensive snaps

  • Hurts 6-7 for 103 yards off play action, 3-3 for 69 yards from conventional play action

CHARGERS OFFENSE VERSUS EAGLES DEFENSE
  • Eagles as they have all season continued to feature 5-2 base front with Avery on the ball, Edwards and Taylor were the stacked LB

  • Edwards and Taylor were the LB in the 4-2 nickel – Edwards played every snap and Taylor played 49 snaps which was his highest total of the season

  • Eagles continued to play snaps of 5-1 nickel with Avery on the ball and Edwards as the stacked LB

  • Slay predominantly matched up to Williams when both Williams and Allen lined up outside, Allen against the Eagles ran 22 routes from the slot targeted 5 times with 4-39

  • Chachere played snaps at slot corner when Maddox left the game in the 1st quarter, Chachere blitzed on a 1st + 10 on Chargers first possession: Allen 17 yards on crosser versus Nelson – Maddox would come back

  • Rookie DL Williams showed some POA leverage and strength in the run game, Snap versus LT Slater on first possession a great example: Kelley 3 yards

  • Anderson 23 yards on first possession came out of 11 2x2 with Anderson the wing TE to the boundary, Well-designed screen concept to the boundary off power run action to the field; Eagles cover 1 out of nickel with safety Harris seeing Anderson initially block and then retreat losing sight of Anderson

  • Anderson 2 yard TD on 2nd and goal to end second possession came on well-designed play action boot concept off straight I with Anderson aligned as the fullback, Iso lead action to the to the boundary with Anderson then changing directing and working into the flat to the field; Anderson was LB Edwards man coverage responsibility but Edwards had to react to the run action from the 2 yard line and was late to get to Anderson in the flat

  • Eagles snaps of nickel versus Chargers 12 and 6 OL personnel, Eagles did that with Epps at safety and he predominantly was the box player

  • Eagles 4 man zone exchange pressure concept out of dime on 2nd + 11 on Chargers third possession with Edwards the fourth rusher and Barnett dropping into underneath zone coverage; It was cover 8 with cover 2 to the field and cover 4 to the boundary – Cook 15 yards on quick out in Barnett’s area

  • Herbert and Chargers passing game very rhythmic, Quick game throws that attacked the Eagles zone coverage concepts

  • Edwards continued to flash in the run game making plays in the box and showing some range to make plays outside the box, He blew up iso lead block of Anderson in the red zone on Chargers second possession of 3rd quarter

  • Allen 16 yards on 3rd + 4 on Chargers first possession of 3rd quarter came out of 11 2x2 with Allen the slot to the field versus Eagles nickel cover 1, Allen beat Maddox off the ball on the quick slant with room to run; Maddox played Allen as if it was zone and he had help inside

  • Singleton did not play many snaps versus Chargers, He only played 10 snaps and they almost all came in the 5-1 nickel

  • Williams 49 yards to start second possession of 3rd quarter came on shot play out of 11 personnel versus Eagles cover 1 with Slay matched on Williams, Williams post route got on top of Slay through the route; Herbert shotgun boot action with a deep throwback

  • Eagles played more snaps of cover 1 than they had in any previous game, and they were more aggressive with pressure; Eagles defense has been evolving as the season has progressed into much more of a single high safety defense

  • Maddox hurt in the 3rd quarter, Safety Epps became the slot corner; Snaps in which Eagles doubled and bracketed Allen, They went dime late in the 3rd quarter and played 1 robber with McLeod the double on Allen

  • McPhearson replaced injured Slay at corner late in the 3rd quarter, Eagles played the 4th quarter with McPhearson at outside corner and Epps the slot corner – That limits your coverage approach

  • Eagles played 70% of their defensive snaps in nickel, matching up at times to the Chargers 12 personnel with nickel

  • Chargers pass game approach with heavy emphasis on quick game and rhythmic throws minimized and basically eliminated Eagles 4 man DL pass rush, Herbert more than 40 drop backs and was not sacked and was rarely under any duress

COWBOYS OFFENSE VERSUS BRONCOS DEFENSE
  • Young and Browning were the LB in the Broncos nickel, Browning was the dime LB; Sterns continued to be the dime safety

  • Surtain left corner and Darby right corner with Fuller the slot corner, Simmons and Jackson the safeties

  • Weatherly and rookie Cooper were the predominant edge rushers in the Broncos sub fronts, Reed inactive

  • Simmons in nickel and Sterns in dime were the predominant TE matchups versus 11 personnel, Sterns has proven to be a multi-dimensional dime safety despite playing only 18% of the defensive snaps

  • Steele moved from RT to LT and Colins played RT for the Cowboys, It was Steele’s first game at LT

  • Cooper 32 yards on 3rd + 2 on second possession came out of 11 2x2 with Cooper #1 to the boundary versus Broncos nickel cover 1 with Surtain off coverage man on Cooper, Cowboys man beater concept with double rub element with TE Schultz and Wilson from the field slot – Well-designed concept to beat man coverage

  • Broncos did an excellent job shooting gaps in the run game and making plays on the offensive side of the ball – Broncos one of the better run defenses in the NFL through 9 games allowing only 98 rushing yards per game

  • Broncos played 8 snaps of nickel versus Cowboys 12 personnel, It was clearly game planned – That is something they have done all season with 31 snaps of nickel versus 12 personnel

  • Broncos did an excellent in coverage reading routes, matching routes and passing them off in what were essentially zone match concepts – Prescott also missed some opportunities that were: 3rd + 7 early in 2nd quarter Wilson wide open on deep over from the field slot, Prescott went instead to Lamb on the vertical well-covered by Darby

  • My sense watching the tape was that LB Young and Browning both played with outstanding route and spatial awareness in coverage

  • Broncos relied almost exclusively on 4 man DL pass rush, They did not pressure with 5 on many snaps at all: Only 6 of Prescott’s 43 drop backs

  • First 3rd down (3rd + 1) of the 3rd quarter Broncos busted their coverage on one of their few blitzes and Prescott stuck the ball right on a wide open Cooper on a slant route with much room to run but he dropped it

  • Cooper flashed as an edge pass rusher working exclusively on the right side of the defense – Steele did not look as comfortable at LT in pass protection as he has at RT this season

  • Surtain left the game in the middle of the 3rd quarter, Fuller moved outside to left corner with Hairston playing slot corner in nickel and dime

  • Sterns interception on 4th + 7 in 4th quarter a great example of Broncos matching routes and passing off routes in what was essentially a 1 robber concept that initially looked like 2 man, Sterns matched on Wilson #3 to trips passed him to boundary safety Simmons and then became the new robber reading Prescott who was certain he had the dig to Lamb #1 to trips

  • Broncos featured both cover 1 (with some 1 robber) and split safety zone coverages that featured match elements depending on the routes

BRONCOS OFFENSE VERSUS COWBOYS DEFENSE
  • For the second consecutive week the Cowboys did not play any snaps of base defense, Cowboys base defense is big nickel with 3 safeties; Hooker continued to play significant snaps in the big nickel

  • Cowboys have only played 10 snaps of base defense all season, More than 81% of defensive snaps have been nickel both big and conventional with slot corner Lewis

  • Broncos featured quick counts on second possession: Williams 20 yards on 3rd + 2, I believe defensive call was cover 2 with LB Neal starting to drop as the middle hole defender; Jeudy 25 yards on 2nd + 13, Conventional play action with post-cross combination with Jeudy on the crosser

  • Bridgewater has been efficient not explosive off play action: 50-71 for 481 yards and 3 TD but only 6.8 yards per attempt – I would have expected more play action from the Broncos given their running game

  • Cowboys continued to be multiple with their front alignments out of dime, Parsons and Gregory used predominantly as the movable chess pieces; Stunts again a foundational tactic out of sub fronts

  • Patrick 44 yard TD on 1st + 10 early in the 2nd quarter came out of 11 3x1 with Jeudy motion across the formation, Cowboys cover 1 lurk with Diggs matched on Patrick in off coverage; Patrick stutter-go got Diggs to stop his feet just enough to get on top of him, Bridgewater great ball with touch and precise ball placement

  • Jeudy used as the movement receiver in the Broncos offense both with motion across the formation and return motion

  • Cowboys continued to feature cover 2 with multiple middle hole defenders and different 4 man rush personnel, Disguise and late movement – Cover 1 has been the Cowboys staple all season

  • Parsons continued to be used on 3rd down both as an edge pass rusher and a second level blitzer, He also blitzed from double mug looks: 3rd + 5 sack in the 3rd quarter

  • Williams is a strong downhill runner with natural power who can run through tackles and has outstanding contact balance, He is a velocity runner who can work effectively in confined space and consistently get the hard yards; Williams is a tempo setter with his attitude running

  • Outstanding combo block by OC Cushenberry on Gordon 13 yards on Broncos second possession, Second block was sealing Parsons to the inside; Gordon running through contact

  • Williams featured as an I back in the zone run game, You want to get him on his track with build up speed and velocity – Second year OC Cushenberry showed outstanding mobility and balance climbing to the second level

  • Williams 30 yards on 2nd + 10 in the 3rd quarter came on G/G pull scheme to the boundary, Williams natural power to churn through contact – Broncos ran G/G pull scheme to the boundary with both Williams and Gordon

  • Cushenberry had an outstanding game as a run blocker executing multiple blocking concepts: Reach blocks, base blocks, combo blocks, second level blocks

  • Hinton 40 yards on 3rd + 14 early in the 4th quarter came out of 11 2x2 versus Cowboys zero with no middle safety and 2 DL dropping out late into underneath coverage, Hinton skinny post versus off coverage corner Brown who was giving Hinton a 13 yard pre-snap cushion – Pitch and catch with a lot of room to run

  • Bridgewater still shows a tendency to hold onto the ball too long in the pocket and is therefore susceptible to sacks, He has been sacked 26 times among the highest total in the NFL

  • Bridgewater 6-7 for 105 yards on 3rd down; That was a key part of the game; Cowboys 4 blitzes on 9 3rd down drop backs

  • Broncos feature one of the highest percentages of 12 personnel in the NFL: Almost 29% of their offensive snaps, and that percentage increases to 38% on 1st down

MATTHEW STAFFORD VERSUS TITANS DEFENSE
  • Rams played every snap versus the Titans out of 11 personnel, Titans did not play any snaps of base defense

  • Jenkins left corner and Jackson right corner with Molden the slot corner in the nickel, Brown and Long were the nickel LB

  • Titans sub dime had a different personnel package: Jones at right corner and Jackson and Cruikshank inside; In dime cover 1 Hooker was the TE matchup and Cruikshank was the running back matchup, In 1 robber Cruikshank was the TE matchup

  • In the 1st half the Titans coverage approach was predominant zone out of nickel and predominant cover 1 out of dime - Overall the Titans played significant snaps of cover 1/1 robber on 3rd down when they were in dime, That was their foundational approach

  • Titans coverages: Cover 4, cover 2 (at times invert), cover 6 with 2 trap to the boundary, cover 3 (at times behind 4 man zone exchange pressure), cover 1 (at times with 2 underneath zone defenders behind a 3 man rush)

  • Rams first snap of empty resulted in Autry sack, Excellent marriage of coverage and pressure: Titans cover 6 with 2 trap to the boundary and a multiple stunt concept that combined T/T stunt with T/E stunt, Result was Autry looped into the A gap and beat RT Havenstein

  • Autry continued to be one of the most dominant DL in the NFL over the last month, He lines up both at DE and at DT depending on the Titans front – Simmons first sack on 2nd + 19 resulted from Autry at DT beating RG Corbett inside and forcing Stafford off his spot

  • What stood out in the 1st quarter was how much disguise and late movement the Titans featured to get to cover 2 with multiple middle hole defenders, They showed some snaps of cover 2 invert

  • Jackson outstanding job in cover 3 on 1st + 10 in the 1st quarter passing off Woods vertical from outside and flipping his hips to play the throw to Kupp on the intermediate corner route, Great recognition and awareness by Jackson – Again pressure and coverage working together with Long the fourth rusher beating RG Corbett with speed forcing Stafford to climb the pocket and make the throw a beat late

  • What continued to stand out was the high frequency of stunts used by the Titans with their 4 man DL pressures, They featured multiple stunt concepts

  • In the 1st quarter LB Long was the fourth rusher in the 4 man zone exchange pressure concepts, In the 2nd quarter Molden was used as the fourth rusher

  • Long interception on 3rd + 4 deep in Rams territory came out of dime and resulted from long stunt to the outside by looping Simmons out of loaded front, Simmons was the 1-technique and he looped behind Autry and Dupree; Stafford had no defined throw to the boundary due to the man coverage of Cruikshank and Jones, Titans cover 1

  • Byard interception to start Rams fifth possession came out of nickel cover 3, Byard undefined look pre-snap dropped down as the flat defender and read Stafford on the speed out to Woods; Recognition and reaction

  • Simmons sack on 3rd + 5 in 2nd quarter was a straight power bull rush driving back LG Edwards right into Stafford, Stafford empty set

  • Simmons third sack in the 1st half came out of a loaded front, This time he was the picker in a long inside stunt by Dupree but Simmons beat OC Allen so fast he got the sack; Titans 1 robber out of dime

  • Titans first 5 man pressure came on Rams first possession of the 3rd quarter and it was 3rd + 1 with Stafford under center: Higbee 26 yards on a well-designed screen

  • The interior of the Rams OL particularly OC Allen and LG Edwards had a tough time blocking Simmons, Stunts were a factor but there one0-on-one matchups I which they could not handle Simmons

  • Rams featured more play action boot with Stafford in the 3rd quarter to get him away from the Titans pass rush that was a big factor in the 1st half

  • Autry-Landry sack on 3rd + 6 late in the 3rd quarter came out of loaded front: T/T stunt with Autry the picker and Simmons the looper, Stafford started his delivery to Jefferson but there was no definition, Stafford broke down in the pocket and Autry had driven back OC Allen with Landry cleaning up from the outside

  • Titans first 5 man pressure on 3rd and long came with 9:18 remaining in the 4th quarter with the Rams at the -16 yard line and the Titans leading 21-9: Woods 22 yards on a great throw by Stafford

  • Stafford had been outstanding out of empty through 8 games, Against the Titans Stafford was 9-15 for 81 yards with 3 sacks

  • Rams only 4-15 on 3rd down conversions; Stafford 6-11 for 79 yards with an interception and 2 sacks on 3rd down, Only 3 of his 6 completions resulted in 1st downs

TITANS OFFENSE VERSUS RAMS DEFENSE
  • Rams continued to be a base 5-2 front defense, Reeder and rookie Jones were the stacked LB; Rams featured 5-1 fronts out of nickel with Reeder the LB

  • Rams have played the second highest percentage of dime snaps in the NFL this season (Dolphins), More than 25% of defensive snaps have come out of dime; Safety Scott continued to be the dime with rookie Jones the dime LB

  • Rams showed some 6 man front looks versus Titans 13 personnel, Reeder was the stacked LB

  • Hart again the LT for the Titans with Lewan not playing, Brewer was at RG for the inactive Davis

  • Hart struggled with one-on-one blocks in the run game, He could not block Robinson; Hart also some bad snaps in one-on-one pass protection, He gave up a sack to Okoronkwo late in the 2nd quarter and was driven back into the pocket by Lewis also late in the 2nd quarter

  • Titans first snap of 11 personnel (2nd + 7) Ramsey stayed outside in the Rams nickel, He played right corner with Deayon the slot corner

  • Ramsey interception to end Titans first possession came out of Rams base defense versus Titans 12 personnel, Ramsey was at left corner in off coverage versus Brown keeping his inside shoulder low so he could flip his body with quickness and balance (loose hips and short area burst) to play the out cut, Tannehill left the ball too far inside due to Robinson pressure – Ramsey plays outside in the Rams base defense

  • There were nickel snaps in which Ramsey played outside but it was not always to match up to Brown or Jones, When Ramsey played in the slot in nickel and dime Deayon and Williams were the predominant outside corners

  • Floyd has had a strong year as a pass rusher, He is solely a left side pass rusher never lining up on the right side of the defensive front

  • 13 personnel clearly part of Titans game plan approach, It was featured on Titans early possessions

  • Titans started 3rd quarter with Swaim the straight I formation fullback: Foreman 2 yards on zone lead strong; Swain 9 yard reception in the flat off iso lead action attacking rookie LB Jones coverage responsibility, Jones eyes in the backfield got stuck inside

  • Titans OL was physically beaten in the run game, Titans could not run the ball with any consistency

  • Rams continued to feature loaded fronts on 3rd down out of dime, That’s a staple front for them on 3rd down; There were loaded front snaps in which Donald was the wide 9 DE opposite the load

  • On 3rd + 8 in the middle of the 3rd quarter Titans matched loaded front with chips on both Okoronkwo (wide DE to the load side) and Floyd the wide DE opposite the load, Titans OT Quessenberry and Hart needed help in pass protection

  • Brown 16 yards on 4th quarter TD drive came out of 11 3x1 with Brown #1 to trips in reduced bunch split versus Rams nickel zero with Ramsey outside lined up with outside leverage over Brown; Brown skinny post beat Ramsey

  • Rams continued to play limited snaps of cover 1, They have not been a man-to-man defense this season; Cover 3 and cover 4 have been their foundational coverages and what has been most interesting is that unlike almost all teams their cover 1 percentage does not meaningfully increase on 3rd down

49ERS OFFENSE VERSUS CARDS DEFENSE
  • Cards matched up to 49ers 21 personnel on 1st down with 5 man DL front and 3 LB, with 2 corners and safety Baker; At times out of that personnel they put Simmons on the ball to make it a 6 man front

  • Cards went 5-3-3 personnel versus both 21 and 12 personnel and snaps of base 4-3-4 personnel versus 12 personnel, That was game plan approach – Cards featured 5 man pressures out of 5-3-3 personnel

  • Alford continued to be the Cards nickel/diem corner playing on the outside with Murphy moving inside to slot corner

  • Kittle 19 yards on third play of the game came on well-designed 3 man route concept to the field versus Cards 6-2 front with 3 under-3 deep behind 5 man rush, 3 level flood concept with Kittle running the intermediate corner route – Pitch and catch

  • First 3rd and long (3rd + 10) Cards went dime versus 49ers 11 personnel and played cover 1 with Simmons the matchup on Kittle, Golden lined up inside as a standup 3-technique; Garoppolo did not have a throw within timing and was forced to step up in the pocket, Golden made the sack

  • Kittle clearly featured part of 49ers game plan, The man-to-man matchup for the Cards was Simmons

  • Shanahan did an excellent job attacking the Cards single high safety zone coverage out of 5-3-3 personnel: Flood concepts, hi-low concepts, Kittle one-on-one versus Simmons – Kittle 19 yards, Kittle 18 yards (fumble), Samuel 16 yards

  • One issue that consistently shows up with Garoppolo is his ball placement is not as precise as it needs to be given that he is a pocket timing and rhythm QB, He misses a few too many layups

  • Another issue with Garoppolo at times is that he is not an efficient pocket mover, He cannot slide laterally or climb vertically to create the needed space to deliver cleanly; When the ball cannot come out within the timing of the drop and set he too often gets stuck in the pocket and breaks down

  • Cards played both nickel and dime on 3rd and long, First snap of nickel on 3rd and long Cards went cover 3 behind 4 man DL rush; It appeared Cards 3rd down approach was zone coverage out of nickel and cover 1 (at times 1 robber) out of dime

  • Aiyuk fumble was not on Garoppolo but it was another example of Garoppolo not throwing with precise ball placement to an open receiver and making that receiver have to make a tough catch; Another well-designed single high safety zone beater route concept with hi-low element

  • Cards went more snaps of base 4-3-4 versus 21 personnel as the game progressed and they built up the lead, What was interesting was that it was safety Thompson as the box defender with Baker the post safety

  • Compton replaced McGlinchey at RT in the 2nd quarter – McGlinchey is out for the season

  • Aiyuk 16 yards on 3rd + 11 late in the 2nd quarter came out of 11 2x2 versus Cards disguise late movement to cover 2 out of nickel (again zone coverage out of nickel, Garoppolo read the movement/rotation and hit Aiyuk in the void at the numbers in cover 2

  • Cards came out in 3rd quarter and on the first 3rd and long out of nickel they changed up and went cover 1 with safety Thompson matched on Kittle and Hicks the underneath lurk defender in position to defend the 49ers staple in-breaking routes which he did resulting in Phillips sack

  • In the 3rd quarter when the Cards went cover 1 out of nickel Thompson was the matchup on Kittle

  • Aiyuk 11 yard TD on 3rd and goal came out of 11 2x2 after Aiyuk motion across the formation versus Cards nickel 2 man, Garoppolo tight window throw to Aiyuk on the in-breaker at the back of the end zone; Gutsy throw by Garoppolo but the 49ers were losing 31-7 at the time and there were 5 minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter

  • This game did not allow the 49ers to play offense the way they want to, They could not stay with their run game as the foundation of the offense

  • Cards came back to 5-3-3 personnel versus 21 personnel late in the 3rd quarter into the 4th quarter, That was clearly DC Joseph’s game plan approach

  • Baker interception on 3rd + 5 late in the 4th quarter came out of nickel and was a great example of disguise and late movement to cover 2 with Baker initially the post safety becoming the middle hole defender, 49ers ran dagger with Garoppolo throwing the dig ball to Samuel and he did not account for Baker’s movement

  • Cards played 17 snaps of base defense (both 5-3-3 and 4-3-4) and 20 snaps of nickel with only 5 snaps of dime, A defined game plan approach by DC Joseph that was specific to the 49ers heavy use of 21 and 12 personnel

CARDS OFFENSE VERSUS 49ERS DEFENSE
  • 49ers did not play any snaps of base defense, They played every snap but one in nickel (1 snap of dime)

  • Cards featured OC Hudson as the lead puller on first gap scheme run of the game, It was a counter concept with TE Daniels crossing the formation as the wrapper: Connor 8 yards

  • Connor 13 yard TD to end second possession was another counter gap scheme run this time with LG Harlow the puller and Daniels again the wrapper

  • Connor 35 yards on 1st + 10 on first play of second possession of 3rd quarter came out of 11 3x1 spread versus 49ers nickel, Inside zone off zone read action with DE Bosa the unblocked defender resulting in 5 on 5 blocking in the box – Well-schemed run game concept

  • TE Daniels was featured as the wrapper in the Cards gap scheme run game, both counter and same side power

  • Cards had success running the ball out of spread formations which expanded the 49ers defense and lightened the box: Connor 35 yards in 3rd quarter, Benjamin 21 yard TD also inside zone with zone read action (Benjamin trucked corner Kirkpatrick)

  • Connor looked quick with light active feet, I do not know what his weight is but he looked thinner with a leaner body that made his movements look more dynamic and explosive

  • Cards kept the pass game basic for McCoy with one read concepts like snag-flat, multiple screen concepts, fake WR screen with slant behind it (no read involved)

  • Connor 21 yard reception on 3rd + 18 late in the 1st quarter came on a designed check down to Connor, 49ers playing soft cover 4 out of nickel behind 4 man DL rush; Missed open field tackle by Al-Shaair and a lack of awareness by boundary corner Moseley squeezing inside not seeing the throw to Connor

  • Kirk 50 yards on 2nd + 8 in 2nd quarter was a schemed play to attack 49ers cover 4 with 2 safeties who are not strong coverage players on the back end: Cards 11 2x2 with Kirk the tight slot to the field, Moore jet motion from the boundary to the field making it 3x1 with Kirk now #3 and making boundary safety Hufanga responsible for any Kirk vertical route; Kirk ran by Hufanga on the deep over route and McCoy placed the ball perfectly

  • Cards did an excellent job attacking both 49ers zone coverage concepts and man coverage concepts: Ertz 17 yards on 2nd + 7 in 2nd quarter he beat Al-Shaair on an angle route from the boundary slot

  • McCoy was rarely under duress in this game

PATRIOTS OFFENSE VERSUS PANTHERS DEFENSE
  • Bouye continued to be the Panthers slot corner in their nickel and dime, There were nickel snaps in which the Panthers played with 4 corners and 1 safety

  • Rookie corner Taylor played outside in the big nickel and dime defenses and at times moved inside in the 4 corner nickel

  • Gilmore played in the 4 corner nickel on 3rd down, Panthers 3rd down tendency out of that personnel was to play cover 1 behind 5 man pressure with Gilmore matched on Meyers

  • Panthers predominantly matched up to Patriots 12 personnel with big nickel: Chinn, Chandler and Hartsfield were the safeties; Also snaps of big nickel versus Patriots Pony personnel

  • Patriots significant snaps out of Pony personnel with Bolden and Stevenson, They were multiple with their formations out of it

  • Patriots as always also multiple with their formations out of conventional 21 personnel with fullback Johnson, including snaps of empty

  • Stevenson 41 yard reception on 2nd + 11 in 2nd quarter came out of Pony with both Bolden and Stevenson offset to the field, Panthers cover 1 out of conventional nickel but when Stevenson initially showed pass protection both stacked LB Carter and Thompson looked for work; Stevenson released to the boundary flat on the screen with no one matching him

  • Bolden 16 yards on first possession came out of shotgun 11 personnel, It was a trap play with LG Karras trapping 4i DT Gross-Matos

  • Patriots also featured wham-trap as part of their run game, Wham has been a Patriots run game staple for years

  • When Panthers went cover 1 out of 4 corner nickel versus 11 personnel Bouye was the matchup on TE Henry, Chinn also the TE matchup depending on both Panthers personnel and offensive personnel

  • Panthers on 3rd down showed 5 man pressures and green dogs out of 4 corner nickel, That was 3rd down template

  • Gilmore interception on 2nd + 7 in 2nd quarter came out of base cover 1 versus Patriots conventional 21 personnel with Gilmore matched man-to-man on Meyers – Gilmore more snaps as the game progressed including the big nickel

  • Bolden 28 yard reception on 3rd + 5 in 2nd quarter came out of 11 1x3 with Bolden offset to the boundary versus Panthers dime cover 1 with bracket on Meyers #3 to trips, Matchup was Bolden on the vertical-wheel route versus LB Thompson with Jones back shoulder touch throw – Schemed matchup, Bolden playing the James White role on 3rd down

  • Henry 7 yard TD on 3rd + 5 late in 2nd quarter was a big-time tight red zone throw by Jones with timing and velocity, Jones worked the 3 man boundary route combination with Henry running the snag-curl route right at the top of the end zone, Panthers 4 over 3 matching releases and routes

  • Patriots only ran 59 offensive plays, Jones only 20 drop backs in a game in which he did not have to make any pressure intermediate/vertical throws

BENGALS OFFENSE VERSUS BROWNS DEFENSE
  • Browns base defense had Walker at MIKE with Wilson at SAM and Takitaki at WILL, Walker and Smith were the nickel LB with Hill the slot corner; Lee and Takitaki also played snaps at LB in the nickel

  • Browns played snaps of dime on 3rd down (as they have all season), Safety Delpit continued to be the dime with Walker the only LB; Delpit also played snaps in the nickel with Johnson

  • Browns snaps of cover 3 boundary lock out of dime, Ward was the boundary corner and he would match man-to-man on the boundary x receiver

  • Ward as the boundary corner snaps where he matched up man-to-man on Chase when he was the boundary x receiver on back side of trips

  • Overall Chase did not line up at boundary x versus the Browns as much as we have seen him in previous games, Maybe the Bengals liked his matchup with rookie corner Newsome

  • Chase continued to have success with slant routes both from the boundary and the field, Basic 2 man slant-flat combination that presented a one read throw for Burrow: 15 yards on first possession

  • Ward 99 yard interception return TD on 3rd and goal to end Bengals first possession came in man coverage on Chase, Chase pivot route to the outside beat Ward but Burrow drifted off the mid-line to his right into looping Elliott on E/T stunt and hurried his throw leaving the ball far too inside which allowed Ward to make a play

  • Bengals had success on second possession with play action: Sample 19 yards, Thomas 16 yards

  • Burrow went after backup corner Green on second possession with back shoulder to Chase at boundary x but Green matched Chase on the route and made a play on the ball

  • Browns continued to feature some 3rd down nickel and dime snaps in which Garrett lined up inside at 3-technique/4i DT with McKinley and Clowney the edge rushers, Clowney also at times lines up inside

  • Mixon 11 yard TD to end second possession came on pin-pull scheme to the field, Sample lined up as the I formation fullback and LT Williams was the puller; Mixon made slot corner Hill miss in space

  • What stands out watching the Browns defense is they have excellent depth along their defensive front

  • Another thing that stands out watching the Browns defense is that Hill is a very good slot who can execute all that is demanded of slot corners: man coverage, zone coverage, physicality and tackling in the run game, blitz

  • DT McDowell is another player who consistently stands out watching the Browns defense, He has played over 65% of the defensive snaps and has been a factor both in the run game and as an inside pass rusher

  • Browns continued to show loaded fronts on 3rd down, Multiple stunt concepts came from the load and they liked their one-on-one matchup opposite the load of any of their pass rushers versus the OT

  • Burrow a little unsettled in the pocket in the 1st half, At times unnecessary movement that made him a beat late or resulted in throws left on the field

  • Johnson interception on 3rd + 4 in middle of 3rd quarter resulted from outstanding press man coverage by Ward on boundary x Chase slant route and a poor ball placement throw by Burrow that he left too far behind Chase; Browns showed a 2 man look out of 3-2-6 dime (first snap of it in the game) with boundary safety Johnson sliding down to become the robber in 1 robber, Burrow knew what he had pre-snap and made the right read versus the coverage

  • Browns are not a high percentage cover 1 defense on 3rd down through 9 games relative to the rest of the NFL

  • Browns played predominantly singe high safety coverages versus the Bengals with cover 1 and cover 3 the foundations, There were also significant snaps of split safety zone; It was a good mix depending on personnel and down and distance but it was high percentage single high on 3rd down

JORDAN LOVE VERSUS CHIEFS DEFENSE
  • Ward and Sneed were the outside corners in the Chiefs base defense; In both nickel and dime Sneed moved inside to the slot and Fenton played outside corner

  • First 3rd down (3rd + 6) Chiefs out of dime went cover 4 boundary lock versus Packers 3x1 set with Adams the boundary x, Ward was the man-to-man lock on Adams with Mathieu and Thornhill the split safeties; Ingram speed-to-power rush drove back RT Turner into the pocket and squeezed Love

  • 3rd + 12 from +25 yard line in 2nd quarter Chiefs went zero blitz out of dime, Love knew where to go with the ball and got it out with unblocked defenders in his face to Adams on the shallow crosser for 6 yards to keep the FG in play

  • Blitz, disguise and late movement, and man coverage was the Chiefs template on 3rd down with zero pressure part of the equation, They wanted to speed up Love physically knowing he might be a beat slow mentally

  • 3rd + 6 from -45 yard line in 2nd quarter Chiefs out of dime disguise and late movement to cover 1 behind 5 man pressure from diamond front, Love went to his best matchup which was boundary x Adams on the fade versus Ward; It was a good decision by Love but Ward excellent coverage on Adams and the throw was too far inside, Packers OL did not help Love allowing pressure right up the middle

  • There was too much pressure on Love in the 1st half, Inexperienced QB almost always show a tendency to play fast anyway but up the middle pressure makes that worse and that is what Love faced on too many snaps

  • Ball placement was an issue at times for Love even on some completions – Can he become more precise or is he just not a naturally precise ball location passer? The most important question

  • Chiefs second snap of zero out of dime came on 4th + 5 from +38 yard line with :30 remaining in the 1st half, Love again went to Adams on vertical release from boundary x alignment but was forced to throw it early without any definition due to Sorensen getting in clean in his vision; Pass protection did not handle pressure correctly, Sorensen should not have been the clean rusher

  • Ward at times out of nickel and dime matched up to Adams in the Chiefs man coverage concepts – Ingram was used as an edge rusher predominantly out of dime but some snaps in nickel

  • Love still showed a tendency at times in the 3rd quarter to be a little unsettled and to play fast, perceiving pressure and breaking down in the pocket; From his perspective that was understandable given the constant inside pressure he faced in the 1st half

  • Chiefs third snap of zero out of dime came on 3rd + 8 from the -42 yard line in the 3rd quarter and resulted in a sack, Love got no help from his receivers who did not adjust their routes; Again Packers issues in pass protection and Mathieu got in clean through the front side C gap for the sack

  • Love most rhythmic throw of the game up to that point came on the first play of the 4th quarter: Timing out route to the boundary off play action 7 step drop, Adams 14 yards

  • Love got into a little bit of a rhythm at the beginning of the 4th quarter: Adams 14 yards on out route followed by Valdes-Scantling 16 yards on dig ball, the Valdes-Scantling 3 yards on quick game speed out – Timing and precise ball placement

  • Sneed interception on 3rd + 10 from +24 yard line came with Sneed matched man-to-man on Adams wheel route from the slot, Love did not make a bad decision (throwing to the best receiver in the NFL one-on-one) but Sneed’s positioning on top of Adams demanded a back shoulder throw and Love laid it out in front

  • Chiefs fourth snap of zero out of dime came on 2nd + 10 from the -47 yard line in the 4th quarter, Sorensen clean through the A gap with Love throwing to Adams on the fade versus Ward; Excellent coverage by Ward but Love overthrew Adams

  • Chiefs high percentage blitz and it caused problems for the Packers pass protection and by extension for Love who played this game under consistent duress

  • Chiefs fifth snap of zero out of dime came on 3rd + 5 from the +20 yard line in the 4th quarter, Chiefs added a wrinkle with Mathieu aligned outside the boundary dropping to double Adams at boundary x; Love again under immediate pressure threw the slot fade to Cobb but left it a little short, Again good decision but not precise enough ball placement

  • Lazard 20 yard TD on 4th + 5 in the 4th quarter did not come versus zero but Ingram was clean off the back side edge, Good ball with touch and ball placement to Lazard on the out cut from the boundary slot versus Sorensen

TREVOR SIEMIAN VERSUS FALCONS DEFENSE
  • Terrell left corner and Moreau right corner for the Falcons, They played sides; Terrell did not match up to any specific Saints WR

  • Falcons snaps of big nickel versus both Saints 12 and 11 personnel with Hawkins the third safety with Harris and Harmon

  • When the Falcons went big nickel versus 11 personnel and played cover 1 they matched safety Harris on the slot WR and Hawkins on the TE: Smith 19 yards on 2nd + 7 in 2nd quarter

  • Williams was the Falcons slot corner in conventional nickel – Falcons played only nickel as their sub defense, No snaps of dime

  • Falcons DC Pees a master at disguise and late movement to get to multiple coverage concepts

  • 3rd down sub front snaps in which Jarrett lined up at wide 9 DE and was an edge pass rusher

  • Saints put Siemian in empty sets 10 times, He was 6-9 for 63 yards and 1 sack; 7 of those 10 drop backs came out of 11 personnel, Kamara 19 yards was longest completion out of empty and he was not the primary read for Simian

  • Kamara almost always lines up to the boundary in empty sets, both offset in the backfield and detached as a split receiver

  • Falcons multiple with their front looks out of nickel, They played snaps of 3-3-5 nickel with Walker the third LB and in that package predominantly featured 5 man front looks

  • No team has lined up in 6 OL personnel more than the Saints, Almost 17% of offensive snaps through 8 games have come with 6 OL personnel – 9 of 16 snaps of 6 OL versus Falcons came on 1st down but it has not been predominantly a 1st down personnel package

  • Siemian had 10 3rd down drop backs versus the Falcons: 5-10 for 58 yards with 3 of those 5 completions resulting in 1st downs

  • Falcons played a high percentage of cover 1, It was their game planned coverage foundation and the percentage increased on 3rd down out of nickel – LB Jones was the matchup on Kamara

  • Cover 2 also a staple coverage for the Falcons, Getting to it with disguise and late movement has been a Dean Pees staple

  • Pees out of nickel ran a triple A gap blitz out of double mug look on 3rd + 8 on first play of 4th quarter from the Saints +34 yard line, Safety Harris was the third A gap rusher and he came from distance; Simian saw and felt the pressure sliding left and throwing a hurried off-balance incompletion

  • Trautman 25 yards on 3rd + 1 in the middle of the 4th quarter an excellent throw by Siemian on the seam ball in the middle void in cover 2, When Simian saw middle hole defender Harris stay low he turned it loose: Precise ball placement

  • Falcons brought selective pressure with blitz in the 4th quarter, Multiple pressure concepts including a snap of zero in the tight red zone; And they mixed zone and man coverage

  • Stills 22 yards on go-ahead TD drive late in 4th quarter another excellent throw by Siemian on a schemed stop-and-wheel route: Timing, touch and precise ball placement

  • Siemian brought the Saints back from a 24-6 4th quarter deficit with 3 consecutive TD drives, He was 11-15 for 110 yards and 2 TD

  • Siemian is a ball distributor and an executor, He is a pocket QB who needs the pass game concepts to present the reads and throws; In that context he can line up and run your offense, At his best he is both patient and decisive with the ability to efficiently execute a balanced well-schemed offense that allows him to play with timing and rhythm from the pocket

  • Siemian ball placement not as consistently precise as it needs to be given the kind of QB he is, He is a touch and pace thrower who lacks a power arm to drive the ball

MATT RYAN VERSUS SAINTS DEFENSE
  • Saints played Davis and Alexander as their nickel LB versus Falcons, Werner had been playing with Davis in the nickel with Alexander playing in the 3-2-6 dime; Against the Falcons Werner played in the base 4-3 defense

  • Saints played nickel to Falcons 12 personnel with Pitts and Hurst the TE, They used Gardner-Johnson as the SAM LB

  • Pitts from #1 to the boundary ran by Lattimore on the first play of the game, He dropped a good throw from Ryan

  • Saints continued to play 3-2-6 as their sub dime with Davis and Alexander the LB and P. Williams the dime safety; Saints played some snaps of dime with Roby and not P. Williams as the dime, Roby played inside with Gardner-Johnson

  • Roby also played snaps outside opposite Lattimore in the nickel

  • First 3rd and long (3rd + 9) Falcons went empty with Patterson #1 to the boundary and Pitts #3 to trips, Saints matched up with 1 robber out of 3-2-6 dime with P. Williams the robber and Alexander on Patterson and corner Adebo on Pitts; Patterson sluggo got on top of Alexander for 34 yards, Saints rushed 3 with Davis the underneath lurk defender

  • Patterson is the wild card in the Falcons offense, He lines up all over the formation and has been effective both as a runner-receiver out of the backfield and as a split receiver

  • Saints had played almost 25% 2 man coverage prior to the Falcons game but they only played 5 snaps of 2 man versus Atlanta, Could that have been a function of Gardner-Johnson injury; Saints played much more cover 2 versus the Falcons

  • P. Williams replaced injured Gardner-Johnson in the 2nd quarter as the slot corner in nickel

  • One tactic you see from the Saints out of dime is they blitz the slot corners and play match zone behind it at times with trap by the corner to the blitz side; Roby has been a good blitzer and so has Gardner-Johnson, They continued to show pressure with P. Williams

  • Saints featured different players matching up on Pitts in their man coverage concepts, In addition we saw the bullseye tactic when Pitts was attached or flexed to the formation

  • Zaccheaus 2 yard TD at the end of the 1st half came on a beautifully designed shotgun run action/2 man boundary route concept that created just enough space for Ryan to stick the snag route, Ryan outstanding job holding the mesh point to hold LB Alexander in the middle unable to react to Zaccheaus

  • Zaccheaus 49 yards on 2nd + 8 on first possession of 3rd quarter came out of 21 straight I closed boundary twins to the field with Zaccheaus the slot, Outside zone run action to twins wit Zaccheuas running the post-sail versus safety M. Williams

  • Zaccheaus 6 yard TD in 4th quarter came on a great route off motion across the formation, He beat Lattimore on what looked like the in-breaker that we see off bang play action but Zaccheaus broke to the outside; Play design was outside zone run action to the boundary with TE Smith leaking out as the primary receiver but Smith was held up at the LOS, Ryan came back to Zaccheaus and made a great throw under serious duress

  • Patterson 64 yards to set up GW FG came out of empty with Patterson#1 to the boundary versus Saints dime with a cover 4 boundary lock look to it, Boundary safety Jenkins had eyes inside on Pitts who was #3 to trips leaving Adebo matched on Patterson with no over the top help, Adebo played zone technique with his eyes inside and he lost contact with Patterson on the go route

  • Ryan was in empty sets 7 snaps versus the Saints, He was 7-7 for 149 yards; For the season Ryan has been outstanding out of empty: 33-42 for 367 yards and TD

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.