Monday, October 29, 2007

Football 101 - advanced topics (defense)


With respect to the NFL, the Dolphins, and Fox, here's the sequence that was the Gigante's lone touchdown.

The Giants had first and goal at about the 10. The receivers routes were designed to clear the left side of the offensive field, and are approximated for you. The linebacker to that side of the field got drawn into coverage on the tight end on the left of the offensive formation. Meanwhile, I've circled JT on the play. His job was to try and get inside to the QB, and his push is shown by the arrow. After the game, he said he messed up and should have lined up over the tackle, rather than the guard. We'll see why that's important in a minute.

The play starts, and there's a playfake (circled), which holds the other two linebackers as the play gets moving. Note again how JT has taken a move inside.



As Manning sets up to pass, he has the entire left side of the field open, while his receivers are all to the center and right. JT has now been cutoff from the outside as well, by the blocking scheme. This is by design. I am fairly certain that this was a run all the way, but I would assume that if things didn't work quite this way that Manning had an option to pass.


Finally, Manning tucks the ball and starts toward the endzone. JT was very out of position, and took a bad angle to get to the QB, and wound up not being able to catch him.

I would say that Miami's coverage was good on the play, but JT was out of position, and the linebackers were lulled in by the playfake, creating just enough confusion to make the play work. If JT had lined up outside, Manning would have been forced to pass. And, if Zach had been playing, I suspect the play would have developed differently because of his skill in reading and playing sideline to sideline.
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