Sunday, November 1, 2009

Redskins vs. Eagles, 1st quarter review

Eagles first possession

1-10-P33 – McNabb fakes a handoff to Westbrook, who runs to the inside right. All three LBs bite hard on the fake – especially because the Eagles O-line sells it so well, and the whole front seven gets sucked into the middle of the field as DeSean Jackson gets the ball headed to the left. Landry almost has a shot at him after 10 yards or so, but he overreacts even worse to the fake to Westbrook and can’t recover in time. The only other Redskin who has a chance is Carlos Rogers, but Jeremy Maclin is all over him downfield. 7-0 Eagles after the 67 yard touchdown.

Redskins first possession

1-10-W27 – Cooley and Fred Davis line up as twin TEs to the right. The LB over them blitzes and comes in untouched – it’s possible that one of them blew an assignment but I think he was let through on purpose to get both TEs more room on their short routes. Davis immediately releases to the flat and draws the safety with him (who had the short responsibility because the LB on his side blitzed). Cooley initially blocks in on the LDE, then releases into his route. With Davis clearing the coverage and the MLB biting hard on a play fake to the offensive left, Cooley is wide open just over the line of scrimmage with plenty of room to run for the first down – and give Santana Moss some credit for a solid downfield block that bought several extra yards.

1-10-W45 – Yet another poorly executed screen, which used to be what the Redskins did best. The linemen are unable to release cleanly after letting the rushers through. Dockery trips in the traffic and goes down. Rabach is slow getting off his blocks and doesn’t get nearly far enough to the outside to have an impact on the play, and, somewhat humorously, is forced to leap over Mike Williams who while off camera has ended up on the ground five yards downfield. Meanwhile Will Montgomery pulls to the left the protect Campbell’s blind side – so he clearly was NOT meant to allow pressure intentionally as part of the screen set up to the right – and is totally incapable of picking up the DE. The end result is that Campbell is rushed even more than the play design calls for, and Cooley gets the ball at the line of scrimmage with two Eagles defenders bearing down on him and his intended blockers stumbling all over themselves many yards away.

Eagles second possession

2-4-P24 – Both guards immediately dive forward attempting to take out Haynesworth's and Golston’s feet. Haynesworth hops over his guy, but still gets hung up on the center and TE (who lined up at RB). Golston doesn’t get taken down but ends up with both his guard and the guy who missed Haynesworth at this feet so he is unable to be a factor at all. Orakpo gets a little push on the offensive right side and is bearing down, but McNabb gets the ball out too quickly for it to matter and hits Maclin, who has gotten behind London Fletcher in his zone.

Redskins second possession

1-10-W13 – Portis runs to the left behind Sellers. Stephon Heyer’s first move is to the outside, and the DE immediately gets past him to the inside forcing Portis to already be changing direction in the backfield. Dockery and Rabach team up on the DT, then Dockery sheds off him to get to the OLB. Because Portis was delayed getting to the line by the penetration against Heyer, the MLB has time to diagnose the play and shoot through the gap between Montgomery and Rabach, who is still blocking the DT. But Sellers has already committed to the outside to try to seal the corner, so the MLB is coming unblocked. Rabach in desperation sheds off his DT to pick him up, which of course just allows that DT to take down Portis in the backfield.

1-10-20 – By keeping in seven blockers the Redskins are able to slow the Eagles four man rush, and Campbell has plenty of time in the pocket to look downfield on deep routes. None of them come open, so Campbell decides to dump off to Cooley on the sideline. But he hesitates just a too long making that decision and gives a LB time to jump the route, which forces Campbell to throw wide to a avoid a pick and Cooley can’t quite bring it in.

2-10-20 – Campbell has time again but hesitates before getting the ball out to Cooley on a shallow cross, and the pass goes behind him incomplete.

Eagles third possession

1-10-P44 – The Eagles run a screen worthy of the October 2008 Redskins. McCoy catches the ball with a wall of three blockers arrayed in front of him. All other receivers have run vertical routes that sucked up the defense, so those blockers don’t even have to hit anyone until 8 yards past the line of scrimmage. McCoy gains 15.

Redskins third possession

1-10-W9 – Portis attempts to run left, but Mike Williams is carried so far back by his DE that he gets in Portis’ way and prevents him from getting to a legitimate hole that has been opened up on the left side. There are no circumstances under which a back running to the left should ever have to dodge his own RT.

2-8-W11 – Eagles #94 is a DE, but lines up over Mike Williams standing up, which should be a clue that something unconventional is coming. Williams tries to fan ouside to block him, but 94 drops into pass coverage instead. That leave DT#98 as, in effect, the end on this play and with Mike Williams blocking no one on the outside Will Montgomery is forced to move to his right to block the DT. The other DT hits Stephon Heyer in the shoulder pads and literally tosses him into the middle of the field, so Portis is forced to pick this guy up to save Campbell’s life. The middle of the line is wrecked by having Heyer’s body thrown into them and the right side of the line is blocking unnecessarily wide, so a safety who lined up close to the line squeeze through the gap between Rabach and Will Montgomery and get his hand up right as Campbell throws. The ball is tipped into the air and LB Will Witherspoon make the pick and takes it into the end zone untouched.

Redskins fourth possession

1-10-W25 – This almost looked like a running play executed by real, grown-up, NFL blockers. Stephon Heyer manages to kick his DE to the outside, although truthfully the DE was overly aggressive to the outside anyway and Heyer didn’t exactly overpower him. Dockery, Montgomery, and Williams form a bit of a seal to keep the rest of D-line to this inside. Rabach slips through the line and puts a hat on the MLB, and Sellers blocks the OLB. Portis makes a hard cut off Sellers’ block and makes a 9 yard gain before being dragged down from behind. This was not an exceptional running play, but it was blocked at an acceptable NFL-level of competence, which this year unfortunately makes it worthy of a write up.

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