Monday, September 19, 2011

Redskins-Cardinals first quarter game review

OK, we're back for week 2. As always, the play by play is taken from the NFL game book. Do you have any idea how much more fun it is to do this for a win?

Let's get to it: 
First Quarter

J.Feely kicks 66 yards from ARZ 35 to WAS -1. B.Banks pushed ob at WAS 24 for 25 yards (O.Schofield).

Washington Redskins at 15:00, (1st play from scrimmage 14:54)

1-10-WAS 24 (14:54) T.Hightower right tackle to WAS 32 for 8 yards (C.Campbell).

Montgomery controls the DT just enough for Hightower to cut inside behind the solid block from Brown and Chester gets to the second level.

2-2-WAS 32 (14:19) T.Hightower left tackle to WAS 26 for -6 yards (A.Wilson).

This run goes straight into an unblocked safety blitz. Cooley would have been in position to block it but he didn’t see the blitz coming and crossed the backfield to cut off the backside pursuit.

3-8-WAS 26 (13:44) (Shotgun) R.Grossman pass deep left to S.Moss to WAS 45 for 19 yards (R.Marshall) [D.Dockett].           

Nice protection against the 7 man rush. With two blockers kept in the backfield (Cooley and Hightower) the linemen can focus on the Cardinals’ front four, so Chester and Montgomery neutralize the DTs and Lichtensteiger is available to take on a blitzing safety. When a linebacker and the other safety (after a delay) blitz through the right A gap Hightower and then Cooley work inside out and take them both out. There were a lot of opportunities for protection breakdowns here – maybe Chester panics on seeing the two blitzers and neglects his DT assignment, maybe Hightower reacts to the safety Lichtensteiger picks up and doesn’t cross the backfield to take out the linebacker, and so on… but they got everything right.

1-10-WAS 45 (13:05) (Shotgun) R.Grossman pass short left to D.Stallworth to ARZ 48 for 7 yards (A.Wilson, P.Peterson).

A distressingly routine high shotgun snap from Montgomery, but Rex brings it in and hits Stallworth on the quick WR screen. Cooley initially makes a good block to drive the CB outside, but then can’t sustain it.

2-3-ARZ 48 (12:24) R.Grossman pass incomplete short middle to C.Cooley (C.Haggans).

The playside OLB isn’t fooled by the play action and is right in Rex’s face on the boot.

3-3-ARZ 48 (12:19) R.Grossman pass short right to F.Davis pushed ob at ARZ 25 for 23 yards (A.Jefferson).           

The Fox broadcasts robs us of any look at the formations, the pass rush, and the development of the play, but there is clearly a blown coverage here as an embarrassed safety can be seen racing across the field after Davis is left wide open.

1-10-ARZ 25 (11:50) R.Grossman pass incomplete deep left to F.Davis (K.Rhodes, A.Wilson).

Despite having a guaranteed 5 yard gain to Young in the flat, Rex gets ambitious and stares down Davis on the deep corner, allowing the safety to jump it and nearly pick it off.

2-10-ARZ 25 (11:44) (Shotgun) R.Grossman pass short left to S.Moss to ARZ 20 for 5 yards (P.Peterson; R.Marshall).

Screen pass, with Trent, Lichtensteiger, and Montgomery as the big blockers. It appears that Trent was expecting Lichtensteiger to account for the first safety they encountered, which was probably wring since that would leave Trent aiming for the CB who was already Armstrong’s responsibility.

3-5-ARZ 20 (11:03) (Shotgun) R.Grossman pass incomplete short middle to S.Moss (R.Marshall).
PENALTY on ARZ-K.Rhodes, Unnecessary Roughness, 10 yards, enforced at ARZ 20.           

More good blitz protection as Brown fans outside to account for a blitzing safety as the other four take care of the defensive linemen, and Hightower picks up the safety on the opposite side. Santana’s actually a hair open on the slat from the slot but the defender just gets his hand in to break it up. Fortunately, Tim Hightower manages a borderline late hit on one of his former teammates that causes him to oblige us with a drive-sustaining penalty.

1-10-ARZ 10 (10:59) T.Hightower left tackle to ARZ 6 for 4 yards (D.Dockett).

I think this was called as an outside zone, but Cooley and Lichtensteiger fail in their blocks and Hightower cuts up the middle, where he is taken down by the backside pursuit.

2-6-ARZ 6 (10:18) (Shotgun) R.Grossman pass incomplete short right to J.Gaffney.

Chester loses balance and gets sent stumbling backwards into the backfied, waving his arms somewhat comically, thus interfering with Rex’s throwing motion and the ball comes out hight and wobbly.

3-6-ARZ 6 (10:13) (Shotgun) R.Grossman pass short right intended for S.Moss INTERCEPTED by A.Wilson at ARZ 2. A.Wilson to ARZ 19 for 17 yards (K.Lichtensteiger).

None of the routes get open, but when Rex pulls the ball down and starts to move Santana breaks off his route and cuts back across the field, which would be great except he slips and falls and the ball sails over him and right into the safety’s hands.

Arizona Cardinals at 10:04

1-10-ARZ 19  (10:04) (Shotgun) K.Kolb pass short middle to L.Fitzgerald to ARZ 33 for 14 yards (O.Atogwe; L.Fletcher).           

Rocky gets a good jam on Fitzgerald, but then must abondon him to move to his flat responsibility, so Fitzgerald is an easy target for Kolb and spins out of DeAngelo Hall’s tackle attempt to turn it into a first down.

1-10-ARZ 33  (9:27) C.Wells left tackle to ARZ 35 for 2 yards (L.Fletcher; R.Doughty).

Doughty, as he so often does, seems to read exactly where the play is going before it is even handed off. He absorbs a block from a tight end then bounces off to fill the gap.

2-8-ARZ 35 (8:51) K.Kolb pass incomplete short right to L.Fitzgerald.

Fletcher disguises his blitz well and the RT never sees him coming; instead he helps the RG double Carriker. Fletcher comes unblocked and forces the throwaway. Kolb was in the pocket, and despite the play by play saying the pass was intended for Fitzgerald, he wasn’t even on camera (and it was a wide angle). Don’t understand how this wasn’t intentional grounding.

3-8-ARZ 35 (8:44) (Shotgun) K.Kolb pass incomplete short middle to E.Doucet.

Rocky attacks the center while Bowen rushes to the outside to draw the LG, and Fletcher comes clean through a gaping A gap. Kolb, while fleeing, attempts a leaping throw across his body that certainly could have been intercepted.

4-8-ARZ 35 (8:40) D.Zastudil punts 51 yards to WAS 14, Center-M.Leach. B.Banks to WAS 19 for 5 yards (M.Adams).

And we see this return solely from the ground level end zone camera. Thanks, Fox.

Washington Redskins at 8:36

1-10-WAS 19 (8:36) T.Hightower left end to WAS 22 for 3 yards (J.Porter).

Neither Fred Davis nor Darell Young is able to hang on to the OLB.

2-7-WAS 22 (8:00) T.Hightower right end to WAS 27 for 5 yards (P.Lenon; S.Bradley).

Chris Chester isn’t able to properly get outside his DT with the first step – that’s key in zone blocking – and it fouls up Brown in trying to get off the line and to the second level. That means the ILB has a clean path to the gap and Hightower is hit just over the line of scrimmage, but good simple hard running turns this into  yards.

3-2-WAS 27 (7:20) R.Grossman pass short right to J.Gaffney pushed ob at WAS 35 for 8 yards (A.Jefferson).           

A pass protection failure from Hightower here – he reacts to the safety and LB blitzing on the left side of the Redskins line, but Montgomery and Lichtensteiger have already accounted for them so all Hightower does is give the LOLB a free blitz off the right edge.  This play had a built in plan for pressure though (I don’t think Kyle uses “hot routes” but that’s pretty much what this was). As soon as Rex sees he has an unaccounted-for rusher he throws to Gaffney on the short hook, and note that the ball is out while Gaffney’s back to him.

1-10-WAS 35 (6:44) R.Grossman pass deep middle to J.Gaffney to ARZ 43 for 22 yards (S.Bradley).           

The play action effectively slows down the pass rush giving Rex plenty of time, and then the Redskins exploit a bad coverage breakdown. Gaffney motions to the left slot (next to Armstrong) and draws a linebacker out with him. Armstrong’s post route takes the CB deep and freezes the safeties, and that linebacker who was lined up over Gaffney quickly passes him off to… nobody.

1-10-ARZ 43 (6:03) R.Grossman pass short left to D.Young to ARZ 39 for 4 yards (J.Porter).

I like how hard Darell Young drills the LB – as part of “lead blocking” on the play action – before breaking outside on a pass route.

2-6-ARZ 39 (5:24) T.Hightower right tackle to ARZ 39 for no gain (P.Lenon; D.Williams).

No one accoutns for the playside ILB and he stuffs the play. At first I wanted to blame it on Chester again failing to get a good first lateral step to get outside the DE thus keeping Brown from getting to the second level, but on subsequent replays it appears the Brown engages with the DE unnecessarily and neglects his second level responsibilities. Not quite sure what went on here, but one of those two guys messed up.

3-6-ARZ 39  (4:43) (Shotgun) R.Grossman pass short middle intended for A.Armstrong INTERCEPTED by R.Marshall at ARZ 30. R.Marshall to WAS 37 for 33 yards (T.Hightower).

In this case the protection accounts for the blitz – Lichtensteiger slides over to pick up a safety while Hightower accounts for the LB coming through the right B gap – but they can’t hold their blocks well enough. Lichtensteiger is pushed into the backfield (by a safety, remember) and Hightower gets weak contact on the LB, and Brown gets overpowered by the OLB. The pocket collapses in on Rex who has to take the quick throw to Armstrong. The DB’s inside leverage forces Rex to lead Armstrong a bit more, and that leads to the tip up into the air and into the hands of the CB who had been covering Santana about 5 yards deeper. Of course, the coverage was tight because the DB got away with a little tug that slowed Armstrong up by half a step and should have been PI.

Arizona Cardinals at 4:32

1-10-WAS 37 (4:32) (Shotgun) K.Kolb pass short right to A.Roberts pushed ob at WAS 21 for 16 yards (K.Barnes).           

Rocky blows his coverage – he follows the outside receiver, but so does Doughty – and leaves the flat completely abandoned.

1-10-WAS 21 (4:02) K.Kolb pass short left to J.King for 21 yards, TOUCHDOWN.           

The three linemen get nowhere, and Kerrigan starts to threatened the RT but is neutralized when the RB comes to help, so Kolb has lots of time to let the TE’s route develop. Fletcher is covering the seam and makes no effort to follow the TE as he breaks to the outside, but Doughty is also staying put to be the safety help if Wilson’s WR runs a post (which he does). Either Fletcher or Doughty blew his coverage bad, and since Wilson was playing outside leverage Doughty’s positioning makes too much sense. Sorry London, I think this one’s on you.

J.Feely extra point is GOOD, Center-M.Leach, Holder-D.Zastudil.

ARZ 7 WAS 0, 2 plays, 37 yards, 0:38 drive, 11:06 elapsed

J.Feely kicks 73 yards from ARZ 35 to WAS -8. B.Banks to WAS 15 for 23 yards (A.Smith).

Washington Redskins at 3:54, (1st play from scrimmage 3:49)

1-10-WAS 15 (3:49) T.Hightower left end to WAS 21 for 6 yards (D.Carter).

Oh man – Trent Williams fights his way to the second level, but he’s off balance because he is interfered with by the DE who Lichtensteiger has trouble with at the line. So the ILB gets his hands on Trent’s shoulders and knocks over flat on his back.

2-4-WAS 21 (3:11) T.Hightower left guard to WAS 31 for 10 yards (A.Jefferson, A.Wilson).           

Jammal Brown lets the LDE flow to the Redskins left and Fred Davis, at RTE, does a just-good-enough job of kicking out the LOLB, leaving a nice cutback lane up the middle for Hightower, especially after Darell Young puts a hat on the ILB to open up the big yards.

1-10-WAS 31 (2:33) R.Grossman sacked at WAS 23 for -8 yards (K.Rhodes).

Young completely fails to recognize the blitzing safety and instead helps Brown with the LDE and Hightower, who was not responsible for this blitz, sees it coming but he was part of a play fake to the left and can’t recover and make his way back across the backfield in time to save the day.

2-18-WAS 23 (1:58) R.Grossman pass short right to J.Gaffney to WAS 30 for 7 yards (A.Wilson, R.Marshall).
PENALTY on ARZ-A.Wilson, Illegal Contact, 5 yards, enforced at WAS 23 - No Play.           

1-10-WAS 28 (1:31) R.Helu right end to WAS 32 for 4 yards (S.Bradley, C.Haggans).

In what is becoming a trend, Chester and Brown appear to not be on the same page on a run play, which leads to neither getting to the second level and a lineman getting penetration. Fortunately, Helu wedges his way into the narrowest of holes behind Fred Davis’ kickout block and fights his way for a few yards.

2-6-WAS 32 (:51) (Shotgun) R.Grossman pass short middle to T.Hightower to WAS 42 for 10 yards (K.Rhodes, C.Campbell) [A.Wilson].

The screen almost gets blown up by a blitz – Chester fails to see the safety coming and lets him by without contact on the backside, and Hightower is forced to block a blitzing LB on the playside before releasing to take the pass. Hightower does a nice job spinning off the block and keeping his footing, and of course after the blitz he has a lot of open territory to work with.

1 comment:

  1. That's twice in one quarter that you've commented on perfect blitz protection by the o-line and blocking units; I'm not sure that I've seen that even once in your last two years of write-ups, although I will observe that both Rabach and Heyer are gone now and were frequent culprits.
    The lack of cohesion between Chester and Brown does worry me somewhat, though - you'd commented on a similar problem last season between Williams and Lichtensteiger that led to the catastrophic failure of a lot of run plays.

    Great writeup as usual, and you're feels fantastic to just *read* this for a win!