Saturday, October 22, 2011

Redskins-Eagles 3rd quarter game review

And we're back. I'm wishing I hadn't gotten to the 3rd quarter so late in the week, as there's a lot here that's interesting - specifically a startlingly new look to the Redskins running game and some examples of aggressive blitzes from Jim Haslett that actually make some sense.

Here are links to the 1st quarter and 2nd quarter reviews.

Third Quarter

A.Henery kicks 72 yards from PHI 35 to WAS -7. B.Banks pushed ob at WAS 40 for 47 yards (A.Henery).

And here we get back to the good Brandon Banks. There’s no wasted motion, he presses the ball downfield while letting his blocks set up, then turns on the jets at just the right instant to evade a defender who had an angle on him. It was a key block from Kedric Golston that turned this from a good return into a great one.

Washington Redskins at 15:00, (1st play from scrimmage 14:55)

1-10-WAS 40 (14:55) R.Grossman pass deep middle to J.Gaffney to PHI 15 for 45 yards (A.Samuel). FLea flicker from #29 Helu           

I’m not a big fan of the flea flicker in general, though of course it worked here. The corner is playing outside leverage against Gaffney’s post and has no inside help since the safety is frozen by the initial fake. But when you see how close the DT was to Helu as he pitched it back to Rex you are reminded how dangerous this play can be. It relies on a bunch of guys holding their blocks for a long, long time.

1-10-PHI 15 (14:09) R.Torain left tackle to PHI 9 for 6 yards (B.Rolle).

Well, the run game is certainly evolving. Darrel Young is offset to the left, he rushes up and takes on the RDE, which allows Paulsen and Locklear to get straight to the second level and take out the MLB and WLB. Chris Chester then pulls again and puts a hat on the SLB.

2-4-PHI 9 (13:28) R.Torain left tackle to PHI 8 for 1 yard (M.Patterson).

Still more traditional blocking concepts. This is getting really interesting.  Locklear kicks out the RDE while Montgomery and Cook get push the RDT off the line and set up second level blocks, but Jammal Brown is unable to prevent the backside penetration from the LDT.

3-3-PHI 8 (12:50) R.Grossman pass incomplete short right to S.Moss.

This is the kind of play where John Beck’s mobility might make a difference. The protection holds up, with the exception of Jammal Brown building way too much depth – he is never even contacted by the LDE – and getting in the way of Rex’s throwing motion. Rex has Santana in the flat, but has to sail it way high in order to get the ball over Brown. Since the LDE had worked himself inside, a quarterback with some quicker feet should have been able to slip a few steps to the outside and create himself a throwing lane.

4-3-PHI 8 (12:45) G.Gano 26 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-N.Sundberg, Holder-S.Rocca. PHI 20 WAS 6, 5 plays, 52 yards, 2:20 drive, 2:20 elapsed

G.Gano kicks 74 yards from WAS 35 to PHI -9. D.Lewis, Touchback.

Philadelphia Eagles at 12:40

1-10-PHI 20 (12:40) M.Vick pass deep left to J.Maclin to WAS 21 for 59 yards (L.Landry).           

Vick runs another sprint little sprint out. Kerrigan is initially unblocked off the backside, though the LTE crosses the backfield to cut him off. Oddly, Kerrigan seems to think this TE is releasing into a route and abandons his pass rush. Meanwhile Cofield earns some penetration, but the center maintains contact enough to mess up his angle so Vick only has to step aside before throwing.

Now on to the coverage. Hall is lined up with soft coverage on Maclin, and the way he plays the route it’s clear he’s expecting safety help on the inside. But Landry starts creeping up toward the line before the snap, then compounds the error by biting on play action. Maclin then has a free run on the deep post, and Hall actually makes a nice play to recover and get his hands in there, but Maclin just makes a good catch to wrestle it free. If Landry was freelancing here, then it was just a case of him abandoning responsibility and being overly aggressive. If Landry’s initial approach to the line was part of the play design, then it’s just another case of Jim Haslett ignoring matchups and getting out coached by his opponent.

1-10-WAS 21 (11:51) (Shotgun) L.McCoy left end to WAS 16 for 5 yards (L.Fletcher).

2-5-WAS 16 (11:09) (Shotgun) M.Vick pass incomplete short right to L.McCoy.

The blitz works. The Eagles are in four wide – so no tight end – with one back in the backfield. Landry blitzes off the edge but both ILBs threaten the A gaps to prevent the line from adjusting such that the LT can pick him up. Rocky and Fletcher drop into coverage, the LT blocks Orakpo while the RG is blocking nobody, and Landry gets a free run at Vick.

3-5-WAS 16 (11:04) (Shotgun) M.Vick pass short middle intended for B.Celek INTERCEPTED by O.Atogwe (B.Cofield) at WAS 1. O.Atogwe to WAS 1 for no gain (J.Avant).

Bowen drives the center right into the backfield and gets his hand up to tip the throw. Atogwe then shows his natural instincts for reacting to balls in flight that led the Redskins to sign him.

Washington Redskins at 10:57

1-10-WAS 1 (10:57) R.Grossman pass short right to F.Davis to WAS 32 for 31 yards (M.Fokou; A.Samuel). PHI-A.Samuel was injured during the play. His return is Probable.

The LBs bite hard on the play fake and can’t catch up to Davis when he slips behind them.

1-10-WAS 32 (10:36) R.Grossman pass incomplete short left to R.Helu.

There were the makings of a successful screen here, but the pressure gets to Rex faster than expected and he panics a little and misses the throw. This happens because an unexpected MLB blitz occupies Chester and he can’t slow down the RDT after Montgomery lets him slip by to set up his screen block.

2-10-WAS 32 (10:32) (Shotgun) R.Torain right tackle to WAS 35 for 3 yards (B.Rolle, D.Landri).

OK, are the Redskins even a zone running team any more? Very curious what is going on here. Brown seals the RDT inside, Davis kicks out the LDE, and Montgomery pulls through the hole. But the hole collapses after only a modest gain because neither Mongtomery nor Davis hold there blocks any more.

3-7-WAS 35 (9:53) R.Grossman pass short right to R.Helu to WAS 38 for 3 yards (N.Asomugha, B.Rolle).

4-4-WAS 38 (9:21) S.Rocca punts 53 yards to PHI 9, Center-N.Sundberg, downed by WAS-N.Paul.

Five second hang time and it lands at the 7 yard line with a friendly bounce. I don’t think it’s taking anything away from Chris Chester, Stephen Bowen, or Barry Cofield to say that Sav Rocca was the most important free agent acquisition this offseason.

Philadelphia Eagles at 9:10

1-10-PHI 9  (9:10) L.McCoy up the middle to PHI 11 for 2 yards (L.Fletcher).

Penetration by Cofield forces McCoy to cut back into Landry’s backside pursuit.

2-8-PHI 11 (8:34) M.Vick scrambles up the middle to PHI 31 for 20 yards (L.Landry). PHI-M.Vick was injured during the play.
PENALTY on PHI, Offensive Holding, 5 yards, enforced at PHI 11 - No Play.

Orakpo slips right under the LT’s outside shoulder and has a straight shot at Vick before the LT simply grabs him by the collar and yanks him to the ground, drawing the flag.

2-13-PHI 6 (8:09) (Shotgun) V.Young scrambles up the middle to PHI 8 for 2 yards (A.Carriker; B.Orakpo).

Orakpo does a good job shedding the LT’s block and filling the lane Vince Young tries to run through.

3-11-PHI 8 (7:25) (Shotgun) V.Young pass short right intended for J.Maclin INTERCEPTED by D.Hall [L.Landry] at PHI 23. D.Hall to PHI 18 for 5 yards (J.Maclin).

This is a perfect example of how a defense can be “aggressive” with a blitz and yet non-suicidal when it comes to coverage. More of this please, Mr. Haslett. 

Bowen is lined up in the offensive left A gap, with no one else to that side except Orakpo, who is lined up over the slot receiver. Orakpo shows like he’s going to blitz anyway. This draws the LT wide outside. But Orakpo drops into coverage and Bowen rushes to the outside. The LG follows Bowen outside because he thinks the LT needs to block Orakpo, but instead Bowen ends up occupying both of them. Why is this important? Because it means that the line cannot adjust to the overload on their right side. Cofield attacks the center, and Kerrigan launches himself at both the RG and RT, taking them out of the play. The RB is then left to pick up both Rocky and Landry, who are blitzing off the offensive right edge. When Rocky hits the back, Landry is free to pursue Vince Young to the outside and force a bad throw.

Meanwhile, in coverage, Hall was free to play underneath Maclin’s route and take advantage of Young’s bad decision because Atogwe was over the top to clean up in case Hall’s gamble didn’t pay off.

Note that this play had more impact on the offense than many of the hairy-chested eight man blitzes we’ve seen, yet it was done with a rather pedestrian number of pass rushers – five. That meant a sensible coverage could be run behind it, so that all is not lost if the pass rush doesn't get there. This is what I want to see out of the Redskins defense.

Washington Redskins at 7:15

1-10-PHI 18 (7:15) R.Torain up the middle to PHI 20 for -2 yards (D.Tapp).

Even when it doesn’t work, the new approach to the running game is at least interesting to watch.  Paulsen and Mongtomery turn the RDE and RDT to the outside, while Chester jumps outside and tries to seal out the LDE. Meanwhile Young, offset to the left, crosses the backfield to take out the LDT who is initially unblocked because he is initially unblocked to let Cook and Brown, along with Locklear, go straight to the second level. Unfortunately Locklear never locks onto his LB and Montgomery can’t keep his man to the outside, so the hole collapses on Torain.

2-12-PHI 20 (6:38) R.Grossman pass short middle intended for F.Davis INTERCEPTED by K.Coleman [J.Babin] at PHI 5. K.Coleman pushed ob at PHI 29 for 24 yards (J.Gaffney).

Brown gets beat by an inside spin move, though Rex still makes the throw he wants so the pick is on him. He never once takes his eyes of Fred Davis and the safety reads this and jumps the route.

Philadelphia Eagles at 6:29

1-10-PHI 29 (6:29) L.McCoy right end to PHI 29 for no gain (R.Jackson, R.McIntosh).

2-10-PHI 29 (5:50) (Shotgun) M.Vick pass incomplete short left to D.Jackson (J.Wilson).

Josh Wilson channels his inner DeAngelo Hall here, jumping underneath the out route to break up the pass.

3-10-PHI 29 (5:44) (Shotgun) M.Vick scrambles left end pushed ob at WAS 40 for 31 yards (L.Landry).           

Barnes blitzes from the slot but the line adjusts and he is picked up by the LT, and unfortunately goes to the ground rather than simply abandoning his rush and guarding against a Vick scramble.

1-10-WAS 40 (5:08) L.McCoy left end to WAS 42 for -2 yards (R.Jackson).

Carriker plays his gaps perfectly and gives McCoy nowhere to cut back to escape Jackson on the corner.

2-12-WAS 42 (4:31) M.Vick pass short middle to D.Jackson to WAS 31 for 11 yards (J.Wilson).

Another example of a sensible blitz.  Doughty is unblocked on Vick’s blind side, but the ball comes out just a second before he gets there. Wilson is playing outside leverage on Jackson as he attacks the seam, so he can’t break up the play. But safeguards are in place. Fletcher has the short middle zone, so there is another possibility to stop the pass but he is drawn to the other side by the TE’s route. So the pass is completed and Wilson makes a nice tackle from behind. But what if he doesn’t? Landry is closing to clean up if necessary. This was a sensible gamble because the downside was a first down, in a game situation where a first down is, though undesirable, not the end of the world.

3-1-WAS 31 (3:55) L.McCoy left end to WAS 32 for -1 yards (S.Bowen; B.Orakpo).

Cofield drives back the center, Bowen holds his ground against the LG, and the LT tries to drive Orakpo outside but Orakpo wins. McCoy has nowhere to go.

4-2-WAS 32 (3:10) (Shotgun) M.Vick pass incomplete short middle to J.Avant.

The slot receiver turns turn Barnes to the outside and then beats him on a quick slant, and we’re in Haslett’s beloved cover-0 so a completion could be a touchdown. Fortunately the RG simply blows it – he doubles Cofield even though the center already has him and Fletcher is right up on his face before the snap. So Fletcher comes completely free and forces the high throw.

Washington Redskins at 3:07

1-10-WAS 33 (3:07) R.Grossman pass incomplete deep right to F.Davis (K.Coleman).
PENALTY on PHI-N.Asomugha, Defensive Holding, 5 yards, enforced at WAS 33 - No Play.           

This is not the first time that Davis has beaten the coverage but Rex’s limited arm strength makes it a tight throw anyway.

1-10-WAS 38 (2:59) R.Torain right guard to WAS 39 for 1 yard (D.Landri, T.Laws).

This I think was back to a simple inside zone, for a change, but I gets blown up badly. Chester and Montgomery get good second level blocks, but Brown and Cook are both driven into the backfield and Locklear completely misses his cut block on the back side.

2-9-WAS 39  (2:25) R.Grossman pass incomplete deep right to J.Gaffney [J.Parker].

3-9-WAS 39 (2:20) (Shotgun) R.Grossman pass deep left intended for J.Gaffney INTERCEPTED by K.Coleman at PHI 30. K.Coleman ran ob at PHI 31 for 1 yard.

Don’t even know what to say here – it’s nice that after escaping the pocket Rex was still looking downfield, but just what did he see to make him think this throw was at all open?

Philadelphia Eagles at 2:10

1-10-PHI 31 (2:10) M.Vick pass short right to B.Celek to PHI 36 for 5 yards (D.Hall; L.Fletcher).

2-5-PHI 36 (1:31) M.Vick sacked at PHI 30 for -6 yards (O.Atogwe, K.Golston).

Bowen rushes to his left and draws the LT with him. The TE is staying in to block Orakpo, but Orakpo is in man coverage on the TE, which means they just stand there and stare at each other a bit. This is great as the TE doesn’t even notice the real blitzer, Atogwe, who has a huge gap to run through.

3-11-PHI 30            (1:31) (Shotgun) PENALTY on PHI-M.Vick, Delay of Game, 5 yards, enforced at PHI 30 - No Play.

 3-16-PHI 25            (:25) (Shotgun) L.McCoy left end to PHI 34 for 9 yards (L.Fletcher, R.McIntosh).

A LG-LT double team seals Bowen to the outfield, and Cofield is just a split second too slow getting to the gap – I think he was the victim of an uncalled hold.

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