Brilliance in Match Ups

I want to dive right into one of the most creative plays that I can recall seeing in terms of game-planning favorable match-ups: The Dreessen TD.

Initially, the play looks standard… Peyton Manning hitting a TE in the back of the end zone for 6.  We’ve seen it a hundred times (literally).  But something caught my eye on the lineup of this play:

Curiously enough, that’s Dreessen at the top of the image lined up at split end in a single-back shotgun formation.  Now my curiosity’s piqued and I start examining the play closer.  That’s Tamme underneath in the slot.  Now I’m wondering if they’re using the formation to give Decker or Demaryius an isolated match-up at flanker.

…nope.  That’s Virgil Green.

Three Tight Ends split out wide in a shotgun?  And if all of our TE’s are playing outside… who the heck is on the LOS at TE?!?!?  Chris Clark, our swing tackle and extra goalline blocker.

So let’s summarize what we know from the formation:

-1st and goal from the 1.

-3 TE’s playing wide.

-1 OT playing in-line TE.

We’re dictating Cincy’s subpackage to field a dozen linebackers.  But why?  The reasons are two fold:

1.With Thomas Howard on the IR and Moch inactive, the Bengals were extremely thin at LB.  We’re attacking that lack of depth with our own strength of TE depth through formation.

2. Reference taking advantage of the over-aggressive front-7 I discussed in last week’s post.

Most importantly, we’re selling the Tamme screen via formation, while forcing them to honor the run threat presented by down and distance and subpackage.

So what comes next?


We sell the Tamme screen!  Look at Tamme hit the flat and sit in it, and more importantly, look at every LB on the Bengals roster watching and flowing to him while Dreessen quietly sneaks to the back of the end zone for an easy pitch-and-catch score.

Big credit to Mike McCoy… hands down the best positive example of his creativity that I’ve seen him put forward.

Other notes:

- Newman’s first pick comes from a solid stick on Decker as he’s coming out of his break and really disrupts timing. Decker ends up a step behind the ball and Newman follows a good jam with a good play on the ball for 6.  Newman’s second pick is a simple over-throw and solid DB ball skills.

- Payback: Decker clearly adjusted to Newman’s physical play and 1v1 manhandles him to the ball on his final TD.

- Poor blocking on the Holliday TD. 4 Bengals have an opportunity to make the tackle before the 20 and several more after.  However, all take terrible angles and clearly weren’t expecting Holliday’s unique burst and long speed.  I blame this on Cincy’s ST coach.  It was Trindon’s first KR as a Bronco, but he has tape from Houston and they should’ve prepared for the possibility of him returning kicks along with preparing for Bolden.

- Interception by Champ.  Champ reads Dalton the entire play instead of Green, Dalton has 3 seconds of protection (not bad, not great), Ayers is playing over the nose, breaks off his man and forces an early throw that falls short of Green (who does have a step on Bailey, whether by beating him or because Champ’s solely reading Dalton, who knows?) and Champ makes the easy pick that he watched from snap to his hands.

- Props to Miller for the career day.  Not only did his first sack made a large contribution to ending an early drive, and the third killed another to force a FG, but he hit the QB early and often.  Get a QB hearing footsteps in the first half, and you take him WAY off his launch point for the rest of the game.


Carolina match-ups?

- Denver holds better coaching, better talent, and better karma.

- Stopping SCam: Throw out edge pressure and play contain on the ends.  Let’s get Miller stunting back inside where he can take Cam heads on (we saw Miller humiliate Old Man Faine doing this vs Cincy last week).  I’m hopeful for zones to quickly close on any running lanes he may choose.

- Dwan Edwards vs Ramirez (in for the injured Kuper) is the concern for the Broncos this week, but that match-up shouldn’t be enough.

-It’ll take turnovers or over-confidence to lose this one, and I think Peyton takes care of both.  Double digit win for the Broncos.


Around the League:

- I definitely didn’t see Doug Martin being this good.  I wonder if he’ll come back to earth when he plays a real opponent, or if he’s here to stay.

- Chiefs and Jags picked the wrong year to be this bad… Geno and Barkley are a far cry from Luck and Griffin.

- Pete Carroll’s passion and confidence have really infected that lockerroom and have the Seahawks competing with great teams through some unconventional methods.

- Looks like All Day Adrian Peterson is dominating is healthy, yes?  He’s simply dominating on a per touch basis and set to have a career year… maybe even one for the record books if he’s still gaining more knee confidence.


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About the Author

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Patrick Turley was honorably discharged at the rank of Sergeant from the Marine Corps in Nov, 2006 after five years of service. He currently resides with his daughter Taylor in Jacksonville, FL. Patrick discovered his love for writing at an early age, having written his first novella at fourteen years old and continuing to work on his own unique voice. He is currently working on the mystery/thriller genre and returning to Penn State to follow more closely in his father’s footsteps. His free time is split between his daughter, lovely girlfriend, trying to stay active, and taking the NFL entirely too seriously.


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