NFL 2014: Week 4

Off the top of my head I'm pretty sure I only got Houston over Buffalo right lol... I would have had SF right but I can't pick against the Eagles.

Indy was a three point favorite over Baltimore for Sunday's game before the announcement that LaRon Landry is suspended for four games for PED use. That and Will Hill becomes active on the Ravens' roster.

Upset?

Enix wrote:

For all your Xs and Os fans out there, A-gap defense pressure explained in pictures (scroll down).

What are the counters to it? Quick throws outside? I'm guessing this leaves 1-on-1 coverage on the WRs (and maybe a LB on a slot receiver).

Against heavy A-gap blitzing, one strategy is to pinch blocking inside, leaving the outside rushers unaccounted for (based on the fact that it will take longer for them to get to the QB) and throwing quick passes. Or with a mobile QB, using designed rollouts with slide protection to that side, leaving the backside rushers unaccounted for but having to chase your fast QB who has a head start.

Correctly identifying the blitzers pre-snap helps a lot. You'll often hear a QB or lineman yell something like, "#54 is the Mike". That is a line in BoB ("big-on-big, back-on-backer", ie. man) blocking. Assuming a 4-man defensive line, the 5 members of the offensive line are responsible for blocking the 4 defensive lineman plus the "Mike" backer. In this case, "Mike" doesn't mean middle linebacker necessarily, but rather is the designation the offense uses for which linebacker the offensive line is responsible for picking up (which, in turn, sets the responsibilities for the backs, TEs, and the QB himself, who may be responsible for dealing with a linebacker that is not assigned to a blocker).

Receivers are responsible for making sight adjustments and switching into hot routes against blitzes. The offense may not have a quick pass called, but the QB and receivers may be responsible for switching into one on the fly against a blitz. In the Locker example in that link, the unblocked pass rusher is a defensive back that is coming from outside of the first picture. The receiver that that defender was lined up on is likely responsible to hot route, and Locker is responsible for finding him. That's where the "throw at the blitz" phrase comes from. Locker appears to be at fault here.

In the 49ers example, the Niners have the ability to pick this up, but fail to. Alex Boone is to peel off of the lineman double-team and collapse down to pick up the safety curling around. He is late in doing so, and the missed block makes for the sack. I pulled some images from the All-22:

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/XmkE2PN.png)

Here is before the snap. The center is designating the "Mike", who becomes his responsibility post-snap. (That makes the other 'backer lining up in the A-gap threatening to blitz Carlos Hyde's responsibility, and he does pick him up)

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/DmE67FM.png)

This is slightly after the image from the article. Boone has come off the double-team of Rucker as he recognizes the safety as his responsibility.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/xVyphCj.png)

Boone goes to engage the safety, but he's hitting him as the safety goes by, as he was late in the recognition.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/NoWIsiF.png)

Boone's block proves ineffective.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/5bC36c1.png)

Kaepernick has a receiver on a 5-yard hitch route on 2nd and 10 with a good cushion of space. If Boone does anything at all to slow up the safety, he should be able to make this throw. But at the point this picture is taken, Kaepernick has already had to collapse out of his stance in preparation to try and avoid the blitzing safety.

So I went back and pulled up that Locker play. It was pretty much what I thought.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/Qx6r6oJ.png)

Pre-snap, the soon-to-be blitzing defensive back is lined up over the slot receiver.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/MJ3fU1E.png)

Right before the snap, the blitzer has come off the slot receiver and crept up towards the line to blitz.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/Puf08H5.png)

The receiver whose defender blitzed correctly runs a quick hitch hot route. Locker is too frazzled to look that way.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/DqDZZcT.png)

Instead of making the throw to the hot route, Locker scrambles.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/Jp9M6oa.png)

Locker also tries to run around the edge of the pocket instead of stepping up into the wide open lane inside of the right tackle, and runs himself into a sack.

Thanks for linking to MMQB. You all started my addiction to PFT and now I have a new one.

This article by Peter King about studying film with Dwight Freeney is one of the most interesting football articles I've ever read.

Be careful with Peter King. He's a little too up Goddell's butt for me sometimes. But MMQB does some good work with Xs and Os sometimes. So do Grantland and especially Football Outsiders.

Great job on the film study, Legion. Can I get a round of applause? Legion, ladies and gentlemen.

Some good (Seahawk-centric) Xs & Os here:

http://www.fieldgulls.com/football-b...

Enix wrote:

Be careful with Peter King. He's a little too up Goddell's butt for me sometimes. But MMQB does some good work with Xs and Os sometimes. So do Grantland and especially Football Outsiders.

Great job on the film study, Legion. Can I get a round of applause? Legion, ladies and gentlemen.

Agreed. Peter King rarely leaves Goodell's but, he's the very definition of an insider. Never critical, always says nice things, because of that he has unprecedented levels of access. He's basically like an episode of Matlock, except talking about football.

Football Outsiders 4 life, yo.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:

Football Outsiders 4 life, yo.

Ben Muth on the Rams O-line. Week old, but still great.

*Legion* wrote:

(image dump)

Stop taking and/or posting pretty pictures and start next week's thread already. :p

Allegedly, Aaron Dobson, the patriots only deep threat was benched for the last 2 weeks for mouthing off to McDaniels. I think it's about time McDaniels looks in the mirror and benches himself after his performance for the last 4 weeks.