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Analysis from the Atlanta Falcons game coaches film

Originally posted by GORO:
Showed replay of this play to my daughter and son and they were laughing how the corner ducks when he sees Iupati pulling to block him. I thought the corner was blitzing but Roman had called a run play and caught the defense off guard?

Yeah, the Corner tries to do his job, which is trying to keep contain, he just knows he's about to get blown up by the Iupati monster! lol. Can't really blame the guy... but sure is funny.
Originally posted by jonnydel:
not counting the 5 completions Ryan had in the last minute of the game(don't really count to me)

Of his 32 completions, 16-17 of those were passes that were thrown in about 2-2.5 seconds. Some even less. You can't really expect a pass rush to get there in that amount of time. ATL, because of the pressure I showed on those incompletions, started using a lot of short, quick passes to slow down the rush. On his other completions, twice he escaped the pocket, they ran play action to slow the pass rush down with 6-7 men blocking, Ryan made some pinpoint throws into tight coverage just as the rush was getting there and there were just a handful of plays where we were just beat.

There were a lot of things going on there. Yes, Ryan had a lot of completions, but, he also had a lot of completions on 3rd down when they didn't convert. Just because we gave up some completions isn't a bad thing in and of itself. If you look at the play by play review, there's a lot of "Ryan passes short" kind of things. In the end, it was two bad calls that gave ATL two of their TD's against us.

We did rush 5 quite a few times, as well as trying different stunts. However, when the opposing team is running a lot of short, quick patterns, blitzing or stunting doesn't help too much because they take longer than 2 seconds to get there. The best defense is usually coverage. We won on the Bowman interception, but that's not something you want to do that often. It was a great call at the right time. But you can't do that all game.


Well, I think that if an opponent passes 48 times against us, we need to do better than 1 sack. I think that is not a good result. I think that is an important reason why the game was as exciting as it was. Just like the last game against Tampa was more exciting than it needed to be.

In hindsight, what might you have done to improve our effectiveness against the falcon 7-block quick pass strategy?
Originally posted by brodiebluebanaszak:
Originally posted by jonnydel:
not counting the 5 completions Ryan had in the last minute of the game(don't really count to me)

Of his 32 completions, 16-17 of those were passes that were thrown in about 2-2.5 seconds. Some even less. You can't really expect a pass rush to get there in that amount of time. ATL, because of the pressure I showed on those incompletions, started using a lot of short, quick passes to slow down the rush. On his other completions, twice he escaped the pocket, they ran play action to slow the pass rush down with 6-7 men blocking, Ryan made some pinpoint throws into tight coverage just as the rush was getting there and there were just a handful of plays where we were just beat.

There were a lot of things going on there. Yes, Ryan had a lot of completions, but, he also had a lot of completions on 3rd down when they didn't convert. Just because we gave up some completions isn't a bad thing in and of itself. If you look at the play by play review, there's a lot of "Ryan passes short" kind of things. In the end, it was two bad calls that gave ATL two of their TD's against us.

We did rush 5 quite a few times, as well as trying different stunts. However, when the opposing team is running a lot of short, quick patterns, blitzing or stunting doesn't help too much because they take longer than 2 seconds to get there. The best defense is usually coverage. We won on the Bowman interception, but that's not something you want to do that often. It was a great call at the right time. But you can't do that all game.


Well, I think that if an opponent passes 48 times against us, we need to do better than 1 sack. I think that is not a good result. I think that is an important reason why the game was as exciting as it was. Just like the last game against Tampa was more exciting than it needed to be.

In hindsight, what might you have done to improve our effectiveness against the falcon 7-block quick pass strategy?

That's a hard question to answer. Because, when they threw quick passes they only blocked with 5 at most 6. When they went for a longer pass, they max protected. I think Atlanta did a real good job of mixing it up to keep us off balance. Really, until there was 2 min left in the 4th qtr, we had held ATL to only 17 points. That's doing a pretty good job. When the opponent decides to dink and dunk like that, you have to make sure tackles and be patient. Which we did except on the big play in the 1st half. We did a good job of keeping ATL from converting a string of 1st downs in the first 3 quarters.
Originally posted by NCommand:
I'm with you Jonny on many of this. I did my first half analysis and had VERY few passing completions (7); we blew up so many and credit to Atlanta's scheme as well. And no, the 2Q is not a typo.

Overall, I had:
First Half
1Q:
AR1 @ 11:35 Crabtree @ X (wide left) position, VD on the right side of the OL and McDonald in the Y (right slot) and Boldin @ the Z (wide right) position. Crabtree runs a go-route while VD flares out for 2 yards and CK quickly hits Boldin for 5 on the outside as his DB was playing off him.
AR1 @ 10:26 Boldin in motion from the X position to the Y (slot right), VD is on the left side of the OL and McDonald is lined up on the right side of the OL and Crabtree is @ the Z. Quick outside-inside slant to Boldin for 14 while Crabtree runs the typical go-route and McDonald runs upfield a few yards and 90-degrees left pulling the defense slightly. Ball was thrown behind Boldin otherwise, if out in front, Boldin may still be running.
AR2 @ 2:35 Crabtree @ the X position, Celek @ the Y (slot left), McDonald in motion from right slot to left while Boldin is @ the Z. Quick slant to Crabtree while Celek and McDonald are out in front blocking. Crabtree for 3 yards. It seemed like there was confusion between McDonald and Celek on who to block.
AR2 @ 1:50 Crabtree @ the X, VD in the Y (slot left), Boldin out wide in the (slot Y) and Patton is @ the Z. All-out blitz and Patton curls inside picking Boldin's man while Boldin curls outside for a nice gain of 20.
PS @ :22 Crabtree @ the X, Osgood @ the Y (slot left), Boldin @ the Y (slot right) and Gore @ the Z. BTW: The 4 WR set is a dead give-away on a PS passing design (sometimes it resembles a WCO call or Spread). CK in shotgun scans left then comes back to Osgood for 9.

2Q:
AR1 @ 15:00 Jumbo formation (No WR's) with only VD on the left side of the line @ the Y (slot left) and Kilgore on the right side of the OL (right slot). Tukuafu blows up his pass protection and the AR1 (VD) is covered while CK scrambles. Kilgore really isn't a viable option here and VD doesn't come back for the ball. Sack.
PS @ 2:22 Crabtree @ the X, Celek @ the Y (slot left), McDonald @ the Y (slot right) and Boldin @ the Z. Gore flares out and CK hits him for 5!!!!

Read more at http://www.49erswebzone.com/forum/niners/168162-greg-roman-really-good/page149/#2SjvfHCklErPHWQk.99

I do disagree with this being an AR1 type of play. I thought the play looked familiar so I went back through a few of my playbooks and found this play in Holmgren's 1991 49ers playbook.



We're in a 2 TE formation and we're gonna run a slant with Crab's at the bottom, an out with the "U" back, McDonal, a quick out with Vernon and a hitch with AB. AB is the 3rd read I'm pretty sure.(it's hard because Holmgren doesn't state in his old playbook what the 3rd read is. But Crab's and McD are the primary 1&2. But, Kaep's pre-snap read shows those guys are covered. By motioning McDonald across Kaep see's the change in alignment revealing an off man coverage.



The corner would've been in position to jump on the route as well as the LB would've been in the lane. Because of the alignment pre-snap, Kaep saw these were not options and threw it quick to Boldin on the hitch.



It's a slightly different formation, but, you see McDonald is running what is the "h" back route and Frank being the "F" back and staying in pass pro. McDonald takes the dotted line version of that route. You see Crab's the "x" was the primary read with the "2" being on the "H". I'm assuming that the hitch is the 3rd read on the play. This also shows how Kaep is going through his progressions pre-snap as well.
Originally posted by jonnydel:
I do disagree with this being an AR1 type of play. I thought the play looked familiar so I went back through a few of my playbooks and found this play in Holmgren's 1991 49ers playbook.



We're in a 2 TE formation and we're gonna run a slant with Crab's at the bottom, an out with the "U" back, McDonal, a quick out with Vernon and a hitch with AB. AB is the 3rd read I'm pretty sure.(it's hard because Holmgren doesn't state in his old playbook what the 3rd read is. But Crab's and McD are the primary 1&2. But, Kaep's pre-snap read shows those guys are covered. By motioning McDonald across Kaep see's the change in alignment revealing an off man coverage.



The corner would've been in position to jump on the route as well as the LB would've been in the lane. Because of the alignment pre-snap, Kaep saw these were not options and threw it quick to Boldin on the hitch.



It's a slightly different formation, but, you see McDonald is running what is the "h" back route and Frank being the "F" back and staying in pass pro. McDonald takes the dotted line version of that route. You see Crab's the "x" was the primary read with the "2" being on the "H". I'm assuming that the hitch is the 3rd read on the play. This also shows how Kaep is going through his progressions pre-snap as well.

This may have been answered but if you care to share, how did you end up with 49ers playbooks?
Also was Patton shut out due to Atlanta, his insufficient efforts or Kap's lack of trust so far and never looks his way?
I know you are breaking down film and not reading a crystal ball, but, does McDonalds pass play results, negate him as being a viable pass option in the playoffs and in film you've watched how has his play been all year? Progressing to the point that next year we should see something, or stagnant in that he may or may not develop into a sure handed tight end to replace #46? (not that Walker was ever considered totally sure handed)
Nice.
Originally posted by Sourball:
This may have been answered but if you care to share, how did you end up with 49ers playbooks?
Also was Patton shut out due to Atlanta, his insufficient efforts or Kap's lack of trust so far and never looks his way?
I know you are breaking down film and not reading a crystal ball, but, does McDonalds pass play results, negate him as being a viable pass option in the playoffs and in film you've watched how has his play been all year? Progressing to the point that next year we should see something, or stagnant in that he may or may not develop into a sure handed tight end to replace #46? (not that Walker was ever considered totally sure handed)

as far as the playbooks: footballxos.com It's under the "nfl playbooks" section. These are some leaked playbooks that have gotten out. There's quite a few actually. They're pretty tedious to look through, but Bill Walsh's form 1985 is particularly interesting. He has detailed instructions on a lot of plays and everything. It's a very complex and thick read, but very interesting. He spends almost half the 300+ pages on detailing the different types of blocking techniques for each player and position and what they're looking for from each block, details how to run each route for each position and has details on a lot of different type of plays. It's not a read for the faint of heart.

As far as McD. He hasn't shown a major lack of catching ability. I think he had a down game, but, when you get your chance you gotta take advantage. Davis didn't have the best hands when he got into the league or for the first couple years. As long as McDonald continues to work hard he should come along well. It's up to him though.

As far as Patton, I think a lot of it had to do with a multiple TE gameplan. He wasn't on the field much.
[ Edited by jonnydel on Dec 26, 2013 at 9:28 PM ]
Great analysis.

I agree that people shouldn't be worrying too much that Atlanta was in the game. They used their talent, and, as defensive as it may sound , this was basically their "Super Bowl." I know a lot of teams like to use that to trash-talk upsetting teams, but with the Falcons already out of the playoffs and us being the reason as to why last season was a failure for them, they really played with everything they had.

The truth is, that record shouldn't fool people. Matt Ryan is still a great quarterback, and possibly the best one we will play for the rest of the season (barring Manning or Brady in the Super Bowl... Possibly Rodgers of the Packers and Foles of the Eagles) and that offense has a lot of talent. Their record is what it is because of what happened on Monday night: They always come close, but the other team is capable of finding a way to win. More than half of Atlanta's losses were by one possession, and, surprise surprise, Monday's game was NOT one of them! Remember, they were one point away from beating Green Bay in Lambeau, and with that loss, they were originally 2-1 in the last three games. I still remember back in week one where Fox switched to Falcons @ New Orleans, and Atlanta was three yards away from taking the Saints down in the dome. That's something a team still has yet to do this season!

Overall, I wouldn't panic that we struggled. I'd be happy that we won, instead.
Jonnydel, I believe I speak on behalf of the entire webzone when I say:

Originally posted by Fanaticofnfl:
Great analysis.

I agree that people shouldn't be worrying too much that Atlanta was in the game. They used their talent, and, as defensive as it may sound , this was basically their "Super Bowl." I know a lot of teams like to use that to trash-talk upsetting teams, but with the Falcons already out of the playoffs and us being the reason as to why last season was a failure for them, they really played with everything they had.

The truth is, that record shouldn't fool people. Matt Ryan is still a great quarterback, and possibly the best one we will play for the rest of the season (barring Manning or Brady in the Super Bowl... Possibly Rodgers of the Packers and Foles of the Eagles) and that offense has a lot of talent. Their record is what it is because of what happened on Monday night: They always come close, but the other team is capable of finding a way to win. More than half of Atlanta's losses were by one possession, and, surprise surprise, Monday's game was NOT one of them! Remember, they were one point away from beating Green Bay in Lambeau, and with that loss, they were originally 2-1 in the last three games. I still remember back in week one where Fox switched to Falcons @ New Orleans, and Atlanta was three yards away from taking the Saints down in the dome. That's something a team still has yet to do this season!

Overall, I wouldn't panic that we struggled. I'd be happy that we won, instead.
Great points! I completely agree. Atlanta played really well all game, especially Matt Ryan. He made some amazing throws in that game. They really did play this game like it was the super bowl.
Thumbnails of passing plays are up on post #13.

Here's an example of what I'm talking about Ryan making some amazing throws. This is just one example of several I could show.



First, they use Gonzales to chip Aldon Smith before he releases out into his patter, same with the RB on the other side. They run a streak/DIG combo on the left side(we ran the exact same thing against Seattle - it's pretty common in the league). We go cover 3 zone here. They use the inside receiver to clear the zone and bring White in right underneath it. Brock does a good job of reading the play and Bow and Willis do a good job of dropping into coverage, Ryan just makes this throw with incredible anticipation, accuracy and timing.



You see here how it does clear out a small area in the zone. But, you can see Brock is reading the play ready to drive on the DIG. You see how Ryan is starting to throw much before White even starts his break. Plus, Aldon was just slowed down enough, he was just a step away from getting to Ryan.



You see how close the defenders were to White when he catches the ball(even half a second later it's incomplete).



You see how close Smith was to getting Ryan, and how small the lane for Ryan to throw into was. His receiver just entered the picture after the ball is halfway to it's target.



You see how small the window was to get that ball in. To know that you're receiver is going to be in that exact spot, at that exact time, takes a LOT of practice. There's only maybe a couple qb/receiver tandems in the league that might be that in sync. That kind of play does not happen very often. Again, nothing I'm too concerned about us giving up.

There is no defense against a perfect pass.
I didnt go through the whole thread but I did have a question. I know he was in for a few plays and didnt get any catches or targets but how did Patton look out there? Did he ever beat his man and get open?
Originally posted by jonnydel:
Originally posted by NCommand:
I'm with you Jonny on many of this. I did my first half analysis and had VERY few passing completions (7); we blew up so many and credit to Atlanta's scheme as well. And no, the 2Q is not a typo.

Overall, I had:
First Half
1Q:
AR1 @ 11:35 Crabtree @ X (wide left) position, VD on the right side of the OL and McDonald in the Y (right slot) and Boldin @ the Z (wide right) position. Crabtree runs a go-route while VD flares out for 2 yards and CK quickly hits Boldin for 5 on the outside as his DB was playing off him.
AR1 @ 10:26 Boldin in motion from the X position to the Y (slot right), VD is on the left side of the OL and McDonald is lined up on the right side of the OL and Crabtree is @ the Z. Quick outside-inside slant to Boldin for 14 while Crabtree runs the typical go-route and McDonald runs upfield a few yards and 90-degrees left pulling the defense slightly. Ball was thrown behind Boldin otherwise, if out in front, Boldin may still be running.
AR2 @ 2:35 Crabtree @ the X position, Celek @ the Y (slot left), McDonald in motion from right slot to left while Boldin is @ the Z. Quick slant to Crabtree while Celek and McDonald are out in front blocking. Crabtree for 3 yards. It seemed like there was confusion between McDonald and Celek on who to block.
AR2 @ 1:50 Crabtree @ the X, VD in the Y (slot left), Boldin out wide in the (slot Y) and Patton is @ the Z. All-out blitz and Patton curls inside picking Boldin's man while Boldin curls outside for a nice gain of 20.
PS @ :22 Crabtree @ the X, Osgood @ the Y (slot left), Boldin @ the Y (slot right) and Gore @ the Z. BTW: The 4 WR set is a dead give-away on a PS passing design (sometimes it resembles a WCO call or Spread). CK in shotgun scans left then comes back to Osgood for 9.

2Q:
AR1 @ 15:00 Jumbo formation (No WR's) with only VD on the left side of the line @ the Y (slot left) and Kilgore on the right side of the OL (right slot). Tukuafu blows up his pass protection and the AR1 (VD) is covered while CK scrambles. Kilgore really isn't a viable option here and VD doesn't come back for the ball. Sack.
PS @ 2:22 Crabtree @ the X, Celek @ the Y (slot left), McDonald @ the Y (slot right) and Boldin @ the Z. Gore flares out and CK hits him for 5!!!!

Read more at http://www.49erswebzone.com/forum/niners/168162-greg-roman-really-good/page149/#2SjvfHCklErPHWQk.99

I do disagree with this being an AR1 type of play. I thought the play looked familiar so I went back through a few of my playbooks and found this play in Holmgren's 1991 49ers playbook.

I don't think there's question whether or not we have WCO formations on an AR-type play. The question is what is Kap being TOLD to do on that play, has it been predetermined by his coaches where the ball is going and is this the reason for the "lock-in" to the AR1/2. From my (and others observations) there is just such a clear difference where Kap looks (scans the field) on different plays where he is clearly not LOCKED into a receiver.
Running double moves is difficult, but if done well, it can kill man coverage. I wanted to highlight Crabs and how he used some precise route running to create separation. Coupled with anticipation throws from Kap, this combination is unstoppable in single man coverage.

Below: This is play #13 in the thumbnails, but what I drew for Crabs in that thumbnail doesn't do the route justice, so I had to draw it again. Crabs runs a double move, corner to out, pattern. The 49ers had been running a few smash route combinations (more on smash later) earlier in the game and this route that Crabs runs is using the smash concept (corner route ) as a setup.


Below: Crabs will first sell the corner route as he drives directly towards the outside hip of the CB. Kap is seen already pulling the trigger.


Below: Once the CB has his hips turned downfield, the final cut in Crab's route takes him to the out pattern and separation is created. More separation is actually created, not shown on this pic.


The play: Double move + anticipation throws kills man coverage.



On the very next pass play, a triple move(!) as Gruden called it a 'Dino' pattern on the telecast and calls it out as a post-corner-post, mentioning how hard of a route it is to execute. Jonnydel breaks this play down in post #34. I wanted to concentrate just on Crab's route as I don't think jonnydel's drawing of the route did it justice .
Below: Crab's actual pattern.


The play:




Boldin, for all his savvy and smarts, is not the route runner Crabs is. It's all about not losing speed coming in and out of the cut(s). As Crabs starts to beat man coverage consistently, I can see the 22 personnel get very effective as either Crabs or VD will be in single coverage going against a single high safety.