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Analysis from the Atlanta Falcons game coaches film

*fail
[ Edited by NinerBuff on Dec 27, 2013 at 12:47 AM ]
Originally posted by thl408:
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.

One of the best plays of the year! AWESOME!
This is fantastic stuff! You may get this question a lot, but what exactly is your connection to the NFL game, let alone football? Or is this just a hobby for you and the webzone happens to be your platform?

What ever the case, I applaud you on such detailed analyses.
Originally posted by jonnydel:
Here's an example of what I talked about in the OP about our heavy TE sets setting up the pass plays.



Here I've highlighted the 3 TE, Crabtree is the only WR on the field. This forces ATL into a single safety look with the single safety rotating over to the 3 TE side(we've unbalanced the formation). We're actually looking for a cover "2" here, with the progression as follows against a "tampa 2", the idea is that against cover 2 the read is on the S, if he stays in on Davis you can hit McD outside, if he goes outside, you hit Davis over the middle. That's why we run play action to hold the "tampa" LB(in the tampa 2 the MLB takes the deepest man in the middle of the field so the play fake holds the MLB up). If neither of those are open, you hit the outlet in the flat. Here's where Kaep makes a great pre-snap read seeing ATL is in a cover 3 zone look, knowing his primary route combo is taken, he switches to the secondary route(Crabs) You see by the blue square how much room Crabtree has on that side of the field because of the heavy TE set.



The run fake hold the LB's up.



You see how ATL is playing the cover 3, with the high safety covering Davis' seam route. All the TE's are covered because ATL ran the right defense against this route combo. However, because of the play action and the LB being held up, it leaves a lot of room for Crab's to work his inside leverage over the middle.



You see how the middle of the field is open. Kaep takes advantage and hits Crabtree for a big gain.



Crabs makes a good catch and gets a few yards after the catch. When you think back to the first play I showed, this shows how ATL had to change it's defense because we were running the ball so effectively from our heavy sets, so it sets up favorable matchups in the passing game.

Jonny, great as always.

But all this pre-snap-adjusting tells me how difficult it will be for the Niners to succeed in Seattle, where the noise takes away the verbal communication. I don't know whether hand signals are es effectiv (i.e. limiting the options).

Can you say something about this?
[ Edited by Toughniner on Dec 27, 2013 at 2:39 AM ]
Originally posted by jonnydel:
Originally posted by NCommand:
BTW: Everyone knows how much I hate the off-coverage esp. on 3rd downs and esp. in games where the pressures isn't getting their quick enough (sometimes b/c the QB is throwing so quickly). But this Brock play is HUGE. Why? The Falcons called an AR2 on this one. The goal was to pick off Rogers with Davis inside (which he does easily) and then the outside WR (Douglas) is to slant inside for an uncontested TD. If Brock doesn't pull a Gore/CK here (say's "Eff it! I'm doing my own thing here!") and just sprints to the ball and blows up that play, it's an easy TD! If Brock plays his "man" or off coverage here, he's beat inside and it's clear sailing to the EZ on an all-out blitz.

Side note: Bowman may have been the only other one who would have had a shot on the quick slant.

I do respectfully disagree about Brock "doing his own thing" there. Every other time in the game when we were in man coverage playing off, our corners did aggressively jump the routes. Sometimes it was thrown to Gonzales instead, other times it was thrown to White who used his big body to shield the ball from the defender. Brock did what both Rogers and Brown had done in man coverage against their receiver running a slant. He just made a little better play. But, if he was "pressing" the receiver, it would've been a walk in TD.

We jumped the route (slant) from off-coverage all game? Ryan had 37 completions on 48 attempts for 348 yards and our DP leader was Brock with 2; I wouldn't say our CB's aggressively jumped anything. The Falcons were on our own 10 yard line and our CB's were playing 6 yards off the WR's on this critical play. Worse off, we were bringing the house on an all-out blitz. THIS is the time to get up in the face of WR and jam them b/c it's going to be a quick throw; it has to be. Had both Rogers and Brock been up in the faces of the WR's, it most likely goes down as a sack by Reid or perhaps a pick-6 by Brock.

They had an AR2 design and saw the rush coming well before the snap (Reid/Bowman) and that cushion is what even allowed a play by both WR's. The difference is that Brock was still quick/fast enough and IQ enough to read the play and jump it while Rogers is blocked out back at the 4 yard line. Brock made a stellar play on off-coverage by keeping his eyes in the backfield, reading the play and breaking on it very aggressively (like you noted). I wouldn't lend any credit to the scheme or formation on this one. He made a great individual play as did Bowman who's initial assignment was to blitz up the middle...he got blocked out and then peeled back and around at the perfect time to seal it.

Overall, I'm OK with the design to play off if the intention is to disguise coverages (i.e. CB's peeling off routes, undercutting others, switching, zone, etc.) but there are times when you need to play man (like in this case) and stop allowing receivers perpetual free and clean releases off the LOS all day long.

As a team, we only have 17 INT's but 9 of those are by a rookie and backup CB. I just think there are times where our scheme is allowing for easy pitch-and-catches and letting QB's off the hook rather than making them earn every yard...something our own WR's can attest too in playing real, aggressive DB's in Seattle, etc.

IMHO, if Fangio can adjust properly and at the right times, he's going to generate more TO's and get his defense off the field more.
Originally posted by jonnydel:
Here's what I mean about a bad call:



we're locked up in man-man coverage with a single high safety and a lurk to protect the middle of the field(where ATL loves to go in the endzone). You see Gonzales is throwing Whitner to the ground here.



You see how he's thrown Whitner to the ground leaving himself open in the endzone as the rush is closing in on Ryan.



the endzone doesn't give a great view, but you can see Gonzales positioning his hip to shove Whitner



The endzone angle didn't capture gonzales, but you can see he's lurched back throwing Whitner to the ground. If Gonzales doesn't throw Whitner down, he gets sacked.

How this wasn't offensive PI I don't know.....

Seriously, I was so pissed at this. It was SO obvious even in real time.

BTW: What is it about our scheme that always seems to have Whitner on a teams best TE or slot WR (i.e. Boldin) in the RZ? Any theories here? It's a well documented trend over the years. It's a mismatch every single time. How is Reid or Bowman not blasting these guys at the LOS and then staying with them? It seems other teams take their best DB's and match them up all game long to a team's best WR/TE. Not us?
Originally posted by jonnydel:
Originally posted by wailers15:
Kaep needs to get better at looking through his progressions instead of locking onto one wr. this s**t is going to hurt us in the playoffs

can you give me an example??? I didn't see any of that from the coaches film.

If it's an AR play, naturally, he's only going to focus on that AR (by design/scheme). This is no different than the AR2 play with Ryan on the pick-6 by Brock/Bowman. I only reviewed the first half and saw more PS plays added this game and CK was doing a nice job of scanning the field and EVEN coming back to Gore as the check-down on one.
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by jonnydel:
Originally posted by wailers15:
Kaep needs to get better at looking through his progressions instead of locking onto one wr. this s**t is going to hurt us in the playoffs

can you give me an example??? I didn't see any of that from the coaches film.

If it's an AR play, naturally, he's only going to focus on that AR (by design/scheme). This is no different than the AR2 play with Ryan on the pick-6 by Brock/Bowman. I only reviewed the first half and saw more PS plays added this game and CK was doing a nice job of scanning the field and EVEN coming back to Gore as the check-down on one.

timing is a major factor also

Whitner was right in Ryan's face and got a knock down on that play, it was get rid of the ball or take a sack, bet he wishes he ate it now
Originally posted by jonnydel:
Here it is once again. I just finished my review of the coaches film from the Falcons game. It just got uploaded this morning. When I watched the game live, I think I was like most of us, a little frustrated with the team's performance. I felt going in to this game that it shouldn't have been as close as it was. Also, I was frustrated by the lack of offensive production in the 1st half as well as the defense giving up so many points.

However, emotion can cloud the situation a lot. After a review of the game, I'm feeling MUCH better about where we are as a team.

First, I really have to hand it to Atlanta, they played one of their best, if not their best, game of the season. They played like a team with a lot of pride and passion. Their offensive line probably played the best game I saw them play this season(I reviewed their last 4 games). They also played like a team with absolutely nothing to lose. They put it all on the line to beat us and still came up short.

From the offensive side of the ball:
I saw a LOT of growth in CK this week. I'll be posting some examples, but, he made some incredible reads and throws, and on one play in particular(which I'll show) he got to his 5th read on the play. Something I haven't seen much from him so far. Will Tukuafu was a monster in run blocking and a major liability in pass protection. It was great to see Iupati back in the lineup, he made some outstanding blocks in the run game.

Also, I know many will probably disagree with me, but, Roman's gameplan was really good. When you step back and look at how the game evolved and played out, it was really impressive. I know we only got 3 points in the first half, but, Atlanta blitzed on almost every down in the first half, something that we took advantage of in the 2nd. And, not only did they blitz on almost every play, they threw some crazy blitzes at us, it not only made it harder on CK but the O-line had a really hard time picking it up. Also, we only had 4 possessions in the 1st half: One one possession we kicked a FG, another we had back to back penalties that created a 2nd and 18, another we a 3 and out with a drop on the first play, and a free blitzer on the next that lead to an incomplete pass. On another drive we had a dropped pass and some other protection breakdowns.

The 3rd and 1 Play action pass that got snuffed - yeah, it probably wasn't the best of calls, but they did get Davis 1-1 with a safety, but Tukuafu absolutely whiffed on his pass pro which is what blew up the play. That was really the only play I saw that I said, "I definitely wouldn't have called that play.

In the 2nd half, our offense was unstoppable, we scored on every possession in the 2nd half, we just only had 3 possession in the 2nd half.

As much as some of you want us to run a much more wide open passing offense, it was actually the 2&3 TE sets with 1 or at most 2 receivers that got us the biggest plays out of the passing game. The TD to Boldin - boldin was the only WR on the field. On 2 of Crab's biggest gains, he was the only WR on the field. As much as many of us hate to see either Boldin or Crab's go out of the game, it's what gave us the best return from the offense. It also set up the late game all-run drive. We were so successful in the first half running the ball, when we got into the 2nd half we started utilizing much more 22 &13 personnel. because ATL had their safeties deep on a lot of those plays it allowed the run game to really pop, then ATL started running much more single safety looks with an 8 man box, then we started picking up chunk yardage out of the passing game. Then, on our all running drive, we ran 22(2 backs 2 TE) because we had thrown the ball so effectively, ATL only had a 7 man front with 2 deep safeties. This meant we had 8 blockers on 7 defenders, which is why we ran the ball so effectively on that drive.

ATL also went almost exclusively 2 deep safeties in the first half running a variety of zone-man blitzes - something no other team(other than GB) has done this year.

From the defensive side of the ball:

Number one, penalties killed us - both called and uncalled.
Whitner's penalty - ridiculous. If not for that penalty ATL probably wouldn't have scored a TD in the 1st half, ATL would've faced 3rd and goal from the 9 yard line instead of 1st and goal from the 1 1/2. We were dominating in coverage and swarming Ryan with the rush. The only real play they got was, really, kind of a lucky play and Reid missed an open field tackle to get them down near the goal line.

The TD to Gonazales, I don't know how he didn't get called for offensive PI, he absolutely mauled Whitner, basically throwing him down to the ground to get open.

ATL, for one, brought their "A" game to this one. Matt Ryan played a really good game(I, personally have though Matt Ryan was overrated before I saw this game) Ryan made some outstanding throws into tiny windows with pinpoint anticipation - because, for the majority of their successful plays, he had to. Which is also why the majority of his completed passes were to Gonzales or White, 2 guys who he has played with for years to develop that kind of timing and anticipation.

I know a lot of us saw the game and thought, "where is the pass rush?" You couldn't see it too well on the broadcast, but on film, it was there big time. ATL ended up having to keep Gonzales in to block on probably 20% or more of their pass plays. If they didn't have someone chip or keep 1-2 extra guys in to block, Ryan was under intense pressure on probably 80% or more of his dropbacks. Even when they kept a RB in to block, he was still getting pressure. There were a lot of plays where they were chipping with Gonzales and then keeping 2 backs in to block to try and contain our pass rush.

From a coverage standpoint, our DB's actually played a pretty good game. One, ATL got away with at last 3 big offensive pass interference plays.

And everyone who complains about all of our off-coverage. When we played press coverage on 4th and 2 ATL converted. When we played off coverage on 1st and goal, we got an INT return for a TD.....

Overall, the team really overcame a lot of weird things to win this game. ATL threw absolutely everything they had at us in this game, gambling a LOT. They played probably their best game of the year against us, had some lucky bounces and terrible calls(and no calls) go in their favor, and they still came up short.

This game actually has me with a lot of hope and positivity going forward into the playoffs. We're a hot team that is truly getting better every week at the most important time.

Overall, I very much agree with the majority of this. Any time you get to sit down and review the tape, it's rarely as bad as you initially thought.

At the end of the day, I too, have to tip my cap to the Falcons. They certainly came to play. Their coaches absolutely out-coached us given what they had to work with. They had a make-shift OL, came in one-dimensional and had up to 7 rookies on the defense, not to mention their DT went down early with an achilles injury. Their entire team came in with a game plan and they executed it about as well as a team could...even on ST's with the onsides kick! I agree with Jonny that they probably played their best game of the year (with nothing to lose) and the silver lining in all of this is that we still ended up making the Pick at the Stick and winning. That's encouaging!

But we also shouldn't minimize our own efforts. At the end of the day, Mr. Vanilla's defense allowed for just 7 completions in the first half and 3 points. He schemed crazy blitzes, threw in some interesting coverage schemes and their defense was stopping us on 3rd downs with sacks/pressure. They knew who to guard on 3rd downs (Boldin). On offense, they seemed to be getting 5 yards a run (another power back we struggled against). They had 400+ yards on offense (348 in the air). They designed quick passes well under the 3-second mark and they devised a brilliant scheme of bunching the receivers closer to the OT's and "chipping" at our DE/OLB's before running their routes successfully.

To me, we got outcoached/schemed here on both sides of the ball but again, stellar talent overcame everything in the end. We had MUCH more talent then they did across the board.
[ Edited by NCommand on Dec 27, 2013 at 6:50 AM ]
Originally posted by NCommand:
THIS is the time to get up in the face of WR and jam them b/c it's going to be a quick throw; it has to be. Had both Rogers and Brock been up in the faces of the WR's, it most likely goes down as a sack by Reid or perhaps a pick-6 by Brock.

I think you are way wrong here. Had Brock and Rogers been in their faces on that play, it would have been an easy TD with Douglas going in untouched. Brock wouldn't have been able to get a jam on the WR and Rogers would have been picked out of the play by Davis.

While I agree that it took a great play by Brock to get the result we did, playing off the WRs was the only way to obtain that result on that pass play.
You may have answered this already NC but how do you differentiate what you call an AR play from Kap just making a good pre snap read and knowing who exactly has the favorable match up?

It seems as if you and Johnnydel have Polar opposite views on a few plays.
[ Edited by Dsoto87 on Dec 27, 2013 at 6:49 AM ]
Originally posted by a49erfan77:
Originally posted by NCommand:
THIS is the time to get up in the face of WR and jam them b/c it's going to be a quick throw; it has to be. Had both Rogers and Brock been up in the faces of the WR's, it most likely goes down as a sack by Reid or perhaps a pick-6 by Brock.

I think you are way wrong here. Had Brock and Rogers been in their faces on that play, it would have been an easy TD with Douglas going in untouched. Brock wouldn't have been able to get a jam on the WR and Rogers would have been picked out of the play by Davis.

While I agree that it took a great play by Brock to get the result we did, playing off the WRs was the only way to obtain that result on that pass play.

How do you figure that? You seriously are assuming with an AR2 play Brock wouldn't be able to jam their WR at the LOS for 1.5 seconds and contest the pass (if it even comes out given that Reid is on Ryan instantly). So you are assuming that if both Brock and Rogers played tight up at the LOS, their inside WR would have been able to block out Rogers while their outside WR would be able to play through Brock to the inside and around the congestion of Rogers/DB? That's a big assumption!
Originally posted by NCommand:
How do you figure that? You seriously are assuming with an AR2 play Brock wouldn't be able to jam their WR at the LOS for 1.5 seconds and contest the pass (if it even comes out given that Reid is on Ryan instantly). So you are assuming that if both Brock and Rogers played tight up at the LOS, their inside WR would have been able to block out Rogers while their outside WR would be able to play through Brock to the inside and around the congestion of Rogers/DB? That's a big assumption!
All he would have to do is run inside just behind Davis. Brock isn't going to get much of a jam on a WR running horizontally away from him.
Originally posted by Dsoto87:
You may have answered this already NC but how do you differentiate what you call an AR play from Kap just making a good pre snap read and knowing who exactly has the favorable match up?

It seems as if you and Johnnydel have Polar opposite views on a few plays.

We agree in principal; we both agree we run both PS and the two types of AR passing designs (and run a bunch of ad lib plays when neither work). The difference is that he believes we predominately run PS passing plays with a few AR's mixed in while I believe we predominately run an AR passing game with a few PS mixed in. That said, since Crabtree has come back, I have noticed that we are running more and more PS plays (naturally). The AR designs put more onus on HaRoMan (calls into the huddle based on what Roman is seeing up in the booth) and "execution" of everyone to make the play work while the PS passing plays put more onus on CK to go through progressions (if they are built in like a WCO play) OR on CK to hit the best receiving option in-play (like a Spread design). In both, CK is afforded the option to choose the best AR or PS play based on the coverage he is seeing at the LOS. Sometimes it can be difficult to differentiate the two b/c CK almost always hits his primary target (PS) or the designed AR right away. What tends to tip off an AR design is by watching the non-AR's and their decoy (or physical) routes in their efforts to assist the AR in getting open. You can also tell sometimes by how quickly the AR fires off the LOS (knowing he's the target). You can also watch CK's head and body angle as to who he is going to all the way in most cases whether it's a designed AR1/2 or PS primary read. This is why he has been labeled a "one read QB." Some is by design and other times it's b/c the primary target in a PS play is open/best option right away. If the AR is covered or the primary read in the PS is bottled up or CK hesitates (this happens), CK is instructed to be off and scrambling and either pick up yards with his legs or buys time to complete an ad lib pass (more common than most realize); the good news is that with Crabtree, Boldin and VD, we have become MUCH better at ad libs plays. Defenses can no longer just lock up on just VD or Boldin. Also, the scramble itself can be a tip it was a designed AR play b/c if it was a PS play, CK "should" be hanging in the pocket as long as he can to wait for that 2nd and 3rd receiving option to open up. Another tip off is how the receivers act if that AR isn't hit right away...some are down field blocking not aware the play has broken down, some are half-assing it on the other side of the field done with their part of the play, still running deep go-routes in efforts to get the underneath AR the ball. We're getting better at recognizing the ad lib plays but the design has this natural flaw built into it.
[ Edited by NCommand on Dec 27, 2013 at 7:40 AM ]
Originally posted by a49erfan77:
Originally posted by NCommand:
How do you figure that? You seriously are assuming with an AR2 play Brock wouldn't be able to jam their WR at the LOS for 1.5 seconds and contest the pass (if it even comes out given that Reid is on Ryan instantly). So you are assuming that if both Brock and Rogers played tight up at the LOS, their inside WR would have been able to block out Rogers while their outside WR would be able to play through Brock to the inside and around the congestion of Rogers/DB? That's a big assumption!
All he would have to do is run inside just behind Davis. Brock isn't going to get much of a jam on a WR running horizontally away from him.

Next to Culliver, Brock is the most physical CB we have...and obviously, he knew with an all-out blitz coming, his jam wasn't going to free him up inside under 2 seconds. He'd most likely position himself slightly inside and jam hard (he has 5 yards to contest). If Rogers too was up jamming the WR inside, even if the outside WR did somehow run through Brock and catch the ball on the designed slant, he'd run right into the congestion of Rogers/inside WR.

Sorry, I just don't buy it here. We have a tendency that when we bring pressure, we play off and give simple outlets to QB's IMHO.