After a Kap 24 yard scramble where GB was playing man coverage, there was a defensive hold on an incomplete pass to Crabs. Then this pass.
49ers: All verticals concept
GB: Cover2 man
The 49ers make this playcall thinking GB would be in zone coverage at the linebacker level since they just got burned with a 24 yard Kap run moments ago. All verticals will attack the deep safties with numbers, in this case 5 WRs. However, this is man coverage underneath, which makes it harder for the playcall to succeed because the man defenders will follow their WRs instead of playing an underdeath zone.
This isn't a long bomb type of route concept. It is designed to be a quick throw, as Kap displays here. If the defender on the WR is in a trail position, then throw it over the top. If the defender is even with, or over the top of the WR, make it a back shoulder throw.
Below: The ball was just snapped. The blue lines show which GB defender is manned up on which 49er. There's a CB with a '?' on his head is because I am unsure of his assignment. It seems like it should be man coverage with the rest of this team mates, but it won't appear that way a split second later. #42 is the safety, Burnett. Notice his spacing between the hash marks and the numbers on the field. Red lines were drawn to help illustrate his distance from the hash marks to the numbers on the field.
Below: Kap hs decided to make the throw in this pic and his arm is about to start his windup. Notice how every CB has their hips turned to run with their WR. Everyone except the CB that had the '?' on his head. He is looking in the backfield. My only guess is that he is the spy to prevent another Kap scramble. He is shown doing the "he's not my guy anymore" tap to Boldin as Boldin runs past him. #42 the safety has now slid closer to the numbers on the field, and farther from VD.
Applying the vertical concept, Kap sees that AJ Hawk is not trailing VD. This means the throw will be a back shoulder throw.
Below: Kap in the middle of his windup. All the CBs are running with their WR, except for the CB on Boldin. This forces the safety to respect Boldin and shade closer to Boldin. My guess is that the CB letting Boldin run by is playing his assignment as the spy on Kap.
Below: The ball is in the air (red arrow) and #42 has taken a couple false steps (even closer to the numbers on the field) making his ability to play the ball that much more difficult. He turns his hips to drive towards the ball.
Below: Every false step #42 took mattered as he barely missed batting the pass down.
The play: All verticals works better against zone underneath coverage because it leaves the underneath defenders covering grass while all the WRs attack the deep safties. Although the playcall isn't perfect against the coverage (man under), because Kap has gashed GB for several big runs GB was not going to play man coverage all around and had one of their CBs assigned to a spy role. That spy forced the saftey (#42) to help play man coverage on Boldin and that is all the space Kap needs to fire a perfect back shoulder throw to VD.
The all verticals (four verticals) concept is relevant to the CAR game as this was what the 49ers were trying to do late in the 4th quarter. We may see it again this Sunday.
[ Edited by thl408 on Jan 9, 2014 at 8:18 AM ]