Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Upon Further Review: ATL@TEN Offense

In Week 5, the Tennessee Titans defeated the Atlanta Falcons, 20-13. What follows ia play-by-play breakdown of the Titans' offensive performance that game.

The whole game is now up. The additional commentary will be added later, which is a term without legal meaning.

T33110I-Form, 2-WR WeakRun6WhiteOff Tackle
Beautiful blocking here as the Titans run off Roos and just beat the Falcons 1v1.
Stretch run to the right side, only Grady Jackson blows the play up. Good play by Jackson to shoot the gap between Mawae and Olson.
T3736Shotgun BasePass8GageOut
Good fairly quick out to Justin Gage split out left. Gage snags the ball and gets a couple more yards to be sure he's past the sticks. (CA)
T45110Penalty6ATL-SandersPass Interference
Jones runs 5 yards and catches the pass. Sanders hits him before the ball gets there, so Fisher chooses 1&10 from the Falcons 49 over 2&5 from midfield. Smart guy. (CA)
A491103-WR, Slot LeftRun1-FumbleWhiteStretch
Stretch run to the right side. Anderson beats Stewart just enough to hit White in the outside arm where he's (correctly) carrying the ball. Stewart should've stopped Anderson better, and White should have kept the ball better. The ball bounces right to DeAngelo Hall, who has an easy 56 yard TD run.
Drive Notes: Fumble-returned for TD, 0-7, 1Q 10:00. The TD return is a bad bounce, but turnovers are always bad. And the turnover shouldn't have happened.
T42110Standard 2-TEPass13TroupeDrag
VY hits Troupe running across the formation, and Troupe takes advantage of an older Lawyer Milloy to run through the arm tackle and pick up a good 9 YAC. (CA)
A45110I-Form, 2-WR WeakRun8WhiteIso
Great blocking, and White has a nice lane to run through.
A3722I-Form, 3-WRPass4R.WilliamsSmoke
Quick pass to Roydell split out wide with the corner playing well off. Not a long gain, but maybe sooner or later you break enough tackles to get a really good play. Still, a good play on second and short to pick up the first down.
A331103-WR, Slot StrongPass9TroupeQuick Hitch
Troupe moves from left to right across the formation as VY snaps the ball and throws it immediately to Troupe. The WRs head out to block for Ben, who's able to drag LB Michael Boley for a 9 yard gain. (CA)
A24212-TE Strong, 2-WR WeakRun3WhiteIso
Blah, short run middle. Fisher for some reason declines the first down run to accept a longer gain and still a first down on the penalty.
VY playfakes and moves to bootleg, then moves back into the pocket before finding Brandon Jones open downfield. Decent enough throw and grab, and it's first and goal inside the 5. (CA)
A31G2-TE Strong, 2-WR WeakRun3-TDBrownIso
Ah, what a healthy Chris Brown can do. He tries to go up the middle, but the Falcons have good penetration. So, he bounces the run to the strong left side, outside of Roos and Scaife, picks up a block from Hartsock, and has a good lane to the end zone. Nice run.
Drive Notes: TD, 7-7, 1Q 6:15. It's nice to come back and score a TD after giving up one. Griffin started this one out with a good kickoff return, the Falcons aided it with a couple penalties, and there wasn't a single third down chance to fail. If you can get good gains on first and second down consistently, you'll score a lot of points. Alas, this offensive success didn't last for the entire game.
T30110I-Form, 3-WRRun5BrownIso
Decent first down run right side. I'd need the end zone angle to tell you anything very good here.
T3525Shotgun BaseRun4BrownDelay
A little bit of a counter trap on the delayed handoff to Brown-decent yardage to set up 3rd and less than a yard.
T3931I-Form, 2-WR WeakRun1YoungSneak
VY goes for the quick snap here and dives up the middle for a yard.
T40110Weak IRun4BrownIso
Blah, short run right weak side.
T44262-TE Strong, 2-WR WeakPass5MouldsFlat
A bit of an odd formation-Moulds is basically lined up as a 3rd TE to the "weak" side. It looks a little like a waggle, except Moulds is covered. The defender eventually releases to pursue VY, who has an easy pass to Moulds in space with the opportunity to run. (CA)
T49312-TE StrongRun2WhiteIso
Moulds is essentially lined up as a 3rd TE again, this time as another H-back behind the H-back. White runs that side, and it's enough for a first down.
A49110Weak I, 2-WR WeakPassINTScaifeGo
The Falcons bring 5, then a 6th later, and get a little bit of pressure. Scaife is running an up on the left sideline, and VY's pass isn't where it needs to be. LB Boley has very good coverage on Scaife, and has a fairly easy interception. This pass needs to be farther, between Scaife and the sideline, or thrown somewhere else. (.5 IN, .5 BR)
Drive Notes: Interception, 7-7, end 1Q. A decent little drive, a couple conversions on 3&short, then a bad play by the QB costs you possession and, apparently, everything good you did on offense in the first quarter.
T23110Shotgun StrongRun0YoungRead Option
VY makes the proper read, as Anderson is crashing in, but White needs to get a good block on Anderson for VY to have a running lane upside. White barely brushes him, and VY turns it back inside, where there's not much running room.
T23210Strong I, 3-WRPassIncHallCheckdown
The Falcons bring an overload blitz to the Titans' left side, and get pressure on VY, forcing an errant throw to Hall slipping out of the backfield. (PR)
T23310Shotgun BasePassIncR.WilliamsDeep In
Roydell is lined up outside to the left and runs a deep in about 15 yards downfield. VY feels pressure on the Falcons blitz, scrambles outside the pocket, and throws one to him. Alas, Hall is there to break up the play, primarily by running into Roydell before the ball gets there. No, the pass interference isn't called. An earlier throw by VY is probably completed. (CA)
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-10, 2Q 10:20. 3 unsuccessful plays, and that's a dead drive.
T18110I-Form, 2-WR WeakRun6BrownIso
Pretty decent run to the strong left side.
T2424I-Form, 2-WR WeakRun-2BrownIso
Same formation, this play mroe up the middle. The Falcons defense, particularly Grady Jackson, does well to get penetration, and Brown has nowhere to run.
T22364-WR ClosePass4YoungScramble
VY looks, tries to scramble, gets outside the pocket, but doesn't have much room. Good play by Boley, but Sanders was there between VY and the first down marker anyway. (SCR)
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-10, 2Q 6:48. Blah, 3 and out.
T43110Shotgun BasePass3GageOut?
I don't really get what happened here. Kind of like a bootleg, only interrupted. Short pass to Gage for a couple yards, but I though VY shortcircuited what was supposed to happen on this play. (CA)
T4627Weak I, 3-WRPassIncBrownScreen
What looks like a nice middle screen is set up, but a backpedaling VY throws a laser that Brown can't catch. Not a good throw by VY. (IN)
T4637Trips RightPass6HallCheckdown
The Falcons bring a slanted blitz, sort of, with the 4 DL to the Titans left, and a LB and DB to the Titans' right. Stewart has blocking responsibility for the blitzing LB Boley, and does poorly. VY has to take a dumpoff to Hall, who was lined up as part of the trips. He slips away from Brooking at the start, but can't get the first down. (PR)
A48412-TE, 2-WR RightPassIncScaifeFlat Drag
Scaife is moving from left to right across the formation and continues into the flat, while the two WRs on that side run clearouts. VY has Scaife open past the sticks for the first down, but doesn't get the ball there. Bad throw. (IN) FWIW, this was another of those stupid rollout plays where VY has to look to his primary targets or eat the ball-I don't like that in this situation, since it takes away one of VY's most valuable assets, his running ability.
Drive Notes: Downs, 7-10, 2Q 1:57. I liked the decision to go for it on 4th down, against a Falcons offense that hadn't done anything, from only a yard out, but didn't like the playcall. It would've been nice for Stewart to do better against Boley on the third down play-those misplays can be pretty awful.
T45110Standard 2-TEPass9JonesComeback
Jones runs a little 9 yard route and hauls in VY's pass. Good, productive play on first down. (CA)
A4621Shotgun BasePass3BrownCheckdown
Simple play-see if anything deep opens up right away, else take the checkdown to Brown for the first down. Not A, then B. (CA)
A43110Shotgun StrongPass10MouldsComeback?
I think "comeback" is my basic name for pass play near defenders where I'm not sure how the player got open. Fairly simple pitch and catch for VY. (CA)
A33110Shotgun BasePass8MouldsComeback
See preceding play, only this is more of a sideline play. Looks like a pretty good route by a veteran WR, and smartly steps OOB instead of trying for extra yardage. On a drive where plays are taking longer than they probably should, that's nice to see. (CA)
A2522Shotgun BasePass1YoungScramble
VY looks, doesn't see anything he likes, and tries to take off up the middle on a scramble, but the lane closes quickly and he doesn't get what he wanted. This isn't a very good scramble to run-just take the low percentage pass to the sidelines instead and stop the clock. (BR)
A2431Shotgun StrongPass8MouldsOut
Ok, maybe it was more of a comeback instead. Same sort of play as before-a pretty good route and not too bad of a pitch and catch. Sanders tries to make a play on the ball, but is too far off. This play is challenged by the replay official and upheld. (CA)
A16110Shotgun BasePass4YoungScramble
VY looks, but the Falcons drop 7 into coverage and, since there's nowhere to go in the end zone, he smartly just takes off, gets what he can to make it an easier FG, and gets out of bounds. I have no complaints with this play. (SCR)
Drive Notes: FG, 10-10, end 2Q. It's a successful drive, in that it results in points and doesn't give the other team a chance with the football, but this drive highlights (1) the Titans lack of a big play passing game, and (2) non-excellent offense. The Titans weren't able to attack the ball downfield, because their passing game sucks, and an excellent offense would have been more prompt at getting to the line and plays executed. Still, it's tough to kvetch too much about this. Tony Boselli whines about how the Titans didn't attack the end zone on the drive, and also suggested that the Titans should have run a WR short of the end zone. What, so he could get tackled and the half could expire without getting any points?
T20110Strong IPass11HallBootleg
VY with the fake to White on the strongside run, followed by a bootleg back to the right. Hall moved like he's going to block weakside, but instead slips out into the flat. VY hits him, Hall makes a nice move about 8 yards downfield to avoid LB Nicholas and pick up a few extra yards, and the Titans start out with a first down. Bootleg passes like this are a staple of playbooks from college to the NFL because they can often be very effective, and this play was. (CA)
Blah, short run left side.
T31210Shotgun 4-WR ClosePassINT[White][Sack]
The Falcons rush 4, and White stays in to block. White slips out of the backfield, and Brooking comes up the middle like a ton of bricks, absolutely unblocked. By this point, Roos has also lost control of Abraham on the outside, and he and Brooking meet at VY. VY tries to dump the ball off to White, but Abraham has a hold of his arm. It don't really know that this is an interception, but maybe instead should be a fumble, but either way it's a turnover. (PR) Of course, no clue what's going on downfield, so VY may have had options.
Drive Notes: Interception, 10-10, 3Q 13:37. One nice play, one blah play, one turnover. Turnovers are bad, mmkay? Also, RBs who can see and block the blitz are good-Brown had a key block on VY's TD run to win the game against the Texans in OT last year, the sort of quality block I don't recall ever seeing from White.
T21110I-FormationPenalty-5ScaifeFalse Start
T16115Standard 2-TEPass11JonesComeback
T16115Penalty+15ATL-BrookingRoughing the Passer
Hey, right after I criticize him for being a terrible pass blocker, White gives a chip to Abraham off the play-fake, causing Abraham to absolutely give up on the play. That's something John Abraham had never done before, and is not at all a reason why the Jets traded him away! The Falcons bring one extra guy on a delayed blitz, but the 8(!) Titans in to block don't do a great job of it, though I'm pretty sure this time it's Scaife's fault. VY's pass for Jones is perfectly fine, and a nice gain on 1&15. The RTP on Brooking is totally justified-he was the delayed blitzer again, took 2 extra steps, and brings VY down to the ground by the neck. I guess you have to commit two PFs on the same play against VY to see it flagged. (CA)
T421103-WR, Slot WeakRun14DavisEnd-Around
The Falcons line up in another of those "we don't respect your pass game" defenses, playing a base 4-3 in the box against a 3-WR set. Davis starts weak left and runs toward the formation. VY tosses him the ball, and Davis dos almost a one man reverse, turning around and running up the field to the left. Davis finds an alley, Roos and Mawae are downfield blocking, and the Titans had their best run of the day so far.
A44110Weak IPass20YoungScramble
And they immediately follow it up with their longest ground gain on the day. This is mostly a 2-man play, although Hall does slip out after blocking on the play-fake. VY looks, then takes off. I believe it's DE Jamaal Anderson who drops off and has contain responsibilities, but VY v DE is a matchup the Titans will take most every time. VY avoid his tackle and picks up a score of yards before being tackled by LB Nicholas. Nit: VY should stepped OOB, even if it cost the team 5 yards. He fumbles too much, and you don't want to see him take unnecessary hits. (SCR)
A24110Weak IRun2WhiteStretch
Stretch play to the weak right side. The left side of the Falcons DL does a good job here, forcing Stewart (Anderson) and Olson (?) back in to the backfield, forcing White to run more outside and allowing the Falcons to stop White after a short gain.
A22284-WR CloseRun0WhiteIso
There's no running room here, and White gets nothing. I don't like this playcall-playing 4-WR Close doesn't make the Falcons show much of anything, and the deep handoff allows them to hit the hole before the back does. And the O-line doesn't seem to do a very good job on this play, either. Not a good call on 2&8 IMO.
A2238Strong IPassIncScaifeOut
If anybody knows what VY is doing on this play, please let me know. He throws for Scaife in the right flat about 6 yards downfield (note: 3&8) with two defenders in the area (note: minimal YAC possibility, turnover possibility), and compounds the error by throwing the ball two yards short. (.5 IN, .5 BR) is the grade, but this play is a good example of why I've considered switching to a numerical per-play score, rather than these vague descriptions-.5 BR, .5 IN just doesn't convey how bad this play is by VY.
Drive Notes: FG, 13-13, 3Q 7:00. Drive gets as close to goal as it does due to quirky, non-sustainable rushing plays of the type not otherwise seen this game. Drive sputters closer to goalline, thanks to poor plays by players and a mediocre playcall. At least they do get the tying FG after Bironas hits from 40.
T39110I-Form, 3-WRRun1BrownIso
Short run right side. Stanley holds up well against Olson, and Jackson beats Bell badly. Stanley really has the key play-if Olson beats him clearly, Hall's through the hole and Brown follows him. Instead, there's no hole for Hall to block through, and Brown has nowhere to go. Note Tennessee's rushing success comes up the middle, not on runs right tackle like this one.
T4029Shotgun Split Backs, 3-WRPass15R.WilliamsSkinny Post
Roydell lines up wide left alone, and snags the pass from VY about 13 yards downfield The pass by VY is a little behind Roydell, thus (CA) instead of dead on, but it's nicely placed to avoid the LB. So, it's late rather than inaccurate, and complete which is good, but I believe limited Roydell's YAC ability.
A45110Strong I, 3-WRPassIncJonesComeback(?)
VY stands, looks, looks left, then finally throws left to Jones, who's the sole receiver left. The pass appears to be too hard and off-target, and I don't like the way VY seemed to stare Jones down. (.5 BR, .5. IN) is the grade again, though this pass isn't nearly as bad as the 3rd done one for Scaife.
A452103-WR, Slot WeakPassIncMouldsBootleg
VY boots, and the Falcons keep contain after Scaife, who has backside contain, leaves Davis to go out into the pattern. VY doesn't have anywhere to throw the ball and can't turn upfield, so he throws it away. (CA) since I ditched Brian's grade of Thrown Away.
A45310Shotgun StrongPassIncGageGo
Gage lines up in the slot, and VY basically just chucks it for him after looking around for something else. Gage was double-covered, but VY's pass is far enough that it falls harmlessly to the ground. On this third down, though, you'd like to see something your receiver can make a play on. Even if the ball is intercepted, where Gage is, it's like a punt (Hentrich's punt would be fair caught at the 9), ergo (IN).
Drive Notes: Punt, 13-13, 3Q 4:22. Let's throw the ball unproductively! Yes, let's! I know I advocate throwing the ball as a superior way of getting downfield compared to rushing, but I am also sympathetic to the idea the Titans shouldn't do this too much because they don't have a very good passing game.
T40110Shotgun StrongPassIncMouldsDeep Out
VY fakes the read option, then rolls right and tries to hit Moulds along the sideline about 32 yards downfield. Moulds lets the pass go through his hands, but the ball is thrown out of bounds and I don't think Moulds would be able to keep his feet in even if he does haul it in. (IN)
T40210Weak IRun7WhiteStretch
Stretch run to the strong side. The Falcons are on the outside, so White slides off Stewart and takes the cutback into space created by an overpursuing Falcons line, sidestepping a flailing Grady Jackson. And in the open field, White turns into LenDayne and is taken down by the first Falcons defender to have a decent chance. Good use of "lumbering" by Ron Pitts to describe White's running style.
T4733Penalty+15AndersonUnnec. Roughness
Scaife (left) and Hartsock (right) line up standing up a little off from the O-line. Moulds, the WR to the right runs a flat route, while Hartsock runs a little 5 yard route into the zone. Simple, easy play that gets first down yardage. (CA) The penalty looks much more like hands to the face than the headslap that was called, as former O-lineman Tony Boselli points out, but the Titans will still take the 15 extra yards.
A31110I-Form, 3-WRPass4GageHitch
Since the Falcons are playing 7 in the box, the Titans try to burn them by getting a WR in space. Gage snags the quick pass from VY, and Moulds goes out to block, but Gage can't avoid the tackle of Houston. (CA)
A27263-WR, Slot WeakPassIncJonesGo
The Falcons run a zone blitz, bringing Boley and Milloy off the Titans' left side and dropping the other side DE, Anderson I believe, into coverage. Roos in particular doesn't handle Boley well, and he hits VY has #10 lets the pass for Jones go. Crocker leaps for the pass, but just misses it, and Jones has it in his hands, almost, in the end zone, and can't haul it in. Not VY's fault this is incomplete, though throwing into the vicinity of 3 defenders isn't necessarily the wisest idea. (CA)
A2736?Penalty-5[Young]Delay of Game
A32311Shotgun StrongPass3ScaifeDumpoff
Abraham comes off the right edge and beats Stewart, bringing pressure on VY. Scaife stayed into to block a blitzing Crocker, who stays with him as Scaife moves to help VY. VY chucks it to Scaife, since there's no good running lane and 6th round TEs aren't nearly as valuable as #3 overall pick QBs. (CA)
Drive Notes: Missed FG, 20-13, 4Q 10:48. And Bironas misses the 47 yard field goal. Sheesh. Shame on Jones for dropping a pass that would effectively have clinched the game-the Falcons weren't scoring 2 TDs against the Titans in 11 minutes.
T12110I-Form, 2-WR WeakRun3BrownIso
Brown tries to take the run left tackle, but is forced to bounce it outside. Because of the lack of contain, he has to go far enough outside that the short side run prevents him from getting more yardage. Bonus: after this play, the announcers (Pitts) say something about how you haven't heard a lot from John Abraham, who only disrupted the Titans' previous passing play and forced VY to dump the ball off. They'd also said something similar about Abraham right after his previous particularly good play. It's almost like the people feeding the announcers information are trying to make them look stupid. If so, I mostly approve, but I'm cruel like that, and not always to be kind.
T1527I-Form, 3-WRRun3BrownCutback
The difference between the Jaguars and a team with actual coaches: Falcons play 7 in the box, plus an 8th on the slot WR shaded toward the box. Brown avoids one tackler, then meets another, who gets help from another, and they take him down after a short (3 yard) gain rather than a safety tackling him after a long (15?) one.
T1834Shotgun Split Backs, 3-WRPass4BrownSwing
Brown lines up to VY's right in the shotgun, and it's his job to beat Demorrio Williams to the first down line after VY throws him the quick pass in the flat. Fortunately, Brown is fast. No, this is not a play you run to White. (CA)
Blah, short run left side.
Fox is kind enough not to show us the start of this play, so I'm not really sure what the formation is. VY throws the ball for Gage, but Demorrio Williams takes off his VY-invisibility cloak to intercept the ball. Just a DREADFUL throw by VY, right to the defender. On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being best, this is about a 1.5. (BR)
Drive Notes: Interception, 20-13, 4Q 4:22. Ok, the last thing you want to here is turn the ball over. So the Titans turn the ball over. Don't do this to your QB. Don't do this to your team. I don't mind running a pass play. I mind running a pass play where your QB could easily turn the ball over fewer than 40 yards downfield.
T191102-TE Strong, 2-WR WeakRun4WhiteCutback
Gage is lined up as an H-back, so it's almost a 3-TE type set. White has a decent cutback lane and snags 4 yards, a nice gain on an obvious running situation.
T23262-TE StrongRun0WhiteIso
Or, you know, you have a play like this one, where White appears to run right into the defender for no gain, where it looks like a back with actual speed like Brown could have gone outside and gotten at least a couple yards, if not the first down.
T23362-TE Strong, 2-WR WeakRun4WhiteCutback
White cuts it back and gets a couple, but in the end this is just a run that leaves you significantly (>1 foot) short of the first down on 3rd down when you really need a first down to help salt the game away.
Drive Notes: Punt, 20-13, 4Q 2:26. "We let them off the hook!" The Titans should be saying that to themselves offensively after this drive, when they had a chance to finish the game, really finish the game, and couldn't do it.

UPDATE (10/26 0046 CT): The entire first half is up. Intro revised accordingly.
UPDATE (10/31 0038 CT): Whole game up. Intro revised accordingly.

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