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Let's Talk About: How Los Angeles Planned To Attack ATL's Cover-3 And Why It Didn't Work (Deion Jones)


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The Rams are a truly horrible offense, but believe it or not, I thought that came in with a solid gameplan on how to attack the Falcons this past Sunday.  However, that plan was neutralized not just because they are a bad offense playing with a rookie quarterback -- as many here have often pointed out, Atlanta has made rookie quarterbacks and bad offenses look like world-beaters -- so, no, it wasn't just their ineptitude that left them on the coliseum floor leaking, but the continued maturity of Atlanta's young defense, bolstered by players that are now starting to feel the game and play with anticipation.

There was no greater example of this than 9:05 left in the 2nd Qtr.  Los Angeles is 1st and 15.

Atlanta is in their standard 3 deep look with one variation.  Instead of the Buzz coverage, which is most favored on passing downs, they are in Sky.  May not seem like a big thing, but it changes who the force defender is on the play and can muddy up the quarterback's read on one side of the field because the flat defender and the hook defender isn't going to be who it normally is in Buzz.

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Now this is where Los Angeles got it right from a gameplan perspective.  They have a slant/flat combo to the top of the screen, and a flat/hook combo to the bottom.  This is the type of West Coast staple that gives 3 deep coverages troubles and has been a bug-a-boo to this defense for a chunk of the season.

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At the snap you see the releases of the defenders.  Now I'm not 100% sure the type of progression system they have Goff playing in, so I'm not going to speculate, but this is a quick hitter.  Three steps, ball is supposed to come out.  In that case you can only read one side of the field and he's reading to the slant/flat combo, which is supposed to be easy money.

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Here's a bit of a tighter look at what they are trying to do to that side of the field.  Poole is the flat defender, he has to go with Austin.  Alf is in deep 1/3 so he has to give Kenny Britt that space.  What they are trying to do is to throw that slant right into that void as soon as Poole clears with Austin to the flat.  

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At this point, everything is unfolding exactly the way it's supposed to with the exception of one little problem... #45.  Take a look at his helmet.  Eyes on the quarterback.  He saw it the whole way.

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Anyone remember a few months back I made that thread after the MNF game vs. the Saints where Jones had the pick six?  You remember the rule for playing as a zone defender?  As soon as you see the quarterback's front hand come off the ball, you break.  That's exactly what Deion Jones is doing here.  Goff's front hand is off the ball to wind up... Jones is on his horse.  Let me throw this in there, though... vs. most linebackers this is still a completion.  That play is open and there's no hesitation by the quarterback.  These are about as wide open as windows get in the NFL.  Linebackers are not supposed to be able to close that much ground in split seconds like that vs. the quick passing game.

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Atlanta doesn't have a normal linebacker playing in the middle, though.  Note the height of the ball as it come in.

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If some mess like this happens to be in Madden, I'm throwing my controller, turning off my system and going outside.

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Anyone who wants to wonder where the playmakers are on this defense, or the gamechangers, you have you answer.

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That was an awesome catch and landing. I figured he might fall to the turf. To keep his feet and accelerate out of the one legged landing like that is excellent.

 

Nice write up too.

 

There were too many defenders there. Had he put it up higher to clear Jones then Allen either picks it or decks the receiver, who also happened to be totally covered by Alford.

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12 minutes ago, Jesus said:

There were too many defenders there. Had he put it up higher to clear Jones then Allen either picks it or decks the receiver, who also happened to be totally covered by Alford.

There's always defenders there when you're throwing that quick slant against zone.  You don't worry about how many defenders are there in zone, you worry about their positioning because the defenders are going to be working from landmarks.

That slant is there vs. most teams.  Most teams don't have a linebacker who can close that much ground underneath like that.  Put it this way... if that was on Worrilow, or Lofton, that's a completion or at BEST, maybe a tip.

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58 minutes ago, direwolf said:

Posts like these are the main reason I come here these days, man. Thanks!

Yea @PeytonMannings Forehead you really know how to break up the monotony around here of Beasley is a bust/GOAT to the 21st centuries version of Paul Revere.. omg the Bucs are coming the Bucs are coming! Posts.. 

wheres the Terrell Owens meme "dats my #1 poster" 'meme when I need it? 

Edited by SkerFalcon8710
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6 minutes ago, PeytonMannings Forehead said:

 

Beasley got his hand up, but looking at it live, the ball didn't lose any velocity and the flight didn't change.

He just breathed on it heavily when it went by, PMF. 

Beasley did it all against rams. :)

Great analysis as always, BTW. Showed not just Jones but all 3 defensive players in great position to make that play. 

Edited by Vandy
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16 minutes ago, PeytonMannings Forehead said:

 

Beasley got his hand up, but looking at it live, the ball didn't lose any velocity and the flight didn't change.

I was responding to the thread title rather than the thread's actual content.

Just jakes man, just jakes.

Edited by FalconAge
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4 minutes ago, Falcan Moore said:

Watch the instant replay. It appears to wobble pretty significantly. Live it's hard to see, but on the first replay angle it really does look tipped.

I watched the instant replay and then I went back and watched it live.  If Beasley touched it, he just barely got a finger on it and it didn't alter the speed or path of the ball.

I love Beasley, but that play was Deion Jones.

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Goff has to be really scratching his head.  The good ones get over it and move on.

I remember early in Ryan's career, maybe when he was a rookie or a 2nd year, we played the Steelers and he threw a deep out that was money for him all day long.  Polamalu came from center field and picked it and took it to the house.  They asked Ryan about it after the game and he said something like "you don't expect a guy to come from there and make a pick on that throw."

Thing is, Polamalu wasn't just "a guy."  I'm pleased to be able to say, neither is Deion Jones.

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16 minutes ago, PeytonMannings Forehead said:

I watched the instant replay and then I went back and watched it live.  If Beasley touched it, he just barely got a finger on it and it didn't alter the speed or path of the ball.

I love Beasley, but that play was Deion Jones.

I mean, I agree that the play was Debo (I'm as big a Debo fan as it gets, I put together a ten minute video of plays he made in college lol), I'm just saying even a finger is enough to make it a foot lower or a foot to the side. The ball wobbled hard. Again, still on Debo, and he probably makes that play regardless, but I thought it was interesting. 

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