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Two of Matt Ryan's TD Passes Were Actually Called Run Plays... who says the man can't improvise???(RPO)


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I've you've ever wondered what the term RPO or Run/Pass Option is, it is exactly how it sounds.  The play is sort of packaged in a kind of two for one deal.  You've got the called run play that comes in, BUT if the quarterback gets a certain look he's got a quick pass that he can just fling out there.  It is not the same thing as when you 'Kill' a play from run to pass or when you audible .  This is strictly between the quarterback and his receiver.  The rest of the offense will still block it like it's a run, the running back may even be expecting the ball.

So, for example if I'm at quarterback and @TheFatboi is at receiver and say @vel is in the backfield.  I'm gonna get my pre-snap read and if the box is light, and they don't have that extra safety down then vel is getting the ball on a handoff, but if I look and there's 8 or 9 in the box, and I look out there at TheFatboi and that corner is playing off, I'm just gonna flick it out there.  If that corner is pressed up on him, he's gonna press upfield and expect a back shoulder fade.  We've already worked out these different scenarios in practice, so we're ready for anything.

Drew Brees used to and still does get a lot of cheap yards off of this.  Seattle did this a few times yesterday.  Take note today with the Packers, this has been a huge component of their offense for a while, and finally, I'm starting to see this turned loose in Atlanta.  Now full disclosure, this might have been in the scheme all along (in fact, I'm pretty sure it has been).  It's just now jumping out to me.

Matt Ryan's first touchdown pass to Julio was actually a called run (read that in an article), but the one that leapt off the screen to me that I wanted to take a look at was the one to Sanu that wound up being the killshot.

 

Here's the play.  Falcon's 1st and goal.  Kyle has an inside zone play called from a singleback set.  Matt takes a peek out to the bottom of the screen and I'm not 100% sure what he say that he liked.  Maybe it was wide-bodied 6'2" Sanu against skinny 6'0" Lane (who had been getting abused all game).  Maybe he liked the leverage he saw.  Whatever it was, Matt was like "f*c1 it, it's 1st down I'm taking a shot."  

It was probably the 8 men in the box with both receiver's singled up that was what he liked.  At any rate...

IMG_1831_zpst3sz5ztk.jpg

 

And this is how you know it was a called run play.  Take a look at the offensive line.  Look how low they are firing out, looking to get push.  That's what you do on a run play vs. a called pass play where the line retreats to form that pocket.  Even on a called quick pass where the offensive line will play a little more aggressive, they still don't fire out low and hard like this.

IMG_1832_zps1v1elhwp.jpg

 

Further evidence, take a look at Freeman.  He comes forward with his arms positioned like he's expecting a handoff.  Matt's like "nah, homie, I got this one."

IMG_1833_zps1pwnvb7w.jpg

 

Matt, you tricky *******.

giphy.gif

Beautiful job by Sanu.

giphy.gif

I usually try to wait until the middle of the week to do these, so as not to overlap with Shockley's film session, but this play really jumped out to me.  Had me giddy at just how many new wrinkles I notice from week to week.  Enjoy the rest of your football Sunday gentlemen... and the few ladies who are on the board.

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4 minutes ago, PeytonMannings Forehead said:

I've you've ever wondered what the term RPO or Run/Pass Option is, it is exactly how it sounds.  The play is sort of packaged in a kind of two for one deal.  You've got the called run play that comes in, BUT if the quarterback gets a certain look he's got a quick pass that he can just fling out there.  It is not the same thing as when you 'Kill' a play from run to pass or when you audible .  This is strictly between the quarterback and his receiver.  The rest of the offense will still block it like it's a run, the running back may even be expecting the ball.

So, for example if I'm at quarterback and @TheFatboi is at receiver and say @vel is in the backfield.  I'm gonna get my pre-snap read and if the box is light, and they don't have that extra safety down then vel is getting the ball on a handoff, but if I look and there's 8 or 9 in the box, and I look out there at TheFatboi and that corner is playing off, I'm just gonna flick it out there.  If that corner is pressed up on him, he's gonna press upfield and expect a back shoulder fade.  We've already worked out these different scenarios in practice, so we're ready for anything.

Drew Brees used to and still does get a lot of cheap yards off of this.  Seattle did this a few times yesterday.  Take note today with the Packers, this has been a huge component of their offense for a while, and finally, I'm starting to see this turned loose in Atlanta.  Now full disclosure, this might have been in the scheme all along (in fact, I'm pretty sure it has been).  It's just now jumping out to me.

Matt Ryan's first touchdown pass to Julio was actually a called run (read that in an article), but the one that leapt off the screen to me that I wanted to take a look at was the one to Sanu that wound up being the killshot.

 

Here's the play.  Falcon's 1st and goal.  Kyle has an inside zone play called from a singleback set.  Matt takes a peek out to the bottom of the screen and I'm not 100% sure what he say that he liked.  Maybe it was wide-bodied 6'2" Sanu against skinny 6'0" Lane (who had been getting abused all game).  Maybe he liked the leverage he saw.  Whatever it was, Matt was like "f*c1 it, it's 1st down I'm taking a shot."  

It was probably the 8 men in the box with both receiver's singled up that was what he liked.  At any rate...

IMG_1831_zpst3sz5ztk.jpg

 

And this is how you know it was a called run play.  Take a look at the offensive line.  Look how low they are firing out, looking to get push.  That's what you do on a run play vs. a called pass play where the line retreats to form that pocket.  Even on a called quick pass where the offensive line will play a little more aggressive, they still don't fire out low and hard like this.

IMG_1832_zps1v1elhwp.jpg

 

Further evidence, take a look at Freeman.  He comes forward with his arms positioned like he's expecting a handoff.  Matt's like "nah, homie, I got this one."

IMG_1833_zps1pwnvb7w.jpg

 

Matt, you tricky *******.

giphy.gif

Beautiful job by Sanu.

giphy.gif

I usually try to wait until the middle of the week to do these, so as not to overlap with Shockley's film session, but this play really jumped out to me.  Had me giddy at just how many new wrinkles I notice from week to week.  Enjoy the rest of your football Sunday gentlemen... and the few ladies who are on the board.

I saw the exact same thing freeman was like come on dawg

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I noticed that, but what I don't understand is how does the receiver know that QB will throw the ball instead of handing it over. Unless they have communicated during the huddle that Sanu has to look behind to see if Matty will throw. I saw couple of times this footage, The timing was perfect.

This is once heck of a play though.

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It was never more evident than it was on that first TD to Julio. You could tell from the way Sanu came off and had his hands up to block his man. Julio and Matt both saw they could hit that slant and no one could even touch Julio till he was at the goal line... and despite Sherman's protests, that almost NEVER gets called unless the offensive player runs over the DB.

Great read by the both of them there and on the Sanu TD as well.

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5 minutes ago, INDFalcon said:

I noticed that, but what I don't understand is how does the receiver know that QB will throw the ball instead of handing it over. Unless they have communicated during the huddle that Sanu has to look behind to see if Matty will throw. I saw couple of times this footage, The timing was perfect.

This is once heck of a play though.

The receiver does the same thing either way. In this case it didn't matter if Sanu was blocking or running a route because he was away from the play, so him not blocking doesn't hurt if it stays a run. 

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I noticed it when the play happened... I thought, wow... look how the line is firing off the ball and before I knew it Matt was throwing the ball up to Sanu. I knew something fishy was going on and figured either the line got the wrong call (run play) or Matt changed the play at the line and they wanted it to look like a run while Matt does the quick throw.

I assume the refs don't throw a flag on the OL because the play happens so fast they don't catch the fact that the OL is over the LOS (especially the LT... he flies up and hits the LB).

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5 minutes ago, Clark Kent™ said:

Aaron Rodgers also uses RPO's out the a$$ and it makes me rage at the easy yardage you can get on them. Its such a simple concept. And makes me want to bump and run my corners every single snap lol 

I was gonna say that too. Can't tell you how many times I've seen him get easy TDs using those types of plays. I used to wonder why we never ran them with Koetter as OC. They're virtually indefensible.

 

6 minutes ago, ghoticov said:

I noticed it when the play happened... I thought, wow... look how the line is firing off the ball and before I knew it Matt was throwing the ball up to Sanu. I knew something fishy was going on and figured either the line got the wrong call (run play) or Matt changed the play at the line and they wanted it to look like a run while Matt does the quick throw.

I assume the refs don't throw a flag on the OL because the play happens so fast they don't catch the fact that the OL is over the LOS (especially the LT... he flies up and hits the LB).

It's not an audible, it's just a passing option built into the play. Everything else remains the same. Sometimes to fool your enemy you have to fool your allies as well. And there was nothing to throw a flag for, it's a perfectly legal play and execution.

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38 minutes ago, FalconAge said:

Why do only thefatboi and vel get to play on the falcons with you?

You're right.  I promise I'll get you in on the next go-round.

32 minutes ago, INDFalcon said:

I noticed that, but what I don't understand is how does the receiver know that QB will throw the ball instead of handing it over. Unless they have communicated during the huddle that Sanu has to look behind to see if Matty will throw. I saw couple of times this footage, The timing was perfect.

This is once heck of a play though.

A lot of times the RPO is built into the play and called situationally so that the receiver(s) know to look for a potential pass instead of block.  

And sometimes, there's just such chemistry between the QB and receiver that they see the same thing and they'll just look at each other and execute it.  Dan Marino used to eat up defenses with stuff like this.

25 minutes ago, ghoticov said:

I noticed it when the play happened... I thought, wow... look how the line is firing off the ball and before I knew it Matt was throwing the ball up to Sanu. I knew something fishy was going on and figured either the line got the wrong call (run play) or Matt changed the play at the line and they wanted it to look like a run while Matt does the quick throw.

I assume the refs don't throw a flag on the OL because the play happens so fast they don't catch the fact that the OL is over the LOS (especially the LT... he flies up and hits the LB).

Yeah, that's exactly right.  The rule is you can block a yard pass the LOS if it's a pass but they'll usually give you closer to two yards.  I'll have to go back and look at it, but I'm assuming that's why Sanu didn't draw a flag on that first touchdown pass to Julio.

18 minutes ago, Krosis said:

So what happened on the RPO where it hit Gabriel on the side of him and he wasn't even looking for it?

Wasn't looking.  It was a run play, and he came off looking to get a block.  You can't run this with every receiver combination.  Like I said, it takes a certain amount of chemistry if that RPO isn't explicitly called in the huddle and it probably wasn't built into that particular play.

Usually, and this varies from team to team, but I've heard of scenarios will coaches will have the receiver always looking for a pass if there is a certain leverage played by the corner whether it's a run play or not.

Edited by PeytonMannings Forehead
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17 minutes ago, PeytonMannings Forehead said:

 

A lot of times the RPO is built into the play and called situationally so that the receiver(s) know to look for a potential pass instead of block.  

And sometimes, there's just such chemistry between the QB and receiver that they see the same thing and they'll just look at each other and execute it.  Dan Marino used to eat up defenses with stuff like this.

Thanks for the info. I am not kidding I have watched this play humpty number of times now. Every time you can see the O-Line formation and the way block and how freeman comes in, you always think this is a run game and I am just baffled how he changed the play on fly and made a TD.

Appreciate you posting info on this.

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Yep.......... Nice write up PMF.......

Good read here as well on Ryan reading the coverage..........

Shanahan's crafty gameplan was essentially a recruitment video for interested NFL owners. A prime example was Ryan's seven-yard touchdown pass to Jones, which tied the game at 7 with 14:14 left in the second quarter. Shanahan's call was for a running play, but when Ryan noticed the Seahawks' coverage -- cornerback Jeremy Lane playing outside-contain on Sanu, linebacker Bobby Wagner close to the box and cornerback Richard Sherman playing the deep-third of the end zone -- he instead threw quickly to Jones in the left slot for what turned out to be an easy score. "Sometimes, pre-snap, you know you've got it," Shanahan said. "That was one of those where, if they give you a certain look, he knows exactly where to go."

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000774429/article/matt-ryanshanahan-bond-on-display-as-falcons-rip-seahawks

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40 minutes ago, JerseyNo12 said:

It's not an audible, it's just a passing option built into the play. Everything else remains the same. Sometimes to fool your enemy you have to fool your allies as well. And there was nothing to throw a flag for, it's a perfectly legal play and execution.

What I dont understand is how does Sanu know to run a route (he is obviously not blocking) but yet the rest of the line and Freeman are thinking its a run? Has to be some sort of audible at the line so everyone knows what to do.

I am still surprised that Matthews (I think it is) didn't get called for being downfield because he is at least 2 o 3 yards down field blocking the LB on the play.

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4 minutes ago, GTBF54 said:

Yep.......... Nice write up PMF.......

Good read here as well on Ryan reading the coverage..........

Shanahan's crafty gameplan was essentially a recruitment video for interested NFL owners. A prime example was Ryan's seven-yard touchdown pass to Jones, which tied the game at 7 with 14:14 left in the second quarter. Shanahan's call was for a running play, but when Ryan noticed the Seahawks' coverage -- cornerback Jeremy Lane playing outside-contain on Sanu, linebacker Bobby Wagner close to the box and cornerback Richard Sherman playing the deep-third of the end zone -- he instead threw quickly to Jones in the left slot for what turned out to be an easy score. "Sometimes, pre-snap, you know you've got it," Shanahan said. "That was one of those where, if they give you a certain look, he knows exactly where to go."

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000774429/article/matt-ryanshanahan-bond-on-display-as-falcons-rip-seahawks

Exactly.  Good post.

This is the article I read last night after the game.  The play to Sanu looked obvious to me, this one I wasn't sure about when I saw it live.  I thought it was a quick tunnel screen to Julio, or maybe even a rub.  Even though I hadn't seen a tunnel screen from that formation all year.  It wasn't until I read that article that I looked at it again and saw it was an RPO.  

 

 

The bolded is key.  Matt Ryan doesn't change the play.  It's not an audible in the traditional sense.  The option to pass is built into the play in that scenerio.  And it's just between him and receiver.  No one else but those two may know or even engage in the pass part.

 

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Just now, ghoticov said:

What I dont understand is how does Sanu know to run a route (he is obviously not blocking) but yet the rest of the line and Freeman are thinking its a run? Has to be some sort of audible at the line so everyone knows what to do.

I am still surprised that Matthews (I think it is) didn't get called for being downfield because he is at least 2 o 3 yards down field blocking the LB on the play.

It's not an audible.  The option to pass is already built into the play.  The receivers in that particular play know they are going to run their routes vs. a certain look.

Everyone else on the offense plays run.  It has nothing to do with them.

If Matt gets one look favorable to the run, he's gonna stick with the run and hand it off.  If he gets a heavy look and singled up receivers on the outside he's just going to pop up and throw it.  It's not audible at all.  Everything is already built into the play.

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