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Kayoh

Steve Sarkisian should sincerely read this article, written by former NFL Offensive Lineman Geoff Schwartz back in May

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https://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2018/5/22/17376788/nfl-offense-goal-line-package-patriots-run-the-ball

NFL teams are making a terrible mistake at the goal line

36

Retired NFL lineman Geoff Schwartz shatters the conventional wisdom about what an offense should do when it’s one or two yards from paydirt.

By Geoff Schwartz  May 22, 2018, 11:07am EDT
 

usa_today_10484116.0.jpgCharles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Analytics are now part of football. You can choose to ignore analytics like Jon Gruden claims he will, or you can embrace it like Howie Roseman of the Eagles.

I was hesitant to embrace analytics because it was mostly centered around football player grades. But without knowing the scheme, it’s hard to grade, especially at my favorite position, offensive line.

When I retired from the NFL and had more time and the willingness to read people who cover football, I found them using analytics as a tool to chart tendencies and measure efficiency. I started paying attention to the analytics, seeing how it played out on Sundays and beyond.

As football evolves and we’re able to chart tendencies, we must rethink how we look at certain situations. The norm of how plays are called, the way they’ve been called for years, has to adapt with new analytics.

One area of the game we need to rethink is what happens at the goal line.

The general theory for years was running in your jumbo package at the 1-yard line. The jumbo package can vary at times with who plays what position, but it’s three tight ends (sometime one or two of those are offensive lineman), one fullback and one running back.

The formation looks like this.

 

Screen_Shot_2018_05_21_at_12.43.37_PM.pn

There are various runs and just a few passing routes from this formation. That’s sort of the point.

The offensive coaches are telling the opposing defense, “**** you, we can run the ball against any look, even if the defense knows it’s coming.” It’s the same message we get in the offensive line room. It sounds like an archaic way to view football, but it’s something offensive lineman take pride in. Run the ball into any look; we can get the job done.

However, this is where analytics should inform the way we think about the run game. There are stats that show us running the ball from jumbo inside the 2-yard line isn’t the best way to punch in a touchdown.

When we were joking about calling a game with a boatload of passes, one of my fellow linemen mentioned being in 10 personnel on the goal line and how that would drive us insane. It would. Our friend Warren Sharp, from sharpfootballstats.com, chimed in with stats from the last two seasons showing that running from jumbo personnel on the goal line isn’t as efficient as staying in 11 personnel in the same situation.

Here is that info from Sharp:

Goal-line TD rate

Formation NFL NE
0 WRs on the field    
1st down 50% 50%
2nd down 47% 64%
3rd/4th down 50% 43%
All 49% 53%
1 WR on the field    
1st down 48% 100% (1 play)
2nd down 54% 100% (1 play)
3rd/4th down 54% n/a
All 51% 100%
2 WRs on the field    
1st down 33% n/a
2nd down 50% 50% (2 plays)
3rd/4th down 61% 100% (1 play)
All 51% 100%
3+ WRs on the field    
1st down 42% 50% (2 plays)
2nd down 59% 100% (2 plays)
3rd/4th down 57% n/a
All 51% 75%

New England TD rate for 0 WR vs. 1+ WR (RB runs from the 1- and 2-yard lines)
0 WR: 53 percent
1+ WR: 78 percent

NFL TD rate for running the ball on first down vs. second-fourth downs from 1+ WR formations: 
First down: 44 percent
Second-fourth downs: 56 percent

The only time it makes sense to run the ball from jumbo is on first down, with a 50 percent success rate.

If you get stuffed on first or just get down there after a big play, it’s time to get into 11 personnel and get better matchups to run the ball.

When you game plan for an opponent, you pare down the entire playbook into plays that work for that week. You have a few goal-line runs and one goal-line pass you love, and maybe one more. But sometimes just one pass.

The general philosophy on the goal line in jumbo is well known. Run on first down, run or pass on second down, pass on third down, and then run on fourth down.

You pass on third down because passing on fourth down is obvious. You set up the goal-line passes by running the ball once or twice so the play action pass mimics the run action.

Lastly, you enter the game with one great goal line pass and a secondary one just in case. There aren’t many options for multiple pass plays. The jumbo personnel package is not designed for the pass.

As Warren’s data shows, conventional wisdom has it backwards. It’s better to run the ball from passing formations on second-fourth downs and pass from a run formation on first. Teams that run the ball with more than one wide receiver on second, third or fourth down, score 56 percent of the time, compared to less than 50 percent for jumbo formations.

Defenses expect the run. When you line up in a passing formation teams must honor the pass, otherwise the quarterback will check to a great matchup on the edge. Defenses in the red zone are vanilla so there isn’t much thinking on downs at the goal line. Lastly, you only need two yards. It hits quickly. Lineman don’t need to sustain their blocks for long.

If you are going to get into jumbo and run the football, there’s only one way to do it — the Patriot way.

If you want to run the ball successfully on the goal line, just copy the Patriots. They run the ball from personnel groupings and on downs where teams expect pass. They go against traditional football thoughts.

Coaches get too fancy on the goal line by trying to “fool” the defense. Not the Patriots. They’re the best at running the ball at the goal line because they understand where the best matchups are and they have the best goal-line run play of all time. It’s a single play they over and over again, never overthinking it.

The New England play is GL 38/39 Boss. It’s an outside zone with a fullback leading up on the edge player. It can go to the strong or weak side, depending on the defense.

 

Screen_Shot_2018_05_21_at_12.45.48_PM.pn

It’s an excellent play because it can eat up anything the defense is trying to do. Cross dog? Eaten up. Out charge? It can be handled. And so on.

New England scored on versions of this same run in four straight games between Weeks 12 through 15. Here they are running it against Pittsburgh in the play’s most basic form.

NE_vs_PIT_TD.gif

Fast forward to the playoffs, and you’ll see what makes the Patriots so dang tough to play. They adjust and anticipate better than anyone else. They’re aware they scored multiple times last season on the same play.

In the divisional round, New England faced Tennessee and famed defensive mind **** Lebeau, who loves himself some middle cross dog on the goal line. Something that looks like this:

 

Screen_Shot_2018_05_21_at_12.47.00_PM.pn

They are waiting for the outside zone, with the defensive line making an all out charge and the edge players where they are. So, New England runs a cutback play that’s designed to defeat the cross dog. It looks like zone to start for a second, and boom, it’s a cutback and a touchdown.

NE_vs_TEN_TD.gif

This is what New England does better than anyone else in jumbo personnel, and they’re even better on second down. I will say this data doesn’t show New England, or any other team, who tried to run on first down and got stuffed, and then tried to force it again. In New England’s case, having watched most of their film, they get to first-and-goal, run a play getting themselves down into the area where jumbo personnel is appropriate.

The final thing New England does well in this area of the field is tempo opponents using goal line runs with different personnel.

Against Jacksonville, in the AFC Championship, the Patriots ran a goal-line outside zone from 11 personnel.

Notice what happens here. Because of the formation, Jacksonville’s defense tries to line up in some semblance of a goal-line defense with their nickel personnel. No bueno for them; excellent for the Patriots. There’s no one to defend this play. Walk in touchdown.

NE_v_JAX_TD.gif

That’s a lot to consume here, but remember this — stay in 11 personnel on the goal line. If you want to get into jumbo, run outside zone with it.

Falx, Smiler11, VTCrunkler and 3 others like this

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12 hours ago, Dr Boom said:

The falcons ran this exact same play with Freeman & it was stuffed

did you read the article? The whole point is, if you're going to run out of jumbo at the goal line, not only should you be running that play, but you should really only be doing it on first down. Running the ball out of jumbo at the goal line is less likely to be successful than running the ball out of 1/2/3 receiver sets at the goal line on 2nd, 3rd, and 4th down.

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6 minutes ago, Kayoh said:

did you read the article? The whole point is, if you're going to run out of jumbo at the goal line, not only should you be running that play, but you should really only be doing it on first down. Running the ball out of jumbo at the goal line is less likely to be successful than running the ball out of 1/2/3 receiver sets at the goal line on 2nd, 3rd, and 4th down.

But the point Boom made is.... Sark did that. It only works when players make their blocks. Just like plays only work when they make catches. I don't care what down it is. Freeman makes his catch or Matt throws a better ball, it's 6. Ortiz makes his block, Freeman has the corner for 6. 

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6 minutes ago, Flying Falcon said:

Tl;dr

the best way run the ball at the goal line is to do it with 2-3 WRs on the field, and probably not on 1st down

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2 minutes ago, vel said:

But the point Boom made is.... Sark did that. It only works when players make their blocks. Just like plays only work when they make catches. I don't care what down it is. Freeman makes his catch or Matt throws a better ball, it's 6. Ortiz makes his block, Freeman has the corner for 6. 

but the point of the article is, don't run out of jumbo in general. The tone is, if you must, do it this way, but in general you don't really want to. Running at the goal line is most likely to be successful if you do it out of 2 or 3 receiver sets.

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5 minutes ago, Kayoh said:

but the point of the article is, don't run out of jumbo in general. The tone is, if you must, do it this way, but in general you don't really want to. Running at the goal line is most likely to be successful if you do it out of 2 or 3 receiver sets.

Which I agree with. But this is a moot point if your guys don't block. Ortiz literally does his job, it's a TD. 

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1 minute ago, vel said:

Which I agree with. But this is a moot point if your guys don't block. Ortiz literally does his job, it's a TD. 

stop focusing on one play. They had multiple chances and every single time they tried running, it was out of jumbo. That's a bigger problem than one guy not doing his job on one play.

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1 minute ago, VTCrunkler said:

Draft a straight up monster blocking fullback. We have the scouts to findd that in later rounds. 

Jarvion Franklin is a free agent

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14 minutes ago, Kayoh said:

stop focusing on one play. They had multiple chances and every single time they tried running, it was out of jumbo. That's a bigger problem than one guy not doing his job on one play.

What do you mean stop focusing on one play? I'm literally giving you a play, same as Dr Boom, that is very similar to the first run play posted and noting that all of what the article points out may make sense, but execution is still a requirement. 

The New England play is GL 38/39 Boss. It’s an outside zone with a fullback leading up on the edge player. It can go to the strong or weak side, depending on the defense.

If the fullback leading up on the edge player misses his block, then what? Down, distance, tendencies. All that BS is out the window when the ball is snapped and players have to play. That's the point. 

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Just now, vel said:

What do you mean stop focusing on one play? I'm literally giving you a play, same as Dr Boom, that is very similar to the first run play posted and noting that all of what the article points out may make sense, but execution is still a requirement. 

The New England play is GL 38/39 Boss. It’s an outside zone with a fullback leading up on the edge player. It can go to the strong or weak side, depending on the defense.

If the fullback leading up on the edge player misses his block, then what? 

then you run out of 11 personnel like the article is suggesting is more likely to be successful than a run out of jumbo in the first place.

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Interesting that our TD was when we spread them with Coleman and had a trap block for him to spring him instead of that first series forcing jumbo.

It could be we were trying to prove a point to ourselves; Quinn to the players “we won’t back down and we can run tough” sort of belief. That will power alone could overcome consistently playing into the strength of Philly’s D.

You gotta try but not tunnel. This point was made in a video from another thread.

The rest was Matt making some bad throws and poor presnap reads; while the blocking and running backs must be better.

PS: I hope Free will be healthy.

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1 hour ago, vel said:

But the point Boom made is.... Sark did that. It only works when players make their blocks. Just like plays only work when they make catches. I don't care what down it is. Freeman makes his catch or Matt throws a better ball, it's 6. Ortiz makes his block, Freeman has the corner for 6. 

And with that people will understand the biggest weakness with this team IMO...

The O-Line

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Meh...like others are saying. We were a seal block from scoring doing it the ‘wrong way’. And then we’re an errant throw from Ryan from doing it the wrong way 2 plays earlier. Idk...I like Sharp but following a set of rules is the problem. Just flow with the game and go as the game goes. 

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9 minutes ago, Wjcorner said:

Meh...like others are saying. We were a seal block from scoring doing it the ‘wrong way’. And then we’re an errant throw from Ryan from doing it the wrong way 2 plays earlier. Idk...I like Sharp but following a set of rules is the problem. Just flow with the game and go as the game goes. 

Thinking the same thing.  Execution sucked.  Poor throws to Free & JJ cost us 6 twice & that chit block by Ortiz took away another.  Let’s not even talk about all the other poor play including the horrific penalties & officiating.

Being a Falcon fan might be the single most frustrating thing in the universe.

DQ needs to begin inserting his authority here in no uncertain terms.  Our team needs to execute better.  

I’m also aware that this was a **** of a tough matchup with the champs & we should improve.

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13 hours ago, SkerFalcon8710 said:

Ortiz and the TEs couldnt sustain a freaking block to save their life and instead of going north south as hard as he could free started going east west and lost all/any momentum 

Ortiz quit on the play and started missing with his helmet. Freeman gets in he continues blocking

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