I’m back for second round in as many days! In case you missed it, I’m trying my hand at breaking down plays by examining all five of Matt Flynn’s incompletions intended for TO in Saturday night’s game in Denver. In the first session I ended up placing the blame on Owens for the lack of a completion, if you missed it you can check it out here. I’m sure you want to read about Russell Wilson’s somewhat shocking promotion but you’ll have to wait. I promised myself I’d write all five of these and I’m going to dammit!
On to the breakdown!
You can see TO lined up at the top of the screen with a slot receiver to his left. I count 10 men in the camera shot which means there’s one safety deep. On the play Golden Tate (at the bottom of the screen) is going to cross the field about 8 yards downfield, Owens is going to streak up the right sideline and the slot receiver is going to run a post towards the middle of the field.
Now we still see ten men on screen as the action starts which means there’s still just the one safety deep, remember that because it’s important. Also because I told you to. Russell Okung is beat by Elvis Dumervil pretty bad on this play, which I hope (and believe) says more about Elvis than it does about Russell. Matt Flynn doesn’t have much time to make a decision and release a throw. The lack of a blitz on the play means it’s unlikely any of the wide receivers believed they needed to look for a quick pass, so I’m opting not to assign any blame to them here.
Golden Tate’s route looks pretty covered to my untrained eye as there is a man squatting right in the middle of the field. You can see the slot receiver gets inside his man, and maybe that’s where Flynn should have thrown it here, but there’s a safety over the top and I’m assuming (it will be much easier to tell on these kinds of things when the season starts as I’ll have access to coaches camera angles) he had chosen to help on the slot receiver just judging by the pairing you see in the last frame of the gif. That seems to me to be why he chose to go to TO here. The pressure provided by Dumervil caused a poor throw and the ball lands well short of it’s intended target.
Who’s to blame then? Hard for me to say for sure, but you can place plenty on Okung for letting the end by so quickly and probably some on Flynn too. I’d like to have seen him feel the pressure and step up in the pocket, but I’m just a guy so what do I know?
Full Disclosure: This is LITERALLY the second attempt of my short career at breaking down a plays outcome so don’t get to uppity when commenting, but feel free to help me out if you disagree.