Breakdown: Defense vs Eagles (II)


I Hear He’s a Dabist:

So you know that play where Will Compton sacked the quarterback and then immediately followed up with an awkward DABZ?  No?  Well no worries because I’ll walk you through how we got to the thing that should’ve died 6 months ago.  The sack that spawned Quavo Compton happened on the 2nd drive but it’s origins are connected to an earlier play:


The formation is a 3 x 1 set with a tight end lined up tight next to the offensive tackle.  The WR from the trips (3 receiver) side will go in motion.  The center and guard are going to flow left like the play is an outside zone running play.  The RB will also sell it as an outside zone running play by running parallel to the line of scrimmage as he fakes getting the handoff:

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Breakdown: Defense vs Bears


So things happened man.  One of those things was zone running.  The Bears were zoning inside and outside runs all day long and with the exception of 1 drive that came after the Cousins INT, the Skins were ready for it and stopped it: (inside zone)

First run:


At the line: Baker and Kerrigan are slanting.  This does two things:

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FFODC is a fan of John Keim

This guy that covers the Redskins for ESPN, he’s really good:

Chad Grimm, son of Russ, noticed in his prep work that Jay Cutler used the word “Folsom” when calling for a jailbreak screen. As in Folsom prison for you Johnny Cash fans (happens to be one of my favorite songs). So when the Redskins showed cover zero blitz with the Bears facing a third-and-10 from the Washington 41-yard line, Cutler shouted out, “Prison! Prison!” That’s why you saw Compton gesturing wildly, and it’s why you saw defenders sprint to the right spot.

I noticed that during the game and figured Compton saw something on film.  I like that we now know who we can thank behind the scenes for that pre-snap adjustment.

Knighton had his best game in no small part thanks to being aggressive versus the run.  On a Power O he was right in the pulling guard’s hip pocket.  It looked like he knew exactly when to shoot his gap.  He also got in the backfield on a few inside zone runs, all of which seemed diagnosed pre-snap.  The article explains how Knighton was so confident in diagnosing those plays.

It gets daunting reading some of the national and local articles as my eyes get glazed over after reading one too many cliché observations–“turnovers were a problem”–but Keim is a breath of fresh air from all that.

FFODC Feels Like We Stole One

By John McDonnell/The Washington Post
By John McDonnell/The Washington Post

Still looking at the team in the mirror?  Dan Steinberg finds 6 reasons we beat Da Bears even though on paper we maaaay have not distinguished ourselves:

The Redskins and Bears had virtually the same yardage totals on Sunday (374 to 377), virtually the same penalty problems (eight for Washington and seven for Chicago), the same number of turnovers (one each)

Dat coaching staff:

Foster, who led Washington with six tackles on Sunday, wasn’t in training camp. Dunbar, who was listed as a starter, was in Richmond, but as a wide receiver. Will Blackmon, also listed as a starter on Sunday, arrived in September. DeAngelo Hall — who had another six tackles — is playing safety instead of cornerback. The other listed starters also included two rookies (Preston Smith and Kyshoen Jarrett) and Will Compton, who has gone from special teams stalwart to defensive signal-caller. That’s kind of a lot of turnover…And that defense has now forced seven turnovers in its last three games.

Block shedding issues aside, Compton does seem to add value in the ‘getting us lined up right’ department.  The tunnel screen we sniffed out in the 2nd half was a perfect example of Compton putting us in a position to win the play pre-snap.  I have a feeling he’s going to grade out negative on the Breakdown but if he’s going to hold onto the starting job, getting us lined up will be the reason why.

DHall seems to fit right in place when we ask him to come down to the line of scrimmage and play man-press on a tight end but outside of that he looks like a guy that just switched positions a few weeks ago.  His run-contain angles versus Dallas left something to be desired.

Jarrett seems to have a more polished game at strong safety especially at stopping the run and blitzing.  The coaches had him on the field for the first drive as a safety where, along with dime corner, he seems to be picking up more snaps.  One on one versus a tight end is still DHall’s thing though.

The turnover thing is getting to be surreal.  If there is an argument to be made that we won this game versus the Bears losing it, it would have to start with our ability to generate turnovers  /ESPN hot take!

Ok, fine. Pretty much no one from generic recaps, to local media, to partisan bloggers is giving us full credit for this win.

So if you want to say the Redskins were lucky to win that’s certainly fair. But they lost in Atlanta earlier this year when a Falcons fumble in the end zone bounced right by a few Redskins and into the arms of Julio Jones for a touchdown and in overtime Cousins’ receiver slipped, allowing the Falcons to pick off Cousins’ pass and return it for the winning touchdown. Such things should even out over time and the Redskins were able to steal one today.

Okay.  So we are pulling even in the ‘luck’ department then.  Uh, thanks coach?

Numbers.  Numbers:

By the numbers: Cousins (24/31, 300 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 3 sacks), Jones (18 carries, 62 yards), Jordan Reed (9 receptions, 120 yards), Hall (6 tackles), Foster (6 tackles), Murphy (1 sack, 1 FF, 1 fumble recovery), Knighton (1 sack), Kerrigan (1 sack)


Sweet sweet schadenfreude. The Chicago Tribune finds about 100 different ways to complain and whine in what might be the most negative article ever

Washington defensive ends and outside linebackers raced to the bat rack to line up against Kyle Long

Yes they did.  That guy made Murphy look like a All-Star.  On the sack-fumble Murphy faked a bull rush on him, got him to lean forward, then used that momentum against him almost knocking him on his face.  I hadn’t seen that kind of pass rushing prowess from Murphy before.  Usually he tries a move, it doesn’t work, and then he kinda just stands there with the guy like ‘welp’.

On the Bears’ first series, Omameh allowed the fattest guy on the field to sack Cutler. That’s why Omameh always holds, I guess.

Knighton took their Center Hroniss Grasu to school as well.  Maybe Murphy and Knighton have had a reawakening or maybe these guys don’t know how to block.  FWIW, TE Zach Miller definitely has no idea how to block.

In case you were wondering about how Kearse did in his back up duty–he’s not ready just yet.

Heroes of the game:  Knighton for getting in the backfield and holding up to doubles.  He looked like a poor man’s Chris Baker and I’ll take it.  Murphy for the turnover.  Foster was shedding blocks all day.  Kerrigan for being Kerrigan.


Breakdown: Defense vs Cowboys

Formation Things:

We came out in a 3-2-6 on four 3rd and longs:


That’s Nickel personnel we just moved Kerrigan to LB depth.  From this formation we blitzed twice for 2 incompletions, forced Cassel to call a timeout, and gave up a 6 yard PI penalty.  So a pretty successful wrinkle.

The Cowboys used 13 personnel (1 RB, 3TE) 9 times.  One variation of 13 personnel had them lined up in the following formation with the WR as a tiny H-Back.  I called it “Ace 3×1 Twin TE WR H” because what the hell else do you call this, I have no idea:

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Breakdown: Defense vs Giants (II)

Formation Things:

The Giants were in 1RB, 2TE (12) personnel or 21 personnel for 6 snaps.  That’s it.  When they did this we responded with a 3-4 defense.  For the rest of the game the Giants were in 11 personnel almost the whole way.  We first responded to their 11 personnel with a Dime package:


Compton is the LB, we have 4 DL and 6 DBs (Free Safety is off camera.)  Jarrett and DHall are playing at LB depth but without any LB instincts.  Also of note: Ricky Jean-Francois is playing nose (Baker just left the game) when he is normally slated for 5-tech DE.  So instead of handling blocks from Tackles and willowy tight ends, which he is really good at, we are asking him to handle blocks from ogres at Center and Guard.  The Giants see this and decide ‘lol, run’:

Jean-Francois just gets blown off the line and DHall is hiding behind Breeland hoping the big bad tall people don’t hurt him.

Eli goes straight into no-huddle mode, next play:

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