Extra Gaps

Inside Zonin’:  In the fourth drive Dallas lined up in 13 personnel (1 OL moonlighting as a TE) with a bunch of big uglies to the left of the center and just two guys to the right.  They ran it inside and destroyed our nose tackle with a double:


Both Hood and Baker got doubled with Hood getting discarded out the way.  One Dallas blocker from each double team was able to climb up to the 2nd level and double Foster.  On coaches film you can see our pre-snap alignment had Foster (54) lined up in between Hood and Baker:


That alignment gave the offensive lineman easier angles to block with as they worked up to him.  The result was easy yards up the middle for the RB:

4 drives later Dallas comes back to 13 personnel.  This time we were ready.  Compton was stacked right behind our nose guard thus creating a tough target for a center-guard double team block to reach:


But that block never even got to manifest because our defensive line made a call to slant right which threw off the offensive lineman’s targets and screwed up their blocking assignments:


Compton doesn’t even have to deal with a blocker in his face until he is 2 yards from the line of scrimmage.  Meanwhile Baker and Murphy got in Dallas’ backfield and wreaked havoc:


Perimeter runs:  1st drive of the 3rd quarter featured 2 plays where Dallas came out in 13 personnel.  In this play they motion the wide receiver into an H-back position and have him kick out the contain guy:


You now have 3 gaps to the outside:

1:  In between the Tackle and Tight end.  Filled by Preston Smith who slants into it

2:  In between the tight end and WR.  Filled by Josh Norman

3:  The outer most gap and the contain gap.  Manned by D-Hall.  The WR will kick out Hall and Hall has to make sure nothing gets outside him.

What ends up happening is a hole opens up at gap #2.  Norman had to fill it and he was a little awkward at doing so:

He overplayed his gap but then was able to bounce back and regain leverage on the RB…after he got a 1st down.

3 plays later Dallas motions the wide receiver inside again, this time out of 11 personnel:


The motioning WR crack blocks down on Kerrigan and 2 OL pull outside


Last play they tested DHall and Norman, this time it’s Norman and Nickel CB Dashaun Phillips.  2 gaps open up, 1 is in between the outside WR and pulling OL and the other is the contain gap.  It looks like Phillips has gap 1, Norman has gap 2 and in an effort to avoid being run over by a 600 pound stampede Phillips opted to run around his blocker (technically losing gap integrity) and funneled the RB back to his teammates:

The gain was a meh 4 yards on 1st and 10.

And now for a 3rd time Dallas motioned the receiver to get extra gaps on the outside and:


Kerrigan has gap 1 (in between tackle and tight end)

DHall has gap 2 (in between tight end and WR in backfield)

Phillips has gap 3 (in between both WRs)

Norman has the outside.

The WR chased Phillips and the back was able to pick up an easy first down, but then Norman hit him with the 75 million dollar ball-strip finisher and got us a turnover.


During the 8th drive Compton was injured and had to leave the game.  Cravens came in and Dallas tried to run it on his side:


They don’t even get to test Breeland and Norman on the perimeter because Cravens reacted so quickly and shot through the line like a missile.

Tl;dr lol:

  • Well ok then…last week the Steelers tried to run it with gap schemes in between our nose tackle and defensive end.  This week Dallas’ game plan consisted of attacking our defensive backs from formations that created extra gaps on the outside via multiple tight ends or motioning wide receivers.  The results fell in our favor:  small gains and 2 fumbles.
  • When Dallas did run it up the middle it was mainly inside zone.  We attacked their zone blocking by slanting our line and stacking our linebackers at angles that made it tough for the offense to get to them.

Leave a Reply

Notify of