We lined up in our usual 11 and 12 personnel for most of the game, but we deployed the tight ends a little differently:
We sent Davis deep on this play and he had his guy–a 180 pound defensive back that ran a 4.46 40–beat. When Davis wasn’t out wide we tucked him inside in our heavier packages:
When multiple tight ends are lined up like above, Davis will always be tucked furthest inside. He has a bigger body built to take on bigger guys like outside linebackers and defensive ends. Reed will occasionally take on bigger guys but we position him to normally see linebackers and defensive backs.
Niles Paul, our third tight end, is the only one we moonlight at fullback:
Our Depth Chart for this game:
- LT: Williams
- LG: Lauvao
- C: Long
- RG: Scherff
- RT: Moses (backed up by Nsekhe, who came in on drives 6 through 10.)
- TE: Reed (Davis is second off the bench, Paul is third)
- FB: Paul
Matt Jones was backed up by Robert Kelley and Chris Thompson. Garcon and Jackson were the outside guys, Crowder was our starter in the slot. Rashad Ross backed up the outside guys, Ryan Grant backed up Crowder.
Wham: If you recall from week 1 we ran the Wham play with Davis lined up at H-Back:
The Center (yellow path) is going to ignore the defensive lineman and head straight for the linebacker. Scherff will blindside–or Wham block–the guy the Center was lined up across from (top Red “X”.) The guy lined up across from Scherff (bottom Red “X”) will get Wham blocked by Davis. That play worked but got erased by Davis’ holding penalty. This week we tried the same play again with Davis and:
He got penalized for an illegal shift. Also that’s Robert Kelley running it, and he isn’t running it to the right hole. Eventually we will get this one right.
The next drive, 1st play, Davis ran what looked like a Wham block and it sucked in the linebackers which freed up Crowder to do this:
So the wham run didn’t work out as planned, but the play action attached to it went for 23 yards and started off our only touchdown drive.
Shawn Lauvao, coming off of injury, struggled a bit on his pulls. He’s been having an issue with his pull blocks going back to week 1. Here, we need him to pull and target the backside linebacker:
Instead he stops at the line, and targets a guy Scherff is already blocking:
The guy he was supposed to target went unblocked and caused the fumble. Outside of this mental error he had a pretty good day.
Spencer Long displayed good power and quickness on the following combo block. First he chips at the lineman with enough force that Scherff can discard him to the ground with minimal effort, then Long climbs and latches onto the linebacker:
He struggled on some one on one blocks but that is to be expected given the competition (nobody so far has had a defensive lineman as strong and as fast as Jernigan.) The only error I saw came from a sweep play where he made the same mental mistake as Lauvao. On the following play, Scherff seals out and Long is supposed to pull through and hit a linebacker. Instead he blocks a guy Scherff is already blocking and the linebackers are able to close in on the line of scrimmage:
Scherff’s minuses came from Jernigan physically outmatching him, so I’m not too worried about it being a problem down the road. The only part of the game plan I did not get was why we failed to use Scherff as a pull blocker. He has shown consistency in his ability to pull and hit the correct guy, so it’s kind of baffling that he didn’t get more opportunities this week. The only thing I can think of is we didn’t want to have Long block Jernigan while Scherff pulled to go hit a linebacker.
Morgan Moses did Morgan Moses things and didn’t let people move once he latched onto them. His replacement Nsheke wasn’t asked to do much and we protected him from having to perform any complicated blocks.
Matt Jones finished -5 on the day due to the fumble and a couple of runs where he hesitated instead of hitting the hole.
Cousins finished with a grade of 55% which is meh. He continues to have laser focus on guys underneath and fails to see routes develop downfield. If our pass protection was miserable then that would make sense but so far our pass pro has been phenomenal.
Cousins for the season:
He finished this game with 6.34 yards per attempt, a full yard below his season average.
For the year, his yards per attempt ranks 14th in the league and his passer rating 15th. Both rankings indicate he is barely above average which matches what my numbers are saying. He probably is not going to win us many games but if we continue to play the way we have up front and stop the fumbling issues, then we have a shot (good grief, that sounded like a Mark Schlereth hot take, “You have to play good defense, not turn the ball over and protect your quarterback.” GEE THANKS MARK, I’LL GET RIGHT ON THAT.)
Tight ends: All the tight ends finished with positive grades. Niles Paul was 2 out of 3 on iso blocks from the fullback position. Davis was talked about earlier.
- Things happened. Different people went in different directions.
- I think we try the Wham play again next week. We have used it 2 weeks in a row as a change up to our outside zone runs, and it’s got a devastating play action element attached to it.
- Overall the offensive line played well. Matt Jones and Kirk Cousins were a different story.
- In the last 2 weeks Long, Lauvao and Kouj have all struggled with their pull blocking. Scherff is our most consistent pull blocker, lets give him a shot at it next week.