We hammered them through the air and gained extra possessions thanks to our defense, but the run game stalled and for the third week in a row we couldn’t block Inside or Outside zone. Versus Inside Zone, Oakland cancelled out the interior gaps and forced Perine to bounce his runs outside into an overmatched Tight End.
On this run, Scherff thought a defender would penetrate through his gap (probably because of the NT’s initial step toward him) and never made it upfield to seal out the Linebacker. Instead the Linebacker came to Scherff at the line, clogged the gap, and forced Perine to bounce it outside into a Khalil Mack-Niles Paul matchup:
Oakland played aggressive on the interior and forced runs outside. In response we tried several antidotes:
- First we tried replacing the tight end block with a QB Zone Read to freeze the DE but Kirk’s speed wasn’t enough to keep them honest.
- Then we ran an RPO where if the conflict defender crashed down toward the running back, we threw it and if the conflict defender stayed outside we handed it off. Oakland chose to allow the handoff and we averaged meh results.
- We split the Tackle out to widen the DE alignment. It was used once but we didn’t go back to it probably because it tipped off the call.
- We made use of Split Zone blocking so our Tight End could have a better angle to block the DE:Most teams use this to solve DE-TE matchup problems, however we had to ditch it after one play because Vernon Davis had no idea how to block it:
- And last but not least, we sprinkled in a few Gap runs (Power, Counter, etc.) so our Tight Ends could kick out the DE instead of Zone block him:In the previous game we had success with Gap runs which led to a balanced run scheme but this week nothing seemed to work against this front:
Zone Runs: 20 carries for 65 yards (3.3 ypc)
Gap Runs: 9 carries for 25 yards (2.8 ypc)
We won thanks to our defense and big plays through the passing game like this 52 yarder to Doctson: