Monday, November 30, 2009

Football 301: Decoding Garrett - Week 12


It is time to break down what Jason Garrett called in the Oakland game, and it might be time to dust off a theory or two about how Offensive Coordinators do what they do. Again, it is possible that I am out in left field with some of my offensive theories, but if you didn't know that already, then I should tell you that I am, in fact, not a former NFL coach.

Anyway, having said that, I think what we saw on Thanksgiving was pretty interesting stuff. We saw them play up their tendencies to such an extreme that I can only assume they want future teams to see this film and then draw from the Thanksgiving assumptions. My theory is that the Cowboys might be leaving some cheese in the mousetraps, hoping the Giants or Chargers might eat some of it.

Let me explain: Check out the "22" package. This is Deon Anderson in front of the TB, with 2 TEs on the field. Over the course of the season, the Cowboys run out of "22" nearly 80% of the time. On Thursday? 13 out of 14 were runs, and they dominated for 114 yards on 13 carries. In fact, later on, I will show you that they pretty much ran one play over and over again. By the way, they have now run 81 running plays out of "22" this season for 525 yards - 6.48 yards per carry. This is a power run team. It is worth noting that they only other game this year where they ran more "22" plays was Week 2 against the New York Giants. Next week's opponent? The New York Giants. Interesting.

OK, but check this out: Shotgun snaps totaled 24. There were 12 snaps out of "S11", 11 out of "S12", and 1 from "S21". All 24 of these plays were pass plays for 202 yards. Whenever you see 24 for 24, you can only assume that Garrett is either amazed that the Raiders are not figuring this out or that he is telling the Giants that he "never runs in this scenario", as he plots a "Pearl Harbor".

Totals by Personnel Groups:
PackagePlays RunYardsRunPass

Table Tutorial

Definition of the Personnel Groups, click here .

Check out the video breakdowns, where we highlight good things the offense accomplished. Many fun things to break down when you get nearly 500 yards:

Video Breakdowns:

Thanks, Brian at DC . He works on holiday weekends, and deserves your occasional visit to his site.

The Play:1Q 2/6/24 - S12 Pass to Austin +49

What Happened: "S12" personnel, with a deployment of the "bunch" formation off the Left Tackle, with Williams, Bennett, and Austin all in tight. Witten is lined up by Doug Free, where we would find him quite a bit on Thursday. Now, look at the presnap motion. A "bunch" can really cause some coverage issues, so defenses try to do more zone out of that look, so that the number of pick options for receivers become less effective. But, in the presnap, 19 Austin rolls out wide, with 21 Asomugha following him. Now, the routes are simple here, with 11 Williams and 82 Witten crossing eachother with shallow routes at LB depth. Then, Bennett runs a deep square in to the right sideline, with Austin running one at the same time, but 10 yards wider. The idea here is for the safety to pick whichever route he choose, and then Romo to go to the other one. Obviously, Nnamdi is amazed as his safety 24 Huff decides to run with a back-up Tight End who barely has 100 yards all season rather than help on Austin who is approaching "superstar wideout" status. Regardless, Romo finds Austin in stride for an easy 49 yard gain, even against one of the best CBs in the sport.


The Play:1Q 1/10/23 WC22 = Choice run +66

What Happened: Today, we are going to see how simple NFL offenses really are when they run the ball. This is the Wildcat/Razorback, and just like the play against Philadelphia for the Touchdown, Green Bay the next week, and several other times they have run it this season - this is the same play. Unbalanced line to the left, with Doug Free, the normal right tackle, lined up to the left of Flozell Adams. Then, Jason Witten is outside him. On the right of center, you simply have Leonard Davis and Martellus Bennett. The only difference this time is that Choice sees the Raiders overload that side, so he improvises and cuts back to the weakside where the hole emerges through the "A" gap to the right of Gurode. Watch the LB who is lined up on the offensive right - at the snap, he heads to the strong side, and leaves his post. 66 yards later, he realizes that was a mistake. A defensive principle that is preached at every level is to stay home and stay in your gap. When you bust like that, it costs points.


The Play: 2Q 1/10/46 22 Felix Jones 46 yd TD

What Happened: I hope you read these every week, because by now, we know the Cowboys favorite plays. We know what they do well because we saw this in Week 2, Week 5, and countless other times. This is their bread and butter play out of the "22". If you go back and watch the Thanksgiving game again, this is the play they ran at least 8 times from the "22". I think I remember someone calling it "Power 35", but regardless, we know it as Double TEs to the right, with Deon Anderson leading the play. Watch the LG 63 Kosier pull out and join Anderson in creating the seal to the outside. Then, watch the 2 TEs block toward the ball and create the inside seal. From there, Felix has a path that he bursts through and finds daylight like only he can. That burst can be the difference between a 5 yard game and a 46 yard gain, but it is all off their favorite play. Simms names 70 Davis and 65 Gurode for good inside blocking - and they were good, but I don't honestly see their role as being as important to this play unless they get blown up - although Davis does get 2 again. This is all about the TEs and the FB with the LG pulling.


The Play: 2Q 2/9/42 - S12 pass to Witten +21

What Happened: "S12". Shotgun with 2 TEs is a game of finding the mismatch. The presnap motion with Bennett doesn't show up in the boxscore, but it does put Witten against a LB. Think about it - when the Cowboys run in their personnel, the Raiders must declare what they will do. They remain in base personnel (4 DL, 3 LB, 4 DB) and therefore have just 4 defensive backs to take on 2 WRs and 2 TEs. If they have Huff deep, and the 2 corners on the Cowboys WRs, that leaves 1 safety and LBs for Witten and Bennett. So, Garrett/Romo send Bennett out to clear the safety and they have their meal - Witten being chased by a Linebacker 54 Williams. If you are watching the game, you wonder what the Raiders are thinking - but this is about the Cowboys knowing what they are looking for, and designing the presnap motion. If the LB would have gone with Bennett, that is where Romo was going. This is why teams generally go Nickel against this package for the Cowboys. 5 DBs take this away from Garrett.

The Play: 2Q 2/G/9 - S11 TD Pass to Austin

What Happened: This is a fairly simple WR screen that the Cowboys have been running for Kevin Ogletree in the last several weeks. Here, we see it for Austin - moments after the review booth reversed a call of a Touchdown to Austin. Watch Crayton set up this play again by blocking out on the CB, but really, here we see a great individual effort from Austin and a demonstration of how much OLmen like to block down field on a play like this. They are all down there in an instant, and when they get some speed, it cannot be fun to attempt to try to stand up to Leonard Davis or Andre Gurode.

The Play: 4Q 3/2/19 - 22 Barber run for +33

What Happened: Power 35, anyone? Like we said, out of the "22", they run one play again and again. Same play as the Felix Touchdown, and here is Marion Barber following Deon Anderson into space, and playing off of his back to cut it back inside and find 33 yards. We may not point out Anderson enough, but this play, with Kosier pulling and still getting his block despite slipping, shows how important a good Fullback is to running the ball. I think in December, it is key to get Deon 10-15 plays a game to help get that power running game going.

Target Distribution and Sack studies will be in another entry today. Stay tuned for that.

Past Episodes:

Week 11 - Washington Redskins
Week 10 - Green Bay Packers
Week 9 - Philadelphia Eagles
Week 8 - Seattle Seahawks
Week 7 - Atlanta Falcons
Week 5 - Kansas City
Week 4 - Denver
Week 3 – Carolina
Week 2 - New York Giants
Week 1 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Garrett '08

1 comment:

Solaam said...


Man, these 'Decoding Garrett' blog posts are so good and detailed that I hope you aren't giving away secrets to the enemy. I know its not case, but sometimes it seems like Garrett's playbook is small enough to make Tecmo Bowl envious.