Week 10 saw some exciting NFL action with some great finishes and a lot of well designed plays. Below, Joel Bishop diagnoses and breaks down some of the best and worst in his weekly NFL film study.
Many points were scored in week 10 of the NFL season and one particular team, the New Orleans Saints, scored 51 points past the Cincinnati Bengals.
New Orleans Saints 51 @ 14 Cincinnati Bengals
Here’s just a simple and quick piece of analysis to start. A screen pass play to running back Mark Ingram from the Saints on 2nd & 5, quarterback Drew Brees does a good job using his eyes to keep the Bengals defense away from the screen. He stares down the sweep from the wide receiver before quickly turning to the screen.
With the defense focused on the other side of the field, Ingram now has a lot of space to operate in. As you see, there is only one main block needed to gain the first down.
The Saints face a 3rd & 6 situation with the Bengals in cover-1 defense. The Saints plan to get running back Alvin Kamara open as a receiver. Kamara will run a slant route and the Bengals will try to cover him with a safety.
Kamara uses excellent footwork to keep the defensive back guessing and freeze before he cuts inside and gains separation.
In this particular play, the Bengals are going to defend the redzone in cover-4. The Saints run the perfect play against this coverage. Two hitch routes on the trips side works well against zone but the post route is going to attack between the two safeties.
The safeties are deep and the middle of the field is open (MOFO), giving Thomas the space to receive the ball and score the TD.
Dallas Cowboys 27 @ 20 Philadelphia Eagles
The Dallas Cowboys got themselves a big win against divisional rivals, Philadelphia Eagles. A player that really stood out was rookie linebacker Leighton Vander Esch who was taken 19th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. So lets take a look at some of his moments from the game:
The Eagles line up in an empty back set, so nobody in the backfield and are in “01” personnel (0 RB, 1TE, 4WR). In the breakdown below you see the many ways they are trying to attack the Cowboys defense with each route concept. Dallas are going to drop their linebackers into zone coverage along with defensive tackle Antwaun Woods.
Looks like quarterback Carson Wentz is trying to move players with his eyes and then turn straight to the dig route. Unfortunately for Wentz, he doesn’t see Vander Esch underneath and throws the interception.
Now this play was crucial during the game. The Eagles face a 3rd & 2 situation, the Cowboys are going to defend with man coverage in a cover-1 look. The Eagles decide to go with a screen to running back Corey Clements, which effective against man coverage, especially on short distances. The Cowboys look to apply pressure by blitzing middle linebacker Jaylon smith. The Eagles will have their center and right guard to “chip” and then make their way to the second level and block for the screen.
The inside cut is taken away by defensive tackle Maliek Colins and linebacker Jaylon smith but massive effort from Leighton Vander Esch. He secures the edge and avoids the two offensive lineman and makes a vital stop on third down.