Reading and Thinking Football

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Upon Further Review: NYG@TEN

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On November 26, 2006, the Titans beat the New York Giants, 24-21. This is a play-by-play look at each Titans’ offensive play for the game. Note that because of advancements in UFR, this is different than what was originally up here–as of 7/22/07, only the first half is up. The rest of the game, including a revised 4th quarter, should be up tomorrow.

LINE DOWN DIST FORM TYPE YARDS PLAYER BRIEF
T26 1 10 I-Form, 3-WR Pass 6 Wade Smoke
A rare 0-TE set from the Titans to start the game. This is an immediate throw (smoke route) to Bobby Wade, who’s in the slot on the right side, to let him run in space. Jones is the other WR on that side, and the CB on that side lines up by him–no CB directly over Wade, or this throw hopefully doesn’t get made. The Giants are able to converge on Wade, but not before he gets 6 yards. (CA)
T32 2 4 Weak I Run 1 Henry Left Tackle
Run weakside. Barry Cofield does a good job to beat Bell at the snap and push him into the backfield, forcing Henry to run laterally before turning upfield. This lets the defense flow to that side and limit Henry to a gain of 1.
T33 3 3 2-TE Strong Pass 8 Jones Scramble Drill
Almost a Trips Right look for the Titans, as Jones is playing over the TE and Scaife moves from left to right to join him. William Joseph gets a good rush, and VY is flushed from the pocket. LB Pierce has Jones covered at the start, but when VY moves outside the pocket moves to cover the scramble, leaving Jones open. After that, good job by VY and Jones to pick up the first down. In terms of degree of difficulty of the throw, (DO) is inflated, but I think it’s justified because of the overall decree of difficulty of the play. For the record, Joseph gets into the backfield so quickly because he’s lined up outside, over the TE and Stewart doesn’t get out to block him, and he’s too big for Henry to do alone.
T41 1 10 Strong I, 2-TE Strong Pass Inc Bennett Out
VY bootlegs after play-action. Joseph stays at home, so VY throws it to Bennett 9 yards downfield. Who absolutely stiff-arms the ball. Flat out drop. (CA)
T41 2 10 I-Formation Run 0 Henry Iso
Run up the middle, blah. The blocking on this play flat-out sucks, as Olson and Stewart double-team Joseph while Mawae blocks Barry Cofield. Uh, guys, there’s Fred Robbins between you, and he has a clear lane into the backfield. Hall does what he can with him and Henry puts his head down and runs, and does well just to get back to the LOS.
T41 3 10 Shotgun Split Backs 3-WR Pass 7 Young Scramble
Scaife is one of the split backs, so this isn’t another 0-TE formation. Jints rush 4, but they manage to get some pressure with just those. Henry and Scaife stayed in, and they’re sort of flanking VY, running downfield as he does. VY looks could have passed to them, and I think it would’ve been a better option, but I /think/ he lost track of whether he was over the LOS or not and kept it himself. The Giants actually had players where VY was in the middle of the field, and his chance of making it past the 1D marker himself was slim. (SCR)
Drive Notes: Drops suck. Also, the Titans o-line was losing 1v1 battles AND not reacting well scheme-wise. This was not an auspicious start to the game.
LINE DOWN DIST FORM TYPE YARDS PLAYER BRIEF
T40 1 10 2-TE Strong Pass 9 Jones Stop
Jones lines up outside strong, runs 9 yards downfield, and turns around. The pass is a little behind him, but he’s able to make the grab. (CA)
T49 2 1 3-WR, Slot Strong Run 1-fumble Henry Iso
Blah, short run left side. I’m not a great fan of this playcall, because the Jints D can just read and react, but it’s sufficient to convert a 2&1 if only that. Problem is, Henry gets stripped of the ball.
Drive Notes: Turnovers are bad, mmkay? The Giants take this one and convert it into a 7-0 lead.
LINE DOWN DIST FORM TYPE YARDS PLAYER BRIEF
T26 1 10 2-TE Strong Run 0 Henry Right Tackle
Short run right strong side. Again, the Giants D-line is at least holding their own in most 1v1 battles, making it difficult to run the ball successfully. Fox commentator: “Henry’s first carry since his fumble.” Uh, no kidding? It’s not like the Titans run 37 plays between the fumble and this carry.
T26 2 10 Shotgun 4-WR Pass -5 Young Sack
See above re Giants winning 1v1 battles. Pierce gets the sack, but that’s garbage. Kiwanuka made the play to get to VY first, and Pierce is just in the right place at the right time. VY look and had a quick chance to throw the ball away, but didn’t see anything he liked and ends up eating it. (PR)
T21 3 15 Shotgun Strong Pass 7 Henry Checkdown
The Giants have 3 down linemen, so Scaife gets a chip before running his pattern and Henry stays in to block at first before going out on a route. VY dumps it to him 4 yards downfield on a safe pass, and he gets nowhere near the first down marker. I suspect where this throw went was strongly influenced by the failures of the Titans’ O-line to this point in the game. (CA)
Drive Notes: If you can’t block the other team, it’s difficult to have success running or passing.
LINE DOWN DIST FORM TYPE YARDS PLAYER BRIEF
T28 1 10 I-Formation Run Fumble Young Iso
VY sticks the handoff into White’s belly and White never has the ball. It’s completely bogus that VY is credited with the fumble on this play, as the fault was White’s.
Drive Notes: Turnovers are still bad, mmkay? Having just gone down 14-0, the last thing the Titans needed was a turnover deep in their own zone.
LINE DOWN DIST FORM TYPE YARDS PLAYER BRIEF
T31 1 10 I-Form, 3-WR Pass 9 Hall Flat
Playaction, then VY with a short pass to Hall in the flat. He sidesteps SS Wilson’s tackle, and does well to get 9 yards. (CA)
T40 2 1 I-Form, 2-WR Weak Run 4 Hall FB Blast
Quick handoff to Hall, and he gets a few yards up the middle. Good change of pace play.
T44 1 10 Shotgun 4-WR Run 4 Henry Read Option
Funky formation, with Bennett and Wade lined up slot right right next to each other before Bennett moves to slot left. Play is a basic read option, VY makes the proper read and Henry plows forward for a couple.
T48 2 6 I-Form, 3-WR Run -1 Henry Off Tackle
Whereby “off tackle” means “runs into Barry Cofield in the backfield.”
T47 3 7 Shotgun Strong Pass 23 Wade Seam
VY actually gets time to throw for a change, and finds Wade wide open in what must be the soft spot in a two deep zone. The throw is a little high, but Wade’s able to go up and get it. Maybe it’s a mediocre throw, maybe he needed to put it high to get over the LBs. It still worked, so (CA).
N30 1 10 Shotgun 4-WR Pass 3 Bennett Quick Out
Bennett lines up slot right. Giants blitz, so VY finds his quick target. Not a big gain, but it beats a sack. (DO) is inflated, but I need another one to convey the general level of excellence VY is showing thus far.
N27 2 7 Split Backs(?) Run 7 Pacman Option
The formation is an interesting one. VY is under center, TE right, 2-WR, Henry behind VY and offset right a little, and Pacman is running across the formation from VY’s left towards center. VY tosses a little to the formation left back to Pacman. Looks like a pass option to Jones right side, or maybe a QB throwback, but Kiwanuka’s in the backfield, so Pacman shows off his PR skills, reversing field back to the left. VY gets into the action with a little bit of a block, and Pac gets just enough to get the first down. This was a fun play to watch.
N20 1 10 Standard 2-TE, 2-WR Right Run 14 Henry Stretch
Stretch play to the right side. Good blocking to that side, and Henry finds a little lane to scoot through and get a good carry. One of the rare to this point examples of good 1v1 blocking by the Titan O-line.
N6 1 G Weak I, 2-TE Strong Run -2 Henry Off Tackle
This play is supposed to go off tackle to the left weak side. Naturally, Kiwanuka and Cofield are in the backfield again, so Henry tries to make something happen by reversing. Which he’s not fast enough to do. I think his best move would have been to just continue left side and slide to the left of Kiwi/Cofield, where Hall had a decent block on the LB.
N8 2 G Strong I, 2-WR Weak Pass Inc Hall Flat
Torbor is blitzing, and he’s Henry’s responsibility. But Henry doesn’t do a very good job of blocking him, so VY has to get rid of the ball with somebody on his back. His pass to Hall in the flat is, unsurprisingly, short. (PR)
N8 3 G Shotgun 4-WR Pass 6 Hall Flat
The “4-WR” description is a little misleading, as the Titans are in a base set–both Hall and Henry motion and split out wide. VY looks and dumps it to Hall, who’s probably his safety valve, at the 5 on the far left side. Better than a sack or throwing the ball away, but the Giants are able to stop him short of the end zone without too much difficulty. (CA)
N2 4 G Weak I, Standard 2-TE Run 1 Young QB Draw
Weak I because it’s to the opposite side as the WR. The play is VY as an RB on a bootleg draw after play-action. The Giants are able to get enough people there to stop him from crossing the goal line. That is why, when people go for it when they don’t have to, they’re normally on the 1. And why passing on 2-point conversions is so popular. Brian Baldinger points out on the replay that VY have had an alley to the outside, but I’m not certain it was wide enough, and the hole he tried to run through close pretty fast, and the same could easily have happened there as well.
Drive Notes: I see why Fisher went for it, as the offense had been largely sputtering and TD opportunities down 21-0 are valuable. But, see above re going for it from the 2. This was the first drive where VY didn’t always look like a shining beacon of quality in a world of suck. But, still down 21-0 is still down 21-0.
LINE DOWN DIST FORM TYPE YARDS PLAYER BRIEF
T46 1 10 Shotgun Strong Pass 13 Young Scramble
The Titan D does its job for a change, setting up the O in decent field position, but with only :38 on the clock before halftime and 0 TOs. VY doesn’t see anything he likes, and takes off. He could have headed for the sideline, but might not have made it and wouldn’t have gotten as much yardage as going up the middle. (SCR)
T41 1 10 Pass Inc nil Spike
Spike to kill the clock. :20 left.
T41 2 10 Shotgun Strong Pass 11 Scaife Out(?)
Giants only rush 3, and the Titans give VY enough time. After surveying the field, he hits Scaife for a decent little gain, enough to turn a “no way” FG attempt into a “yes, I’d kick from here.” (CA)
T30 1 10 Pass Inc nil Spike
Spike to kill the clock. :4 left, and it’s time for a field goal try.
Drive Notes: Which Bironas puts to the right. It’s the end of the first half, and the Titans are still down 21-0. Nevertheless, this was a very good drive from VY. Starting with 0 TOs and less than :40 to work with from his own territory, he sets up a long, but still reasonable FG attempt.
LINE DOWN DIST FORM TYPE YARDS PLAYER BRIEF
T16 1 10 Shotgun 4-WR Pass 25 Bennett Seam
The Titans nearly start this drive at their own 1, but Chris Claiborne pulls an idiot and knocks down Cramer after the punt goes out of bounds. As for the play, it looks like it’s an all-streaks formation. Bennett lines up slot left, runs straight down the field, and VY hits him in the area akin to the cover-2 soft spot. (DO) is inflated in terms of pure throw quality, but VY did a good job to stand in the pocket knowing pressure was coming and get off a good throw downfield.
T41 1 10 4-WR Run 1 Henry Stretc
Stretch play left side out of 4-WR. The problem I have with this play is it takes a spread-out defense, then negates that advantage by giving the ball off to a slow back on an outside run.
T42 2 9 I-Form, 3-WR Pass 12 Henry Dumpoff
VY gets pressure, escapes the pocket, then dumps it to Henry and lets him run with the ball. A good decision. (CA)
N46 1 10 Shotgun 2-TE Strong, 2-WR Weak Pass 3 Young Scramble
Protection kinda sucks, particularly Mawae getting tossed aside by Robbins(?). VY is flushed and escapes. Rather than trying to run past defenders and go upfield, he scoots over to the sidelines and out of bounds. Either that or a throw away was what I’d want to see on this play. (SCR)
N43 2 7 Shotgun 4-WR Pass Inc Bennett Drag
Bennett and Wade are in the slot and run drag routes, Wade shorter and Bennett deeper. This pass is thrown into some traffc in the middle, but goes uncaught after it appears to hit Bennett in the helmet. (CA)
N43 3 7 Shotgun 4-WR Pass Inc Wade Seam
Wade runs a go route 40 yards downfield, VY puts it right in his arms, and Wade can’t catch it. (DO)
Drive Notes: Would it kill you guys to catch something? It would, really? Oh, well, Bennett and Wade, you’re both free agents this offseason. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.
LINE DOWN DIST FORM TYPE YARDS PLAYER BRIEF
T32 1 10 3-WR, 2 Weak Pass Inc Williams Waggle
Jones moves across the formation from slot right to slot left. VY fakes to Henry left, then boots right. Being pursued by Joseph, he throws back across his body 45 yards downfield. Williams was closest, with Roby also in the vicinity. Both Roydell and DB Dockery fell down trying to adjust to the ball. This is a terrible throw to grade, as I’m not sure (a) where VY was trying to throw the ball or (b) where Roby and Williams were supposed to be running. Call it (.5 CA, .5 IN).
T32 2 10 Shotgun Base Run 1 White Read Option
VY makes the proper read on DE Kiwanuka but Cofield beats Mawae and Kiwanuka comes in on a stunt to stuff the hole.
T33 3 9 Shotgun Base Pass -9 Young Sack
VY takes a deep drop, surveys the field, then starts to move to his left. Only Robbins beats Olson and takes VY down before he can escape from the pocket. VY maybe should have done something earlier, but if Robbins doesn’t beat Olson, it doesn’t matter. (PR)
Drive Notes: Have I mentioned yet the Giants D-line has been doing a good job against the Titan O-line? If you can’t block the other team, it’s tough to get anything done. I know, this is just as insightful as when I wrote good basketball teams make shots and prevent opponents from making shots.
LINE DOWN DIST FORM TYPE YARDS PLAYER BRIEF
N46 1 10 Shotgun Base Pass Inc Scaife In
The Titans start with their best field position yet after Pacman picks off a pass intended for Burress and has a nice runback. On the play, Scaife runs a 14 yard in, VY hits him in the hands, and Scaife drops it. (DO)
N46 2 10 Shotgun Strong Pass 25 Wade Flag
VY playfakes left, then rolls right. Wade lines up slot right, and heads for the corner. VY puts the ball right where it needs to be, and Wade catches it. (DO), as VY has it going on.
N21 1 10 Shotgun Base Run 2 Young Read Option
N21 1 10 Penalty 15 Mawae Unnec. Rough
VY makes the proper read on Kiwanuka, but DB McQuarters, who lined up on Wade in slot keeps contain. VY probably should have thrown this one out to Wade, on a sort of pitch like they did to Pacman. The personal foul is clearly called on Mawae, who comes into the group of guys standing around VY and gives Pierce a shove. Pierce has been throwing elbows into guys late all game, and this is a cheap call, but Mawae HAS to be smarter than this. Lendale gets into it with Walker, but neither is flagged and it should have been offsetting anyway.
N34 2 23 Shotgun Strong Pass 5 Henry Checkdown
VY has a decent pocket, surveys the field, then takes the checkdown to Henry running across the formation. This play is almost impossible to grade without seeing the rest of the field, but nothing tells me it’s not a bad decision. (CA)
N29 3 18 Shotgun Base Pass 9 Wade In
Wade lines up slot and runs a basic 7 yard in. On 3&18, you’d like to see a pass further downfield. But Wade is a decent guy in space and if you’re planning on going for it on 4th down, I’d rather have 4&9 than 4&18. Reggie Torbor does a good job to take away Wade’s running lane across the field. (CA)
N20 4 9 Shotgun Base Run 7 Young Scramble
N20 4 9 Penalty 7 NYG-Walker Unnec. Rough
There’s a little bit of a protection overload here, as both Scaife and Henry stay in to block, as they did for the previous 2 plays, despite the Giants only rushing with 4, 3, and 3. Both end up on pass patterns, but Henry ends up in a sort of no man’s land-not far enough away from Torbor to be assured of getting away, yet not able to block him on a scramble. VY takes off, and Scaife blocks. DB Bell does a good job to come up in support and cut off the corner. But Walker makes his STUPID hit and the Titans live on. (SCR)
N6 1 G Shotgun Base Run -1 Henry Read Option
VY runs the read option correctly, but Wilson does a good job of filling the hole.
N7 2 G Shotgun Trips left Pass 3 Scaife Left Flat
Funky formation, overloading the left side. The Giants do a good job of staying on assignments, and nobody ends up uncovered. Scaife runs a sort of out and gets a couple years. There didn’t seem to be any clearly better places to throw the ball, so (CA).
N4 3 G Shotgun 4-WR Pass 4-TD Scaife Curl
Titans have an I-package, but flex both Henry and Hall out wide. Scaife lines up as a TE, runs a basic 4 yard curl route between LBs Pierce and Emmons, and VY hits him in the chest. (DO)
Drive Notes: At the time, I was just happy to see some positive plays made and some points put up on the board. Frank Walker one-ups Kevin Mawae in the “one stupid turn deserves another” category.
LINE DOWN DIST FORM TYPE YARDS PLAYER BRIEF
N36 1 10 Shotgun Base Pass 9 Wade Drag
For the second straight drive, the Titans have their best starting field position of the game thanks to a return by Pacman, though this one is a punt and not an INT. Wade lines up slot left and runs a short drag with Scaife from the other side running a deeper drag. A little YAC, and it’s 2&short. (CA)
N27 2 1 4-WR Close Pass 11 Wade Flats and Gos
Scaife and Wade line up inside and run into the flats, while Bennett and Jones run go patterns. Defense needs to be very disciplined. Quick throw, but Henry has a nice pickup on blitzing LB Blackburn. VY hits Wade almost in stride, and it’s another good gain. (CA), though, because Wade was wide open and the pass wasn’t far downfield, so little degree of difficulty.
N16 1 10 3-WR, 2 Weak Run 9 Henry Off Tackle
Jones lines up near on the slot side, helps seal Blackburn with Scaife. DB Walker follows Jones in, but gets sucked too far in and can’t keep outside contain on Henry.
N7 2 1 Shotgun Base Pass 5 Scaife Out
Giants bring Blackburn again, Henry with the pickup again, another quick throw, this time to Scaife on an out pattern. Very effective at picking up the first down, rather than looking only at the end zone–I like this decision, as it seems like too many teams look exclusively at the end zone, particularly in the late game situation. (CA)
N2 1 G Jumbo Run 1 Henry Right Tackle
Jumbo package, with Hartsock on one side and Cramer and Scaife on the other. Hall runs a seal block on the off-play side, which he seems to do a lot, but seems wasted in this situation. Scaife and Cramer create a nice crease, but SS Wilson does a good job of standing up Henry on the goal line.
N1 2 G Jumbo Run 1 Young QB Off Tackle
N1 2 G Penalty Declined NYG Offside
Same sort of formation, flipped and with Scaife and Hartsock flipping sides. I think Scaife was supposed to run a pattern here, but gets held up by LB Torbor. VY is on the bootleg and beats Pierce to the corner.
Drive Notes: An awful lot of 3 WR shotgun sets-something VY saw a lot of at Texas and where he feels most comfortable. It’s tough to argue with success.
LINE DOWN DIST FORM TYPE YARDS PLAYER BRIEF
T24 1 10 Shotgun Base Pass 24 Young Scramble
T24 1 10 Penalty Offset Bell Holding
T24 1 10 Penalty Offset NYG Illegal Contact
Henry gets to stone Demps on the blitz this time, a relief from Blackburn. VY doesn’t like what he sees and takes off fairly quickly. Bell’s hold is on Robbins as VY escapes from the pocket-very useful to VY, else Robbins may tackle him for a big loss. Nice run by VY, even though it doesn’t count. Illegal contact looked more like hands to the face on Scaife about 7 yards downfield. The PBP lists a fumble, and one was called on the field, but Fisher wins a challenge if the Giants recover this. (SCR)
T24 1 10 Shotgun Pass Inc Jones In, Out?
Jones runs an in, VY throws an out. Tough to complete a pass that way. Henry with blitz pickup on Will Demps again. No clue who was at fault on this play. (.5 CA, .5 IN)
T24 2 10 Shotgun Base Pass Inc Bennett Deep Out
VY looking for Bennett about 20 yards downfield. Bennett appears to be open, but doesn’t seem to be paying attention. Of course, the pass is about 5 yards down, so that doesn’t really matter. One of VY’s few bad throws this game. (IN)
T24 3 10 Shotgun Strong Pass Inc Bennett Curl
Bennett is the sole WR right, VY bootlegs his direction. Kiwanuka drops back into coverage from his DE position and makes a good play to break up the pass. Throw was a little low by VY, but would have gotten to Bennett and a higher throw would still have been broken up by Kiwanuka. No real QB fault here, just a great play by the defender. (CA)
T24 4 10 Shotgun Base Pass 19 Young Scramble
The play you’ve all seen. Henry slips out of the backfield late and Roos releases Kiwanuka to go block downfield, anticipating a throw to him by VY. But VY doesn’t dump the ball off and instead keeps it. Kiwi lets up, VY escapes, Will Demps is frozen, first down, Tom Coughlin pissed off, &c. (SCR)
T43 1 10 Shotgun Base Pass 20 Williams Quick Out
Henry with blitz pickup, Roydell on a quick out. Dockery misses a tackle, and Roydell gets about 15 YAC. Maybe he should have gone out of bounds, at the cost of ~5 yards, but with 2:20 to play there was time to run another play if the Titans were worried about the clock. (CA)
N37 1 10 Shotgun Strong Pass 16 Young Scramble
VY rolls right strong, looking for Wade on the throwback. But is right there, so VY looks deep. Seeing pressure (all 3 DL 8 yards upfield), he takes off. More yards might have been available if he went slow and let his blocking develop, particularly Henry on Walker who got the stop, but I can’t blame him for that. (SCR)
N21 1 10 Shotgun Base Pass 7 Bennett Quick Out
Bennett lines out wide on the weak side and runs a simple out. Pass is a little underthrown, but Bennett does a good job to go down and catch the ball. Play was challenged by the booth and upheld–I doubt the game ends in regulation without that time-saving move. (CA)
N14 2 3 Shotgun Base Pass 14 Jones Post
Scaife runs a flag from the seam, drawing a safety away from Jones on the post pattern. Nice design, nice execution, nice throw, nice catch. It’s easy to be happy with a touchdown. Oh, and VY hits him in stride. That never hurts, either. (DO)
Drive Notes: Vince Young, Vince Young, Vince Young. Watching him lead UT’s comeback against Oklahoma State last year from a big halftime deficit, I remarked that “It doesn’t matter if VY has to run for 500 yards, he will lead his team back.” He ended up with 267 rushing and 239 passing in that game, and I had the same sort of feeling this game. He was playing well early, even though the Titans were getting blown out, and he raised his level of play late.
LINE DOWN DIST FORM TYPE YARDS PLAYER BRIEF
N49 1 10 Shotgun Base Pass 11 Scaife Out
Eli had a gargantuanly stupid throw, where Pacman makes a great leaping grab to snag a ball intended for Burress. The Jints actually blitz with 6, the first time they brought so many in the second half (and perhaps the game). VY takes the quick dumpoff to Scaife in the right flat and he’s able to pick up 8 YAC AND get out of bounds to save the last time out. Very heady play by Scaife. (CA)
N38 1 10 Shotgun Strong Pass 7 Jones Waggle
VY fakes the read option. The Jints come with 6 again, but the protection is good and VY isn’t facing any pressure n the bootleg. Jones is the short WR, and VY gets it to him. (CA), though a better throw probably means Jones can step out of bounds to preserve the last TO.
Drive Notes: Bironas out, and he hits from 49 to give the Titans a 24-21 lead with :11 to go. Both the plays the Titans ran were pretty simple, but each worked pretty well. Personally, I probably would have run another play with :11 left on the clock to pick up some more yards, particularly since Bironas missed from similar range earlier in the game. As is often the case, Fisher was conservative. See above re arguing with success.

And that’s the whole game.

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Written by Tom Gower

November 29, 2006 at 18:16

Posted in Tennessee Titans, UFR

One Response

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  1. […] ball there. I’ve felt a little uncomfortable always singing the praises of VY, like I did in the Giants game breakdown. Well, he screwed up […]


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