Reading and Thinking Football

Football, including books thereon and idiosyncratic thinking thereabout

Upon Further Review: TEN@BUF Offense 1H

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UFR, Preseason Week 3, Titans over Buffalo 28-17. Since it’s still the preseason, UFR is just offense, and only the first half at that.

T20 1 10 Strong I, 2-WR Weak Pass 14 Scaife Drag
VY starts out with a play fake to White, then turns to bootleg, but Aaron Schobel stayed at home and prevents any of that. VY then immediately guns it downfield to Scaife, who’s at the numbers on the opposite side after running a drag route. Good decision, good grab, good start to a drive. (CA)
T34 1 10 I-Form, Standard 2-TE Run 3 White Iso
Blah, short run up middle.
T37 2 7 Standard 2-TE Run 9 White Stretch
I have NO idea how this wasn’t flagged for illegal formation-Hartsock is flush to Stewart and the WR to the right side is right up against the line. The play is a good stretch run left. Amano has a nice block pulling. I can’t see why the Bills didn’t flow to the hole better, but I’m not complaining.
T46 1 10 3-WR, Slot Weak Run 0 White Stretch
Different formation, same play, stretch left behind Scaife and Roos. This time the Bills do a much better job of defending it.
T46 2 10 2-TE Pass 4 White Dumpoff
VY play fakes to White, then surveys the field. Apparently seeing nobody open and seeing pressure from the right, he dumps it off to White in the left flat. Ellison misses a tackle, and White gets about 3 YAC. (CA)
50 3 6 Trips Left Pass 14 R. Williams Slant
Trips are Moulds, Scaife, and Hartsock, while Roydell is in single coverage right. Good throw, about 5 YAC, and a nice third down conversion. What makes this play is that the RB (Brown, I think) starts out like he’s going on a pattern. This freezes the LB, Ellison, preventing him from filling the slant lane for VY. (CA)
B36 1 10 I-Formation Run 3 White Off Tackle
Blah, short run right side.
B33 2 7 2-TE Strong Pass 12 White Screen
B33 2 7 Penalty -10 Roos Holding
A well-blocked screen play, as White doesn’t face any real tacklers until he’s about 10 yards downfield. Alas, it comes back, as Roos is called for a holding Fisher thought shouldn’t have been flagged. I have no idea what holding is, so I’ll just say I’m not sure. (CA)
B43 2 17 Shotgun 3-WR, Slot Strong Pass Inc Davis? Out
Tim Anderson gets his hand up and bats down this ball at the line of scrimmage. Both WRs on the left side had run out routes, Davis about 8 yards downfield and the other about 15 yards downfield. It’s impossible to know for sure which one VY was aiming for. (PR), I guess, since I’m not going to create a (Batted) category.
B43 3 17 Shotgun 3-WR, Slot Strong Pass 18 Brown Screen
Same formation, just with the strong side flipped. Brown gets a chip on Schobel, then immediately turns around and catches the quick screen. It seems like all the Bills except the 4 DL were playing 10+ yards off the line of scrimmage. Brown runs through a couple of arm tackles (Amano with a good block downfield) and scampers for the first down. (CA) This play may work in part because they run it like a rollout, with Bell pulling to the opposite of the play side with the snap. Then again, I can’t see downfield, so I’m not sure any Bill defenders reacted to it.
B25 1 10 Strong I Run 3 White Right Tackle
Blah, short run right side.
B22 2 7 Weak I Run 5 White Counter Off Tackle
This is a pretty neat little play. Moulds lines up strong side, and is running in toward the formation as the ball is snapped. Hall is lined up left, and White is the setback. Once the play is snapped, Moulds blocks down to create the seal on S Whitner and Hall makes the block akin to a pulling guard on CB Webster. Because the play looks like one that’s going to go inside, White is able to beat the defenders to the corner and pick up a decent little gain.
B17 3 2 Shotgun 3-WR, 2-TE Pass Inc R. Williams In
Interesting formation from the Titans, against a Bills look showing 10 defenders within 4 yards of the line of scrimmage. Roydell runs a 4 yard in. It’s enough to get the first down, but VY throws the ball too late and has to throw it behind Roydell to avoid the MLB. A quicker throw results in a first down. Credit to the Bills for confusing VY, debit VY for being being confused and waiting too long. (BR)
Drive Notes: Missed FG, 0-0, 1Q 4:14. And Bironas misses the field goal from 35, putting it all the way across from the right hash to the left hash. I half-expected Fisher to challenge the call, since I thought it might actually have crossed the uprights before tailing off too far, but no dice. A very disappointing result after a lengthy drive. Still, a couple third down conversions on on 3&short is a very encouraging sign.
B49 1 10 I-Formation Run 6 White Right Tackle
The Titans run tackle weak side, and get a pretty good gain. Most of the Bills D seems to start strong side, then flow like it’s off tackle, but the run’s not that far outside. At least I think that’s what happened-at the start of the play, I was seeing JP Losman on the bench.
B43 2 4 2-TE Strong, 2-WR Weak Run 0 White Iso
Blah, short run up middle. To the left weak side. DT McCargo beats Piller at the point of attack, else White probably gets 5+ more yards.
B43 3 4 Shotgun Base Pass 8 Scaife Drag(?)
B43 3 4 Penalty Decl. BUF-Greer Illegal Contact
B43 3 4 Penalty Decl. BUF-Kelsay Pass Interference
The Bills bring MLB DiGiorgio on a delayed blitz, and he gets to VY way too easily-blame White for this, and note it’s an abject example of Brown is expected to be the 3rd down back and why Fisher likes veterans. VY does well to stand up in the pocket and chuck it downfield for Scaife. It’s sort of a dangerous throw, as VY is in no position to step into the throw and there were enough defenders around Scaife somebody could have deflected the pass or simply picked it off. That didn’t happen, though. (CA), I guess.
B35 1 10 Strong I Pass 30 R.Williams Go(?)
B35 1 10 Penalty Decl. BUF-Hargrove Offside
Play-action, then VY stands tall, surveys the pocket, and hits a sliding Roydell 28 yards downfield before the safety can come over and help. It’s easy to be happy about long completions. (DO) The penalty is almost an “excuse me” offsides, but it’s still nice to see VY do that with his cadence. Plus, he took advantage of the free play to throw downfield, or at least we can pretend he did.
B5 1 G Weak I Run 1 Brown Counter
I don’t know why the hell you run Brown here, because he’s never been a between-the-tackles power runner and that’s exactly what you need in this situation. The blocking isn’t great, and so of course Brown gets a decent yard, no more.
B4 2 G 4-WR Close Pass 2 Young Scramble
VY stands in the pocket, looks. DT Williams absolutely has him dead to rights, but he manages to shake away and stumble-scramble outside. He reaches for the end zone as he’s going out of bounds, but alas is deemed to have stepped out before the extension. About as exciting as a 2 yard scramble gets. (SCR)
B2 3 G I-Form, Standard 2-TE Pass Inc Scaife Out
There’s the story I read, I think about the great Colts WR Raymond Berry. He was playing catch with some rookie WR, and the first thing he did after catching the ball was tuck it away. Grab, tuck the ball away. Grab, tuck the ball away. On this play, play-action, followed by an attempted bootleg, but Ellison is there playing the role previously played by Schobel. So, VY tosses it out to an open Scaife in the left part of the end zone. Scaife grabs the ball, but Schobel, who’d dropped into coverage, slaps Scaife in the hands, and because the ball hadn’t been tucked away, it comes out for an incompletion. Not VY’s fault this wasn’t a TD. (CA)
B2 4 G 4-WR Pass 2-TD Young Scramble
Fisher apparently decides “Screw it, it’s the preseason, let’s go for it.” Not only that, it’s an empty backfield. Ellison comes on a slot blitz, so VY sidesteps him, Posluszny can’t keep contain in the spot vacated by Ellison, and it’s a TD for the team in two-tone blue. (SCR)
Drive Notes: TD, 7-0, 2Q, 13:02. The Titans start with pretty good field position off an INT by Thompson, and manage to convert into points with the help of a little VY magic down by the goalline. Oh, and long passes are good ways to move down the field. I like to repeat that because I believe it’s true.
T26 1 10 I-Form, 2-WR Weak Run -1 White Right Tackle
I’m not quite sure what this play was supposed to accomplish. It had some cool motion, with a WR moving from right strong all the way around, behind the I, to slot left, but it’s a basic strong side run that wasn’t particularly well blocked.
T25 2 11 Shotgun Base Pass 6 R. Williams Slant Out
One of the fancier 4 yard patterns you’ll see, as Roydell is lined up split left, runs a slant for 4 yards and then makes an out cut. About 2 YAC on the play. (CA)
T31 3 5 Strong I, 3-WR Pass Inc Jones In/Out
VY throws an out, Jones runs an in. Tough to complete it when that happens. I have no way of knowing whose fault this is. To that end, (.5 CA, .5 IN).
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-3, 2Q, 7:45. If you can’t convert on 3rd down, you’re off the field. Having the QB and the WR on the same page, running the same play doesn’t seem like it should be that hard. I guess you never know, though.
T26 1 10 ? Pass Inc Hall Flat
Hall is in the right flat covered by S Wire. VY’s pass is too tall for Hall, resulting in an incompletion. (IN) Thanks to Buffalo’s wonderful broadcast, I have no idea what the formation was, as they were too busy showing other stuff.
T26 2 10 3-WR, Slot Weak Penalty -5 Roos False Start
T21 2 15 3-WR, Slot Weak Pass 13 White Screen
Kind of a funky formation here, as the 2-WRs to the weak side are split way to the right, like between the numbers and the sideline, with the ball at the left hash. Same screen pass we’ve seen before tonight, with White not being touched for his first 12 yards down the field. (CA)
T34 3 2 3-WR, Slot Weak Penalty -5 Olson False Start
T29 3 7 Shotgun Strong Pass Inc Scaife Dumpoff
GameBook sez “screen”; que? The Bills rush 6 or 7, and Scaife slips out to the flat after almost pretending to block Ellison blitzing up the middle. Ellison has a hold of VY, who tries to dump it off to Scaife but can’t do a good job at it. (PR)
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-3, 2Q, 5:13. Two false starts on one series = bad. Bad blitz pickup = bad. Bad + bad = punt. Rocket science this is not.
T22 1 10 3-WR, Slot Strong Run 6 White Counter
The Titans run counter to the weak side, and there’s a nice crease for White to run through. He falls forward off the tackle, and that’s a 6 yard gain on first down.
T28 2 4 3-WR, Slot Strong Run 17 White Cutback
Did you know that when you have as many blockers in the box as the defense has run defenders you can run for good yardage? White has discovered the secret of running forward. DB Thomas, playing in the slot, has the best chance to stop him, but hesitates before attacking the hole, letting White run through the hole. A hesitant White gets tackled for no gain. A hesitant White is a terrible NFL running back. Like Brown, White seems to play his best in space, and does a good job to get additional yards. With Brown last year, this is probably an 8 yard gain instead of 17.
T45 1 10 Shotgun Base Pass 21 Davis Seam
Davis lines up in the slot, runs downfield about 15 yards, and VY throws the ball to him. Not a great throw, but plenty effective and about 7 YAC. (CA)
B34 1 10 Shotgun Split Backs, 3-WR Pass 18 R. Williams Comeback
VY to Roydell on the comeback. High throw, where it’s either Roydell, a tip, or nobody. (CA)
B16 1 10 Shotgun Strong Pass 6 White Checkdown
VY rolls out and is running after Posluszny comes unblocked up the middle. White had slipped into the flat on that right side, and VY hits him. (CA) White does well to roll out of bounds to save time-lazy play by Kelsay, who doesn’t bother to touch White to down him inbounds. Eddie George take heart-Bills and CBS color guy Steve Tasker confuses Kelsay with Aaron Schobel!
B10 2 4 3-WR, Slot Strong Pass 5 Moulds Drag
Almost a trips right, except Scaife is lined up next to Stewart, while the WRs are to the outside of him. Moulds is in the slot there and just runs a little drag route to pick up the first down. (CA)
B5 1 G 4-WR Close Pass 5-TD Scaife Flat
Bills blitz up the middle, Scaife runs a flat route, VY hits him with a quick pass, TD. (CA)
Drive Notes: TD, 14-10, 2Q, :30. This is about as easy of a 2-minute drive as you’ll ever see. Pretty much every thing the Titans did worked. It was almost as if the Bills didn’t even try to stop them until they got inside the 20. After a couple down drives (2 3&out’s), this was a nice way to go into halftime and end the night for most of the starters.

VY pass chart:

@ Pats 0 12.5 4.5 3 1 3
@ Bills 1 14.5 1.5 1 2 2

Not much was asked of VY this game-as the high CA grade might suggest, most of his attempts didn’t ask very much of him. Of his incompletes, two were created by pressure, 2 and perhaps 3 were the result of bad plays by VY, and then you have Scaife’s drop in the end zone. Still, this was a great improvement over the Patriots game, and leads to more optimism for the season.

UPDATE (8/28 2335 CT): Pass chart and additional comments on VY up.
UPDATE (9/3 2057 CT): I forgot to link to my MVN summary post, posted shortly after this went up.


Written by Tom Gower

August 29, 2007 at 04:08

Posted in Uncategorized

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