Reading and Thinking Football

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Upon Further Review: TEN@IND Offense

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Yes, it’s actually another installment of Upon Further Review. This time, it’s the Titans’ offensive performance against the Colts in Week 17. I attended this game, but didn’t actually get to watch the game until NFL Network re-ran the NFL Replay a couple (5-6) weeks ago. I still want to go in and fill in the holes from last year, so more UFR could be coming in the next couple days.

T21 1 10 Ace Run 13 White Cutback
AWESOME cutback run to open the game. White runs left, then cuts it back right to find a hole you could drive a truck through. Nobody lays a finger on LenDale until he’s 10 yards downfield.
T34 1 10 I-Formation Run 15 White Iso
Not remembering the game well, I wasn’t sure how White got back to back carries of 10+ yards. The answer: again, nobody touches him. This is a standard straight-ahead run, but there’s a crease and nobody touches LenDale until he’s 12 yards downfield.
T49 1 10 2-TE Run 4 White Counter
Looks like a counter, at least, but Hagler has pentrated so White has to take it more up the middle than to the right side. Still, there’s room there.
I47 2 6 Ace Run 3 White Iso
Short run up middle.
I43 3 3 Shotgun Ace Pass 7 Scaife Drag
Scaife runs a little drag from left to right and catches the ball just past the 1D marker. Simple play, not hard, but effective. Credit where credit is due, White ably supports Bell on this play. (CA)
I37 1 10 I-Formation Pass 8 Roydell Slant
Jackson’s playing 9 yards off, so VY hits Roydell on the quick slant. Pass is a little behind, but I don’t think it costs much. (CA)
I29 2 2 Ace Run 4 Brown Iso
Akin to the first play. I think Brown looks to cutback, but LB Guzman is there to prevent that. A little move lets him get the first down-good vision by Chris to realize that.
I25 1 10 Run 1 White
I24 2 9 I-Formation Pass 6 Ealy Slant
Another slant, though Jackson was playing close to the line on this one. Maybe this is designed to attack a cover-2 zone split, between Jackson and the OLB, not sure. (CA)
I18 3 3 Shotgun Ace Pass 10 Gage Out
A simple 10 yard out, and VY hits him. (CA)
I8 1 G Weak I Run 8-TD Brown Iso
Run weak right, Brown finds a hole and powers in. I know Brown is gone now, and I’m not altogether sad about that, but this play is a good example of what Brown did at times in 2007 and hadn’t done in 2006-take a hole, then not get tackled by the first defender. Last year, or 05, this is 2&G from the 4 instead of a TD.
Drive Notes: TD, 7-0, 1Q 8:41. A very efficient first drive for the Titans-11 plays and 10 of them are successful by the Hidden Game guideline. Awesome work by the offensive line.
T20 1 10 I-Formation Run 4 White Iso
Another left side run with a probable cutback option, but White slips trying to make a move and has to plow forward for a couple yards.
T24 2 6 I-Formation Run 7 Brown Iso
Another good run by Brown, where he looks like he’s stopped after about 2 yards, then finds another burst and falls forward for a first down.
T31 1 10 Run -3 Brown
T28 2 13 I-Formation Pass 2 Young Scramble
Waggle action, only nobody seems to be open. VY plops forward for about 2, then kneels. (SCR)
T30 3 11 Shotgun Base Pass 9 Young Scramble
VY moves around a little, tries to use Scaife as a blocker rather than a dumpoff target (bad blocking, Bo), and gets popped short of the first down. (SCR)
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-0, 1Q 1:20. The Titans in 2007 weren’t a team that succeeded often in -and-long situations. A bad run like the one not shown frequently meant a busted drive.
T21 1 10 2-TE Pass 21 Hartsock Pop
GREAT play. Play-action, then VY hits Hartsock, who’s snuck out, about 9 yards downfield in the middle of the defense. Ben’s able to rumble for a dozen more yards between the defenders. (CA)
T42 1 10 Ace Run 3 Brown Cutback
Starts right, then cuts left for a change. Short gain.
T45 2 7 Ace Run 1 Brown Draw
Deep handoff on the draw. Chris tries to bounce around a little to find some running room, but doesn’t get much.
T46 3 6 4-WR Close Pass 20 Gage Drag
VY pumps, then finds Gage running wide open across the formation at the first down marker. Some good YAC later, and the Titans are on the edge of FG range. On replay, you see this play works in part because Scaife gets away with OPI on Hayden. (CA)
I34 1 10 Ace Pass Inc Ealy Go
I34 1 10 Penalty 25 IND-M.Jackson Pass Interference
Playfake, and VY throws deep for Ealy. Jackson takes a penalty, which is wise because it’s possibly a TD if he doesn’t. (CA)
I9 1 G I-Form, 3-WR Run 3-Fumble Brown Iso
And Chris Brown ruins any goodwill he has, as an innocuous-seeming tackle attempt results in the ball coming out.
Drive Notes: Fumble, 7-3, 2Q 7:58. 1#@$!@#$ turnovers.
T8 1 10 Run 0 White
T8 2 10 Pass Inc Scaife
T8 3 10 Pass Inc Scaife
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-3, 2Q 2:50. Getting pinned downfield and not getting out of getting pinned downfield is not a recommended game strategy, or recommended for getting the plays shown on NFL Replay.
T18 1 10 3-WR Run 1 White Iso
Short run right.
T19 2 9 4-WR Close Pass 21 Gage Deflection
Pass is intended for Scaife on a seam route, but he gets popped, hard, and the ball pops up into the air. Thankfully for the Titans, pretty close to Gage. If Scaife were good, he would have caught this ball, but it had already gone off his hands when he got popped. DO, as this was an excellent pass about 18 yards downfield in a fairly narrow window in the Colts zone, and Scaife should’ve caught it.
T40 1 10 Shotgun Base Pass 13 Gage Out
A little 10 yard pass where Gage doesn’t separate but uses his height to make a good grab. Plus, he broke Hayden’s tackle and was able to get out of bounds. (CA)
I47 1 10 Shotgun Base Pass 5 Young Scramble
VY doesn’t seem to see much he likes, so he gets a move on, gets a couple yards, and gets out of bounds, aided by a block by Moulds. (SCR)
I42 2 5 3-WR Pass 6 Roydell Stop
A “get a first down” play. It works for that, but Roydell gets popped without a chance to get OOB. (CA)
I36 1 10 Shotgun Strong Pass Inc Roydell In/Out?
VY throws a 12 yard out, Roydell is about 15 yards downfield inbounds. Looks like a miscommunication. .5 CA, .5 IN.
I36 2 10 Shotgun Base Pass -5 Young Sack
VY rolls around, trying to find something, then eats the ball rather than, say, throw it away or step out of bounds for a bigger loss. Both would have been a better play. BR to capture QB stupidity.
T36 3 15 Shotgun Base Pass Inc Gage Go(?)
A difficult play to grade. The Colts bring pressure, forcing VY out of the pocket. With a defender on his leg, he throws a rope into the end zone, about 45 yards. Gage misreads the pass, stopping, then having to go deeper to try to snag the ball, and isn’t able to grab it in traffic. PR, I guess, to show what happened to the original play design, but CA for a catchable pass and even DO were considered.
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-3, 2Q :44. The sack probably costs the Titans a shot at 3 points, as Fisher might have sent Bironas out from 54. It would have also been nice to get a couple yards on 3D to set up a FG, but the pressure prevented that.
T13 1 10 2-TE Run 3 White Cutback
Cutback run that starts to the left. The Colts keep an LB there, so White falls forward for a couple.
T16 2 7 Weak I Run -1 White Cutback
Supposed to be another cutback run, one starting to the right, but LB Session gets good penetration and White can’t move around him to get to the cutback lane.
T15 3 8 Shotgun Strong Pass 11 Moulds Out
Hey, it’s a longside rollout pass on 3rd down. I thought they only rolled to the short side! Moulds is the outside WR on the strong and long side, and VY hits him on the sidelines. (CA)
T26 1 10 Ace Pass 12 Roydell Comeback
VY throws it to Roydell after some play-action. A fairly long play for a relatively short gain, but it works. (CA)
T38 1 10 Ace Run -1-Fumble White Iso
LenDale decides to emulate Chris when it comes to ball security. Thankfully, Boiman is tripped up by Archer, or else he probably scores the TD. I know, the Colts did take the ball in for a TD, but they at least had to work for it.
Drive Notes: Fumble, 7-3, 3Q 10:31. After the completion to Roydell, Madden starts talking about how the Titans should be able to score against the Colts scrubs in the second half. Thanks, John!
T22 1 10 Ace Pass 14 Roydell Comeback
Just like the last pass play the Titans ran, only a slightly faster throw. (CA)
T36 1 10 Weak I Pass 5 Hall Checkdown
Both White and Hall slip out after initially showing protection, then VY picks one to throw the ball to. My personal bias says picking Hall is always wiser decision, but that’s tempered by (i) Hall would block for White, while White can’t block for Hall, and (ii) Hall probably had more defenders closer to him. Whatever. (CA)
T41 2 5 I-Form, 3-WR Pass 3 Moulds Swing
WTF are you running a swing pass with Moulds and Gage blocking? Seems reversed to me. Not a great throw by VY, but the play wouldn’t have worked any better with a perfect pass. (CA)
T44 3 2 Strong I Pass 3 Young Scramble
VY sees pressure (which is there) and takes off. Not his most elegant run, but enough for a first down. (SCR)
T47 1 10 Weak I Run 0 White Cutback
A cutback, by which I mean White cuts back into the middle of the line and the Colts defense. VY comes out injured after this play, but he was shaken up on and limping after the previous play. That he came out is testament to the team’s faith in Collins, as VY probably could have hobbled around and played ok. He finished this game 14 of 18 for 157, excellent completion percentage, and only a couple poor decisions.
T47 2 10 Weak I Pass 10 Hall Screen
Collins in the game, and stays in. This is kind of a pseudo-screen, as White hides behind Stewart and the blockers aren’t well out in front as they are on a normal screen. Still, that’s the intent. Hall follows his blocks well and picks up the first down. A good simple play to start Kerry out with. (CA)
I43 1 10 Weak I Run 3 Henry Counter
Looks like a counter-type play. Henry finds a crease, but can’t run through the tackle of Archer. Then again, if he could, he wouldn’t be Chris Henry.
I40 2 7 I-Formation Run -1 Henry Iso
Chris Henry looks like Chris Brown c. 2006 running in traffic-no burst, no nothing that says he’s any good. Henry, though, has track-type ability, and can run for a while if you don’t touch him, as the TD run against the Raiders showed.
I41 3 8 3-WR Pass 14 Moulds Stop(?)
Moulds somehow ends up 4 yards open at the first down marker. No clue how the heck that happened, but Collins hits him and the drive continues. (CA)
I27 1 10 2-TE Penalty -5 Stewart False Start
I32 1 15 Penalty -5 Collins Delay of Game
I37 1 20 Trips Right Pass 8 Henry Checkdown
Henry slips out of the backfield and gets the ball in space in front of the Colts D. A decent gain on 1&20 after the two penalties.
I29 2 12 Penalty 5 IND-Klecko Encroachment
I24 2 7 Weak I Run 2 Henry Iso
Blah, short run.
T22 3 5 Shotgun Base Pass Inc Roydell Deep Out
Charleston, Indy’s RDE, gets around Roos and gets just enough of a hit on Collins to affect the throw as it comes out of Collins’ hand, and the ball goes 15 yards whereas Roydell is about 23 yards downfield. Tough to complete those. (PR)
Drive Notes: FG, 10-10, 3Q 1:05. Enough to get points on the board, at least.
T6 1 10 I-Form, 2-TE Strong Run 2 White Iso
Short run for a couple. White almost looks like he put on 5 extra pounds between his last run and this one.
T8 2 8 I-Form, 2-TE Strong Run 2 White Iso
Since running LenDale into the defense worked so well the previous play, let’s do it again!
T10 3 6 3-WR Pass 7 Roydell Stop
Scaife is the slot WR left. Roydell is lined up right, goes 6 yards and a foot, turns around and catches the ball. Collins’ throw is a little close to Rushing for comfort, but it worked so (CA).
T17 1 10 Weak I Pass 19 Gage In(?)
In or comeback, not sure. Playaction, then a decent throw to an open Gage. Good timing on this play. (CA)
T36 1 10 I-Formation Run 0 White Counter
White with a potentially big hole on the counter to the right side. Alas, he’s tripped up by Bullitt. Who? Exactly. And that’s why he’s LenDale White.
T36 2 10 Ace Pass 10 Gage Slant
A reasonably well-designed play, with a flat route by the TE clearing out the LB to give Collins a passing lane. (CA)
T46 1 10 I-Formation Run 1 Henry Counter
Boo, presence of actual defenders preventing Chris Henry from showing off his speed.
T47 2 9 2-TE Pass 12 Scaife Screen
Fake to Henry right, then the toss to Scaife with blockers in front of him left. Bo shows that, like LenDale, he can run forward for 10+ yards when he’s not touched until 10 yards downfield. (CA)
I41 1 10 Trips Right Pass Inc Gage Go
Maybe a little bit of skinny post, but not much of it. Collins’ pass is about 5 yards too far downfield for Gage. (IN)
I41 2 10 Strong I Run 5 Henry Iso
Hey, a semi-decent run by Henry. He gets hit by Ed Johnson and doesn’t fall down immediately but instead goes forward for a couple more yards.
I36 3 5 Shotgun Ace Pass Inc Roydell In
Collins feels pressure, and gets rid of the ball fairly quickly about 18 yards downfield for Roydell. Alas, Roydell is about 15 yards downfield. (IN)
Drive Notes: FG, 13-10, 4Q 7:33. Well, enough plays to get to the edge of field goal range, and Bironas boots it through. I’ve never heard 55,000 become that silent that quickly.
I47 1 10 Strong I Run 1 White Iso
White finds a very little crease up the middle, but not much of one.
I46 2 9 Pass 3 Scaife
I43 3 6 Shotgun 4-WR Close Pass 11 Gage Out
Good conversion by Collins to Gage, except he does go out of bounds. (CA)
I32 1 10 I-Formation Run 0 Henry Counter
A counter with nowhere to go.
I32 2 10 Ace Pass 12 Roydell Comeback
PA, then another size and no separation pass. Alas, Roydell repeats Gage’s mistake from a couple plays ago and gets out of bounds. (CA)
I20 1 10 I-Formation Run 4 Henry Cut
A little bit of a cutback up the middle, and Henry gets a couple yards.
I16 2 6 Strong I Run 1 Henry Counter
I wondered at one point in the year where all the counter plays had gone. I guess they were saving them for Week 17. A pulling Bell is slow to get DE Thomas, I believe, and Henry has to get what he can, which isn’t much.
I15 3 5 3-WR Run 0 Henry Cut
Maybe it’s Collins’ handoff style, which I’ve forgotten, but this almost looks like another counter play from the handoff, which is my normal cue. Henry gets tripped up, reinforcing my opinion of him.
Drive Notes: FG, 16-10, 4Q 2:56. The offense does just enough, but never looks good.

There were 3 other kneeldowns I didn’t chart.

It’s interesting to compare what I did on this PBP breakdown with the thoughts I had right after attending the game. VY really impressed me on the replay-reasonably good decisions, and very efficient. I know, not the Colts as we normally think of them, but still at a level he didn’t seem to be at much of last year. The generally low degree of difficulty factor still applies, though.

I may update this with more thoughts later, but probably not.


Written by Tom Gower

August 3, 2008 at 01:02

Posted in Uncategorized

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