Breaking Down the Touchdowns In Kansas City
Moments into the play, you can see this all developing. Church has moved up because it looks like Avery is headed to the post and also he is aware of Charles underneath. On the near side, the tight ends have taken Durant and Lee outside their normal drop landmarks as they have now headed towards Carr in following the players in their zone. But, Bruce Carter is right where you want him, between the hash marks and able to handle Charles or Bowe who is headed right at Carter from the far right.
The frame below shows that Lee has now committed to Fasano who is at the goal-line. So has Allen. And, now unfortunately, you see, so has Bruce Carter. In the picture above, you saw Carter in his perfect spot against such a play. Now, you see him with his hips and body turned towards Fasano behind him. How did this happen?
In the video below, you will see that Alex Smith moved Carter out of the way. It was a subtle shoulder fake from the QB, but Carter bit. And now, Bowe runs underneath to the hole in the zone that is huge – and right where Carter used to be.
Below is a circled Carter who is now on the grass as he has lost his footing trying to get back to Bowe. This is a good lesson in zone defense. When you play zone, you are often looking at the QB and watching your zone in the periphery. But, a QB can manipulate you because he knows this is how you are defending him. Then, as a zone player is trying to hand off his man to the next man over, you can send someone in the opposite direction to beat the zone.
This zone beater is based completely in convincing the defense that you are going to those tight ends in at the goal-line. The defense is so convinced that they have 5 defenders on 2 Tight Ends (and neither is Tony Gonzalez or Antonio Gates) and have forgotten that the biggest weapon is running free in the middle of your zone.
End Zone view. I hope you can see it. Smith shows his back numbers to Carter which indicates a throw to the sideline. Aggressive linebackers know that this means pursuit! He takes a few false steps and then sees Bowe running in the opposite direction. From here, I am merely speculating which word Carter then said as he knew he was a victim. Touchdown Chiefs.
Play #2 – 3/Goal/1 – Romo hits Bryant in the back of the end-zone for a Touchdown
This play is a good play to look at that demonstrates how dangerous Tony Romo can be if you give him time. I know that many teams will not blitz like Kansas City, and that even the Chiefs did not seem to play on blitzing him all day – until they were burned too many times when they did not bring pressure.
Remember, this is 3rd and Goal from the 1. You could make the case that this is a great time to show you can run the ball for a yard, right? Just kidding. In today’s NFL and in Garrett’s system, this means shotgun – 11 personnel!
Here we go, Harris wide left, Witten tight (and drawing the entire Chiefs defense), then Austin slot-right and Bryant wide-right. They say that things happen quicker near the end-zone, and I think this proves that pretty well.
Based on video below, I think the frame below captures the order of Romo’s progression. It has to happen quickly, but he looks wide left first, then to Witten. I am putting numbers to demonstrate his progression, but it is highly likely that he is bluffing on Harris. Whether he would ever throw a fade to Harris on 3rd down at the 1 yard line is debatable, but I suggest it is just as likely that he is trying to pull some of the attention off Witten by this bluff. But, Kansas City, in dime, has a corner and safety (Eric Berry) over Harris and Quintin Demps and Derrick Johnson right on top of Witten the entire time.
No shock here, on a 1-yard play, Romo would really like to free up Witten right over the goal-line. Lucky for the Chiefs, they have watched football before and aren’t falling for the fake out to Harris.
So, as this play is developing, we see that the Chiefs have “3 over 2” on Romo’s right with Austin and Bryant. With safety Kendrick Lewis asked to sort out the “more dangerous threat” and respond accordingly. He decides on Austin right over the line of scrimmage and trusts that Brandon Flowers has Dez on his own.
The trouble here for the Chiefs happens because Flowers assumes that Lewis is going to help him with this beast he is trying to cover and therefore takes outside leverage. And, as you can see on the frame below, Dez has an inside advantage and there are no other KC defenders anywhere near the back of the end-zone.
It is possible that Romo was sitting on this the whole time, but it doesn’t look that way. It looks like he diagnosed coverage on the fly – something he is very good at doing. But, also something he can only do if he has time. And on this occasion, the Chiefs only rush 3 and drop 8.
Here is the end-zone view. Look at Romo’s time and his head position where he is reading on the fly. Also, note that the LB Justin Houston almost got a piece of this ball. One other thing to observe is that Dontari Poe threw Travis Frederick to the ground (again). Lucky Ronald Leary was there to clean up the mess. To call Sunday a learning experience for Frederick is an understatement. Fortunately, there are very few Poe’s kicking around the NFL.