The Athletic’s Ted Nguyen posted on the bird app today that it seemed like the Los Angeles Rams kept running the same route combination over and over against the Seattle Seahawks with great success. Here is the thread:
Couldn't confirm without the film but the Rams really kept calling the same play over and over again last night and SEA could not stop it. I don't recall ever seeing a pass play called this many times in a NFL game. pic.twitter.com/W2GRNZtK3H— Ted Nguyen (@FB_FilmAnalysis) October 8, 2021
What’s going on in that play? Nguyen breaks it down in the first reply of the thread. Basically, there are three receivers to Matthew Stafford’s left, with one running a deep over diagonally through the defense from left to right (where all the linebackers would be) in front of the safeties, and then there’s a two-man combo on the edge. One eligible pass catcher does a short pivot while the outside wide receiver breaks a “skinny” over it.
It’s no surprise to folks who have watched Matthew Stafford carve up defenses with the Lions: it’s an improved version of the sucker-style combination that Stafford and Calvin Johnson worked for tons of yards under Scott Linehan. Instead of simply running a curl with a flattened in-breaking route over it, Rams coach Sean McVay added a deep crosser to really clear out the throwing lane underneath. The pivot keeps the underneath bait moving too, which gets extra spacing while accomplishing the same thing.
Exact same concept on both plays, just flipped from one side to the other. McVay calls it Swiss, but it’s a variation on the old double in/double dig, with the underneath guy stopping and pivoting out to draw the defense https://t.co/EU5XORPQ4E pic.twitter.com/AtdKJRuu31— Chris B. Brown (@smartfootball) October 8, 2021
Packaging it in bunch with the reverse breaks on other calls in the toolbox, McVay keeps the defense guessing; they can’t jump anything because they don’t know which receiver will run which route or which way the pivot and top of stem break will go. Just look at this:
You can see how much damage Woods did with that same “Swiss” skinny dig over and over, working on those spot drop LBs for Seattle https://t.co/Tjj2QD31W2— Chris B. Brown (@smartfootball) October 8, 2021
I have to confess that it’s frustrating to see the Rams hammering away with something we all knew Stafford was really good at when the Lions, for whatever reason, did not. It’s great to see Nine doing well in the NFC West, but it would have been even better if it had been in the NFC North with Detroit. Now, on to the rest of today’s Notes:
- Also from Thursday night’s game, it’s not even Stafford-related but cool enough that you should see it if you have not:
In #LARvsSEA, the punt was blocked and recovered by the kicking team. The punter kicks the ball again from behind the line of scrimmage. This is a legal kick and the result of the play was the ball was ruled down at the 11 yard line. pic.twitter.com/saAYrCKlzp— NFL Officiating (@NFLOfficiating) October 8, 2021
#Lions punter Jack Fox, like most of us, had no idea you could punt twice on a blocked punt.— Pride of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) October 8, 2021
- If it’s your thing, BetMGM is doing a sweepstakes for its customers who have accounts to win tickets and Lions-related swag.
- This week’s installment of Friday Night Lights from the team’s social media account feature high school football highlights from Amani Oruwariye.
- Mike O’Hara from the official team site and wide receiver Kalif Raymond joined Dannie Rogers on the latest episode of One Pridecast.
- The team’s official YouTube page also posted a fun interview by Dannie Rogers with linebacker Alex Anzalone talking about his Pennsylvania background, lacrosse, and parenting:
- ESPN’s Seth Walder used NextGenStats to estimate the difference between the yards pass catchers were expected to gain based on where they caught the ball and yards after catch and their actual yards gained. While most players high on the list are wide receivers, sneaking into the top 30 is a Detroit Lions running back: