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Thread: Week 5: Post Game Notes, Dolphins

  1. #61
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    San Antoino, TX
    Quote Originally Posted by kennethmw View Post
    Yes, we will disagree. it's goofy to not see that the lack of the vertical threat on the outside, enabled them to bring a safety down into the box, which affected both the run and passing game, including our screen game. But, hey, we generally don't agree on much. We're both probably pretty set in our ways!
    To say there is a "lack" of a deep threat is not really accurate, AJ is always a threat to go deep, and I believe that is always in the back of a defense's mind.

  2. #62
    Kenny is saying lack of a second vertical threat - means that coverage can, of course, be rolled to AJ without worrying about being stretched on the other side.

  3. #63
    Quote Originally Posted by membengal View Post
    Kenny is saying lack of a second vertical threat - means that coverage can, of course, be rolled to AJ without worrying about being stretched on the other side.
    There's no proof of that working. Green had six receptions for over 100 yards, including multiple grabs that resulted in 1st downs. There's also no proof that losing John Ross had much of an impact on Tyler Boyd who, if Dalton had more time to throw, would have had a TD reception and more targets. In fact, I just stumbled on a still photo of Boyd making a beautiful over the shoulder catch against the Dolphins....(wait for it)....double coverage.

    That said, when discussing changing coverages there's plenty of proof detailing how much the Bengals missed Tyler Eifert, an actual Pro Bowl worthy player who put intense pressure on linebackers and safeties. And they lost backup TE Tyler Kroft as well. More? I can't count the number of times I've read about how ineffective Joe Mixon was running the ball for three quarters of play. Yeah, I'm glad they stuck with it, but trying to get Joe Mixon going early in the game wasn't helping anyone. Finally, toss in some truly lousy pass blocking by Cordy Glenn and I can think of at least three things that impacted the Bengals passing offense far more than John Ross's missing decoy routes.

  4. #64
    Analyzing Third Down Improvement

    Joe Goodberry

    The Bengals employed their nickel package – but with only three down linemen and rookie Sam Hubbard lined up as a linebacker, with the rest of the defense in man-coverage – to match Miami’s 3-WR sets with tight end Mike Gesicki split wide out.

    A screen pass is a great call against man-coverage as most of the defensive players will have their backs to the quarterback and running back as the play develops. Hubbard, at linebacker, has responsibility to cover running back Kenyan Drake.
    Watch how quickly Hubbard diagnoses the play, slips through blocks and gets into the passing lane. He may not have actually touched the ball, but any receiver will tell you that all it takes is a hand waving into the path of the ball to cause the receiver to have to relocate the ball in flight. You can drop an easy pass in that split-second and that’s exactly what happened on this play. Hubbard provided the energy this defense needed at the moment and it became a theme of the game.
    Third and 15 – 5:18 remaining in the first quarter – Bengals’ ball on Miami’s 18

    The Bengals respond with an effortless drive of their own as Andy Dalton looks as sharp as he’s been all season. Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor is calling a good mix of runs and passes as the Bengals storm into the red zone without ever hitting a third down.

    A C.J. Uzomah holding call on first down left the Bengals still needing 15 yards on third down. Joe Mixon was split wide to the left and A.J. Green was in the slot left with a linebacker over him to indicate Miami was playing zone coverage. The Dolphins’ safeties split with Reshad Jones lined up over Green, showing that it’s quarters coverage with the boundary corners also deeper than normal.
    Green is now in an advantageous position and we know the coverage before the snap. Dalton is going to try to hit Green on the post as he gets behind the linebacker, crosses the face of Jones at safety and runs into the open area in the deep middle.
    Jones is eyeing Dalton as he hits the last step in his drop while maintaining inside position on Green. The linebacker over Green presses and rides him deep downfield, possibly illegally, and disrupts the receiver’s route and timing. Dalton releases the ball, Jones breaks for it and beats Green to the spot. The ball is tipped and intercepted. A good opening drive ends without points.
    I could see where this play would be downgraded on Dalton’s part because he was aggressive and pushed the ball into coverage despite having open options on the outside. Green was likely the only receiver that could’ve converted that distance, but maybe Dalton should have held the ball longer and waited for Green to regain his balance after being jammed. The middle of the field was open behind the middle linebacker and a half-second later could have yielded better results. For the record, I don’t have a problem with Dalton being aggressive here.
    Third and 7 – 3:04 remaining in the first quarter – Dolphins’ ball on their own 35

    Bengals cornerback William Jackson almost intercepted a pass on second down that could have put the first points on the board as he jumped a route intended for Jakeem Grant.
    Miami comes out on third down with the same personnel as last time with their tight end split wide to the right.

    You’ll notice that linebacker Nick Vigil followed the tight end to the boundary in coverage. The Bengals are in man coverage again on this third down and send a fifth rusher as Preston Brown blitzes from the right side.
    Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap apply pressure and collapse the pocket as Tannehill tries to test Vigil on a deep pass to his tight end. Tannehill is hit as he steps to the side and up into the pocket, affecting his accuracy. The ball is overthrown and Miami is punting again. The game is still tied at zero.
    Third and 5 – 0:12 remaining in the first quarter – Bengals’ ball on their own 39

    The Bengals come out in a 3-WR set with tight end Uzomah also split wide left. Alex Erickson comes in short motion as Miami’s defense is in man coverage and the focus, once again, goes to Green in the slot against rookie Minkah Fitzpatrick.

    Green is running an out route against press coverage. He takes an outside release, crosses the face of the rookie, fights through contact as he gets vertical, tries to get back outside as he expects the ball and continues to fight off contact. Green is delayed enough, again, that the ball falls incomplete and we’re all left looking for a flag that never comes.
    A flag does come on fourth down as Miami runs into the punter and gives the Bengals back the ball.
    Third and 9 – 13:44 remaining in the second quarter – Bengals’ ball on their own 45

    The Bengals, after a four-yard loss on a Mixon run, are once again in shotgun with four targets out wide. All three receivers are to Dalton’s left and Miami is showing blitz.
    Miami rotates from a single-high safety into a semi-cover-2 look as Dalton takes the snap. The linebacker that was showing blitz turns and runs back into coverage and the nickel corner rushes the passer instead.

    If it is a cover-2, Dalton is right to eye the middle of the field where Tyler Boyd is running from his slot position. The confusion comes from what the quarterback and receiver are seeing individually. Dalton sees an opening up the seam as long as Boyd keeps his route upfield as he beats the linebacker vertically. Boyd saw the safety in the middle of the field to start and then gets a linebacker running directly into his path. He decides to undercut the defender and flattens his route in an effort to get open quicker.
    The ball lands incomplete and the Bengals let Miami take the lead on the next drive.
    Third and 3 – 8:13 remaining in the second quarter – Dolphins’ ball on Cincinnati’s 38

    Miami’s offense is clicking as this is the 12th play of the drive. The Dolphins come out with the same personnel they have on each of the previous third downs and send a receiver in motion from left to right.

    That motion causes confusion as the Bengals are in man coverage and want to make sure the blitzing linebacker realizes the defensive formation is being flipped. The ball is snapped before things get ironed out and Tannehill gets it out quickly to the slot receiver.
    Remember this blitz and the pickup by Miami because we’ll see a similar situation when the Bengals have the ball later in the game.
    The play is the touchdown pass to Drake with Hardy Nickerson in coverage. Miami takes the lead 7-0.
    Third and 9 – 4:38 remaining in second quarter – Bengals’ ball on Miami’s 26

    A six-play drive gets the Bengals into scoring territory as the offense responds to Miami’s touchdown. This play comes right after the Bengals missed a touchdown opportunity as Boyd ran downfield alone on play-action. Dalton’s arm was hit as he tried to get Boyd the football and it landed incomplete.

    Miami’s defense shows a cover-2 look pre-snap and has its rushers walk around the line of scrimmage to disguise who’s coming and who’s dropping into coverage. It’s man coverage on the outside as the corners are in a trail technique and Dalton’s eyes are looking toward the middle of the field as he takes the snap.
    Dalton has a split-second window for Erickson coming across the middle, but the pass rush gets an initial push on the interior of the offensive line. The offensive line recovers but the push spooks Dalton and he realizes getting points here is more important than forcing another pass.
    The man coverage means the middle of the field is open for Dalton to run and he takes off for an awkward gain of seven yards. This sets up a field goal attempt for Randy Bullock that ultimately gets blocked.
    Note: Watch Trey Hopkins body slam his man. Whew.
    Third and 2 – 1:24 remaining in the second quarter – Dolphins’ ball on the Bengals’ 42

    The Dolphins are driving to add to their lead before halftime. A timely tackle by Vigil on second down puts Miami in a third-and-short situation. The Bengals try to show a cover-2 look before the snap before rotating into a man-free coverage, but Tannehill sees it and makes a pre-snap adjustment.

    Tannehill knows he wants to attack the Bengals’ linebackers in coverage once again with Drake running a wheel route to the right side. Brown is the one in coverage and he’s at a clear disadvantage as Drake breaks his route upfield and has room in front of him.
    The Bengals defense is saved by Hubbard as Tannehill releases. He times his jump and gets a hand on the ball before it passes the line of scrimmage. The pass falls incomplete and the Bengals keep the Dolphins out of field goal range.
    Third and 2 – 0:50 remaining in the second quarter – Bengals’ ball on their own 25

    The Bengals are trying to score before halftime and have a run-pass option (RPO) called on this third down.

    The RPO gives Dalton the ability to choose between an inside handoff or a screen pass to his right.
    Dalton sees before the snap he has three receivers and only two Dolphins defenders in that area. The screen pass to Boyd will be where he wants to go with it after the snap.
    Boyd should have enough space to easily convert this third down if Green and Erickson can get good blocks. Dalton takes the snap and quickly flips the ball out to Boyd. Green can’t secure his block and Fitzpatrick blows up the play, tackling Boyd for a loss.
    You’ll notice how I highlighted the potential running space for Mixon had the ball been handed to him. I only did that to show the opportunity, but this decision doesn’t happen during the play for the quarterback – the pass was decided upon before the snap based on the numbers advantage on the outside. The Bengals do give Dalton mesh-point options, but this doesn’t appear to be one.
    The following play is the punt return touchdown by Jakeem Grant to give the Dolphins the 14-0 lead before halftime.
    Note: Watch Trey Hopkins completely destroy Robert Quinn. Ouch.
    Third and 10 – 13:30 remaining in the third quarter – Bengals’ ball on their own 25

    Remember that blitz pickup I told you to remember from earlier? Now it’s the Bengals’ turn to execute a similar block.
    Miami walks eight defenders near the line of scrimmage and is showing blitz with off-coverage and likely a cover-3 look on the back half.

    The Bengals know they only have six blockers to pick up potentially seven rushers. The Bengals are forced to block inside-out with both linebackers in the A-gap. This means they’ll take the inside rushers first, the ones with the fastest paths to the quarterback, and if an extra rusher comes, it’ll have to be from the outside. The hope is Dalton will get rid of the ball before that free blitzer gets to him.
    Miami doesn’t send the two linebackers up the middle and drops one of them into coverage. Jerome Baker, the other linebacker, got a great jump, but center Trey Hopkins was preoccupied with Kiko Alonso (his man) dropping into coverage. Baker was supposed to be picked up by rookie Mark Walton, but the running back must have seen the development of the blitz and figured Hopkins would adjust to pick up Baker. Walton turns toward the outside and picks up the blitzer coming off the edge instead.
    Dalton is sacked as multiple receivers are open over the middle of the field.
    Note: Profootballfocus charged Walton with the sack on this play.
    Third and 7 – 8:09 remaining in the third quarter – Bengals’ ball on their own 28

    We’re back with the Bengals as they finally convert on a third down as the tide of the game starts to change.

    The Bengals are again going to Green from the slot against Fitzpatrick. It’s a simple vertical route up the seam and Dalton places it perfectly. Green does what he always does – makes the clutch catch.
    This was a key third-down conversion that sparked the offense to score its first points of the game.
    Third and 2 – 5:51 remaining in third quarter – Bengals’ ball on Miami’s 23

    The Bengals got weird here for the first time on third down. They have heavy personnel with three tight ends and the only receiver being Cody Core to the left. It’s third and two, so maybe they’re running the ball, but Walton is in the game instead of Mixon.

    Dalton is in shotgun with Walton to his left and he’s expecting man coverage. If he gets it, the tight ends crossing over the middle should tie-up the linebacker covering Walton long enough to get the ball into the flats to the rookie.
    I don’t know why he doesn’t throw it, but Dalton has eyes on Walton and turns to look back at the tight end coming across the field. He doesn’t have that much time to throw to the wide-open target as Miami has a stunt perfectly executed up the middle. Dalton goes down and puts Bullock in a long field goal situation. He converts and the Bengals now trail 17-3 late in the third.
    Third and 1 – 3:43 remaining in the third quarter – Dolphins’ ball on their own 34

    The Dolphins could play it safe with the lead late in the game and run on third and short, but instead they go for the deep shot in an effort to halt the Bengals’ momentum.

    Miami really tried to sell the run play. Watch how Tannehill motions in the receiver and tells him to block the edge. They’re really trying to get the linebackers to bite and leave the tight end open on the crossing route.
    The Bengals are in man coverage, and because of it they’re less likely to lose their men despite the play-fake. Safety Shawn Williams stays with the tight end across the field and Tannehill has no choice but to toss up a YOLO ball to Kenny Stills with Dre Kirkpatrick in coverage.
    The Bengals’ corner has contact as the ball comes back down to earth, but because he’s looking for the ball and tries to make a play on it, he isn’t called for pass interference.
    Third and 10 – 2:54 remaining in the third quarter – Bengals’ ball on their own 29

    Momentum is up for grabs as the Bengals’ defense has made the necessary adjustments to halt the Miami offense. Now Cincinnati needs a play on offense to ignite that side of the team.

    We’ve seen this before – the Bengals like to catch the defense napping and quick snap the ball for a big play when they desperately need one. The Dolphins have another stunt with a pass rusher looping back inside and it affects Dalton immediately.
    The quarterback bails to his right and Green sees it, cuts off his in-route and breaks back toward the sidelines. Dalton lays a perfect ball on the run and it’s the spark needed to get this offense going. The Bengals cap off this drive with a touchdown pass to Mixon. The Bengals make it 17-10.
    Last edited by Bengals1181; 10-10-2018 at 10:28 PM.

  5. #65
    Third and 16 – 13:29 remaining in the fourth quarter – Dolphins’ ball on their own 13

    A second-down sack by Atkins puts the Dolphins in a third-and-long situation and Paul Brown Stadium is rocking.

    The Bengals are covering everyone deep so Tannehill checks it down to Drake in an effort to make something happen. Jessie Bates and Vigil converge on the runner from each side so linebacker Brown just has to stay in the middle and make a tackle on third down. Drake gives a jab step toward the outside and Brown chases like a puppy. A huge missed tackle and the Dolphins convert on what felt like a “here we go again” moment.
    Note: Amazing effort by Drake on this play and it starts with a mean block on Carl Lawson. But the Dolphins’ momentum is stopped two plays later when Michael Johnson intercepts a tipped ball and returns it for a touchdown. The game is tied at 17.
    Third and 21 – 8:25 remaining in the fourth quarter – Dolpins’ ball on their own 32

    The Dolphins are once again in third and long thanks to the stiffening Bengals’ defense and their own penalties in crucial situations.

    A bad missed-tackle on the last third down has the Dolphins testing their luck again with Tannehill dumping it off to Drake on a screen pass. Hubbard this time chases down the running back from behind and makes a nice tackle before things get silly.
    The Bengals get the ball back with a chance to take the lead for the first time in the game.
    Third and Goal – 3:37 remaining in the fourth quarter – Bengals’ ball at the 2

    The Bengals were able to lean on Mixon when they needed him most. He had three carries for 50 yards on this drive, putting the team in position to take over the game with a touchdown late in the fourth.

    Green again is in the slot and the Bengals have a slant-vertical combo with him and Boyd. You typically see a slant-flat or slant-corner route combo here, but the Bengals had no intention of throwing to Boyd in this scenario and were using him to draw the attention of safety Jones inside.
    The play would have worked if Jones weren’t one of the best safeties in the NFL. He paid no attention to Boyd and locked eyes with Dalton instead, tipping the ball and forcing the Bengals into settling for a field goal lead – 20-17
    Third and 17 – 2:37 remaining in the fourth quarter – Dolphins ball on their own 18

    A false start and tackle-for-loss by Kirkpatrick put the Dolphins’ offense in a tough situation, down by three.

    With a single deep safety and the Bengals again going with man coverage from their corners, Tannehill holds onto the ball and rolls to his left as Dunlap applies pressure. Tannehill steps up and away from the pocket as he tries to launch a pass deep downfield.
    Dunlap, the Bengals’ clutch closer, shows up like Thor in Wakanda and fights through the right tackle’s grasp, bends the corner and attacks the football as Tannehill cocks his arm. A clean strip sack and the ball sails into the awaiting arms of Hubbard. The rookie wastes no time, hurdles Dunlap and races toward the end zone for six.
    Bengals take a 10-point lead – 27-17
    Third and 22 – 1:42 remains in the game – Dolphins’ ball on their own 35

    Any hope that remained with the Dolphins is erased as Bates picks off a deep ball down the middle of the field. His range and ball-tracking are on display as he comes down with the interception.

    What did the third downs tell us? They’re starting to rely on man coverage again, A.J. Green continues to be their go-to target despite Boyd’s breakout season and Hubbard creates energy and will capitalize on the rest of the defensive line creating chaos. Those are all things the Bengals will gladly take as they head into their toughest tests of the season.

    Clips in the link

  6. #66


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