Draft season is officially over, what the hell are we supposed to talk about now? OTAs and other miscellaneous summer football activities aren't particularly interesting to discuss, so let's rewind the clock to the 2016 season. Welcome to the first installment of Falcons Friday (copyrighting that), a series of film breakdowns covering explosive plays from last season.
First up is Julio Jones' 36 yard touchdown reception against the Seattle Seahawks in Week Six.
Lost in the catastrophe that was Super Bowl 51 is the fact that Kyle Shanahan was absolutely brilliant for the Falcons last season. Through personnel groupings, motions, and the actual playcalls the Falcons were able to light up defenses nearly every week during the season.
The Falcons are in 13 personnel which means they have one running back and three tight ends on the field to pair with Julio Jones.
Matt Ryan initiates the eventual coverage bust by Seattle by sending Austin Hooper in motion across the field. This draws Richard Sherman away from Julio Jones and locks Sherman in one on one coverage against the rookie tight end.
The Falcons are running a "Flood" concept on this play. They're trying to get one receiver in the short portion of the field, intermediate, and deep. Austin Hooper is going to run a whip route, Julio Jones is running a wheel, and Jacob Tamme is running a corner route.
There are two ways that Seattle could have played this: pattern match and play man coverage based on the motion or stay in their standard Cover 3 rules.
If they had played their pattern match rules and locked on in man coverage to Austin Hooper and Julio Jones, here's what it would look like.
Sherman takes Hooper, strong safety takes Julio, and Earl Thomas would provide support over the top.
If they had played their normal Cover 3 rules it would look like this:
Sherman would patrol his deep third, the strong safety would take the flat, and Earl Thomas would stay over the top.
Instead, the Seahawks got trapped in a coverage that was a mix of both. Sherman locked on to man coverage after the motion, but the strong safety stayed true to his Cover 3 responsibilities by working towards the flat. This is where Tamme running the corner route comes into play.
Tamme's vertical stem holds Earl Thomas just long enough to help him from cleaning up the coverage bust between Richard Sherman and the strong safety. Sherman is in man coverage on Hooper and the safety is in zone coverage on...no one. Julio runs right past the safety where he's wide open deep for a touchdown.
Here's the play one more time.
If you have any suggestions for plays you'd like to see broken down leave them in the comment section. I'll be doing this every Friday until training camp starts as a way to kill the time.