Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

12 Nov 2007

Strategic Keys to Week 10 Games

SI's Bucky Brooks takes a close look at some of the strategies that proved decisive in Week 10. Among other things, Brooks discusses Pittsburgh's ability to fake the blitz and drop eight into coverage, Green Bay's use of the shovel pass to slow down the pass rush, and Atlanta 's waiting until crunchtime to exploit a matchup edge. Good stuff.

Posted by: Sean McCormick on 12 Nov 2007

7 comments, Last at 13 Nov 2007, 1:53pm by David

Comments

1
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Mon, 11/12/2007 - 3:33pm

Not quite-the reason defenses are able to clamp down on VY's scrambling is because the Titans aren't able to threaten opposing teams vertically because their WRs can't get separate and VY seems to be late and/or inaccurate on almost every deep ball. This means you have 8 guys in a compressed amount of space, making it easier to react when he does scramble. As a fan, it's depressing to watch, because it's not a problem that could be solved the next week by making some minor scheme adjustments or changing the personnel around a little.

2
by John (not verified) :: Mon, 11/12/2007 - 7:00pm

NewsToTom,

That seems to be only part of the reason, IMO. I've seen plenty of instances in this season, where Vince has chosen NOT to take the open running lane, and instead tried to force a pass (often to his favorite target Bo Scaife).
IMO, what you said, combined with that Vince is doing all he can not to run, is the reason why opposing defenses are seemingly "clamping down" on VY scrambles.

A part of me wishes that Vince would go back to being first-year Vince, and just take the open running lane and not hesitate. But a part of me wants him to continue this so that he can develop as a passer.

3
by David Rhodes (not verified) :: Mon, 11/12/2007 - 7:34pm

I'm a huge Titans fan and yesterdays game felt lost by the first quarter and I hardly ever have given up on my team. I agree that the staff wants Vince to develop as a passer. This is a good Long Term goal. Fisher and Chow have the best intentions of building this team for the future. Having Haynesworth out obviously hurt our running defense. But it seemed that the Jags D hit harder and really stepped up their game. I know its a vague statement, but I saw a much more physical unit then in many of their previous games with my prospective team. That said, the Titans our still 6-3 and have a nice Monday night game to play against Denver. I look towards the match-up.

4
by sam (not verified) :: Mon, 11/12/2007 - 7:47pm

"Vince Young's reluctance to use his feet is making the Titans' offense easier to defend. He's not the dual threat that made him dangerous last season. Defenses are dropping as many as eight defenders into zone to suffocate the Titans' receivers and Young isn't making them pay by using his athleticism to pick up hidden yardage on QB draws or scrambles."

Yesterday, early in the game Vince Young ran for 13 yards on 3rd and 17. Whoever the color analyst was (whoever works with Kevin Harlan... I want to say Rich Gannon but I'm not sure that's correct) said, "This is exactly the kind of thing Jacksonville does NOT want to see Vince Young do today. They really need to stop these kinds of runs."

With all due respect to Mr. Analyst... I think the Jacksonville defense would have taken runs 4 yards short of the first down, where VY does not slide and therefore guys like Mike Pete and Reggie Nelson get to hit him as hard as they can... all damn day if they could.

5
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Tue, 11/13/2007 - 1:29pm

" Titans aren’t able to threaten opposing teams vertically because their WRs can’t get separate ..."

From what I've seen of Titans games this year (which is 3 or 4), their recievers have no problem getting open, especially Roydelle Williams. Vince Young is just horifically innacurate.

6
by Sunil (not verified) :: Tue, 11/13/2007 - 1:43pm

Gentlemen,
Patience, patience, patience.
Jeff Fisher's recruitment and coaching was much maligned in the off-season when he let T-Hen go. Now, with 20-20 hindsight, Fisher seems to have placed his bets correctly on his offensive line. And Big Fat LenDale is doing admirably well behind an underrated OL. So what's this got to do with VY's progress you ask?
Fisher and Norm Chow are slowly developing VY along. The trajectory is not quite the same as McNair's but I'm thinking that next year (VY's 3rd year) will mark the beginning of VY's career as a complete quarterback. Also, keep in mind that the receiving corps usually comes together in the 3rd year. I'm expecting next year to be much brighter than this year.That said, was I disheartened at the loss to JAX? Yes. But at the same time I saw flashes of VY's development that were heartening (which included not running off into open lanes for short gains).

7
by David (not verified) :: Tue, 11/13/2007 - 1:53pm

"Billick came to Baltimore as an offensive genius, but his reputation is taking a serious hit this season."

This season?