COACHING TAPE – WEEK 10 (11/11/08)

Editor’s Note: Welcome to a new blog here on This blog will include the raw notes taken by our own Greg Cosell as he prepares for the Matchup Show on ESPN by analyzing NFL coach’s tape. Greg is Senior Producer of the show, and he’s been a producer at NFL Films for over 20 years. 


  • Chiefs ran 60 offensive plays, but had the ball for only 25 minutes – A function of play breakdown: 44 called passes / 16 called runs
  • Chiefs excellent on third down: 7-14
  • Chiefs opening drive: 12 plays, 95 yards, TD
  • This was Rivera’s first game as DC: Big change he made was Cromartie did not start, Gordon started at RCB – Cromartie did play with the first unit as the game progressed, about midway through the Chiefs first series
  • Thigpen huge completion on 3rd + 11 from Chiefs 4 yard line on the opening series: Great timing and anticipation, plus touch and accuracy on 17 yard out route to Bowe; Bowe beat Cromartie, who came in at RCB in the nickel
  • Chiefs continued to make extensive use of “12” personnel, with both Gonzalez and Cottam – Also it’s clear that Thigpen is very comfortable in the shotgun, A significant part of Chiefs offense
  • Savage got the majority of rushes for the Chiefs, not Charles
  • Bradley 30 yard TD to end Chiefs opening drive: Chiefs “12” personnel with a 3×1 set, Bradley the “x” receiver split right to the boundary; Chargers base 3-4 personnel brought Weddle down into the box so it was single high safety with Hart favoring the 3 receiver side – CB Jammer opened up to the inside against Bradley, and then allowed Bradley to get outside of him; Jammer reading back to Thigpen clearly anticipated an intermediate throw because he stopped, Bradley ran by him and Thigpen laid it out perfectly
  • Thigpen is a very comfortable QB, Calm and composed, Does not play fast of hurry himself; Good sense of the timing and rhythm of the pass game, Gets the ball out quick, Aware and decisive – Compact delivery, Good not great arm, A short to intermediate passer
  • Chiefs second TD drive was 7 plays, 83 yards
  • Gonzalez primarily aligned in the slot in the Chiefs 2 TE personnel package, with Cottam the LOS TE – Chiefs significant use of 3×1 sets, with Cottam, Gonzalez and Bowe aligned on the same side; Bradley the weak side (“x”) WR on the other side, although there are sets in which Bowe is the “x”
  • Chargers defense still struggled with seam routes from the slot in their single high safety zone coverage schemes: Perfect example was Gonzalez 23 yards on Chiefs second quarter TD drive
  • Savage showed some quickness through the hole, but no real burst or acceleration; Plus he went down too easily, Can not break tackles at the point of attack – Can have some effectiveness for the Chiefs because of their extensive use of the shotgun; More seams, less congestion and fewer bodies
  • Charles carried on the first play of the second half, Could see the difference immediately: Quicker, more fluid, lateral agility and quickness
  • Chargers still played a high percentage of zone coverage schemes, Still felt they were soft in the secondary, They continued to allow free access and give receivers room to run their routes – In the second half, the Chargers played more press on the outside; It was part of zone schemes, but at least they challenged the routes
  • Chiefs 3 consecutive 3 and out series in the third quarter
  • Chiefs rarely played with 3 WRs; When they did, the third WR was rookie Franklin
  • Bowe 31 yards in the fourth quarter: Thigpen timing, touch and accuracy; Willingness to make a stick throw into a tight window in a critical part of the game, with Chiefs trailing 20-13
  • Thigpen excellent drive for a TD late in the fourth quarter, Got the ball with 3:00 left: Poised and composed, No sense of desperation
  • Overall, the Chargers defense did not generate consistent pressure on Thigpen; Chiefs OL a good job in pass protection – Thigpen also discouraged pressure because he was decisive with his reads and throws, Got the ball out quick
  • Thigpen in his 3 consecutive starts has thrown 102 passes: 82 of those throws (80%) have been out of the shotgun – Thigpen shotgun numbers: 55-82, 525 yards, 2 TD, 0 interceptions, 4 sacks



  • Vikings ran 71 offensive plays, and controlled the ball for 36 minutes
  • 220 of the Vikings 360 total yards came on the ground: Peterson 30-192
  • Vikings play breakdown: 40 called runs (not counting Frerotte kneel down at the end) / 30 called passes
  • Taylor 13 yard catch on 3rd + 7 on first TD drive: Taylor option route from offset position matched against LB Hawk; Packers high percentage man-to-man, Vikings anticipated the coverage, and attacked it
  • Peterson great balance and lateral agility; You forget watching him that he’s 6’1”, 217 pounds
  • Rice 3 yard TD to end first series: Packers doubled both slot receivers Wade and Shiancoe, and went pure man-to-man on outside receivers Berrian and Rice; Rice beat Williams on an in-breaking route, Used his big body to shield Williams
  • Frerotte’s first interception was a great job by Woodson undercutting Wade, playing to his safety help over the top – On the play, Peterson was split wide right and he ran by S Bigby on a go route; Frerotte initially looked to Peterson, but for some reason did not pull the trigger
  • You can attack the Packers LBs in the pass game with backs out of the backfield because they play man coverage concepts almost exclusively – Vikings had success doing that, particularly with Taylor
  • Peterson 10 yards on second quarter FG drive came with 3 TEs on the field, Dugan and Kleinsasser on the right with Dugan in the wing TE position; Zone run right with Dugan working across the formation to block the back side DE, Shiancoe “easy release” to the outside to remove LB Hawk from run support – Peterson cut it back to the left inside of Dugan’s block
  • Frerotte did not see things very well in this game, Uncertain and tentative in the pocket, Tended to hurry himself, A little frenetic and fast
  • Packers front four played with terrific energy and effort; The results may not have reflected that because of Peterson’s greatness, but they fought and scratched the entire game
  • Williams a great job undercutting Berrian on his interception at the end of the first half – Again, Frerotte not seeing things clearly trying to force balls into receivers who were not open
  • Taylor 47 yard TD catch in the third quarter: It was backup MLB Bishop’s first play after Barnett got hurt, Bishop had Taylor man-to-man in the coverage scheme; Taylor wasn’t the first option on the play, but he was open as an outlet for Frerotte
  • Vikings OL not a very athletic unit, A little slow; Not very good getting to the second level to block LBs
  • Collins 59 yard interception return TD: Vikings post / cross combination off play action, Collins read the crossing route by Shiancoe from his tight split – Great recognition and anticipation
  • MLB Bishop struggled with his recognition and gap discipline: A great example was Peterson’s 16 yard run in the third quarter
  • Peterson 25 yards in the fourth quarter came out of 3 TE personnel – The 3 TE package was a significant part of what the Vikings did in the run game
  • Vikings got the ball with 5:56 left in the fourth quarter trailing by 6; They stayed patient and gave the ball to Peterson – Peterson had 6 touches on the 7 play TD drive, including 2 receptions
  • Peterson 29 yard GW TD: Vikings 3 TE personnel with Dugan in the wing TE position on the right, the same side as Kleinsasser; Dugan crossed the formation to block the back side DE and remove Woodson from play side run support, Shiancoe “easy release” to remove back side S Collins from run support – MLB Bishop reacted to Dugan crossing the formation and stopped, which took him out of his gap responsibility; That got Peterson clean into the hole on the zone run
  • This was a Peterson game; He was the reason the Vikings put together the final TD drive – He is, without question, the best back in the NFL



  • Panthers only ran 57 offensive plays, and had the ball for just 23 minutes
  • Panthers only 219 total yards, 3-13 on third down conversions
  • Delhomme 7-27 for 72 yards, 1 TD, 4 interceptions; He was 0-9 in the second half
  • Kalil back at C, Otah back at RT
  • Hackett tough catch on 3rd + 10 on Panthers first TD drive, Shielded his body from CB Routt on out route – Excellent throw by Delhomme
  • Delhomme’s first interception was an underthrown go route to Smith, Asomugha was matched man-to-man and he ran with Smith although Smith had an opportunity to catch a perfectly thrown ball – Quick inside pressure prevented Delhomme from driving through the throw
  • Raiders LBs played downhill with abandon, They were attacking almost immediately after the snap – An aggressive, sell out approach against an offense whose foundation is the running game
  • Raiders aggressive approach was fueled by their willingness to match CB Asomugha man-to-man on Smith much of the game; Raiders clearly felt comfortable with that matchup, and the Panthers were not able to take advantage of it – Smith 1-9 the entire game
  • Raiders were also comfortable with CB Johnson in press man on Smith; That was the case on Delhomme’s second interception – Smith did run by Johnson late on his go route, but Delhomme threw the ball way too far to the inside and deep safety Baker made the interception
  • Raiders front seven looked quicker and faster than the Panthers OL – It was a mismatch that favored the Raiders
  • Williams 69 yard TD came out of “22” personnel versus 9 in the box, It was a zone run in which they got the front side running and the back side cut and seakled; Key block was made by LG Wharton on back side LB Williams – Missed tackles by safeties Baker and Eugene allowed it to be a TD, Should have been an 8 yard gain
  • Delhomme’s third interception was on TE Rosario, He did not run a good route against S Baker; Rosario did not attack vertically to threaten Baker’s deep area of responsibility, Instead he just ran across the field allowing Baker to undercut the route – Delhomme’s pass was a little behind Rosario, He fell away from the throw but he does that at times even on his good throws
  • Delhomme could not find the strike zone, He missed a number of throws in which his receiver was open, He overthrew badly a couple of big play opportunities down the field – Just one of those highly forgettable performances
  • Overall, the Panthers could not run the ball, or throw the ball; Their OL was overmatched in this game

Category: Fantasy Guru Daily


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