sifting through the embers: Defense vs. Atlanta

>> 8.20.2009

I’m still experimenting with the best ways to deeply analyze Lions games, but, well, there are already games for me to analyze!  I’ve looked and looked and thought and thought and tried to come up with something AMAZING that’s never been done before,  but there’s only one way of analyzing games that really compels me: MGoBlog’s Upon Further Review.   Brian breaks down every single play, with down, distance, formations, etc.  So, with another round of apologies to him, I’m going to go ahead and rip it off.  Here we go:

F201-10I-FormBase 4-3PassDeep R (Henry)inc
The Falcons, aggravatingly, attempt to repeat their shock-and-awe approach from 2008.  Anthony Henry's right in Michael Jenkins's hip pocket, though, and this one falls incomplete.
F202-10Trips LeftBase NickelPassPenalty, offsides (Cohen)+5
A hard snap count draws Landon Cohen offsides.  Ryan throws it into the stands.
F252-5Single 3-WRBase 4-3RunIso R (penalty, offense)-2
The TE motions back to an offset fullback/H-back spot, and Turner runs behind him.  Cohen is sealed off with a double-team; Hunter drags Turner down from behind.  Jenkins is called for an away-from-the-play block in the back, though, and the ball moves back.
F222-8Single 3-WRBase NickelRunDraw (Hicks)+4
The alignment shows pass, and the draw's well-executed.  White is going for the sack, and Turner slides past him.  The defense closes up at the second level, though.  Lamarcus Hicks comes up and makes the play.
F263-4Single 3-WRBase NickelPassShort R (Sims)+7
Ryan takes a very quick drop, and fires it to Gonzalez on an out route.  As Sims wraps him up, T-Gonz stretches out for an extra yard.  First down.
F331-10Single 2-TEBase 4-3RunOff-tackle (Cohen, White)-1
The left TE screws up big time, releasing into the flat on a run play.  White comes in untouched, Cohen beats his man inside, and Hunter holds the edge.  Turner is stuffed just past the 31.
F312-11Trips LeftBase NickelPassNaked Bootleg+2
The offensive line run blocks to the right, but Cohen aggressively runs right-er, beating his man inside and getting a clear shot at Turner--only Turner doesn't have the ball; it's a play-action.  Ryan rolls left and underthrows Jenkins short.  Jenkins goes to the ground to get it, and Buchanon sticks him right there.
F333-9Single 3-WR GunBase NickelPassThrowawayinc
From the shotgun, Ryan has time, but nothing's open yet.  The DL gets a little push--especially White, who's beaten his man inside with a power rush.  Ryan slides left, buying time, but White spins and comes free. Ryan throws it away.  Great coverage.
First drive: 7 plays , 13 yards.  Cohen and White are looking great; Hunter's holding his own.  Hill's just taking up space.  Both corners are looking really sharp; not much out of the linebackers yet.
F231-10Single 2-TEBase 4-3RunIso R (Hicks)+3
Falcons get tricky by splitting FB Ovie Mughelli wide, then motioning him in.  After some communication, Henry stays outside, and Hicks follows the FB motion; he's now in an LB position.  Sims is lined up between Cohen and Hunter.  At the snap, Hicks blitzes, comes through clean, and gets Turner's ankles.  Foote helps cover up.
F262-7Single 3-WRBase NickelRunTrap R (Turner)+10
Hill is double-teamed by the right tackle and guard; he's neutralized.  Sims shoots the gap, but is taken out by the left guard, who pulled.  Hunter sheds the TE, but can't get Turner with one arm.  Pearson flies in and whiffs.  Hunter recovers and brings Turner down.
F361-10Single 2-TEBase 4-3PassShort L (Buchanon)+11
Roddy White motions into the slot, vacating the outside. At the snap he and the TE flare to to the sideline and hash, respectively.  Ryan hits White five yards downfield; Buchanon pops him right there.  White initially keeps his feet, then stumbles forward a few yards before falling out-of-bounds.  White got a little pressure.
F471-10Inv. WishboneBase 4-3RunSilliness-1
Offense lines up with what announcer calls "inverted wishbone", FB behind TE and RB.  TE motions to TE spot.  Lions send two; the Falcons pick them up, but leave DeWayne White untouched again.  Fake give to FB, then actual reverse to Roddy White.  DeWayne sniffs it out and nearly stuffs Roddy.  Roddy runs back to the 34 to escape, then turns it up.  Buchanon makes the stop around the original LoS.
F472-10Single 3-WRBase NickelPassShort R (Pearson)+6
Another quick dropback-and-throw; no blitz and no pressure.  Roddy White runs a 5-yard out from the slot; Pearson makes a GREAT open-field tackle.  Crappy spot gives the Falcons a free yard.
L483-4Single 3-WR GunBase 4-3PassMiddle Middle (Sims)+8
Lions flash blitz with Sims and Foote (?); Sims drops back at the snap.  Good protection; no pressure.  Ryan hits Finneran across the middle.  Sims sticks him there, but Finneran falls forward for another yard or so.  First down.
L401-10I-Form 2-TE4-4-3(?)RunTrap R (nobody)TD
Four down linemen, and either it's the base back seven or the 4 LB/1CB/2S alignment we'd heard about.  Hunter is set very wide, and is handled by the TE. The RT seals off Hill while the RG pulls.  The RG manages to block both linebackers, and Turner hits the hole cleanly.  Hicks whiffs, Pearson whiffs, off to the races, touchdown.
Second drive: Touchdown, 3-7, 7 plays, 77 yards.  Pearson is the hero once, but the goat twice.  Falcons are neutralizing pressure with 3-step drops.  Coverage still looks very good.  They're running at Hill, with trap blocks and great success.
F121-10I-Form 2-TEBase 4-3RunCounter L (penalty)-6
Ryan and Turner out, Redman and Norwood in.  Lions's ones still out on D.  Again with the FB split wide; this time he motions to his usual spot, leaving only Finneran at WR.  Sims is up between the DT and DE again.  Falcons' OL run-blocks right, except LT who releases to the second level, again allowing White in untouched--but this time, Mughelli makes the chip on White and slows him.  Cohen gets great penetration, and is held (and it's called).  Pearson gets there too, forcing Norwood to abadon the intended hole.  He bounces it out, where Buchanon drags him down.  GREAT execution, penetration, disruption, tackling, etc. after that horrifying lapse.
F61-16Offset I, 3 WRBase 4-3PassShort R (Peterson)+3
The RT and RG double-team Hill, and while both DEs get good initial burst, Turner's taken out by the running back.  White's speed move forces Redman to slide to his right, though. He hits WR Justin Peelle just shy of the original LoS; Peele's immediately hit and driven back by Julian Peterson.  An Illegal Shift penalty is called, but declined.
F92-13Single 3-WRBase 4-3PassShort M (King, Peterson)+7
Booker, lined up wide, motions into the slot behind Roddy White.  At the snap, Cohen and DeWayne White stunt, which pushes the pocket up a bit but Ryan just dumps it off to Booker underneath.  Eric King is the first of several Lions to pile on Booker.
F173-5Single 3-WR GunBase NickelPassShort Middle (Henry)+3
NOW we get a little Guntherball.  This appears to be straight man nickel against a three-wide Shotgun, but when the slot WR motions and the nickel corner (King) doesn't follow, Redman knows something's up.  At the snap, both Sims and King blitz up the same gap; Norwood takes out King, but Sims comes free.  Redman fires it to his hot route, Booker, but Henry immediately brings him down well shy of the marker.
Third drive: 3 plays, 5 yards.  This is exactly the kind of thing we want to see.  Relentless run- and pass-blitzing, hurrying the QB, stuffing the line.  It's worth remembering this was still the Lions' complete first unit, versus a mix of ones and twos for Atlanta.
L461-10I-form 2-TEBase 4-3PassNaked Bootleginc
Chris Redman in at QB.  Same naked bootleg as before; OL run-blocks left, double-teaming Cohen.  Play-action to Norwood; Redman rolls out. The TE releases from DeWayne, who streams for Redman, Redman wobbles a duck well short of . . . Robert Ferguson?  He's not on the ATL roster ATM . . . heh. 
L462-10Inv. WishboneBase 4-3RunDelay (Cohen, White)+2
Odd formation; camera doesn't cut to it until after the snap--but it looks like that three-back formation from earlier.  It's a draw to Norwood, who's essentially consumed by White and Cohen just after the line.  Legs keep churning for another yard-ish.
L443-82-back, 2-WR GunBase 4-3PassShort Middle (Roberson)+11
From a 2-back shotgun set, the Lions get good pressure.  Cohen pushed his man to the outside, while White went first outside, then spun in.  Hunter beat his man almost cleanly to force the throw.  Unfortunately Roddy White was wide open in the middle of the field.  Nice open-field bringdown by Roberson, though.  First down.
L331-104-WR bunchBase nickelRunToss Sweep (Henry)+3
Tricksy!  Initially, this appears to be a 5-WR set, but one of them is Norwood and the WR just outside the RT is a TE.  Norwood motions back to the tailback spot. At the snap, the TE tries to seal Hunter, and the RT pulls.  Hunter pushes the TE back enough to nearly make the play, but Norwood eludes him.  The pulling tackle murders Eric King; Anthony Henry pulls Norwood over the sideline before he can hit the corner--and paydirt. 
L302-7I-Form 2-TEBase 4-3(?)RunCounter L (Cohen, Pearson)+1
Tough to spot the alignment.  Peterson is up between Cohen and White.  All LB run to their gaps.  The FB picks up Peterson, Norwood hunts for daylight inside but runs into Cohen, who rips his damn hat off.  Pearson cleans up.
L283-6Single 4-WR GunBase NickelPassMiddle Middle (Pearson)inc
From the gun, Lions keep 4 DBs along the first-down line, then blitz everybody else.  Pearson comes through clean, Redman tries to hit the TE up the middle, but Henry (lined up at safety) is all over it.  Incomplete.
L284-6Field Goal  Field GoalFG
Fourth drive: 6 plays, 18 yards, FG, 3-10.  Cohen and White are really getting it done.  Hunter is again holding his own out there.  Hill still invisible.  Starting to see a pattern: bringing the heat on third down.  I like it.
F141-10Single 3-WRBase 4-3PassPen., 5 yds. (Avril)+5
Twos are in on D; Redman in at Q for ATL.  Cliff Avril, pumped to get out there, jumps way, WAY offsides.
F191-5Single 2-TEBase 4-3RunOff-Tackle (Levy, Roberson)+7
Falcons' OL run-blocks, I guess right?  Norwood takes it off-tackle left and finds a big hole between Avril and Smith.  Decent read-and-react by Levy, who comes from the right "A" gap all the way outside. First down.
F261-10I-Form 2-TEBase 4-3PassNaked Bootleg (Francis)inc
Here's that play-action naked bootleg again.  Avril gets good penetration, but Redman rolls away from him, Ikaika Alama-Francis (playing LE) sniffs it out all the way; Redman is forced to put it in the stands to avoid Five-O.
F262-10Single 3-WRBase Nickel(?)PassShort middle (Levy, King?)inc
Lions bring the nickel back (?) and mike (Levy?); drop Avril back into short zone.  Both blitzers come through clean; Redman gets rid of it, incomplete.
F263-102-back, 3-WR GunBase NickelPassShort L (Roberson)+3
Fantastic coverage.  Smith is double-teamed and goes nowhere, Avril gets a little heat, then chipped, but Redman goes through his whole progression and comes up empty.  He scoots up the middle, not wanting to run, finally dumps it off to Norwood for a couple.  Great stop.
Fifth drive:  5 plays, 12 yards.  Avril is fast, but overeager.  Smith looks good when single-teamed but not when doubled.  IAF showing a little something!  Coverage continues to be good.  Who are those guys back there?
F331-10Single, 2-TE, 2-WRBase NickelRunPower R (Avril)+3
D.J. Shockley & full twos in for ATL.  Initially WRs are bunched, then one motions to the other side, taking Roberson with him.  In the excitement over first handing off to Chris Snelling, and then faking a reverse, nobody remembered to block Cliff Avril.
F362-7Single, 3-WRBase NickelPassMiddle Middle (Levy)inc
Great protection by the Falcons. Smith is double-teamed, the TE stays on Darby, and the RB helps with IAF--Avril is the only DL without two bodies on him.  Shockley throws low to Weems along the hash--but the ball hits the turf first.
F363-72-RB, 3-WR GunBase NickelPassPen., 15 yds (Darby)+24
IAF is just a hair offsides, and gets called for it (though it’s declined).  Shockley hits Weems again; too much cushion by Roberson.  Roberson closes and brings him down with some (unknown) help.  Darby is flagged for a face mask, tacked on to the end of the play.  Gross.
L401-10Single, 2-TEBase 4-3PassPI (King), deep right+39
Horrifying.  The Lions send two blitzers, but it's a play-action.  Shockely's pass for Ferguson in the end zone is spot-on, but King's arm-barring, not-looking-for-the-ball, and elbow-to-the-face coverage thankfully breaks up the play.  Darby commits another stupid penalty, but that's obviously declined.  Spot it on the one.
L11-GGoal lineGoal lineRunBlast R (nobody)TD
The DTs actually hold the line, but Snelling follows his blocking and finds a seam.  Bad camera angle for picking out the culprit. Touchdown.
Sixth drive: 5 plays, 77 yards, Touchown, 10-23 Falcons.  Almost all of that was stupid penalties.  King not impressive.  Darby needs to knock that crap off.
F321-10I-Form, 2-TEBase 4-3PassMiddle R (Schweigert)Inc.
Quick drop.  Good protection at first.  Shockley pump-fakes, which gives Francis enough time to shed his block and put a hand in Shockley's face.  Stuart Schweigert jumps the route and breaks up the pass.
F322-10Single, 3-WRBase 4-3RunTrap R (Smith), Holding-10
Falcons pull the right guard and send him to lead the tailback between the left guard and tackle.  Lions LBs run upfield to help fill the gap, and Jennings cuts back.  Smith drags him down from behind.  Holding called on ATL.
F222-20I-Form, 2-TEBase 4-3PassShort Middle (Schweigert)inc
Darby and Avril stunt, and both get great penetration. Shockley is forced to pull down and run for daylight.  He sees Chandler Williams open down the seam, and fires one over his head.  After Williams jumps for it, Schweigert blows him up for good measure.  I'm digging the way Stu plays the game.
F223-204 WR Bunch GunBase NickelRunDraw (Roberson)+7
Nicely-executed draw; Jennings shows some wiggle, but Roberson brings him down well short of the marker.  Punt.
Seventh drive: 3 plays, -10 yards.  Good mix of coverage, pressure, and Shockley's inaccuracy makes this "drive" go backwards.  Critical victory at this juncture in the game.
F131-10I-Form, 2-TEBase 4-3RunIso R (Schweigert)-1
Schweigert comes right up to the line and run blitzes; incredibly he dodges the fullback and still wraps the tailback's ankles.  Loss of two (Schweigert informs the referee where he got him).  Stu is absolutely everywhere in this game.
F122-11Single, 3-WRBase NickelPassShort Rinc
On second-and long, the Lions bring what looks like everybody.  The pocket is pushed back, but Shockley still has a small bubble of protection.  He gets rid of it, again too high and too fast.  Incomplete.
F123-112-RB, 3-WR GunBase NickelPassMiddle L (Levy, Bing)+15
Argh.  Here's a familiar sight.  Destroing the offense on first and second down, then allow an easy completion.  Avril got great pressure (and face-masked, no call), but it wasn't enough to keep Shockley from shooting fish in a barrel.
F271-10I-form, 2-TEBase 4-3RunIso L (Schweigert)+2
The Falcons run to the left, but the fullback fails to open anything up.  Seeing daylight to the right, Jennings cuts back--but Stu Shwiegert was there, and dropped him in the open field.  Stu suggested a ball spot, but was ignored.
F292-8I -form, 2-TEBase 4-3RunTrap R (Robinson)+9
With everyone up on the line, it's hard to stop the run.  The Falcons run Jennings to the right, and a TE and the LG pull to help clear the way.  Jennings waltzes throught the back seven, until Ramezee Robinson caught up with him.
F381-10Offset I, 2 TEBase 4-3RunIso L (Darby, etc)+2
Darby, Smith, etc. do a good job of clogging the line.
F382-8Single, 3-WRBase 4-3RunPower L (Smith)+2
They tried running at Darby, but there was nothing there.  Jennings cut back and was EATEN by Shaun Smith.
F393-62-RB, 3-WR GunBase 4-3PassMiddle R (James)inc.
Shockley takes a 3-step drop and fires to Weems, who's running a short post.  The pass is high, and bounces off Weems's hands.  James was in decent position to make a play.  Punt.
Eighth drive: 8 plays, 26 yards.  Shockley's killing them with incompletions.  Smith seems to be great against single teams, but stuffed by doubles.  Schweigert is making a real case to make this roster.
F461-10I-Form, 2-TEBase 4-3RunIso R (Levy)+12
Shockley out, John Parker Wilson in.  Simple run to the right; Lions DL stuffs it at the line, and (I think, film problem) Levy comes around from behind and gets him.
F472-9I-Form, 3-WRBase 4-3PassRollout Short R (Schweigert)+11
Wilson does a play-action to the tailback running right, then rolls to his left and floats one to the FB, Verron Hayes.  Hayes rumbles for a first down, and is stopped by--who else?--Schweigert.
L421-10I-Form, 2-TEBase 4-3RunIso R (Robinson)+5
Ugh.  Lions run blitz every linebacker, but the tailback, Thomas Brown, follows his lead, and picks through the traffic.  Nearly the entire front seven had a crack at him and whiffed; Ramzee Robinson saves an even longer run.
L372-5I-Form, 2-TEBase 4-3RunPower R (Schweigert)0
Again, the Falcons try the caveman thing, and again, the Lions run-blitz the house, and again, Stu makes a play.
L373-5Single, 3-WR GunBase NickelPassShort L (Wynn)+7
Ugh.  We need this stop, but the DL gets no heat, and Wilson puts in where only Aaron Kelly can get it. Dexter Wynn has no chance of breaking it up--but does make sure to push Kelly out of bounds where he caught it.  Saving seconds will turn out to be a very, very, wise.
L301-10Quad Bunch(?)Base NickelRunStretch R+3
3 WR & 1 TE in a quad bunch?  Brown runs down the line behind a pulling guard, but the Lions sniff it out all the way.  Ramzee Robinson makes a nice open-field tackle to hold forward progress to a minimum.
L272-7I-Form, 2-TEBase 4-3PassShort R (James)+3
The tight ends release into the flat, and Wilson quickly zips one out to his right to avoid the blitz.  Will James makes the immediate open-field tackle.  This is a big third down.
L243-3Single, 3-WR GunBase 4-3RunFail (Schweigert, Kees)+1
Wow.  The Falcons try the handoff-to-tailback-and-fake-reverse thing, to no avail.  The Lions blitz 3, and--guess who--Stu Schweigert comes around and gets his ankles.  Kees comes in to mop up.
L234-3 Field Goal  Field GoalFG
Ninth drive: 8 plays, 31 yards, Field goal,  17-26.  Schweigert is going crazy, and Gunther's blitzing every down.  These announcers are seriously horrible.  The Falcons homerism is absurd.
F291-10Single, 3-WRBase NickelRunFail (Schweigert)-2
This is incredible.  Another run, another run blitz of Schweigert, and another loss of two.  Schweigert again helpfully points out the exact yard line where he feels he made the stop.  If he doesn't make the team, it's a crime.
F272-12Single, 4-WRBase 4-3RunToss Sweep R (Levy)-2
Okay, I guess the LT reported as eligible, and the guard snapped the ball, and the tailback motioned from a WR spot to his usual place . . . Long story short, they tossed it right, and Levy made a great open-field tackle.  Orien Harris BLEW UP his man, too. 
F253-142-RB 3-WR GunBase 4-3PassSack (Kees)-3
Folks, Gunther Cunningham has balls of steel.  Yes, I wrote that down right: 3-and-14, shotgun, 2 backs and 3 wideouts; Gun dials up his base defense and tells his DBs to back up a bit.  Incredibly, it pays off, as the 4-man rush gets to Wilson before the WRs can get open.  The Lions defense closes out the Falcons' offense with a sack.

So, what have we learned today?  First and foremost, The Lions stayed in a pretty vanilla alignment throughout.  As far as I could tell, we did not see the 3-3-5 nickel package, the 4-4-3 run defense, or anything else out of the ordinary—though keep in mind, I was going off the 720p TV feed, not the actual game film, so names/numbers are not always clear.

What we DID see a lot of was linebackers and safeties sneaking up—not just putting their “nose in the box”, but lining up on the defensive line, in between tackles and ends, bracketing ends, having two blitzers come through the same hole, etc.  Rumor has it that the number of blitz packages is well over forty; we probably saw five or six different blitzes out of the base 4-3 and base 4-2-5 nickel. 

For most of the first three quarters, Gunther avoided calling the blitz.  We saw it on a couple of crucial third downs, then a little more in the third quarter . . . then in the fourth quarter, the blitz was coming every single down.  As Atlanta was trying to go into a shell, put it in a cooler, and run out the clock with 2-TE sets, the Lions were bringing more and more run blitzers.  The more Atlanta tried to play it safe, the wilder Gun got in trying to disrupt them.  In the passing game, Atlanta used more max protect, too—TEs and RBs were staying in to block or chip, removing options for their quarterbacks and making life easier for the secondary.

The Lions won by a score of 27-26; the Falcons irrefutably scored 26 points.  However, that includes' Stafford’s pick-six and a mess of field goals.  The fact is that the Lions’ defense only allowed two touchdowns—and one of those was on a drive where the Lions committed 54 yards of penalties on a 77-yard drive!  As I’ve said, this is going to be a gambling, blitzing, feast-or-famine defense.  However, it looks like it might also be a good scoring defense—when it’s not shooting itself in the foot.  Lots of food for thought; a penny for yours?


Big Al,  August 21, 2009 at 12:12 PM  

I'd hate to know just how long it took you to do this, but you get kudos for even attempting such an endeavor. Especially with the Lions...

I doubt we'll really learn much about the new defensive scheme till game 3, when (I hope) all the starters will be playing. But I'm still not expecting much from the D this season.

Schwartz may have the greatest scheme on the planet, but you need players to make it work. The talent, save for the starting linebackers, just isn't there.

Neil,  August 21, 2009 at 12:51 PM  

UFRs are wonderful things. Brian's over at mgoblog have really given me more of an insight into the little things that make a play work or fall apart. I love - LOVE - that you're going to do the same thing with the Lions.

DetFan1979,  August 21, 2009 at 2:12 PM  

I wish I had the time...I tried to start doing this last preseason, but real life interfered. Kudos to you! As for my thoughts... I think there was a lot to like on defense, and also while those defensive players started the game, I'd be willing to bet there are at least 3 who will not be lining up as starters game 1 that were out there for that game.

So will that penny be mailed, or dropped by in person? (J/K)

Neil,  August 21, 2009 at 2:26 PM  

I remember in the wake of the game feeling like the secondary had played pretty well, that the line was adequate and that the linebackers really didn't do much. Your breakdown solidified a lot of those thoughts. It is a kind of bizarre inversion of what I expected things to look like, in that, going in, I figured the line and the secondary would struggle while the linebackers would have to heroically save the day.

I will also echo your comments about Schweigert. If he isn't in that game in the fourth quarter, the Lions probably don't win. I'm not sure how you keep a guy like that off your team. Right now, if we had to get by with Stu Schweigert as our third safety, well, I'm more than okay with that.

Jeremy,  August 21, 2009 at 2:33 PM  

Well done, my friend. I tried to do this last season vs the Colts, but couldn't make it past the first half of the offense.

Good to see that White is still playing consistantly well.

DrewsLions,  August 21, 2009 at 3:39 PM  

This is what I wanted to be able to do over at POD, but like everyone above... no time. Good analysis. Just curious... but how long DID it take you to do this?

BTW, who is Simms? I think you meant Chris Redman and mistakenly were thinking about Chris Simms.

Ty,  August 21, 2009 at 4:02 PM  


I'm not going to lie to you. It took a LONG time; I'd say probably 6-7 hours. Part of that, admittedly, was due to my never having done it before; I was working through it pretty well by the time I got to the fourth quarter. Part of it is also the pure, unbridled geekery of it all; I could have spent ten or fifteen minutes on each play, and tried to grade every player.

I'm starting to understand how these guys pull 90 hour weeks.


Ty,  August 21, 2009 at 4:10 PM  


I think what happened was that when I was watching it live at a friend's house, when Redman came in, one announcer mentioned something about Ernie SIMS, and then the other starting talking about how the new QB CHRIS came in, and I was just like "Oh, is he in Atlanta now?" . . . of course I 'know' he's on the Broncos, but somehow that just wormed into my brain. Good catch! I believe I've corrected it.


editstet,  August 21, 2009 at 4:43 PM  

Excellent post.

Anonymous,  August 21, 2009 at 7:59 PM  

Great job Ty - and I love the new look of the site. You are gaining a lot of respect, my friend. -Jumbotron

Anonymous,  August 21, 2009 at 9:40 PM  

Great post, I'm new to this site but I will bookmark it based on this post.

Mark,  August 22, 2009 at 9:59 AM  

Running trap-R killed the Lions. Any analysis as to why that worked so well?

Ty,  August 22, 2009 at 10:42 AM  

Editstet, Jumbotron, Anon--

Thanks! I really appreciate it. It's really illuminating goig through and doing it; I hope reading it is too.


Ty,  August 22, 2009 at 10:52 AM  


Yeah; they were attacking Sammie Hill. Pulling the guard in front of him, then sealing him off with the right tackle seemed to be really, really effective (they did it on the Turner run). Unfortunatey, Hill's just never seen a lot of the pulling, zone blocking, etc.; I think he's used to having to beat the guy (or guys) in front of him, period.

When they said he was a raw, developmental project . . . they were right. Size and athleticism or no, he's a long way off from being a consistent performer. According to a (IIRC) Detroit News article, this was not only the first NFL game he'd ever been in, it was the first NFL game he'd ever SEEN (live).


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