Cool Play of the Week (6): Big West Left 97 Power King Derrick Henry 72yd TD
This time I am back in the run game diagramming one of my favorite plays, in my favorite personnel grouping. The Titans (Flaming Thumbtacks as I have been told by the mods) utilize the extra lineman more than any team I’ve seen this year. sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. On this specific play it does exactly what they want, get someone at the point of attack in a 1:1 matchup that is normally in favor of the defense (Defensive End vs TE) and reverse it to your favor. Also formationally and situationally the play is unique because they only need 5 yards to win the game, and give the RB 2 reads, right up the gut or outside. Let me know what you think about the play and I hope you enjoy it.
You will hear “71 has reported as eligible” about 20 times throughout the game when Tennessee plays. It creates great match ups at the point of attack. It helps especially in the max protect game/7 man protections have an extra experienced blocker in. It is a unique tactic that gives a lot away personnel wise but it also puts you in a position to win more 1:1 matchups.
Here the Colts are trying to get the ball back. It’s 3rd and 5 with a little over a minute left so they could possibly get the ball back with around 20 seconds left if they stop them here (no timeouts). They have numbers in the box based on sheer personnel so they put safety help over the top of the lone WR to force the titans to run. IMO this is their first mistake, you pay Davis to win this matchup vs Decker, let him earn it. They then have an extra man, the JACK, in the 4-4. He is holding the edge defense in case Mariota pulls the ball. IMO this is bad formationally because Mariota was hobbled all night. Better to give up edge and have another guy at second level.
Power King is a Gap Scheme play. This means there are double teams where applicable. In Gap Scheme play side double teams go:
Ace: C+pG (to WILL) Deuce: pG+pT (to WILL) Trey: pT+TE1 (to WILL) Quad: TE1+TE2 (to MIKE) Super Quad: TE2+TE3 (to MIKE)
Based on where the defense lines up in the gaps, determines which lineman have the double teams.
In Gap Scheme the First double team always go to -1 the MIKE Point (identify who the center of the defense on every play), also known as the WILL. Both lineman take a backside step (in this case right foot first, play is going left) and then drive directly into the down lineman. All 4 eye of the double team are on the WILL while they move the DL vertical, or a gap minus. Guard has to have his eyes inside in case of run through or Slant across by DL.
On power king there is always a second double team outside. in regular power king this is between the TE 1 and the TE 2. But because the FB which is normally on power king is moved up to the line then the TE2 and TE 3 perform a Super Quad on Edge defender (SAM) to the MIKE
Puller has their responsibility play-side and their on Power King their aiming point is the second double team. In this case it will be a long Pull because there is a Super Quad. This is a unique play because it makes the running back have 2 choices on the play, the initial gap of play side A gap (right down the centers left butt cheek) or follow the puller to glory. it always starts playside A because sometimes the double team washes the DL so far down that it becomes wide open.
The hardest job against this defense is that the bT has to cover the B gap (his inside gap) where the Guard vacated, and the edge from making the play as it develops. Thankfully the JACK isn’t doing much as he just is containing the “sucker Pull” (tag on a play to let qb know he can pull and run bootleg. But technically the tackle needs to hunker down and control the B gap, AND block the end. The DE and JACK should probably be ashamed of themselves on this. The Center would normally come all the way back on end but because there is an extra player on the field he has to block the nose in his backside A gap.
WILL is expecting the run up the gut so he blitzes the gap. He was likely on a run blitz. I would rather have him stay stationary and scrape where needed. By running through you can hopefully make a TFL if the guard doesn’t see run through. Here he did, executed perfectly giving henry time to follow puller patiently.
The major unseen part of the play is the extra OL does his job. At TE1 he is able to gap block enough to make sure playside is sturdy and the puller can go around. Often the TE1 is at a mismatch on the 1:1 block and can knock the puller off his track.
Super Quad does a great job of being patient and influencing same to commit inside. They are then able to work him up field and get just enough on the MIKE to bow backwards and help Henry get the 5 yards needed to win the game.
Guard absolutely destroys the SUP. He is really good in space uses his speed to his advantage and is able to adjust to the fill the SUP does. Lots of times pullers get scared of being in space vs faster guys but always leverage your track and momentum to influence them.
The Super Quad does a good job stopping the SAM from penetrating the line and giving enough to bow the MIKE. They did enough to win the game.
If you remember the Free Safety being stacked over the lone WR, he is way too out of position to have any impact in stopping the RB from getting 5 yards let alone the inevitable touchdown. His angle is also rough as just one cut by Henry makes him look silly.
Formationally they were set up for greatness. But the key here is 2 personnel decisions. Having a running QB who can be a threat to pull it to hold a defender, and subbing the Extra OL in to win the 1:1 matchup at the point of attack.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. Let me know any ways you want me to get better and if there is something you would like looked at.