I hope you are enjoying this series. Please let me know if there is anything you would like me to change in the future or if there is a specific play you would like to see get a similar breakdown. (Also title is funny because it will delete it if I say what route the X is running. I am now scared to write it here lol…Post)
I chose this breakdown for multiple reasons. Early in my football life (playing madden and middle school ball) I never really liked this reverse motion. The line could never really hold up for how long it took for the play to develop and the QB would get blasted before he could release the ball. I grew to love it in college as a way to keep teams honest and catch players out of position, as well as get to use a speed guy possibly off the bench to show a unique look the other team would have to specifically prepare for (i.e. spending time in practice on multiple POSSIBLE plays we may run if a certain player is in). But I really grew to love it when we incorporated the Bengal concept at the end. I love the meta-game in football and think only a few things can come close to the adaptation and this is one of the coolest ways to see it.
I also noticed that teams are running this
Pass 96 Split Zone Fake Reverse Left X post U Sail Marvin Hall TD + Pass 96 Split Zone Fake Reverse Right Bengal Jarvis Landry TD vs Falcons
Lots of teams are running this Fake Reverse motion on both run plays and pass plays. Lots of teams are running bunch (3 wrs stacked..often next to the offensive line) or just close formations. This makes the distance covered no that bad for a wr to complete the fake. Teams run this fake with the purpose of holding the safety and catching defensive backs with their eyes in the backfield.
This play is designed to get Marvin Hall, WR near the bottom of the picture, a 1:1 matchup with the DB. The falcons will use the reverse motion, 96 zone action by the line, and the split block backside by the TE all with the focus of trying to get the circled safeties eyes in the backfield. Once he is held then it can give Marvin Hall the opportunity to use his speed. Also the TE on the near side will run a Sail route which is a Deep Out. This is to get the near safety’s attention as well.
The action works. The Safety they are trying to hold takes 2 steps up chasing the reverse. He cant recover and help over the top.
Marvin hall has inside leverage and its a foot race. He ran a 4.28 at his pro-day and has the speed to beat nearly anyone on this route. Looking at the next picture you can see how he is able to eat up yards on his corner
This is a perfectly executed play. The Safety got caught peeking into the backfield on motion that is often just window dressing. It is very rare that the ball is handed off on this deep reverse action especially with this 96 zone action by the line. With that being said this is week 6 and as the meta-game develops over the season im sure more teams will be handing this ball off to the reverse. There are other wrinkles that people can add on and they happened in this very game! One of my favorite college plays ever is next
This is the original play I wanted to diagram. It just goes so much better as a second play to showcase what the original motion looks like. After seeing the end around reverse motion across the league and even in this very game the Dolphins run a super cool play that layers on top of what the whole league is doing.
Formationally the Dolphins are able to showcase they have a man coverage in Slot (the 2 WRs to the left of the formation). Instead of putting a Will over the top or rotating the safeties down to the receivers the Falcons go Corners Over (both corners on 1 side of the ball). The dolphins will run a fake end around reverse but have tagged it with a BENGAL call (this is what my team called it because we stole it from the Bengals…shout outs to my buddy who reminded me). This Bengal Call tells the Reverse motion to pivot and run back to where he was. The hope is that the man in motion will lose you in the all the junk and assume you are running the end around.
On the motion you can see the corners switch. He is even waving to the free safety that they could possibly switch again once the ball is snapped to have him come down on Landry. there is lots of waving and communication.
Landry pivots and is wide open. Corner over is trying to come back but is way too out of position. The corner that is covering the other WR on the over. The space Landry original vacated is wide open.
The unique split blocking scheme gives a flow to the right by the line but lets QB the opportunity to set up on a spot. The split TE that comes back across the formation is the key block as he is 1:1 with the edge rusher.
The play is a win before the ball is even snapped when they identify man coverage by defense. Any time you can make the game that involves 22 people a game of 1:1 it should be a win for the offense
Here are some other plays of this motion that I noticed just from watching RedZone on Sunday. The NFL is taking a liking to it and you can definitely see why. Now that the Bengal route is on film IDK how many teams can get away with it.