(Note: As with last week, during the season, this feature will be done with the help of the All-22 film provided by the NFL Game Pass app. However, for some reason, the All-22 film wasn’t available for this game, so it was done using broadcast footage. I’ll do my best to make it work.)
As fans of the Kansas City Chiefs, we are not used to seeing long pass plays. I say this as the President of the Alex Smith Fan Club, mind you. It just is what it is. Most of us have grown accustomed to Andy Reid’s version of the WCO I like to refer to as the Mid-West Coast Offense. Anyways, during the exhibition matchup between the Chiefs and the Chicago Bears on Saturday, we were treated to a 58-yard bomb from second string quarterback Nick Foles to rookie wide receiver Tyreek Hill. While it wasn’t as pretty as it could have been–and alas, it didn’t result in a touchdown–I’ve decided to breakdown that play this week. (If the Chiefs would stop moving the ball to the one-yard line and then scoring touchdowns with boring old up-the-middle runs, I’d start covering more touchdowns.)
As you can see, the formation starts in a four-wide set with running back Darrin Reaves in the back field to provide protection. The down and distance was third and 20, so the Bears were expecting either delayed hand off or a deep pass, which makes it all that more funny that Foles actually completed the pass.
Ok, there’s a lot going on during this play, so please let me help you understand what is happening.
First, I’m not sure who the receiver split out to the far right is. The broadcast footage that is available doesn’t give me a clear look at his number. But it doesn’t really matter, because of all 11 offensive players on the field, he does the least amount during this play. All he is doing is running a fly rout down the right sideline.
Hill is lined up just inside the far-right receiver. He runs a fly route as well, but we’ll keep our eyes on him since the play is going to him.
Tight End James O’Shaughnessy is lined up on the line of scrimmage. He is in a bump-and-run formation. His first motion off the line after the ball is snapped is to put a hit on linebacker Sam Acho who is coming for Foles. This hit slows Acho down just enough, but O’Shaughnessy doesn’t hold his block. Instead, he leaks out to the flat to provide a check down option for Foles, should he need it.
On the left side of the line, newly acquired receiver–and a guy many think could make a difference in the receiving game this year–Rod Streater is lined up. His job is very similar to O’Shaughnessy’s. Prior to going into his route, he puts a quick hit on linebacker Willie Young, to delay him long enough for another offensive lineman to pick him up. Once he’s done that, he runs a ten-yard curl route to provide an intermediate option for Foles in case his deep options or check downs are covered.
Finally, running back Darrin Reaves moves up from his position next to Foles, helps out with pass protection and then leaks to the nearside flat once he’s no longer useful.
At this point, the protection scheme worked exactly like it was supposed to. In fact, you probably won’t find a cleaner pocket from the Chiefs’ offensive line all season. Like seriously, when you look up “clean pocket” on the dictionary, there’s this picture next to it. It’s crazy.
Ok, I digress. At this point, Foles picks Hill as his target of choice. Again, because we don’t have the multiple camera angles, it’s difficult to tell what Foles’ progression was, be obviously thought Hill was his best option.
As you can see, Hill is bracketed by two players, cornerbacks Jacoby Glenn and Deiondre’ Hall. This probably wasn’t the best choice for receivers, but it worked out. Foles under threw Hill, who began to slow down. That seems to be one of his best qualities besides his speed, is being able to track the ball in the air better than most.
As Hill slowed down, Hall ran through him and probably should have been flagged for pass interference, but, you know, it’s preseason for the officials too, I guess. Regardless, Hill didn’t break his concentration one time, despite the fact that he was nearly tackled on the play.
Moving back towards the ball, Hill was able to make the catch, completely with his hands, and not let it touch the ground. All in all, it was an absolutely fantastic catch. Let’s watch the whole play.
I truly look forward to watch what this kid can do in a real game, in real situations and with time to develop. Oh yeah, and there will only be one more preseason edition of this until the real thing. We’re almost there, guys!
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