One of these days the Packers will win a game, and I’ll be able to look at a play that helped them seal that win. But, until then, join me as I peer into the darkness.


On the first play of the 4th quarter, James Starks caught a pass out of the flat and rumbled 31 yards for a touchdown, cutting Washington’s lead to 5 points. I quietly pumped my fist – careful not to wake the baby sleeping in the next room – in celebration and started to talk myself into a win. The Packers passing game was rolling. “All the defense needs is a stop,” I told myself.

Just two plays later, Pierre Garcon [88] caught a 70 yard touchdown pass, and that’s when I could feel the dream actually die. With this, the Packers lost the game and any reasonable shot at the playoffs.

So let’s see what happened.

Garcon starts as the wide receiver off the left side of the line. Ladarius Gunter [36] is across the line in outside technique.

The Packers are in Quarters coverage; essentially, each deep man takes care of a quarter of the field.  You can see how these routes of the Redskins are able to exploit that coverage. Think of the outer shell of the defense as all playing the safety position: Gunter has right-outer portion, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix [21] has the right-inner portion, Morgan Burnett [42] has the left-inner portion, and Quinten Rollins [24] has the left-outer portion.

On either side of Washington’s line, they have tight ends running up the field and veering to the right. Watch Clinton-Dix and Burnett in the middle of the field. These routes force both of them to step up to take away those receivers, allowing Garcon a free run to the post. This is a play designed to beat Quarters coverage, and it worked to perfection. By pulling up the two safeties in the middle, all that needs to happen is for Garcon to beat his man. Which he does with relative ease.

It doesn’t help that both Clinton-Dix and Burnett are so close to the line. To make this read, Kirk Cousins [8] really only needs to look down the middle of the field. If Clinton-Dix and Burnett take their initial step towards the line, Cousins knows he’ll have this throw open.

Albums listened to: Tobias Jesso, Jr. – Goon