Today we look at three big plays, but I’ll breeze through the first one. My original intent with this column was to provide a bite-sized piece of film analysis for those who don’t feel like reading the larger, perhaps slightly intimidating Eye in the Sky column. By putting three plays here, I’m afraid I’m losing the plot a bit. I swear this isn’t a weekly occurrence, but when talking about a game like this, limiting this column to a single play seems a little unfair to the others. Because I am sure the plays themselves read this column and get their feelings hurt.

Packers are down 21-14 with 0:17 left in the game. 1st and goal from the 1. Packers hit the Browns with an RPO. Brett Hundley [7] has the option to hand the ball off to Jamaal Williams [30] or throw a quick pass. Hundley likes the man-to-man match-up to the left with Davante Adams [17] and Jason McCourty [30].

He rises up, takes a step and fires a perfect, back-shoulder bullet to Adams.

Adams takes a quick jab-step in, putting the idea of a slant into McCourty’s mind. He quickly reverses and heads into a fade. McCourty covers well, but Adams keeps selling the fade, keeping McCourty on his outside shoulder. At the last minute, Adams turns around and snags the back shoulder throw. Great route and great patience to not turn until he had to.

Let’s move to overtime. The Browns face 3rd and 2 at their own 33.

Josh Gordon [12] is matched up man-to-man with Damarious Randall [23]. The Browns only need 2 yards to keep this drive alive, so that’s the first read on this play. If Gordon can get a clean release off the line, Kizer will get this ball out of his hands quickly.

But Gordon can’t get a clean release. He tries to sell a route up the sideline but Randall doesn’t buy it. He cuts back in for the slant, but Randall gets a jam on him, delaying the release. Kizer actually checks Jake Ryan [47] in the middle of the field directly after the snap. Ryan isn’t dropping to his left, which means Kizer has a lane, but the longer he stares, the more time Ryan has to jump into that throwing lane.

Kizer hesitates. He could do a couple things here:
1. Throw the ball to Gordon and hope your man makes a play, or
2. Realize that route isn’t going to be open for long and move off of it quickly.

It would appear that his second read was Rashard Higgins [81] running a curl in the middle of the field. Morgan Burnett [42] has good coverage on Higgins, but if Kizer comes off of Gordon quickly and goes to Higgins, there’s a chance he’ll have him open out of the break.

On the left, the Browns have a bunch formation, with one man running a curl, while the two others are running a flat/wheel combo, with Isaiah Crowell [34] running the wheel route. The Packers only have two defenders to that side. Josh Hawkins [28] jumps the curl route while Josh Jones [27] runs in the flat. The only problem is that Blake Martinez [50] is dropping wide to pick up the curl, leaving the curl double covered while Crowell runs free up the sideline.

Thankfully, Kizer doesn’t have time to come back to that side of the field.

Clay Matthews [52] drives Shon Coleman [72] directly back into Kizer before Kizer can fully move off Gordon. Jake Ryan [47] comes from his drop to support and Mike Daniels [76] swims to the outside to cut off Kizer’s path.

The pressure forces Kizer to reverse field. I’m unclear who he is attempting to throw to. I had originally thought he was looking for Higgins in the middle, but I think he’s trying to get this to Crowell on the outside. Crowell is wide open, but Kizer is falling backwards and throwing across his body as he releases this ball. Matthews hits Kizer’s elbow on releasing, forcing the ball to sail into the middle. Even if Matthews hadn’t made this play, it seems doubtful that Kizer would have been able to make this throw.

But I guess we’ll never know. Thank you, Clay Matthews.

Lastly, the game-winning, walk-off touchdown in overtime. Two weeks in a row, man. My heart can’t take this every week.

3rd and 6. The Packers are already in field goal range, if not exactly chip-shot range. A few more yards would make a big difference. Of course, 25 yards would make an even bigger difference.

Davante Adams [17] goes in motion before the snap, signaling man coverage. The Browns have one safety, positioned 20 yards deep. Provided none of the linebackers in the middle are dropping wide, there’s a three-on-three situation to the left.

No one drops, so it’s three-on-three. Adams runs underneath Randall Cobb [18] and Jordy Nelson [87] and catches the quick pass from Brett Hundley [7]. Cobb blocks Jason McCourty [30] on the outside and Nelson blocks Jamar Taylor [21] on the inside. That creates a nice little lane and Adams hits it.

Mike Jordan [41] is the third man, and he sits back to watch the play unfold. When Adams hits the lane, Jordan reacts.

Myles Garrett [95] jumps out from his spot on the line to try to tackle Adams. Garrett reaches out to grab Adams, causing Adams to spin away.

Jordan had Adams lined up, but that spin throws him off. It propels Adams to the outside shoulder of Jordan and he can’t recover.

From there, it’s up to Kai Nacua [43] from his deep safety spot. Like Jordan, he is running to where Adams was before the spin. Adams goes outside when both Jordan and Nacua went inside, and that was that.

Good playcall, good throw, good blocking and a tremendous individual effort from Adams.


Album listened to: Jeremy Enigk – Ghosts

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