I had originally planned on looking at the Aaron-Rodgers-to-Davante-Adams touchdown that made the score 31-17 with a little less than 3 minutes remaining in the game. That play is a lot of fun to watch, but it turns out that it isn’t really all that interesting to talk about. So I went a little later in the game and decided to talk about Micah Hyde’s interception of Matt Stafford with 1:35 remaining in the game. The heart wants what it wants. The heart is also a lonely hunter, but that’s neither here nor there.

This is One Big Play. Let’s do this.

The two deep safeties on this play are Ha Ha Clinton-Dix [21] and Marwin Evans [25]. The way they start out, it looks like the Packers could be in Cover 2. A little before the snap, Clinton-Dix shifts more towards the middle of the field while Evans sneaks down, indicating to Matt Stafford [9] that the Packers are in Cover 1. What that means for Stafford is that he has Golden Tate [15] man-to-man with Micah Hyde [33] on the outside, with Hyde in press coverage. Hyde isn’t exactly known for his quickness and cover skills, so Stafford is likely confident that Tate will be able to beat Hyde at the line and get open on a go route to the end zone.

The only possible monkey in the wrench is Kentrell Brice [29] playing 5 yards off the line on Tate’s side of the field. If he wheels around and falls back into the deep zone on that side of the field, Stafford doesn’t have a throw.

At the snap, Stafford looks down the middle of the field, keeping an eye on Brice. When Brice doesn’t immediately run deep, Stafford knows for sure that he has Tate man-to-man with Hyde.

As Stafford looks, he sees that Hyde has good inside position on Tate and is slightly further up the field. Because of Hyde’s positioning, Stafford throws a back shoulder pass.

It’s not a great throw. It should be put further behind Tate, so he would be able to spin and catch it on the sideline. Instead, it’s throw too far inside and to the body of Tate. Hyde sticks with Tate, turns to see the ball and makes a huge interception.

Before I hop off, I’ll address one more thing about this play. Tate is hoping for a defensive pass interference flag on this play. While there is a decent amount of contact down the field – by both parties – I don’t believe a flag should have been thrown at the point of the catch. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s a poorly thrown pass. If Hyde hadn’t turned to look at the ball, a flag probably would have been thrown, as he would be impeding Tate’s path to the ball. Since Hyde turns to look at the pass, he has every bit as much of a right to the ball as Tate. Tate isn’t able to fight through Hyde, but that’s not Hyde’s problem: that’s the problem of a poor pass.

Long story short, if Hyde doesn’t turn, there is very likely a flag thrown on this pass. Since Hyde turns as the ball is arriving, no flag.


Album listened to: Anathallo – Floating World

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