After re-watching the Washington Redskins pound the former #1 rushing defense in the NFL for 153 yards on Sunday, I came away incredibly impressed with the overall effort by every player on the field in the running game. This offensive line is jelling, the wide receivers and tight ends have bought into the dirty work that take this aspect of the game to the next level, and of course, Mike Shanahan has unearthed an absolute gem of a running back that runs equally as intelligently as he does physically and elusively. Nothing displayed the total effort of everyone on the field more than Alfred Morris’ 17-yard run on 2nd & 5 with 4:00 to go in the 1st quarter.
The Redskins originally lined up in the I-formation with Pierre Garcon split-out wide left and Josh Morgan split wide-right. Tampa Bay was aligned in their base 4-3 Under package. After the initial look, Griffin motioned Josh Morgan inside the formation to the right of Griffin. The picture below depicts the final pre-snap look.
The run is initially designed to look like a run to the left. Griffin turns to to this side off the snap and offers a pitch to Alfred Morris, who’s first step is also in this direction. Tampa Bay left defensive end Michael Bennett explodes upfield on the backside of the initial look, clearly anticipating a Robert Griffin III playaction bootleg. Tyler Polumbus did a great job of using Bennett’s over-aggressiveness against him by riding the defensive completely out of the play. Also on Polumbus’ side of the field is Fred Davis, who does an excellent job of sealing the OLB to his side of the formation. Chris Chester, Will Montgomery, Darrell Young, Kory Lichtensteiger, and Trent Williams fire off to the left side of the formation and seal a massive cutback lane for Alfred Morris, which was ripe for the picking due to Polumbus’ and Davis’ blocks. Chester and Montgomery double down on the 1-technique DT Roy Miller and generate 2-yards of push, which was key to Morris’ initial cut. Below is an overhead shot of the gaping hole Morris had staring in front of him.
As Morris cuts back against the grain, we can see the running lane waiting for him, but we also see Tampa Bay MLB Mason Foster (#59) unblocked and looking to fill the hole, which can be seen below.
At this point, Chris Chester is still on DT Roy Miller in a double-team with Will Montgomery, which was necessary to create the initial cutback lane. If things stayed as they are in the picture above, Mason Foster would get to the hole cleanly and the result of the play would come down to a 1-on-1 with Alfred Morris in a tight space. Now, I fully think that Alfred Morris has shown himself to be capable of winning that 1-on-1 battle, but more often than not, a play like that would end in a simple but useful 4-5 yard run. Luckily for Morris, Chris Chester does a tremendous job of connecting a combination block.
Read the rest here.