Determined Defense: Patriots Defensive Play of Week 3

With 00:59 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Oakland faced first-and-goal at the 12-yard line. The Raiders trailed the Patriots 16-9 and a holding penalty on the previous play wiped out Darren McFadden’s 6-yard, potentially game-tying, touchdown run. Quarterback Derek Carr lined up the Raiders 11 personnel from the shotgun. The Patriots respond with a…

Throwing Against Cover 2

In September of last year, Andy Benoit with MMQB.com wrote a piece that declared “The Cover 2 is dying.” Well worth the read, Benoit outlined how the rise of 3-WR formations (and 11 personnel) coupled with more sophisticated quarterback play has exposed the flaws in this coverage scheme. Benoit illustrated how teams have shifted to…

Understanding Pass Defenses

This article serves as a primer on understanding pass defenses in the NFL. Familiarity with the concepts here will help you identify these coverages, but more importantly their strengths and weaknesses to better understand why an offense might use them in a certain situation. To break things down into manageable chunks, topics are organized as follows: Basic…