Tuesday, 8 November 2011

NFL Play of the week: Broncos running wild. Tebow vs. Oakland Raiders

In an article last week we talked about Tim Tebow and the issues surrounding him and the Broncos. In their Week 9 game vs the Oakland Raiders we saw the Broncos adapt the offence to their opinion polarising QB and run a lot more of the zone read and option style offence he ran at the University of Florida.
An interesting twist the Broncos added was running the zone read from the Quads formation, leaving the backside defensive end isolated by himself. Check out a video of the play and then read on after the page break for our breakdown of the first play from Quads.

The big set up, as the Raiders have to shift over to one side
Tebow is lined up in the gun with Willis McGahee to his left and 3 receivers and a tight end split to his right. The Raiders have shifted over to the quads side with 3 defensive backs and a linebacker shifted over to the side, there is also a deep safety in the middle of the field (out of shot). Defensive end Jarvis Moss, circled in red, is the player who is going to be read during the play.

Line movement disguises the play. The Raiders obviously haven't practiced for this.
At the snap of the ball the Broncos line zone block to the right and you can see the Raiders linebackers start to react to the flow by also sliding to their left. You can see in the picture that the Broncos have made the Raiders commit all of their defenders to one side of the field leaving a large area open for Tebow to run into.

Poor play by the linebackers compunds the Raiders problems.
At the Mesh point there is still an opportunity for the Raiders to at least stop the play going for a big gain. Recent acquisition Aaron Curry is in position to defeat a block and make a tackle if he sees the fake and reacts correctly. However he bites heavily on the run to his left and allows Ryan Clady to roll the entire Raiders front 6 up. You can see in the picture how isolated Jarvis Moss is and how clear Tebows read is.
And he's off to the races!
Tebow reads Moss perfectly and carries out the fake well enough that the entire Raiders defence bites on it, leaving him with nothing but a free safety to stop him from reaching the end zone. Take a look at where Jarvis Moss has ended up to see how good Tebows fake was.

Good luck to the DE trying to catch him...
Tebow rumbles for 32 yards and is only taken down by the free safety who has recovered back across the field after also biting on the run. Throughout this game the Broncos used the Quad formation to unbalance the Raiders defence and use the running skills of their young QB. This combined with the zone read play allowed them to grind out 299 yards on the ground and leading them to a 38-24 win over their divisional rivals.

It will be interesting to see if the Broncos continue to develop their play calling around Tebow, or if they revert back to type. One thing is for sure, everyone will have an opinion on it!

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