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Put the Film on, Bro: Texans vs. Falcons, I

Posted Aug 17, 2014

Texans Analyst and radio sideline reporter John Harris broke down the first half of the win over Atlanta.

Let's just quit messing around, and break down each and every play from Saturday night.

I'm sure others will have their observations, mimicing what we've done recently (you know who you are), but let's crank this up to another level.

I've put the film on, Bro for the Texans v. Falcons.

I'll try to point out something from each play of the Texans win on Saturday night. Here's the first half breakdown, with the second half coming tomorrow.

 

1st Drive - Falcons offense

Play 1 - 1st and 10

Falcons ran inside blast and double-teamed DE Tim Jamison. I specifically saw the Texans DL working on double team technique in pre-game and it paid off. Jamison dropped to a knee, turned his shoulders to split the double team and held his ground. LB Justin Tuggle never got touched and that's why.

Result: Three yard gain.

 

Play 2 - 2nd and 7

Matt Ryan eyed his FB in the flat for a catch with OLB Brooks Reed in coverage. Mike Vrabel, Texans LB coach, asks his OLB to get hands on the tight end and then drop to the flat. That's not easy for anyone to do, much less a former college defensive end. Reed did it perfectly: the jam prevented a free release by the tight end, making the coverage a little easier. If Ryan didn't put the ball on a dime, it's a PBU for Reed.

Result: Penalty, replay second down.

 

Play 3 - 2nd and 12

Ryan hit Julio Jones on a shallow route but you can't miss Jamison in coverage. That was the first sign of some zone dog work, which we didn't see v. Arizona. The other aspect to note was the open field tackle by Kareem Jackson, something he didn't do well, more positioning and feet than the tackle itself, in Arizona.

Result: Five yard gain.

 

Play 4 - 3rd and 7

Jones worked the double move on CB AJ Bouye. If Bouye has an Achilles heel, it's the aggressiveness that'll cost him on double moves. But, I'll take that aggression. Ryan threw Jones out of bounds.

Result: Incomplete

 

Play 5 - 4th down

Punt

 

2nd Drive - Texans Offense

Play 1 - 1st and 10

Texans ran Jonathan Grimes on one back counter action to the left side. Falcons LB don't bite and TE C.J. Fiedorowicz gets too far upfield on his block which allows Paul Worrilow to make the play. S William Moore read run early and beat WR DeAndre Hopkins to the spot as well.

Result: One yard gain.

 

Play 2 - 2nd and 9

Outside zone to the left and LT Derek Newton was in perfect position, but he didn't drive Jonathan Babineaux off the ball. The Falcons DE shocked Newton and the Texans T lost his feet. The initial read for Grimes was a downhill lane, a wide open one, but then Babineaux showed and the play was as good as dead. Grimes tried to get the corner and there was nothing there.

Result: One yard loss.

 

Play 3 - 3rd and 11

Quick screen to Hopkins and one Falcon stopped the play: Osi Umenyiora. He redirected his pass rush, stopped on a dime and sprinted to Hopkins, slowing him down for little gain. Texans C James Ferentz didn't have an angle on the Falcon OLB because he had to help prevent a jailbreak blitz. If Ferentz was able to get out on time and Osi were one step slower, it's a house call. It was that close.

Result: No gain.

 

Play 4 - 4th down

Punt

 

3rd Drive - Falcons Offense aka The Clowney Drive

Play 1 - 1st and 10

Falcons ran zone with FB leading on OLB, what I call "zone kick". Jadeveon Clowney aligned originally on the number two receiver but as the ball was snapped he read run and met FB Chris DiMarco three yards in the backfield. RB Jacquizz Rodgers was forced to cut back into the line and somehow powered three yards out of not a whole lot.

Result: Three yard gain

 

Play 2 - 2nd and 7

Falcons ran inside zone and got a hat on a hat. The right side of the Falcons line won each battle, including WR Roddy White who cracked hard on DJ Swearinger.

Result: Seven yard gain

 

Play 3 - 1st and 10

Iso cutback and C Joe Hawley manhandled NT Jerrell Powe at the point of attack. ILB Justin Tuggle sat back a half second too long but luckily RB Antone Smith didn't see the hole back across the center. He ran into a mosh pit of Falcons and Texans, instead of going A gap where he would've had a good sized gain. Yet, he still found something, somehow.

Result: Six yard gain

 

Play 4 - 2nd and 4

Then this happened.

A couple of things on this play. The Falcons ran a packaged play look. On the snap, Matt Ryan eyed slot CB Kareem Jackson. The receivers to that side ran a bubble screen. If Kareem got overaggressive, read run and flew to the LOS, Ryan would've thrown the bubble screen to WR Harry Douglas. But, Jackson stayed home, so Ryan handed off to the RB on an inside power behind RT Jake Matthews. LG Justin Blalock showed pass and then had to seal the OLB to the outside. By design, it's a massively huge gain IF...but it wasn't, BECAUSE...well you know. Clowney knew he didn't have a pass responsibility so he was on a dead rush to the QB and if the RB got the ball, he could stay on the same path. He did and it shook up NRG.

Result: Clowney, with a 100% chance of pain

 

Play 5 - 3rd and 6

Clowney just flat ran past and powered past LT Sam Baker. Nothing else mattered

Result: Sack

 

Play 6 - 4th down

Punt

 

4th Drive - Texans Offense

Play 1 - 1st and 10

Straight dropback with what appears to be turnback protection. Fiedorowicz was in a tough spot and he wasn't able to keep Falcons OLB from getting heat on Fitzpatrick and blowing up the play.

Result: QB throwaway - Incomplete

 

Play 2 - 2nd and 10

Deep comeback to Hopkins with CB Robert Alford draped on him. Just get it in the vincinity. Great throw. Great catch. EXCELLENT protection

Result: 19 yard gain

 

Play 3 - 1st and 10

Power play that Jonathan Grimes cut back behind Fiedorowicz blocking on the back side. Typically, the RB is responsible for one man. Power through him, run by him or shake him, but he's your guy, RB. Grimes ran through Falcons S Dwight Lowery on a strong run.

Result: Six yard gain.

 

Play 4 - 2nd and 4

Outside zone and the right side of the OL does a tremendous job including Fiedorowicz and RT Tyson Clabo, both of whom put on a clinic in perimeter zone "bump off". Fiedorowicz in particular was just brilliant on this play. Wow. He pounded the Falcons DE off the ball to allow Clabo time and space to then zone him off. Then he moved up to the second level and put his hat squarely on LB Joplo Bartu's numbers and moved him four yards back.

Result: Four yard gain.

 

Play 5 - 1st and 10

Three step option route to Fiedorowicz - got Worrilow on his inside hip, turned outside at five yards - pitch and catch. Ball had to get out hot because Texans missed the ILB Bartu on the blitz.

Result: Four yard gain

 

Play 6 - 2nd and 6

Went to the well again - similar play - this time Fiedorowicz shrugged Worrilow to the ground after making the catch and picked up another three yards.

Result: Eight yard gain

 

Play 7 - 1st and 10

Power play behind RG Xavier Su'a-Filo. Grimes cut it back behind the center but NT Paul Soliai ate both LG Ben Jones and Ferentz. I mean, ate up, figuratively speaking. Not sure what Grimes saw back inside but better to have followed Su'a-Filo.

Result: Two yard gain

 

Play 8 - 2nd and 8

Curl route to Hopkins. Ball thrown inside but it appeared Hop expected it outside. Couldn't hang on.

Result: Incomplete

 

Play 9 - 3rd and 8

DL Malliciah Goodman shocked Su'a-Filo who lost his feet. That opened the door for Goodman to split Su'a-Filo and Ferentz. As the pocket crumbled, Fitzpatrick took off like the 5.1 (okay, 4.9 speed) 40-yard dash guy he is and picked up a first down as the Falcons DB were in man coverage downfield.

Result: Eleven yard gain

 

Play 10 - 1st and 10

Outside zone with FB lead and FB Jay Prosch hammered S William Moore to open a wide open hole for RB Alfred Blue. The RB ran over Bartu along the way for a significant gain.

Result: Ten yard gain.

 

Play 11 - 1st and Goal

Blast with a hat on a hat - only player stopping the play was Moore. Blue came up inches short.

Result: Three yard gain.

 

Play 12 - 2nd and Goal

Iso behind Prosch - LG Ben Jones drove DT Ra'Shede Hageman two yards into the end zone. Easy run and fly over for Blue.

Result: One yard TD run

 

Texans lead 7-0

 

5th Drive - Falcons Offense

Play 1 - 1st and 10

Deep out from Ryan to White. Solid pocket, little pass rush and a simple pitch and catch

Result: 17 yard gain.

 

Play 2 - 1st and 10

Ryan looked up White again on a stick route. S Kendrick Lewis locked it up and knocked the pass away. The key? Jamison whipped Blalock up the field and disrupted Ryan as the Texan DE got his hand on Ryan as he threw the pass.

 

Play 3 - 2nd and 10

Draw play - a great call by OC Dirk Koetter. Rodgers had a wide open running lane through the middle and then BOOM. Lewis dropped the hammer on Quizz. I've seen Quizz play since he was a freshman in HS and I've never seen him hit like that. He's so strong, compact and powerful that no one can get that sort of pop on him. Lewis did. Still a solid gain.

Result: Six yard gain

 

Play 4 - 3rd and 4

Sprint left option and Ryan missed White at the sticks for a first down. The key on the play, though, is Lewis who read the play early. He then took off for a spot to disrupt the throw, to make it as tough a throw as possible. He did.

Result: Incomplete

 

Play 5 - 4th and 4

Punt

 

6th Drive - Texans offense

Play 1 - 1st and 10

Tom Savage in at QB...Outside zone to the left and no one accounted for the slot corner in the blocking assignment. Josh Wilson was left unblocked and made the tackle on Grimes for a short gain.

Result: One yard gain (PENALTY)

 

Play 2 - 1st and 10

Blast to the right side. OL got a hat-on-a-hat and Grimes powered through for a decent first down gain

Result: Five yard gain

 

Play 3 - 2nd and 5

Power play to the right. S came hard on force so Su'a-Filo was forced to block him and two interior Falcon defenders were clean to make the tackle on Grimes

Result: Two yard gain

 

Play 4 - 3rd and 3

Backshoulder throw from Savage to WR EZ Nwachkwu. He can't hang on but Desmond Trufant was called for an illegal contact penalty.

Result: Penalty for a first down

 

Play 5 - 1st and 10

Power play to the left. RG Alex Kupper was occupied by Falcons DE that TE Ryan Griffin was blocking. That allowed Worrilow to run free to Grimes. But, Grimes broke that tackle and then Kroy Bierman's attempt and he was off to the races.

Result: 21 yard gain.

 

Play 6 - 1st and 10

Screen. Play was a bust from the start. Newton called for holding.

Result: Penalty

 

Play 7 - 1st and 20

Zone BOB (back on backer) or Isolation. Neither Ferentz or Kupper got up to the second level and Worrilow didn't miss Blue this time.

Result: Three yard gain.

 

Play 8 - 2nd and 17

Quick out to Keshawn Martin. Upon the catch, Martin worked backwards and didn't make anything after the catch.

Result: Three yard gain.

 

Play 9 - 3rd and 14

Screen again. Pass tipped by Umenyiora, which Blue caught well behind the LOS. A few things on this one...Newton must maintain that block on Umenyiora much better than he did. On the two screens on this drive, Newton held Osi on one play then didn't maintain the block as long as he should've on the second. Secondly, if Blue catches this one clean he has a ton of room back to the middle with one guy to beat.

Result: Five yard loss

 

Play 10 - 4th down

Punt

 

7th Drive - Falcons offense

Play 1 - 1st and 10

Play action slant route to Jones. Ryan threw the ball upfield into traffic and Jones got hammered by DJ Swearinger.

Result: 14 yard gain and a minor headache

 

Play 2 - 1st and 10

Same iso cutback the Falcons ran earlier, but this time ILB Justin Tuggle deciphered it immediately and stuffed FB Chris DiMarco in the hole. Tuggle then shed DiMarco and tackled Smith for no gain. Excellent ILB play.

Result: No gain.

 

Play 3 - 2nd and 9

Interesting play here...the Falcons ran power to the right side as the Texans are in dime (six defensive backs). When in dime, DJ Swearinger goes to the Will inside linebacker spot. So, Swearinger was now responsible for attacking the pulling guard on the power play. He did a decent job but needed a little more help from the backside LB or the safety. But, as far as Swagg's role, he played it perfectly. S Eddie Pleasant got there to stop Smith after a decent gain.

Result: Five yard gain.

 

Play 4 - 3rd and 4

Jones drove his route hard to the sideline, attempting to get Bouye to turn his hips and run with him up the sideline. Then Jones planned to turn the route back inside with Bouye now on his back. But, Bouye didn't bite and when Jones turned his route back inside, the Texan CB was in perfect inside leverage position and broke up the pass. Well played, very well played.

Result: Incomplete

 

Play 5 - 4th down

Punt

 

8th Drive - Texans Offense

Play 1 - 1st and 10

Zone read to Blue. Falcons won at the point of attack.

Result: One yard gain.

 

Play 2 - 2nd and 9

Three step stick route from Savage to Martin. Excellent coverage and open field tackling by Moore

Result: Four yard gain

 

Play 3 - 3rd and 5

Straight dropback. Savage started in good shape, comfortable to his drop point. He then got pressure from Umenyiora on Newton and was forced to step up into the pocket. In so doing, he then got heat from Goodman. As Su'a-Filo was attempting to stay with Goodman, he got turned around by the Falcon who then jumped up and tipped Savage's throw. Savage eyed Blue when the pressure got to him. Couldn't see if he had any routes downfield so don't know if anyone emerged open that Savage missed.

Result: Incomplete

 

Play 4 - 4th down

Punt

 

9th Drive - Falcons offense

Play 1 - 1st and 10

Sean Renfree at QB...old school Packers sweep without the lead running back. OLB Jason Ankrah was in good shape to stop the edge run but didn't violently shed TE Levine Toilolo. Secondary force was a step slow and Smith turned the corner for a solid gain.

Result: Five yard gain

 

Play 2 - 2nd and 5

Outside zone to Ankrah again. This time, Ankrah destroyed Toilolo at the line of scrimmage which slowed Smith down. Tuggle ran behind the zone, risky but if Ankrah did his job, it was the right, smart play. Tuggle and Ankrah combined on the tackle.

Result: Two yard gain.

 

Play 3 - 3rd and 3

Stick throw to Josh Vaughan. Swearinger was in coverage from his Dime LB spot. Here's where he needed to have a bit better understanding of situation and personnel. Vaughan is a fullback. There's a safety behind Swearinger. There's really no other route that Vaughan could run than a stick route or an quick out to the sideline. Strange to stay, but Swagg could've been more aggressive on that short route given the personnel and situation.

Result: Four yard gain.

 

Play 4 - 1st and 10

Counter gut, with Blalock and DiMarco leading. DE Jared Crick held the point and forced the ball back to his inside help. S Chris Clemons filled hard in the alley and ILB Jeff Tarpinian stayed clean. The two combined on the tackle.

Result: Four yard gain.

 

Play 5 - 2nd and 6

Straight drop. Coverage was solid, nowhere to throw the ball, so Renfree takes the check down, unfortunately Vaughan had too much open area to run after the catch. 

Result: Seven yard gain

 

Play 6 - 1st and 10

OLB Whitney Mercilus made his best play of the night on the same counter gut play toward him. He beat the pulling guard to the spot and forced a holding in the backfield. He got upfield and disrupted this play from jump.

Result: Holding penalty

 

Play 7 - 1st and 20

Texans lined up in dime personnel. Jamison got put on roller skates on a double team while Mercilus took an upfield rush. That left a gaping hole inside, especially so after Tarpinian ran through and missed the tackle in the backfield.

Result: Seven yard gain

 

Play 8 - 2nd and 13

Four man pressure on straight drop. CB Josh Victorian did a great job cutting off Devin Hester's initial route, but he then needed to work back out, knowing he had help from Swearinger inside. When Hester then broke outside after Renfree scrambled, Bouye was also nearly caught inside. Had Hester caught the ball, it would've been a track meet. Luckily, Hester dropped the rock.

Result: Incomplete

 

Play 9 - 3rd and 13

First illegal contact penalty on this drive - sad thing is that Bouye "ran the route" for Jeremy Ebert and got penalized for it.

Result: Penalty

 

Play 10 - 1st and 10

Blast inside. Defensive front held the point better. 

Result: Four yard gain.

 

Play 11 - 2nd and 6

Waggle. Renfree finds Hester in the flat for a short gain.

Result: Three yard gain.

 

Play 12 - 3rd and 3

Jailbreak blitz and Swagg came FREE. Forces tough throw. Incomplete. Flag.

Result: Penalty for first down

 

Play 13 - 1st and 10

Straight Drop. OLB Quentin Groves just flat whipped RT Jake Matthews with an arm under for a sack. Buuuuuut, well you know.

Result: Penalty for first down

 

Play 14 - 1st and 10

The blitzes on this drive were highly effective. At least one guy got free each time. This time, Tarpinian dropped into coverage and Clemons blitzed from his safety position. This time, Swearinger stayed on the hip of the tight end and nearly ended the drive with an interception. Well, you know the rest.

Result: Unsportsmanlike penalty, another first down.

 

Play 15 - 1st and 10

Tunnel screen to Hester. Brandon Harris held (no call). Hester turned it into the only TD of the night for the Falcons

Result: TD

 

Tied at 7-7

 

10th Drive - Texans offense - Two minute to end the half.

Play 1 - 1st and 10...three timeouts, 79 yards to go

Ryan Fitzpatrick returns for the two minute situation...checkdown to Grimes for nine yards. Took his first time out.

Result: Nine yard gain

 

Play 2 - 2nd and 1

Flag, procedure on the offense

Result: Penalty

 

Play 3 - 2nd and 6

Fitzpatrick got pressure from his blind side (justified because the Falcons were offsides). He stepped up and took off for a big gain.

Result: 15 yard gain.

 

Play 4 - 1st and 10

Checkdown to Grimes again. Better pocket but Grimes was open, broke a tackle and picked up a solid gain.

Result: Nine yard gain.

 

Play 5 - 2nd and 1

Fitz got heat immediately but took a shot to Nwachukwu. If he had a split second to get the ball to the middle of the field, EZ had a TD. But, Alford knocked it away.

Result: Incomplete

 

Play 6 - 3rd and 1

Bierman took an inside path on Clabo, so Fitzpatrick exited the pocket to his right. Martin, having worked on the scramble drill before, knew to take his short route long. This was something the QB and WR worked on during mini-camp and it paid off. Martin's original route was a quick out at the sticks for a first down. But, when Fitz scrambled, Martin turned up the sideline and was behind the DB. Fitz dropped a dime on him three yards behind the coverage.

Result: 30 yard gain.

 

Play 7 - 1st and 10

Fitz to Grimes in the flat. Took the second time out.

Result: Seven yard gain.

 

Play 8 - 2nd and 3

Offsetting penalties on a throw from Fitz to EZ.

Result: Replay second down.

 

Play 9 - 2nd and 3

Fitzpatrick got heat early on the play, from Bierman on the outside and the interior Falcons duo. So, he scrambled to his right. TE Ryan Griffin ran his route to the goal line, while DeVier Posey ran his to the back of the end zone. As Fitz scrambled, the safety to that left side decided to jump Griffin instead of finding the receiver, Posey, in his zone. The problem was that Bartu was draped on Griffin and didn't need the help. Trufant, the corner to that side, passed off Posey to the safety; unfortunately for the Falcons, the safety thought Griffin was the target. But, Fitz targeted the Texans' newest dad, Posey...

Result: TOUCHDOWN

 

Texans lead 13-7 going into halftime...I'll have the second half breakdown for you tomorrow.

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