A couple of odd film notes from the Redskins-Panthers game

The FOX crew on Sunday made mention of the following play during their telecast last Sunday, in which the Redskins lined up 4 defenders in a cluster on one side of the ball on a crucial 3rd and 2 late in the 2nd quarter.  You could kind of see it from the sideline view during the game, but I was interested in getting a second look when the NFL made the “All-22″ available.  Here’s what that play looked like pre-snap.  The Redskins sure do have that one little area of the field covered.  No way Cam Newton is getting a first down there:

Unfortunately, and excuse me if this analysis is overly simplistic, but the Panthers have a 5-to-4 numbers advantage (not including the QB) on the other side:

So Cam Newton runs that way and the Panthers easily pick up the first down.  Candy from a baby:

I can understand if you’re the Redskins and it’s 3rd and 12.  You’re going to get a numbers advantage on one side by sending a blitz on an obvious passing situation, but that alignment makes zero sense on 3rd and 2, particularly against a running QB like Cam Newton.

OK, moving on.  From the offensive side of the ball, on 3rd and Goal from the 4, the Redskins ran an odd formation.  I actually like the play call here, but hate the personnel.

Here’s the simple design of the play:

The Redskins have 4 receivers lined up to the right, one to the left.  At the snap, Brandon Banks will move backwards to take a quick screen from Robert Griffin III.  Logan Paulsen, Santana Moss, and Josh Morgan will block for Banks:

Here, Banks will receive the pass, and all 3 Redskins receivers grouped to the outside will engage on their men, while safety Charles Godfrey (circled) will come free:

Paulsen and Morgan do a good job of blocking on their guys, but Santana Moss is unable to wall off Panthers CB Captain Munnerlyn to the inside (circled), which might allow Banks to get to the pylon.  Meanwhile, Godfrey is closing on Banks:

Banks is slowed by Munnerlyn, and tackled by Godfrey well short of the end zone:

My two gripes on this play:

  1. I don’t understand the fascination of trying to get the ball in the hands of Brandon Banks in the regular offense.  On the season he has 6 catches for 7 yards, a fumble, and a long of 6.  For his career he has 9 catches for 27 yards.  It’s not like we’re talking about a guy like Devin Hester that is so electric that it makes sense to get him the ball on offense on occasion.  We’re talking about a pretty average returner here.  But worse, why would you use him in a tight confined space like this?  If it makes sense to use Banks in your regular offense at all, it would be in between the 40′s, where you might get him in space, playing to his strengths.  In tight, Banks is not a guy that’s going to break many tackles or have a tough run to the goal line.
  2. Why is Santana Moss being utilized as a lead blocker here?  The effort that Moss is going to give you as a blocker is nice and all, but he’s not the best option.  Where’s Niles Paul?  Aren’t these the kinds of roles that suit his skill set?

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10 Comments

  1. NYG_slater says:

    oh my….that defensive formation….why would you ever consider that on 3rd and 2…..I hope one of the player lined up wrong.

  2. skinsaholic says:

    Agreed about your assesment of Banks. I want to know how his role actually warrants a roster spot. Sure, he is more than capable of busting a huge return, but when is the last time he actually has (In a regular season game, banks is a stud in Preseason when returning kicks)?

    1. Skinsational and Skinsaholic? You guys twins?

      1. skinsaholic says:

        Great minds think alike.

      2. maximdim says:

        Jimmy you’re a warrior.. If I was running this site I would take a hiatus after watching my sorry eagles play..

        1. Ha, if that were the case I would have quit last year.

    2. A Fine Messi says:

      It baffles me why Banks is still taking up a roster spot. Last play of the game against the Panthers: Skins down by 8 points. Skins have the ball with 18 seconds left. Quick WR screen to Banks. Banks catches it behind the line of scrimmage and dances around for literally 17 seconds for a loss of 5 yards instead of stepping out of bounds the second he realized that the play was broken up. even a lateral would have been preferable. i have no idea what Kyle is thinking when he plugs him in.

  3. Skinsational says:

    Also, I don’t understand the fascination with Banks either.

    1. skinsaholic says:

      Giving him the rock in two crucial third down situations? Still blows my mind. Give the ball to Morris, even if someone hits him at the los, he is going to gain 3

  4. Skinsational says:

    Great post.

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