Justin Fields Breakdown: The King of Columbus

If you haven’t checked out the first part of my 2021 draft prospect class breakdown, please click here to see Trevor Lawerence’s breakdown.

When Justin Fields committed to the University of Georgia out of high school, many asked why? Jake Fromm was a true freshman coming off of a National Championship game appearance and this meant Fields wouldn’t be the starter for two years minimum. However, after transferring to Ohio State and having an amazing first year as the starter, many are asking why did Georgia let this guy go? In most years he would be the odds on favorite to be the number one overall pick, but with Trevor Lawrence slinging the rock in Clemson, Fields is viewed as QB2. I don’t want to spoil it too much, but I have to say off the bat that when I watch Fields I can’t help but feel like I’m watching Dak Prescott with more upside and pure speed. And if you actually know football and don’t just listen to shows like First Take, you’ll know that’s a hell of a comparison. While I still like Lawrence a bit more, Fields is a legit franchise quarterback who will make one team very happy in the near future.

Positives

Throws an excellent deep ball

The Buckeyes didn’t ask Fields to throw deep too often, but when he did…. wow. Most throws were on the money, which most college quarterbacks struggle when attacking downfield. He did a great job of leading his receivers too, making sure that they could run after the catch. While his arm is strong enough, it isn’t elite but the accuracy is the most important part. Plenty of quarterbacks can throw far, look at past quarterback busts like Jamarcus Russell and Kyle Boller for example. Both could throw the ball a mile but couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn. Fields is surgical though. He sets his feet and drives the ball in a position where only his receiver can get it. For a mobile quarterback (which we’ll cover soon), being able to push the ball down the field opens up so many possibilities for the near and the future.

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Mobility

Fields claims to run a 4.4 40 yard dash time, which is elite for any position, especially quarterback. I don’t know if the tape reflects him being THAT fast, but the quickness and footwork he displays are some of the best I’ve ever seen. His feet never stop moving in the pocket and he escapes pressure effortlessly. He looks like a natural making difficult situations look easy. Ohio State likes to run the ball and incorporates a lot of zone-reads, but a season ago J.K. Dobbins couldn’t be stopped which reflects Fields modest rushing yard totals, so don’t judge his abilities based on stats alone. He does well scrambling outside the pocket and keeping his eyes down the field, showing that he’s not looking to tuck the ball and run at the first sign of pressure. I understand protecting his health, but I’d like to see more design runs for Fields and have them take advantage of one of his better traits.

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Pocket Presence

Many quarterbacks who are faster than most of the opposing team’s defenders want to run around and utilize their quickness. I mean, why wouldn’t you. They have more than likely done that their whole career and old habits are hard to break. However, fast guys eventually get slower. Fields has the comfortability in the pocket of a ten-year NFL veteran as he drops back and delivers strike after strike. He’s very fundamentally sound and at 6-3, 230 pounds, he has a good frame that makes him comfortable in the pocket knowing he can absorb a hit. Granted, he’s so quick that he’s a tough man to hit. A reason why he was able to keep 67% of his passes was that he has no problem taking a two or three-step drop and using his arm to beat teams, rather than his legs.

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Negatives

Shaky ball placement

I’m hesitant at times to say Fields is an accurate thrower because as I go through his games I’ve noticed so many missed throws that a quarterback of his talent should be making with no problem. Many times he’d have receivers open with a few yards of cushion and simply overthrow them. It’s not a mechanical issue, as he’s textbook in that department, and could just be a simple issue of being a first-year starter in college. If that’s the case, then I’m not worried. But if this continues to be a problem this upcoming season then NFL teams will surely be worried.

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Decision making overrated

For a guy who had three interceptions all year (two of them coming in the National Semi-Final), I was shocked at some of the decisions he made. Maybe it was my fault for setting expectations too high, but it seemed like every game he had an interception that was dropped or misplayed. I’m not saying he makes poor decisions regularly because that’s not entirely the case. I am saying though that you can’t consider the three interceptions as the end all be all stat. A lot of his problems derives from locking into his first option and not realizing that that option might not be your best. You can have a favorite target and look for him on most plays, but utilizing the second, third, or even fourth read is needed to be an NFL franchise quarterback. Many quarterbacks develop the mental processing of the game, but some don’t every get there and don’t have the longevity they had in mind for their careers.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, Justin Fields has the aptitude to be a successful NFL quarterback and is a very sound prospect. I envision him being a high-level starter in the NFL for a long time, but may never be in consideration for the best quarterback in the game at any point either. That’s not an insult though, he’s a proven winner and has big-play ability. My earlier comparison to Dak Prescott will continue to be the one I use, as they have the almost exact same height and weight, both mobile, and both have elite throwing ability. He’s a surefire top-five pick and I’m going to call my shot now… I can see him becoming a Washington Redskin. Ron Rivera had Cam Newton has his quarterback, with much success and Fields shares similar qualities with the upside to be more accurate with the football.

Trevor Lawrence Breakdown: The Prince That Was Promised

The story of Trevor Lawrence is known by now. The top recruit in the 2018 class broke high school records set by DeShaun Watson and led Clemson to a National Championship as a true freshman. From the moment he stepped on campus, he’s been seen as a generational talent and the probable first overall pick. Losing just one game in his two years, the stars are aligned once again for Clemson to make the National Championship game and for Lawrence to win the Heisman this season. As I break down Lawrence, what I thought coming in was confirmed. He’s a rare prospect. The term “can’t miss” is thrown around way too much, but in this case it’s deserved. Assuming he cleans up a few issues, he will become an Andrew Luck type prospect and undoubtedly become the first overall pick in the 2021 draft. Below I break down some of Lawrence’s strengths and weaknesses:

Strengths:

Arm Strength

The ball shoots out of his hand like a cannon and he makes it look so effortless. To compare, Patrick Mahomes’ top throwing speed at the combine was 55 mph and Lawrence’s top throwing speed in 2019 was 61 mph. Whether he’s in the pocket or scrambling, he’s able to get enough juice on the ball to fit throws into tight windows. As you can see below, he can throw it sixty yards in the air while making it look easy. To me, this is his best attribute as there are technical things you can clean up, but you can’t teach the arm strength he possesses.

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Mobility

I’ll break down his mobility into two parts: pure ability as a runner and throwing on the run.

As a runner, he shows great athleticism for a guy who’s listed at 6-6 and 220 pounds. Clemson runs a lot of zone reads and trusts his decision-making to make the right read. When he decides to keep the ball or they run a play designed for him (mostly counters or QB power), he shows speed and good vision to make the big play. For as much as people talk about his natural ability as a passer, his running ability is severely underrated. When the play breaks down, he’s excellent at scrambling and finding ways to pick up extra yardage. He’s never looking to run first, but teams will often blitz linebackers or drop them into coverage due to them being fearful of his arm. When this happens, he tucks the ball down and is able to make a play.

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The second part of his great running ability is the fact he keeps his eyes down the field while scrambling and is able to complete passes on the run. I see too often in college (and sometimes in the pros) that quarterbacks panic under pressure and will run without looking down the field. Lawrence can scramble out to either his left or right and has the arm strength to get the ball to his receivers. As NFL offenses get more creative and put mobile quarterbacks at a premium, Lawrence makes himself that much more valuable with his versatility and athleticism.

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Touch and Accuracy

Like a great shooter, when Lawrence gets hot he quite simply does not miss. This is evident on deeper throws that require some touch on the ball. We’ve seen a lot of quarterbacks with rocket arms, but the great ones are able to loft passes over defenders and right on target to their receivers. On these throws, Lawrence is mechanically sound (we’ll get to that later) and as you can see pushes off his back foot rather than solely using his pure arm strength. Quarterbacks who can make these throws, especially down the sideline, are ones you see starting on Sunday’s.

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Mechanics/Size

Lawrence 100% passes the eye test. He looks like he was made in a quarterback laboratory. If Lawrence is actually 6-6 as indicated on the Clemson website, it would make him tied for the tallest starting quarterback currently in the league. At 220 pounds, he could add another ten or so pounds of muscle, which will help him against bigger NFL defenders and he has the frame to put on that weight while maintaining his speed. Mechanically speaking, he has a clean release that doesn’t include a hitch or herky-jerky movement. He does a good job of using his lower body to drive the ball forward and for the most part does a decent enough job of setting his feet with smooth footwork. You’ll also notice how his feet are always moving and he’s never a statue in the pocket. It’s the little things that give you the big gains.

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Needs To Work On

Decision Making

Lawrence truly believes that he can use his arm strength to throw though any window, no matter how small it may be. Because of this, Lawrence makes a lot of bad decisions that resulted in him doubling his interception total from his freshman year and got lucky on several occasions. His whole life, he’s been able to use his arm to make any throw, even if he was staring down a receiver. However, as there’s more tape on him and the competition gets better, he’s not going to be able to get away with this. This is the mindset that many great gunslingers have which has resulted in high interception totals for all-time greats like Brett Favre, Dan Marino, and Peyton Manning. You have to take these kind of mistakes because for every head-scratching moment, they have four or five ‘wow’ moments.

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Over-throwing leading to missing open receivers

Like mentioned before, sometimes Lawrence trusts his arm too much. He’ll miss open receivers, usually by throwing high and outside, which is an indication of throwing too hard. I compare this to seeing a hard-throwing pitcher, you have to learn to contain your power and become a pitcher rather than a thrower. It’s frustrating to see because Lawrence will make so many great throws and then misses some easy ones, but it comes with the maturation of every great quarterback.

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Not Sliding/Protecting himself while running
This is just nit-picking now, but he needs to be smarter when running. I understand he’s a football player and he’s not afraid of contact, but as a franchise player he has to be cautious and make sure he can stay on the field. It may cut down on some game breaking plays like the one he had against Ohio State in the Playoff Semi-Final, but it’s going to ensure his longevity.

In conclusion, Lawrence is a special prospect and as of now would have a higher grade than recent #1 picks like Joe Burrow, Kyler Murray, and Baker Mayfield. Barring an unforeseen situation, Lawrence will hear his name called first in the 2021 draft and becomes an immediate game-changer.

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Current Projection: #1 Overall Selection

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NFL Film Breakdown: Aaron Jones Might Be the Best Zone Runner in Football

With a 5.0 yard per carry career average, his first 1,000 yard rushing season, and 23 total touchdowns in 2019, Aaron Jones has officially arrived on the scene. A 5th round pick out of Texas-El Paso, Aaron Jones has been an absolute steal for the Green Bay Packers. Matt LaFleur’s offense is the perfect fit for Jones’ running style with his ability to read zone blocking, get vertical quickly, and squeeze through holes you can barely even see. While he won’t exactly run anyone over and isn’t the biggest back at 5’9” and 208 lbs, his ability to bounce off of direct contact and twist to fall forward allows him to play between the tackles and be a workhorse back. His ability to find yards where there aren’t any, manipulate linebackers by pressing the line, and his speed to get outside all combine to make him one of if not the best zone runner in football.

Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Jones runs for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)

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When you watch Aaron Jones run, he doesn’t cut — he bends. It might not look sudden and explosive but it allows him to maintain speed and hit creases without slowing down. Here the Packers are running split flow zone with Jimmy Graham, the wing coming across to kick out Nick Bosa #97. We’ve covered a lot of this split flow and outside zone blocking scheme in our posts on Josh Jacobs and Raheem Mostert. The general concept though is for the running back to press playside with the goal to get outside the defensive end and onto the perimeter. If the defense walls off the outside, as they do in the play below, the running back sequentially looks one gap inside until there is a crease that they can take. If you have aggressive linebackers and a patient running back, linebackers can over pursue and leave cutback lanes open on the backside of the play. Normally the backside defensive end is left unblocked so the split flow or crunch for the H back or wing attacks that player and prevents them from pursuing down the line. Teams will sometimes fake the split flow crunch and have the tight end or H back go out into a route off of play-action to really make the defensive end think.

This zone scheme gives the ability for running backs with good vision to exploit over-pursuit of the defense and allows for holes to open up even if a lineman gets beat quickly. You can see here even though the defensive tackle #95 immediately wins against the Packers’ guard, Aaron Jones is able to cut-back and has enough speed to get the edge and get around the linebackers that had already started to fill.

You can see the sequential reading Aaron Jones does play after play on outside zone. He is incredibly efficient and fluid going from gap to gap and being able to find yards even against superior fronts and defenses.

Combine his vision with his ability to bend instead of making hard stop and start cuts and he’s able to hit holes at full speed which maximizes his ability to take advantage of defenders that are out of position.

He doesn’t have to be flowing outside to be effective though. He won’t run anyone over but his size allows him to squeeze and wiggle through holes that not a lot of backs are able to. One of the most impressive things about him is that you can see how tight he gets to his blocks, often rubbing right off of them to avoid direct contact and squeeze out extra yards.

Ideally you’re not asking him to run people over but he is more than willing to take contact and if you don’t wrap Jones up, he has really good balance and an uncanny ability to fall forwards.

You’re also going to get plays like the one below though. If defenders get hands on him, it’s tough for him to break through despite his leg churn and balance.

Jones is the perfect back for a zone system and as LaFleur expands his offense in Green Bay, I’d only expect to see an even greater impact from Aaron Jones. Throw in that it is his 4th year and contract year with the Packers and he could be in store for a dominant 2020 campaign. His explosiveness through the hole, ability to squeeze through small spaces, understanding of how to set up linebackers, speed on the edge, and exceptional vision make him perhaps the best zone running back in the NFL.

If you liked this post make sure to subscribe below and let us know what you think. If you feel like donating and want access to some early blog releases and exclusive breakdown content or to help us keep things running, you can visit our Patreon page here. Make sure to follow us on Instagram @weekly_spiral and twitter @weeklyspiral for updates when we post and release our podcasts. You can find the Weekly Spiral podcast on Spotify or anywhere you listen.

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Taysom Hill – The Swiss Army Knife

While the Saints may have lost in heartbreaking fashion on Sunday to the 49ers, Sean Payton continues to get the most out of the Swiss army knife that is Taysom Hill. Similar to Lamar Jackson, we haven’t seen a player filling this kind of role in the NFL before. Taysom has 21 rushes for 140 yards, 14 receptions for 126 yards, 5 total touchdowns, and is 2/4 for 35 passing yards through week 14. That’s an average of 3 touches and 2.3 points a game. He averages 7.7 yards per touch and continually makes impactful plays. He adds a dynamic that teams have to spend time preparing for and while his package may be relatively small, he is usually excellent at executing it and making the right decision. You can call it a gadget or a gimmick, but if it works, why stop doing it? Let’s take a look at some of the things that the Saints ask of Taysom Hill and how he can be so effective with the touches he gets.

In looking at the last five games of Taysom Hill, some trends popped up. The Saints used him on the goal line or on 3rd and short eight separate times out of his 23 total touches. That’s 34.7% of the time. On those short yardage or goal line situations, Taysom ran the ball 83.3% of the time, was at QB 50% of the time, and when he was at QB in these situations, they ran QB sweep with motion or run action from Kamara 100% of the time. So if you see the Saints in 3rd and short, Taysom Hill is at QB, and Kamara motions – it’s going to be QB sweep. The Ravens do a very similar play with Lamar Jackson and it’s surprisingly effective for both teams despite its simplicity. Taysom is 3/4 on conversions when running the QB sweep in short yardage. The Saints window dress the sweep with motions but it’s always the same basic concept. There’s almost always a WR or TE tight to the line and they use them to pin the end while wrapping the playside tackle around this down-block to get up to the next level. This helps seal the outside on what would be a pretty challenging block for the tackle and gets one of your big guys up to a LB or DB.

You can see below it’s a basic outside zone scheme with a pin and pull from the WR and right tackle. This creates enough of a lane for Hill to get up and through to gain 3 yards on 3rd and 2.

The Saints basic QB sweep blocking scheme with Taysom Hill

To make the play more effective and look different, they’ll motion towards playside, away, and change up formations, but it’s all the same concept. Check out a couple of the times they ran it against Tampa Bay, Atlanta, and San Francisco. All the same pin and pull action and basic concept and all effective. When Taysom also has the ability to throw it – although he does so rarely — it makes the secondary less aggressive towards the ball.

The Saints also like to run the jet sweep with Taysom in short yardage situations. There are a couple reasons to like this. Usually – especially on the goal line – linebackers are going to be tighter to the line of scrimmage and less able to scrape over the top to prevent an outside run. If you can sustain your blocks on the outside, it can be a really effective short yardage play. You also increase the likelihood that you will see man coverage in goal line situations and you can sometimes get a man advantage with the motion and force the defense to communicate on a quick hitting play. If the defense doesn’t bump with motion, they’re then out of position to make a play on the ball.

You can see the differences in the gifs below in how the Falcons and 49ers defend the same play. Generally I prefer the jet push pass because it’s faster hitting and eliminates slowing down during the mesh for the handoff. The Saints have been using Kamara as a decoy a lot since he started to get banged up earlier in the year and continued that trend on their two point attempt early in the game against the 49ers. The jet sweep from under center allows for a harder run sell to Kamara, hopefully keeping the LBs and safety home until Hill has an angle to the endzone. Versus the Falcons they use their same pin and pull technique with the WR and tackle to help create a hole. Versus the 49ers, however, there’s no pin and pull, #71 Ramczyk whiffs and blocks nobody, and with a bump from the LBs on motion, the Saints are now the ones outnumbered on the play 3 to 2 on the playside.

First watch the sweep against the Falcons and notice the pin and pull from the WR and #71 Ramcyzk and the lack of flow from the defense on motion.

Compare this now to the 49ers who flow with motion while keeping their other two LBs home for Kamara and how #71, the right tackle, this time is rendered useless with a missed block and the TE #89 Hill is left to block two defenders.

The third most common play run with Taysom Hill is a crunch flat play action. Coincidentally, the 49ers run this a lot with their fullbacks and tight ends. You can check out the 49ers play-action game and use of full backs and tight ends in one of our first posts here. The Saints ran this same play against the Falcons and 49ers in back-to-back weeks and both went for 9+ yard gains. Taysom Hill lines up outside the offensive tackle away from the play and comes across the formation on the snap of the ball. Drew Brees fakes the handoff to Alvin Kamara and boots out to hit Taysom in the flat with absolutely nobody around him both times. It’s really effective and the Niners probably know that more than anybody. As good as the Niners were at knowing what was coming on the 2 point conversion attempt, they were totally lost on this play-action crunch flat to start the game. In fact, the Saints ran a lot of the same plays with Taysom Hill against the 49ers that they ran against the Falcons just the week prior. It’s surprising there weren’t any wrinkles, tendency breakers, or counters to these plays they’ve been running with Hill and setting up all year. I’m sure they’re in the playbook somewhere – maybe to be pulled out in a playoff game down the road.

Take a look at the effectiveness and similarities in both these crunch flat plays versus the Falcons and 49ers.

It’s clear the Saints don’t have a huge amount of faith in Taysom Hill as a passer. They limit his attempts and generally give him very simple reads and if the throw isn’t there, tell him to take off. Just in the last five games he’s had trouble identifying blitzes, making decisive reads, and making teams pay through the air. While Sean Payton talks very highly of Taysom Hill it’s clear that if they believed in him that much, he would’ve been taking the quarterback reps when Drew Brees was down instead of Teddy Bridgewater. Taysom’s run game ability is impressive – especially for a quarterback, but while he has a big arm, he’s not ready to make NFL reads and hasn’t evolved to be an every-down NFL ready passer.

Perhaps the package will grow but there are definitely bread and butter plays that the Saints run with Taysom Hill. While not terribly inventive, they are continually effective especially in short yardage. They’ve thrown in a couple zone reads, a reverse pass, as well as throwing him a number of quick flash screens on the outside. He’s being used on special teams and has lined up at QB, slot, H, running back, and out wide. Definitely a dynamic player and one you have to identify wherever he is on the field. He forces teams to do extra preparation and with the motions, run action, and threat of the pass, can make it hard for defenses to stay honest and defend against the threats he poses. The use of Kamara with him is particularly effective because of the eyes that both those players draw from the defense. It can create confusion and communication errors and open up big plays that Taysom Hill is athletic enough to exploit. The Swiss Army Knife might only have shown a couple of the tools available but you never know when a new gadget might pop out at just the right time in a big game.

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Zone Read Made Easy – Brought to you by the Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens have been putting on a clinic in the run game all year and it’s not even things that are incredibly fancy or intricate. It’s simple reads, good blocking, and a great job of making the defense pay for not being sound in their run fits and play disciplined defense with solid tackling. On Sunday the Ravens continued their rushing tear with 256 yards on the ground against the Texans. While the Houston defense has struggled on the back end, their rush defense is middle of the pack (ranked 13th overall giving up 101.3 yds/gm) and are no slouches with a couple legit defenders upfront.

The running threat that Lamar Jackson provides forces defenses to play honest and allows the Ravens to gain extra blockers and create explosive plays in the run game. While the zone read isn’t new to football, not many NFL teams run it because, well, not a lot of teams have Lamar Jackson. The speed of defenders and the tighter hashes in the NFL make it way more difficult to run the zone read effectively. Baltimore, however, uses it with lethal effectiveness. On 12 zone read plays on Sunday they gained 163 yards, a 13.5 yard average. Even without their three explosive plays of 25, 39, and 63, they still averaged a respectable, if not amazing, 4 yards a carry on zone read plays.

Unblocked “read” defender marked by the red triangle. Offensive blocks marked by yellow. Running tracks by QB and RB in blue.

Zone read, at its simplest, is leaving a defender – usually a defensive end or OLB walked up on the line of scrimmage – unblocked. You leave this defender unblocked because the plan is to put them in conflict and whatever action they take will be the wrong one. Pictured, above, the red triangle is the unblocked man. If he squeezes down and turns his hips towards the sideline to tackle the RB on the inside zone dive, the QB can pull the ball out of the mesh and run outside and around the crashing unblocked defender. If he stays with his hips square to the QB or comes upfield on the otherhand, the QB simply hands the ball off and that player is no longer involved in the play. Meanwhile, the wing, #86, is taking an arc release to wall off any flowing linebackers in case the QB keeps the ball and runs to the outside.

As you can see below, the unblocked defender stays wide which tells the QB to hand the ball off. The offense has gained a man that normally would be used to block this unblocked defender and now #79, the left tackle, can help on the double team with the guard, create push to the second level, and wall off the flowing linebacker. Textbook blocking and climbing by the Ravens offensive line allows an easy 11 yard gain by Mark Ingram.

Below is another example of the zone read with a couple little wrinkles. There’s a lot of lines but what’s going on is that the Ravens understand that the Texans and #59 in particular, are respecting Lamar Jackson and QB keep. So, instead of blocking the read man to create more space in addition to the mesh and threat of a QB keep, they have the fullback take a crunch and kick-out motion like he’s going to hit the end and then feed upfield to get a block downfield since the unblocked man is already out of position to defend the give to the RB. The Jet sweep motion in yellow also adds an additional element that widens the defense to protect the outside and gets secondary help out of position for the inside run. The jet sweep then turns into an outside blocker to help seal any flowing defenders in case the QB decides to keep it and run outside. As it turns out, the safety roles with the jet motion, the unblocked man gets up field and out of position so as to prevent the QB keep, and the gained blocker in #79 helps double team the defensive tackle and work up to the LB and create an explosive play for the Ravens. All off of a simple zone read concept with window dressing.

Take a moment to look at our read man in the red getting up-field to protect against the QB keep, the safety flowing with the jet motion, and the hole it creates for the RB to run through.

Finally, below, Lamar Jackson decides to keep it. The read man actually does a great job of recovering and forcing Lamar to cut back inside towards his help. Unfortunately you can also see how strongly both the LBs bite on the inside run and get out of position. It even looks like the Ravens block this up incorrectly because they leave two guys unblocked. Both the defensive end and the defensive tackle on the offensive left are untouched. But because of the over-committed LBs being unable to flow over to help and Lamar Jackson being Lamar Jackson, it goes for a huge gain. Not many QBs can make people miss like this which is why he is such a threat and opens up so much space in their run game. Just the idea of Lamar taking off scares defenses and makes them over-protect any possible QB keep.

Note how hard the two middle linebackers flow to tackle #21 Mark Ingram because they have been handing it off all day. Even with #86 leading up the hole and blocking nobody and a missed block on the defensive tackle the play still goes for a huge gain because of the linebackers lack of ability to scrape and help make a tackle.

We’ll throw one last gif in that comes from the end of the game and goes for a 63 yard touchdown. The read man makes life super easy and gives a clear handoff read by coming way upfield to protect the QB keep. Everything works smoothly and it’s the easiest run all day. The running back does a great job pressing the hole and making the LBs commit inside before taking advantage of the cutback – one of the biggest boons of zone scheme running. Props to #80 Crockett Gilmore getting the scoring block downfield and turning this from a big gain into a touchdown.

The Ravens don’t do anything too fancy, they just run the zone read correctly and make teams with poor run fits or undisciplined ends pay for it with explosive cutbacks and QB keeps. Awesome to see concepts that are simple and done at all levels translated to the NFL with minimal window dressing but just executed at an elite level. The Baltimore run game is on a historic pace and one of the hardest offenses to scheme against and stop. The way things are clicking, it’s starting to make you wonder who can stop them from running all the way to a Lombardi Trophy.

For even more football talk check out our podcast Weekly Spiral on Spotify and go ahead If you liked this post make sure to subscribe here and let us know what you think. If you feel like donating to help us keep things running, you can visit our Patreon page here. Make sure to follow us on Instagram @weekly_spiral and twitter @weeklyspiral for updates when we post and release our podcasts and blog. You can find the Weekly Spiral podcast on Spotify or anywhere you listen.

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