Monday, September 26, 2016

Rams Drop Nose Tackle on Final Play Versus Bucs

LOOKING BACK
By John Turney

On the final play of the Rams at Buccaneers game last Sunday the Rams dropped shade/nose tackle Michael Brockers and rushed only three players.

Brockers is 6-5 and maybe 320 pounds and he took the third receiver essentially man-to-man to the goalline on the play in question and in doing so made the likely easiest throw impossible for Jameis Winston near impossible.

Winston admitted he should have thrown the ball at the 15-yard line, but it's clear no one is open as Brockers and the other defenders had good coverage on the four Bucs receivers in the pattern.

Winston drifted across the line of scrimmage and was tackled by defensive end Robert Quinn as time expired
Fair Use Claim. Credit: NFL Replay

This spy drop by Brockers is not unusual in Gregg Williams's scheme, but in this case it paid high dividends in that it took away one option for Winston. Had Brockers rushed the passer he may have been able to affect the play behind the line of scrimmage, perhaps forcing a throw or not allowing Winston to run the ball for a 10-yard game, but he trailed the the Bucs #3 receiver to the top side to the 2-yard line and prevented a throw then reversed his direction and stayed with that receiver.

Now, this was not a zone blitz where a replacement rusher gave chase to Winston while Brockers covered a short zone for an instant. He had the #3 receiver man-to-man for, essentially. He had the #3 receiver to just past the goalline before that receiver went into the endzone on what was likely his scramble rules and the other deeper defenders picked him up. There may not be another nose tackle in the NFL that could do what Brockers did.

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