Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Just Your Basic, Everyday Quadruple-Team

By John Turney

In Week Two of this NFL season, the Houston Texans travel to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals on Thursday Night Football. While it wasn;t the most exciting game of the season there were some interesting things.

One was a play in the third quarter, at around the 2:30 mark, where Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, this time playing right end, had four hats on him, which is coach-speak for having four blockers on him. A quadruple-team.

Don't believe us? Count 'em:
This is the television view. Credit:  NBC

This is the All-22 overhead view. Credit NFL Game Pass.
 The following are the end zone view from All-22 tape. Credit: NFL Game Pass
Eifert motioned from the right side of formation to outside of Watt
Eifert (the left end) and the left tackle, left guard and center converge on Watt

And they converge tighter

Eifert breaks off leaving a triple-team

Tackle steps out to help leaving a double as Watt deflects the pass.
Yes, it's true that all four blockers didn't block him for the entirety of the play, but we think it's pretty impressive to have a center, a guard, a tackle, and a tight end assigned to you at the outset of a play.


  1. And what's amazing is he actually deflected the pass. I honestly cannot recall any defender getting thus type of treatment, nor have I seen it on old film of the greats. Mercelus and Clowney certainly owe him lunch.

    1. Only seen it once, and it was a mistake. Someone went unblocked because 4 guys went to one player. Will try and dig it out and post as a companion piece.

  2. How often were the old defensive tackles like Merlin Olsen, Joe Greene, and Bob Lilly doubled and tripled? Watt is amazing man.

  3. I've seen quite a bit of doubling, as for triple, I've seen it on only a handful of guys, Len Ford, Gino Marchetti, Reggie White come to mind. The thing is dedicating three players to one so totally screws up other aspects of your scheme that it has to be infrequent. But quadruple team is crazy. Watched the Texans this past weekend and Watt is still sackless but is consistently doubled. I hope Mercilus and Clowney buy him dinner every Sunday night.