Cam Newton’s Big Run: A look at the Inverted/Power Veer

In the Panthers Week 15 win, Cam Newton became the first player in NFL history with 5 passing TD and 100 rush yards in the same game. He gained 47 of these yards on one play with one of the Panthers favorite QB run concepts: the Inverted or Power Veer. Let’s take a further look at the concept.

The Panthers start with two receivers left and one receiver right along with Tight End Greg Olsen. The Giants are in a 4-3 defense, with the 1 and 7 technique to the left side, and a 3 and 7 technique to the right side. Even on 1st & 10, with 2 high safeties, the Giants are outnumbered 8 on 6 in the box:

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The Zone Read / Read Option Chess Match: How Belichick and the Versatile Pats D handled Russell Wilson & Marshawn Lynch

The Zone Read (or Read Option) played an integral part of Super Bowl 49. It is undoubtedly a staple in the Seahawk offense, and as I wrote in my SB XLIX preview, how the Patriots defended the Zone Read from an X’s and O’s standpoint would be crucial to the outcome of the game. The Patriots used their strength (the secondary) and almost exclusively played Cover 1. This allowed the Front 7 to play uncommon fronts and do a variety of things including feather, crash, loop, and squeeze the Read. By my count, not including the last Seattle drive, the Seahawks ran 12 Zone Read type plays out of 46 offensive plays, over a quarter of all their plays. Let’s take a further look at each Zone Read:

1st Quarter, 10:52, 0-0, 2nd and 7: Ball to Seattle 24 for Gain of 5

The Pre-Snap look with blocking assignments:

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Steelers Motion leads to Le’Veon Bell 81-Yd Run

Week 3’s Sunday Night Football game featured the Panthers hosting the Steelers. In the 3rd Quarter facing 2nd and 22, Le’Veon Bell ripped off a back breaking 81-yard run. In unbelievable fashion, this run happened without Carolina’s best two linebackers ever being blocked. (Defensive player of the year Luke Kuechely as well as Thomas Davis). How does this happen? The Steelers took advantage of a heavy set (3 Tight Ends, 1 Running Back, 1 Wide Receiver) and motion against the Panthers base 4-3 defense (4 D-lineman, 3 Linebackers, 2 Safeties, 2 Cornerbacks). Here is how the play looks before the motion; throughout the play the focus will be on the three highlighted Carolina Panthers: #59 Luke Kuechely, #58 Thomas Davis, and Carolina’s weakside Defensive End (#95).

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The picture below shows each Carolina defender’s run game responsibility before the motion, represented by the lettered gaps. (A-D). Continue reading