Let’s take a further look at the X’s & O’s of a concept that caught my eye from Week 2: the Kansas City Chiefs shovel pass touchdown, which also features jet motion and power read concepts.
Shovel, Jet, Power Read, and More
Andy Reid utilized his fastest players in (#10) Tyreek Hill and (#13) DeAnthony Thomas as decoys to beautifully set up (#87) Travis Kelce for a touchdown. On 2nd & 5 from the 15 with six minutes remaining in the game, the Chiefs aligned Thomas in the backfield and sent Hill in motion. The Eagles came out in a 4-3 alignment with one high safety:
The motion creates confusion for the Eagles defenders, and makes for even less certainty when Hill pivots and jet motions back to where he started. From the offensive line’s perspective, the play is blocked like power:
The combination of the power blocking scheme and the backfield action makes for a great play design. Kelce’s assignment is to run parallel to the line of scrimmage and be a target for a shovel pass. Meanwhile, Thomas will also run parallel to the line of scrimmage and provide a stretch mesh action. Quarterback Alex Smith rides the mesh going left like the inverted veer or power read concept. Like in inverted veer/power read, Smith is reading the unblocked left defensive end, highlighted with a green triangle above. If the defensive end crashes down, Smith should hand it off to Thomas. If the defensive end expands, instead of running, Smith shovel passes to Kelce. The right guard (#76) pulls, but his assignment flows with the Smith/Thomas mesh, making for an easy block and a hole the size of a truck:
This play design is difficult to defend on its own; a player as fast as Hill jetting the other way catches the Eagles linebackers completely flatfooted:
Look for the Chiefs to work off this concept as the season progresses. This could mean a nasty play action with the same backfield action and a deep throw, or the same backfield action with a screen going to Hill on the other side of the field. Although the Chiefs brought in Thomas to run the stretch path, there is no reason Kareem Hunt couldn’t do the same thing.