Sunday, January 15, 2012

Coverage by Simms of Broncos/Patriots ripped

Yahoo sports noted of the discussion by Phil Simms of the last TD pass to Gronkowski:

On the play Phil mistakenly analyzes (an 11-yard sideline catch by receiver Julian Edelman), the Broncos are playing with three down linemen, four guys at linebacker depth, and a two-man shell with underneath coverage. This to counter New England's four-wide shotgun look with Gronk outside the left tackle and a slot man on each side. The Gronkowski score has some similar traits — the Pats have four receivers again, but the right-side wide receiver is out more to the sideline, and cornerback Champ Bailey plays a bit more off as a result. While Denver runs another three-down look up front, they clearly bring a defender up from linebacker depth to fake a blitz before dropping. Gronkowski also goes straight up the middle instead of hitting a little hitch at the numbers downfield.
On the coverage, if anyone showed up late, it was safety David Bruton, not Williams, though Bruton was the guy throwing a fake blitz look at Brady. Maybe Williams did turn the wrong way, though we'd be hard-pressed to give Phil the benefit of the doubt on that one since:
a.) You never know what the coverage is actually supposed to be unless you're there talking to the coaches as the play goes off; and
b.) Phil didn't know which play he was looking at. If Bruton had deep middle responsibility, it's entirely possible that Williams didn't turn the wrong way at all.
Granted, with the benefit of hindsight and a few more seconds to look at each play, it's easier to discern who's doing what. But Simms is a paid analyst — he's supposed to know this stuff on point — and this was far from his only mistake in the game.
We have no doubt that Phil will be back in the booth for the AFC Championship game between the Pats and whoever wins the game between the Baltimore Ravens and Houston Texans. All we ask, Phil, is that you slow down a little and make sure you know what you're watching next time — especially when you're "breaking it down." Thanks!

Somehow, someone had dialed up the wrong video (not the TD pass to Gronkowski) and Simms was analyzing it as if it were the Gronkowski video, but at some point realized the problem.

If IPBiz remembers, there was a slight pushoff of the defender by Gronkowski, as there also was in the Branch TD catch. Gronkowki's control of the ball in the first TD catch was problematic, with the commentators saying the play would be reversed (it was not).

None of the above alters the dominance by the Patriots in this game.


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