Tuesday, 24 April 2012

A study in LeGarrette Blount's 2011 season, part two: Week 2 @ Vikings



1st Quarter

(14:55) 1st & 10: Blount lines up singleback, Freeman under center. Play is a dropback pass. Blount runs forward, sees Joseph being pushed back by the DT. Goes inside of Joseph, looking downfield - appears to be on the look out for a delayed blitz. Seeing all the LBs have bailed, he then turns back to see if Joseph needs help. He puts a hand on Joseph's back, as if trying to stop him being pushed back. Freeman is sacked by Jared Allen, who beats Penn on the play.

What could Blount have done better?


I'm not sure there's much he could have done. With the play unfolding as it did, you could say that he should have helped out Joseph straight away (even though ultimately that DT didn't make the play directly, when Freeman saw Joseph being pushed back into him, Freeman scrambled left directly into Allen). However, what if there had been a blitzing LB? If Blount had gone straight up to help out Joseph and someone was coming late, they would have had a clear shot on Freeman. Blount therefore did the right thing. By the time he did go to help out Joseph, he was the wrong side of him to get any hands on the DT, so you can't really fault Blount on this play for anything in particular.



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(14:23) 2nd & 16: Blount lines up singleback, Freeman under center. O-line + TE (Winslow), right and H-Back (Stocker), right. Play is a handoff to Blount with a fake end-around to Benn after the handoff. Blount heads to the right side of the line. There is a DT flying at him (initially blocked by Joseph, and LB came down and ran into the back of the DT, pushing him into the backfield and into Blount's path), so Blount side steps him. Blount sees a DE coming free off of Winslow's block, so cuts back inside. He sees a CB there (initially covering Benn, but stayed in the box when Benn faked the end-around), and the CB goes low for him, so it looks like Blount tries to hurdle him. The CB hits his legs, which spins him around, similar to the famous Elway "helicopter" scramble. While he's mid-air, the other DT, who disengages from Larsen's block, wraps Blount up and brings him down for no gain.

What could Blount have done better?


The play goes through different phases. The first phase, the DT flying into the backfield, forcing Blount to side step, I have no problem with what Blount did in. At game speed, I don't think Blount knew that the DT was on the way to the ground (rather than bursting through the line, which is what I imagine it would have looked like to Blount), and there was no hole open in front of him anyway, so cutting outside was the right move. The question is should Blount have cut back inside when he saw the DE coming off the block? I'm not sure. Blount could have lowered his shoulders and tried to power past him - but if the DE had been able to stop him, it would have been a loss of yardage, either 1 or 2 depending on where the refs would have spotted it. Ultimately, I don't think it was a bad call on his part, but we'll never know. As such, I'd say it's only 50/50 whether or not Blount could have done anything different to get more yards.

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Graham subbed in for Blount on third down.

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(11:00) 1st & 10: Blount lines up singleback, Freeman under center. O-line + TE (Winslow), right and TE (Stocker), left. Play is a simple zone stretch run. Blount receives the handoff and runs to the left. There is a big pileup in the middle of the line, with players from both lines ended up tangled on the floor. Stocker seals the DE inside, allowing Blount to go around the outside of the line unimpeded. A Vikings safety comes down to the play. The safety shades outside Blount, to force him inside. Blount going inside of him, but the safety wraps up around Blount's legs. Jared Allen, meanwhile, gets off Stocker's block and wraps up Blount around the chest, falling on top of him, and the two of them bring Blount down from a gain of 7.

What could Blount have done better?


Not much. Blount could have lowered his shoulder to try go through the safety, instead of cutting inside - but Allen would have likely broken free by then, and even going over the safety would have slowed him down enough that Allen would have brought him down - and probably for a much shorter gain. So, no complaints on this one.

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(10:24) 2nd & 3: Blount lines up tailback in I-form, Lorig at FB, Freeman under center. OL + TE (Winslow), right. Play is another zone stretch by the looks of it. Blount takes the handoff and runs to the outside of the line. Sees Jared Allen, who beat Penn easily, coming for him, and cuts downfield. Sees an LB coming off of Lorig's block, and cuts back towards the middle of the field, right into two defenders, who stuff him at the LOS for no gain.

What could Blount have done better?

This one, I am going to pick up Blount on, at least a little. When he saw Allen coming free, then he did right trying to go another direction. My issue is the next part - seeing an LB coming off of Lorig's block. Now, the LB ended up falling over (not sure how, looks like he might have tripped on Lorig's legs), but personally, an LB who still has an FB's hands on him will have some pressure on him. If Blount had lowered his shoulder and powered through, he should have been able to push him back at least a little, and would have got some positive yards. Still, he was probably looking at 2, maybe 3 yards at best. The breakdown of the play still rests on Penn, though.

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Graham subbed in for Blount on third down. Put back in after the conversion.

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(8:56) 1st & 10: Blount lines up singleback, Freeman under center. OL + TE (Winslow), left and H-Back (Stocker), left. Stocker motions infield, sets up behind Zuttah. Play is a rollout pass off of play action. Blount fakes receiving the handoff, heads to the right side of the line. All of the Minnesota front seven bite on the play-action, and the play sucks one of the safeties into the box, too. This leaves Winslow wide open, who catches Freeman's pass and and runs for 13 yards after the catch, 18 total.

What could Blount have done better?

Nothing. He sold the fake handoff and sucked almost the entire defense out of position, opening up the whole left side of the field for Winslow.

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(8:14) 1st & 10: Blount lines up tailback in I-form, Lorig at FB, Freeman under center. OL + TE (Stocker), left. Play is a misdirection run. Blount follows Lorig to the left, then peels back inside. A safety, who had crept up to the LOS on the outside of the weakside DE, comes through unblocked and meets Blount in the backfield. Blount attempts a spin move to the outside, but the safety grabs hold of one of his legs and bring hims down for a loss of three.

What could Blount have done better?

Two people to blame for this play's failure, of which Blount is definitely one. The other one is Benn. Benn ran a slant route on the play - from the Williams' study, I've recognised that the Bucs do often send a receiver on a slant route on run plays, with an aim of getting them to block a safety. The safety who crept up to the line is the who Benn would be blocking at the end of the slant route. However, because the safety was at the line, Benn just ran past him on a slant route, leaving him to come through unblocked. Benn should have recognised that his assignment has repositioned himself, and adjusted. Instead, Benn just ran the slant route, leaving the safety to make a play. All that said, Blount might have been put in a bad situation by Benn, but he could have still done something with it by powering through the safety. Blount is big enough, and had he gotten through, then there was a lot of open field in front of him, with only a corner remaining on the right side of the field. Worst comes to worst, Blount would still have been brought down for the same loss of yardage. It's true that, had Blount's spin avoided the safety, then he would have a lot of open field, but still - he's a big running back, not a ballerina. Lower that shoulder and run over someone!

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Graham subbed in for Blount on second down, remains in for the rest of the series.

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2nd Quarter

(15:00) 1st & 10: Blount lines up at tailback in I-form, Lorig at FB, Freeman under center. OL + TE (Stocker), left. Play is a fake throw to Williams, then a delayed handoff to Blount. Blount side steps to the right as Freeman pumpfakes, then runs to the right side of the line, receiving the handoff for Freeman. Ahead of him, Lorig fails blocking an LB, and the LB coming free forces Blount outside. The FS, who blitzed as soon as the ball was snapped, meets Blount in the hole. Blount lowers his shoulder and tries to run through him. The safety holds him up, the LB who came free off of Lorig's block joins in, and then several defenders also get involved, gang tackling him for no gain.

What could Blount have done better?

Very hard to say. Even if Lorig had stopped the LB in his tracks and sealed him inside, I would still have said that Blount would have gone in the right direction, with there being a clear, huge running lane between Lorig and Trueblood. Had Lorig sealed in the block, you can make the argument that Blount would have been going at a faster speed, having not needed to slow down to cut outside, and that extra momentum might have pushed him through the safety, but none of that is Blount's fault. Blount did exactly what people accuse him of not doing - making a single cut, sticking with decisively and lowering his shoulder, rather than dancing in the backfield etc. It's true that he could have cut back inside, where there were no defenders, but he would have had to have done that before he cut away from the LB Lorig was meant to be blocking. Blount ran where there was a big hole, and the FS happened to come in. If anything, Mike Williams should have blocked that safety - as mentioned above, that is typically what the Bucs send WRs to do on slant routes during run plays, and it actually looks like Williams cut downfield early to avoid the contact. If you're the type of person who accuses Blount of too much dancing in the backfield etc, then you cannot fault him on this play - he did everything a power runner should do.

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(14:20) 2nd & 10: Blount lines up singleback, Freeman under center. O-line + TE (Winslow), right and H-Back (Stocker), right. Pre-snap, Stocker motions infield until he's behind the B gap between Penn and Zuttah. Penalty flags. False start - snap infraction by Faine.

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Graham subbed in for Blount on second down. There is a penalty for offsides by Minnesota on the play. Replay second down.

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(13:38) 2nd & 10: Blount lines up at tailback in I-form, Lorig at FB, Freeman under center. Play is a pocket pass off of play-action. Blount runs forward, fakes receiving the handoff but immediately stands upright looking for a blitzer. Seeing that he's not need, Blount runs over to the left sideline - presumably to run to the flat for a checkdown, but Freeman throws the ball just as Blount runs outside of Penn. Freeman gets the ball off to Benn, though it is incomplete.

What could Blount have done better?

Nothing really. Freeman had plenty of time to throw the ball.

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Graham subbed in for Blount on third down.

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(5:01) 1st & 10: Blount lines up at tailback in I-form, Lorig at FB, offset to the left (originally strongside, but Stocker motions across, making it weakside), Freeman under center. OL + TE (Stocker), originally left, but motions across and sets up right side of the line. Play is a quick dropback pass. At the snap, Blount heads straight for the strongside B gap. Looks for a blitzer, but between the OL, Stocker and Lorig, there is no-one coming free. Blount relaxes. Freeman throws an incomplete pass to Williams on a quick slant.

What could Blount have done better?

In the actual play, nothing, but you never like to see someone just stop moving - even though the pass was already thrown then. Still, there was nothing Blount did that was 'wrong', I just might have liked to see him running downfield to block someone in the secondary, in case Williams had caught the ball. Nevertheless, Blount's primary assignment appeared to be blitz pickup, and there were no blitzers coming through that needed picked up.

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Graham subbed in for Blount on second down, remains in for the rest of the series.

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Blount is not in on the next offensive series.

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3rd Quarter

(11:39) 1st & 10: Blount lines up singleback, Freeman under center. OL + TE (Stocker), left and H-Back (Winslow), right. Play is a rollout pass off of play-action. Blount takes a dummy step to his right, then runs to the left of the line, faking receiving the handoff on the way. Davin Joseph pulls over to the left of the line, which aids in selling the play action to the defense, with all the linebackers and a safety being sucked into the box. Joseph then stops to block Jared Allen, and Blount sets up outside of him, looking for an edge rusher. Freeman rolls out and completes to Stocker.

What could Blount have done better?

Freeman got the throw off unmolested, as it were (though he was chased), and between him, Blount and Joseph, they definitely sold the play action. Could Blount have done something better? Perhaps, but as I am not privy to the knowledge of the exact blocking schemes that the Bucs use, I'll have to speculate. If Blount was meant to set up outside of Joseph, he couldn't have done anything better. If his assignment was to merely pick up a rusher on that side, meaning he didn't have to be outside Joseph but just anywhere on the left side of the field, then he could have done something better. Jared Allen got off of Joseph's block on the inside. If Blount was meant to be just in that general part of the field, then Blount should have been there to pick up Allen, rather than Allen coming free to chase after Freeman. However, Blount does quite decidedly set up outside of Joseph, making me think that was his assignment. Unfortunately, no-one who is not either on the Bucs roster or coaching staff will ever know.

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(11:06) 1st & 10: Blount lines up at tailback in I-form, Lorig at FB, Freeman under center. OL + TE (Winslow), left. Play is a simple running play up the right B gap with Lorig lead blocking. Blount receives the hand off. Lorig sees an LB coming through the A gap and in good position to make a play on Blount. Lorig peels off, blocking the LB. With Lorig blocking the LB, Joseph locking up the DT and Trueblood washing the DE upfield, Blount has a narrow, but sealed, running lane between Trueblood and Joseph. Blount hits the hole, running downfield towards the right sideline, then turns up inside of Williams' block on the CB. Blount then sprints downfield, keeping the safety at bay with an arm, and as the safety tries to ankle tap him, leaps into the end zone for a 27 yard touchdown.

What could Blount have done better?

Um.... better endzone dance?

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(10:56) 1st & 10: Blount lines up at tailback in I-form, Lorig at FB, Freeman under center. OL + TE (Winslow), right. Play is exactly the same as the one Blount scored the touchdown on, but in the opposite direction. Lorig again gets a very solid block on an LB coming down, springing Blount open by sealing the right edge of the running lane, with Penn sealing the left edge. Unlike the previous play, Williams does not block the CB, but rather blocks the safety. The CB, unblocked, comes down to meet Blount, but Blount hurdles him. The safety, meanwhile, gets off Williams' block, then wraps up Blount as he lands, and, together with the other safety who's come across the field, for a gain of 13.

What could Blount have done better?

Nothing. If Williams had sustained the block on the safety, then, as long as Blount was able to evade the second safety, he could have gone for another touchdown.

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(10:19) 1st & 10: Blount lines up at tailback in I-form, Lorig at FB, Freeman under center. OL + TE (Winslow), right. Play is a pocket pass off of play action. Blount fakes receiving the handoff, then, as soon as he stands up, sees a linebacker blitzing up the middle and drops, laying a textbook cutblock on the LB that lands him on his back and out the play. Freeman has oodles of time to throw (the pass was dropped by Winslow).

What could Blount have done better?

Nothing. Perfect pass protection from Blount.

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(10:13) 2nd & 10: Blount lines up, singleback, Freeman under center. OL + 2 TE, Stocker left, Winslow right. Play is a simple stretch play to the left. By the time Blount even receives the handoff, a linebacker has burst through the line completely unblocked - Penn completely blew his assignment. Blount is heading to the left anyway, so continues running to the left without having to cut or sidestep. Jared Allen has beaten Stocker, and another LB has beaten Zuttah, meaning there are now three defenders around Blount. Blount lowers his shoulder and tries to go through Allen but he fails, with the LB that beat Zuttah wrapping him up from behind for no gain.

What could Blount have done better?

Nothing, in this case. Blocking assignments were blown pretty much everywhere. The only two of the seven people on the line who actually blocked someone was Joseph, who immediately released upfield and pancaked a linebacker, and, shockingly, Winslow, who blocks the DE. There was nowhere to go. As already said, Blount was brought down by two defenders who should have been blocked by Stocker and Zuttah. If, when Blount saw those two in front of him, he tried cutting back inside, he'd had run into the linebacker who Penn let through. The only other time he could have cut back was as soon as he received the handoff, when he saw the LB who Penn let through in front of him in the backfield - then, he might have cut back to the right. In that situation, he would still have been brought down by the two DTs, who both Faine and Trueblood failed to block.

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Graham subbed in for Blount on third down. Blount is put back in next play.

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(8:59) 1st & 10: Blount lines up at tailback in I-form, Lorig at FB, Freeman under center. OL + TE (Stocker), right. Play is a simple run to the left with the FB lead blocking. An LB blitzes off the weakside, but Lorig gets in a solid block. Blount reads Lorig's block and goes around the outside of him, then cutting downfield inside of Penn's block on an LB. As he crosses the LOS, a DT gets off of Faine's block and wraps up Blount. Blount fights forwards for a few more yards. Gain of 3ish.

What could Blount have done better?

Nothing really. I blame Penn for making a bad read at the beginning - Lorig should never have had to block the LB in my opinion. Penn instead doubleteams with Zuttah on Allen, then peels off to block another LB. Penn does lock up that LB well, but I would have thought that the LB, creeping up to the LOS, would becoming Penn's responsibility. I say that because, based on the rest of the line (and Stocker), it appears to be a zone-blocking play. Now, according to zone-blocking rules, had the LB not crept up to the LOS, then Penn did then right thing, as Allen was shading him. But, once the LB did creep up, then he would become Penn's responsibility according to zone-blocking rules. Had Penn done this, it should have allowed Lorig to lead for Blount longer, while also giving time for Blount to look back for the cutback lane, as you normally get on inside zone plays. However, with Lorig having to suck up the LB immediately, it forced Blount to go outside, and therefore not in any position to take advantage of any cutback lanes. Despite that, Blount would still have gotten some more significant yardage if Faine had kept up his block on the DT, without question. As a result of Blount not being in the position to take advantage of any cutback lanes, Blount did everything he was supposed to do on the play.

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(8:27) 2nd & 7: Blount lines up at tailback in I-form, Lorig at FB, Freeman under center. OL + TE (Winslow), right. Play is a rollout pass off of play action. Blount fakes receiving the handoff, and runs through the B gap on the left side up to the LOS, where he stops. The entire front seven and one of the safeties gets suck in by the play. Freeman rolls out and completes to Winslow for a first down.

What could Blount have done better?

As I've said previously, I'm not a fan of players ever standing still on a play at any point. After the defense reacts to the fact that Blount doesn't have the ball, most of the Bucs just stand around or jog listlessly towards the play, of which Blount was one. Not a fan. But, it didn't actually have any negative effect on the play, it's more a personal pet peeve of mine.

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(7:50) 1st & 10: Blount lines up at tailback in I-form, Lorig at FB, Freeman under center. OL + TE (Winslow), left. Play is a dropback pass. Blount goes to pick up a blitzing linebacker. Goes to cutblock him, but Blount goes to cutblock too early, and the linebacker goes around him. Still the LB doesn't get to Freeman before he's thrown the ball. Freeman throws an interception.

What could Blount have done better?

Well, it's a bit of a self-evident question: Blount should have not committed to the cutblock so early. He committed so early that he didn't have his head up, meaning he didn't actually see where the LB was, meaning he missed him the LB completely. I explained in my breakdown of the Lions game how cutblocks can back fire. Again, Blount read the blitz well and at least attempted to block - something that wasn't always true of Lumpkin - but he needs to improve his technique, something the new coaching staff should be able to achieve. In this instance, Blount's blown block didn't have a detrimental effect on the play, but still not good enough.

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(5:28) 1st & 10: Blount lines up at tailback in I-form, Lorig at FB, Freeman under center. OL + TE (Stocker), right. Play is a counter run. Blount takes a dummy step backwards with his left foot, then runs forward, receives the handoff and follows his blockers through a running lane that opens up between Trueblood and Stocker. Trueblood, Joseph and Faine all downblock, sealing in the D-line and setting one edge of the running lane. Stocker blocks the strongside DE, setting the other edge. Lorig is first through, meeting and blocking a linebacker who has come down into the hole. Zuttah on a pull is next through, and takes on a DT who has gotten off of Faine's block. Blount reads Zuttah's block and cuts outside of him. There is a CB in front of him who sets up take Blount low. Blount attempts to hurdle, but mistimes the jump, and is hit in the thighs, causing him land on the ground. The DT, who has gotten free from Faine and Zuttah's block, wraps him up on the ground. Gain of 8.

What could Blount have done better?


Stylistically, of course, he could have timed the hurdle better, but even had he done so, the DT who Faine and Zuttah failed to block would have wrapped him up at roughly the same spot, so I don't think he'd had gotten any more yards on the play. With the CB going low, the option to lower his shoulder never really presented itself to Blount, so he either had to jump over or go round him. There was no room to the left of the CB, so he could have cut to the right of the CB - but in that case, there is a more than likely chance he would have been wrapped up from behind by the DE, who had just broken free from Stocker's block. As a result, I think Blount did everything he could have done in terms of yardage on the play - though it would have looked prettier if he timed his hurdle better.

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(4:55) 2nd & 2: Blount lines up at tailback in I-form, Lorig at FB, Freeman under center. OL + TE (Winslow), left. Play is a delayed handoff to Blount. Blount waits for a second while Freeman pump fakes towards Williams, then runs forward and receives the handoff. Running towards the middle of the line, there are no gaps open, and what looks like an LB coming free. Blount turns to the left, where there is a large patch of open field. Blount cuts to the left around the OL then turns downfield. There is a defender in front of him. Blount lowers his shoulder and tries to run through him. Another defender gets to Blount as he makes contact, and the two defenders wrap him up low. Blount forces himself forward so that he lands forwards rather than backwards, adding extra yardage. Gain of five on the play. Penalty flags. Holding by Zuttah.

What could Blount have done better?

Depending on your sensibilities, either nothing, or a fair bit. If you believe Blount should stop dancing around defenders and just lower his shoulder and power on through, he did everything perfectly - including getting the first down, though it was nullified by the holding call. If you think Blount should be looking to dance and evade, however, you can argue that, had he cut again to the outside of the defender, he could have made more yards - but since many people accuse Blount of doing the latter too often and the former not enough, I don't see how people can really have a problem with the play, seeing as Blount did get the most important thing in this situation - the first down.

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Graham subbed in for Blount on second-and-long, stays in on third down. Blount put back in after the third down conversion.

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(2:39) 1st & 10: Blount lines up at tailback in I-form, Lorig at FB, Freeman under center. OL + TE (Stocker), left. Play is a simple FB-lead run to the weakside. Trueblood sidesteps the end to take a linebacker. Lorig peels off to seal the linebacker inside. Blount reads Lorig's block and runs outside of him. He sees Trueblood blocking an LB in front of him, and, seeing the LB is leaning towards Trueblood's outside, cuts inside through the B gap. A linebacker has come into the hole, but Joseph, who was doubleteaming a DT with Faine, peels off and pushes the LB towards the outside. Blount reads this too so cuts inside of Joseph. Faine, without Joseph, is unable to sustain the block on the DT, who wraps up Blount. A defender, who Zuttah has pushed several yards downfield, gets off the block and comes in to help wrap up Blount. The LB gets off Joseph's block and also joins in, as does the LB that Trueblood was blocking. Gain of 4.

What could Blount have done better?

The point where Blount cut inside of Trueblood is the only point where he could have done something different - i.e. cut to the outside. Doing so, however, would have meant more time going east-to-west rather than north-to-south, which you never really like seeing in a running back unless there's no other option. If the LB had come free on that side and stopped Blount there, the play would have gone to no gain, so it would also have been fully dependent on Trueblood holding the block - something that is not guaranteed, especially as Trueblood did fail to sustain the block through the end of the play. I'd therefore say that Blount made the right decisions, focusing on going downfield rather than trying to move laterally to find open field.

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(1:59) 2nd & 6: There's lots of pre-snap shifting and motions, but the final formation is Blount lined up as singleback, Freeman under center. OL + TE (Winslow), right and H-Back (Graham), right. Play is a dropback pass. Blount hops forwards, then dashes through the B gap between Joseph and Trueblood, turning round to present a checkdown option. Freeman throws a deep pass to Williams, which is caught for a touchdown, but the touchdown is nullified by an illegal shift penalty by the Bucs. (Blount was open)

What could Blount have done better?

Nothing, really. Based on Blount's previous play when he's been left in for pass protection, he's actually been really disciplined when it comes to blitz pickups. The fact that he runs straight downfield to present a checkdown option suggests that this was his assignment, not pass-pro. No defenders come near Freeman, who gets the throw off perfectly (as I said, it would have been a touchdown if there had not been a pre-snap penalty), so it does appear like Blount was always to present a checkdown option rather than have any protection responsibilities on this play.

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Graham subbed in for Blount on second-and-long, stays in for Blount on third down.

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(9:41) 1st & 10: Blount lines up at tailback in I-form, Lorig at FB, Freeman under center. OL + TE (Winslow), right. Play is a pocket pass off of play-action. Blount fakes receiving the handoff, running to the left of the line, then stands up and pauses for a second. Appears to look at a linebacker (presumably Blount's responsibility should the LB have blitzed, but he has not) then runs into the right flat for a checkdown option. Freeman throws to Winslow but the pass bounces off his hands. (Blount was open)

What could Blount have done better?

Not much. The defense did not get sucked into the play-action in the same way they had previously in the game, but I don't think that's really Blount's fault. Except for that, he appeared to check for a delayed blitz before he ran to present a checkdown option - something Lumpkin rarely did, so no complaints here.

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(9:35) 2nd & 10: Blount lines up at tailback in I-form, Lorig at FB, Freeman under center. OL + TE (Winslow), right. Play is a simple FB-lead run to the weakside. An LB runs through the weakside B gap, but Lorig meets him and locks him up, sealing him to the inside. Blount reads the block and cuts outside of Lorig. Seeing Allen coming free from Penn's block, Blount cuts back inside (Allen read this and came back inside Penn, allowing Penn to recover and block Allen for long enough). He sees Faine has washed a DT to the weakside, so continues with the cut inside, then turns downfield inside Faine. Joseph and Zuttah in front of him have blocks on their on a DT and LB respectively, but there's an LB coming down unblocked between them to meet Blount (Trueblood's blown block). Blount heads at him, then cuts to the right at the last moment (so that he's inside Joseph). The DT pushes Joseph back into Blount. Blount, however, does not go down, but rather spins round in order to maintain his balance, staying on his feet. Now facing backwards, he continues pushing downfield through the DT and the LB who was unblocked, who wraps up Blount's legs, bringing him down for a gain of 8.

What could Blount have done better?

Nothing, it was a great run by Blount. Blount read his blocks well, making good decisions about where to cut based on those reads, and, after he's hit, uses his size and power to stay upright and force himself for an extra three-four yards after the initial contact with Joseph. Had Trueblood blocked the LB, Blount would have been left with only the safeties to contend with.

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Graham subbed in for Blount on third-and-two. Remains subbed in after the conversion for the next two sets of downs, then Blount is put back in.

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(6:45) 1st & 10: Blount lines up as singleback, Freeman under center. OL + TE (Winslow), left and H-Back (Stocker), left. Play is a rollout(ish) pass off of play action. Blount fakes receiving the handoff on a stretch to the right. He pulls up when he gets to the O-line, then then looks back infield. The pass is away before Blount has time to go either into blitz pickup or checkdown mode, so cannot tell what his assignment was on the play. After Graham has been in on the past two sets of downs, implying pass-heavy, the entire seven and the strong safety bite very hard on the play action. With the SS now down in the box, there is no one over the top of Benn, who, having outpaced the CB, catches Freeman's pass for a touchdown.

What could Blount have done better?

Nothing. Him, Freeman and Stocker, who had pulled across as if he were lead blocking, sold the fake successfully to the defense, opening up Benn for the TD. With Freeman throwing the pass quickly, I cannot tell what Blount would have gone on to do for the rest of the play.

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Bucs begin their next offensive series, their last of the game, in hurry up mode, so Graham is subbed in from Blount to start the drive. After four first downs, Blount is put in on first-and-goal, from the Vikings' 4-yard line.

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(0:35) 1st & Goal, from the 4: Blount lines up at tailback in I-form, Lorig at FB, Freeman under center. OL + TE (Stocker) right. Play is a counter run. Blount dummies a step backwards with the left foot, then runs to the right of the line, receiving the handoff. As all counters feature the line downblocking, Penn, Faine, and Joseph each downblock one of three DL, with the fourth DL being doubleteamed by Trueblood and Stocker (who then peels off to block an LB). This leaves another LB who was set on the line (Vikings in 4-3 Over) unblocked; Lorig takes on the linebacker and seals him to the outside. Zuttah on a pull cuts inside of Lorig. Blount reads Lorig's block and cuts inside, then cuts further inside and downfield, inside Zuttah (who blocks the third LB coming into the hole). The LB has gotten low, so though Zuttah ties to block him, he can't stop the LB sliding out underneath him and wrapping up around Blount's legs. Blount's legs are then also wrapped up by a CB who Benn failed to block. Blount uses his size and momentum to power through them so that he falls forwards rather than backwards; he lands over the goal line for a touchdown.

What could Blount have done better?

The dude read his blocks and scored a touchdown. What more can you ask?

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