Oakland Raiders Film Room: Week 13 (Rams)

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Coverage Confusion

Credit: NFL Game Rewind

St. Louis once again has the ball and has converted on a couple of key third downs. This 1st & 10 play they come out in the traditional I formation with 21 personnel (2 RBs, 1 TE, 2 WRs) and runs play action for the HUGE gain. Oakland is in their base 4-3 under (4 DLs shifted weakside initially, 3 LBs, 4 DBs) in Cover 4 coverage, but showing Cover 2 at the snap. A big weakness of 2 safety coverages is the area below the safeties and behind the linebackers. On this play both LBs Sio Moore and Miles Burris bite hard on the play action, placing them out of position to cover that 8-10 yard middle hook zone. When QB Austin Davis winds up his throw Burris only has 5 yards of depth from the line of scrimmage with Moore being a mere 3 yards deep. CB Tarell Brown either slips or makes the worse Deion Sanders tackle impression ever, leaving open field for WR Stedman Bailey to run through after making the miraculous catch. Woodson makes the tackle, but St. Louis is in position to score and go up two touchdowns at the mid-point of the first quarter.