Cardinals Scissors Smash Concept

By FirstDown PlayBook on Oct 18, 2021

This red zone touchdown that Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals scored yesterday is a good example of the chain reaction Murray sets off every time he drops back to pass. This Scissors Smash concept that they ran is hard enough to defend. When Murray does it there are additional problems for the defense.

This play actually comes right after a near disastrous play where the center snapped the ball before Murray was ready. This forced Murray to scramble for the ball. He recovered it on the Browns’ 21 yard line. So now the situation is 3rd and 21. The ball is on the Cardinals right hash and there is no score in the first quarter.

The Cardinals come out in 10 personnel and the Browns look to be in dime defense with six defensive backs on the field. The Cardinals staff calls a red zone scissors smash concept with #13 Christian Kirk and #10 DeAndre Hopkins providing the high low. You know that Hopkins is going to draw a lot of attention. They dress it up nicely though by doing it out of a three receiver side. The middle receiver #4 Rondale Moore ran a post.

This helped Kirk gain enough leverage on the Browns nickel defender to score on the bench route. Once again, this concept is well designed and hard to cover in itself. When you look closer you see that the Browns are in some sort of quarters coverage. They would have liked for #21 Denzel Ward to sink under this bench route to help out.

Murray Makes This Scissors Smash Concept Even Harder To Defend

In order to do that though Ward needed the underneath buzz player #33 Ronnie Harrison to get width. He didn’t do that. Three guesses why. Every time Kyler Murray goes back to pass it is an RPO of sorts. Murray had already begun to leak down the field inside of the Browns contain rusher. Harrison was frozen by this and never expanded so Ward could not sink to get under the throw.

Now when it’s 3rd and 21 that corner has to give up the hitch to Hopkins and let the Cardinals kick the field goal but that’s easy for us to say. The main point we want to make is that this scissors smash concept is an excellent red zone call. Also when Kyler Murray does it, he creates a chain reaction that puts stress on the defense. Bang on the play drawing below to see today’s FirstDown PlayBook All 22 play.

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