Packers Smell A Rat & Expose Him
A lot was made of the fact that the Aaron Rodgers and the Packers struggled so mightily against the Saints’ 2 man coverage. Last night Detroit ran their share of it too, testing Rodgers and the Packers patience to run the football. Rodgers didn’t get a lot of single safety looks but when he did he took advantage of it. This red zone rat in the hole coverage was one example.
This was essentially the last play of the 3rd quarter last night.It was still a game as the Packers were up by four 21-17 with 17 seconds in the third quarter. It was 2nd & 10 on the Lions’ 11 yard line. The ball is in the middle of the field. The Packers are playing with 11 personnel and the Lions matched them with nickel personnel.
We don’t show it on the drawing but the Packers shifted #17 Davante Adams from the right side to a bunch alignment prior to the snap. The safeties rotated and #25 Will Harris came down to the bunch side to play the point. This gave Rogers a great indicator that the middle of the field was going to be closed and likely man coverage.
Meanwhile, Detroit is in decent shape with three defenders over the bunch. They also have a bracket with #27 and the linebacker #34 on the tight end side on #89 Lewis and #33 Aaron Jones. They were rushing four to the quarterback. Simple math will now tell you that they have a free safety and a free underneath defender. This is your rat in the hole defender.
This Rat In The Hole Had A Lot Going On In A Hurry
That free underneath defender was Jamie Collins #8. He was about to have a lot happen to him in a short amount of time. Generally speaking his job is to play the crossing routes underneath and read the quarterback’s eyes. However, he also has to become a man coverage defender if all of the defenders from either side all come across.
A quick look at the play drawing below will show that this actually happened from both sides. Collins sorted it out but had a whole face full of traffic to run through to get to Aaron Jones. Jones took a counter step to the right and then came back to the other side.
Jones spit out into the flat and Rodgers did what Rodgers does. He hit Jones for one of his four touchdowns in the game. Collins really had no chance. Tap on the drawing to see the actual play.