Saints 2 Man Coverage Does The Trick

By FirstDown PlayBook on Sep 13, 2021

Congratulations to the New Orleans Saints on their huge 38-3 win over the Packers yesterday. Anyone that says they saw that score coming ahead of time…well, they are not telling the truth. It got us wondering just what did the Saints do them? We did a little research and found some good old fashion 2 man coverage.

Aaron Rodgers’ post game interview was interesting as he mentioned the amount of 2 deep coverage they got. It was an interesting comment because two safeties normally means that the ground game should be effective.

A closer look however reveals that a lot of the 2 deep might have been 2 man coverage. To over simplify it, 2 man defense is rushing four to the quarterback. The defense plays man with the five underneath defenders and have two deep safeties.

2 man coverage is not like normal cover 2 because you already have one defender assigned to the running back on the snap. When the defense gets any kind of run or play action they are aggressive to the running back. This lessens the effectiveness of the run game.

The achilles heel of 2 man coverage is typically a mobile quarterback. Anyone who has watched Rodgers play knows he is mobile, but think about this. Rodgers did not play in any pre-season games. Rodgers was out there baking in that 90 degree weather all afternoon too.

An Example Of The Saints’ 2 Man Coverage On Sunday Below

Give the Saints defensive coordinator credit (Rodgers did) for betting that the Packers were not going to be willing to run the league MVP all afternoon. He was correct and it caused the Packers problems all game. The run game was average and Rodgers got some difficult looks when he dropped back to pass.

Now we are not saying that the Saints played the entire game in 2 man. You mix it up when you play Rodgers and the Packers. The Saints did a masterful job though of using it is situations like the one below. It was 1st and 10 on the Green Bay 36 yard line. It is the second quarter with 12:55 remaining.

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Green Bay calls what looks to be a shot play. Initially it looks like a simple slide naked boot but Rodgers was going to set up and heave it to the wheel route on the backside by 83. Hats off to the defensive end #92 who did a great job on the sack. The other standout thing about this play is that there were two safeties back there and Rogers had no where to go with the ball.