Found November 28, 2012 on Fox Sports Southwest:
X's and O's of football are often times discussed without solution. That is why when something makes as much sense as Robert Griffin III matching up with a Mike Shanahan offense, we should all salute a team that can pull it off. In June, we spent quite a bit of time explaining why this should be a major fear for the Cowboys and all other NFC East foes, and those threats were on full display for all to see on Thanksgiving Day. The two biggest plays the Cowboys have conceded in 2012 happened on this afternoon, and one was off the beauty of a simple classic conflict that the threat of what could be ends up being the reality of what is. Here it is. Washington in Shotgun 21-personnel, which allows them to sit in the shotgun and still be run-heavy. It is 1st and 15 and the Cowboys have dedicated the front 7 and an additional safety in Gerald Sensabaugh (who is on the top half) walking in to show an 8th in the box. The idea here is to pass in a run situation. When the linebackers and safeties are thinking run, it gives huge opportunities down the field against only a few defenders. This, you might note, is the exact opposite of the Cowboys current situation where they are trying to pass after declaring pass (lining up in Shotgun every play with 11 personnel) and facing a secondary that is filled with 7-8 defenders. In the blue circle is Danny McCray, who will be the player who Griffin is watching on the play fake. All he needs is a forward movement from McCray to know that his play is up top to speedster Alrdick Robinson. What makes the run fake so potent is that Alfred Morris has been running very well to this point, including the last play from scrimmage which was a 10 yard run for Morris. The Cowboys are now focusing on stopping the run, and on 1st and 15, they are anticipating this to be a great spot to run again. Griffin delivers a fine play fake, and the Skins send Pierre Garcon on a dig route that he runs in front of the safeties at about 15 yards. Below, see Sensabaugh step forward and Robinson pass by McCray who has already lost him at his original depth. Once McCray took a step forward, the odds of him being able to reverse direction and catch a sprinter in full gallop was completely gone. It is all predicated on the threat of a run. If the linebackers and safeties mind their responsibilities, then you will have to lay it off to Morris or the tight end in the flat. Garcon is drawing the safety over the middle and Robinson is doubled up top. The issue with doubling up top is that someone has to make sure he doesn't get behind your last man. And that was solved with the fake. In this picture, as Griffin is in his windup, Robinson is already 5 yards clear of the closest man. All RG3 has to do is throw the ball as far as he can and this will be a Touchdown if it isn't dropped. It was the longest play that the Cowboys have given up all season long, and frankly, one of the simplest concepts in football. Play action only works when you run the ball. And, some would counter with this truth: running the ball is much easier when you have a QB who can do what Griffin does. So, we arrive back at balance. The run sets up the pass. The pass sets up the run. The defense is spinning in confusion and the offense is dictating the football game. For once, what looks so simple on the white board is equally as simple on the field. And the Redskins are doing it on a semi-regular basis now. Just wait until they get more pieces together. The Redskins have already scored 30 points as many times in 2012 (5) as they had in 2007-2011 combined. Let that sink in. 30 points in 11 games as many times as they had in 80 games. There is a new dawn in Washington and it is strictly based on a scheme and a player that fit so perfectly together. SPLASH PLAYS Let's take a look at the "Splash Plays" from Week 11 versus the Redskins: Splash Plays are key impact plays from the defense. Usually, they are obvious, but there are some that blur the line. I have listed time and play of each one for those who want to double check my work. For more, read a detailed explanation of this study here: What is a Splash Play? WEEK 11 Vs Washington From a positive standpoint, as we declare the chapter and verse of all of the splash plays from Thanksgiving, it seems like a good idea to focus a bit on the play of Jason Hatcher in 2012. It was absolutely vital that he stepped up and played better this season, and on this day, it seemed that Hatcher was just about as unstoppable a force as the Cowboys featured on the entire defense. Hatcher had just 13 splash plays last season and already has surpassed that number in 2012. He should generally get favorable match-ups next to DeMarcus Ware and seems to be working off the stunts and end-tackle games better than we have seen in a long, long time. As you look for things to get excited about this season, I would suggest the play of Hatcher on the defensive line is one of those items that you can latch on to. And the fact that he is on the books in 2013 at a very nice cap number (2.8m) is one position you don't have to worry too much about. Q-TimeDDYdPlayerPlay1-15:00110O20WareRun Stuff1-14:09310O20HatcherDrew Grounding Penalty1-7:01110O49SpencerSack2-5:05110O29SpencerSack2-3:09110O42ClaiborneTackle For Loss2-0:30110D33CrawfordSack3-11:38110O13HatcherSack3-1:5036D47HatcherPressure4-9:1228O22PeprahInterception4-8:18110O20ConnerTackle For Loss4-3:1428D30SpencerRun Stuff4-3:0338D30ClaibornePass Defended Up to date season standings - thru 11 games. It is worth noting how Anthony Spencer has come on and has now almost caught Ware. If you factor in debits for penalties and games played, you might make the case that Spencer has been the superior player. PlayerSplashesWare25.5Spencer24.5Carter15Hatcher13.5Claiborne11Lee10Brent8.5Carr7Ratliff6VButler5Scandrick5Crawford5Sensabaugh4McCray4Spears3Jenkins2Coleman2Peprah2Conner2Lissemore1Lewis1Church1Albright1Team Total158 =========== BLITZING REPORT For most of 2012, the Cowboys have hardly ever blitzed and hardly ever been burned because of it. But, on this day, they will rue the play Pierre Garcon made on them to punish them for blitzing 5 and not getting home. The other big play, the TD to Niles Paul, was not so much a blitz as it was a short yardage sell out to stop the run and then a painfully blown coverage behind it. Not exactly a traditional blitz, but nevertheless, they were burned. Q-TimeDDYdPlayRushers2-13:57115O32Griffin to Robinson, 68 TD42-2:25212O41Griffin to Garcon, 59 TD54-12:5731D29Griffin to Paul, 29 TD64-7:38211O19Griffin to Moss, 234 And, here are their four sacks, none of which were generated off of the blitz. It is a bit misleading to say there were 4 sacks, given that Griffin appeared to be running on 1 or 2 of them, but they were scored as sacks so we will roll with that. Q-TimeDDYdPlayRushers1-7:01110O49Spencer Sack42-5:05110O29SpencerSack32-0:30110D33Crawford Sack43-11:38110O13Hatcher Sack4 Pass Rushers Against Washintgon- 31 pass rushblitz situations: Pass Rushers1st D2nd D3rd D4th DTotal3 Rush222064 Rush8580215 Rush021036 Rush001017 Rush00000 And, here are the full season numbers to date: Pass Rushers1st D2nd D3rd D4th DTotal3 Rush9 - 720 - 1526 - 250554 Rush85 - 7177 - 5859 - 564 - 672255 Rush22 - 1831 - 2315 - 142 - 33706 Rush4 - 34 - 37 - 6015Totals12013210660 The game by game pressure numbers: Wk 1 - NYG: 1137 - 30 Wk 2 - SEA: 1026 - 38 Wk 3 - TB: 1232 - 37 Wk 4 - CHI: 1227 - 44 Wk 5 - BAL: 1027 - 37 Wk 6 - CAR: 939 - 23 Wk 7 - NYG: 231 - 6 Wk 8 - ATL: 537 - 14 Wk 9 - PHI: 743 - 16 Wk 10 - CLE: 436 - 11 Wk 11 - Wash 330 10 Totals: 85375 - 23 Just a tough day for a defensive unit that has had a pretty good season. They are beginning to lose more and more key players and are trying to hold things together. The attrition is leading to more backups and out of work free agents altogether. That leaves to a more vanilla approach, but it is pretty clear that they cannot be what they were conceived to be back in the summer. And that, is something I believe we say about this time of year just about every year. Injuries show your depth or lack thereof. And speaking of injuries, here comes a Philadelphia offense without any of their starters besides Brent Celek, Eva Mathis, and Jeremy Maclin. That should mean the defense can handle its business, with or without injuries.

Could RG3 become the first 3,000/1,000 QB? The third player named ROY and MVP?

Robert Griffin III has been without a doubt the best QB in the NFL over the past two weeks. The rookie sensation has thrown 8 touchdowns and one interception and put together a stat line of 34 completions in 43 attempts with 511 yards. He was named NFL Offensive Player of the Week against the Eagles and could do it again for his play against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day. Add his...

Week 13 NFL Picks Expect Robert Griffin III to Once Again Make Things Tough for Giants (Podcast)

The only people who came up shorter in Week 12 of the NFL season than the New York Jets were the NFL Ppicks podcasters. senior assistant editor Mike Cole and assistant editor Ricky Doyle struggled through the Thanksgiving week, taking a beating against the spread after beating up their respective Turkey Day food spreads. They’re back at it again this week, hoping...

NFL Rumors: RG3 Would Not Vote For Himself As NFL Rookie Of The Year?

Robert Griffin III is having a phenomenal rookie season with the Washington Redskins in 2012. It may go down as the greatest of all time, as he is setting records left and right, although he is not the only rookie quarterback shattering marks that were set decades ago. Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts is also having a record breaking rookie campaign as the No. 1 overall pick...

Justin Tuck: I have nightmares about Robert Griffin III

The New York Giants had a ton of trouble with Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III when they faced him over a month ago, and they will have to step up to the challenge again on Monday night. It doesn’t sound like Justin Tuck is looking forward to it very much. “Until I exit stage right, it seems like (Griffin is) going to be a fixture in my dreams and nightmares...

Philly Sports World Fantasy week 13 sits/starts and game of the week

Is Robert Griffin III the real deal? Monday we will find out when the Redskins take on the Giants. Griffin is coming off two of the best weeks ever for a rookie quarterback and I’m predicting that will continue. Redskins 27 Giants 17 Sit> Aaron Hernandez> Last week he was out there and playing but with the Patriots running away with the division you would have to think he...

Heisman Weekend Preview: The end of the road

It’s been a while since the last weekend of college football promised so little drama with regards to the Heisman race. On 2011′s last weekend, Robert Griffin III went 15 of 22 for 320 yards and two touchdowns, with two more scores on the ground, in Baylor’s 48-24 win over Texas. Griffin III’s performance against [...]

NFL Rumors: Robert Griffin III Tops Peyton Manning In Best NFL Jersey Sales

Robert Griffin III has taken the NFL by storm in his rookie season with the Washington Redskins. Not only has the Heisman Trophy winner excited the league with his play on the field, but he has won the hearts of the fans as well, who have helped make his jersey the No. 1 seller in the NFL from the time he was drafted through the Thanksgiving Weekend games. RG3 is the No. 1 jersey...

Tebow on another list: Top selling NFL jerseys of 2012

From April 1 to Nov. 27, 2012 -- RGIII has the top selling NFL jersey 1. Robert Griffin III -- Redskins 2. Peyton Manning --   Broncos 3. Aaron Rodgers --     Packers 4. Eli... Full story at Bob's Blitz ~

Redskins, Cowboys Rivalry So Intense That One Fan’s Dog Won’t Eat Dallas Treat (Video)

The Cowboys and Redskins have one of the oldest and most intense rivalries in the NFL. So much so, in fact, that it is affecting snack time in the animal kingdom. One Redskins fan has conditioned her dog, Dexter — named for former Redskins defensive end Dexter Manley – to refuse his favorite treats when they are associated with the rival Cowboys. As soon as the treat is once...
NFL Forum Discussions
2014 Worst Offseason EVER
39 replies, 23 hours ago
He is super producer?
1 replies, 9 days ago
DeSean meeting Coach Kelly
1 replies, 9 days ago
Hello Sanchez! Good bye DeSean!?
1 replies, 9 days ago
Minako Kotobuki Second Live Tour!!
3 replies, 9 days ago
DJ in DC
1 replies, 9 days ago
Allen stay Eagles
3 replies, 9 days ago
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.