The Kansas City Chiefs led 7-0 after one quarter against the New England Patriots. While the Patriots were scoreless in two drives, they had made their way to the Chiefs side of the field before ultimately having to punt. It was good game.
The Chiefs started their third drive of the game on their own 14-yard line, early in the second quarter, when this happened:
Chiefs running back Knile Davis picked up 48-yards and two plays later and the Chiefs were up 14-0. The rout was on.
I spoke with high school defensive coach Chuck McInnis for his analysis and breakdown of the play.
"Kansas City comes out with 11 personnel (1 TE, 1 RB), and wide receiver Dwayne Bowe motions across the formation to create a Trips tight formation (trips away from the TE). Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis chases Bowe across the formation indicating man coverage; Safety Tavon Wilson stays on the weakside, manned on the TE.
"To the trips side cornerback Logan Ryan is stacked behind Brandon Browner, indicating that they are playing high/low- meaning that Browner would take the shallowest route, while Ryan would cover the deeper route. They are able to play this aggressively with safety Devin McCourty at 15 yards."
It should be noted that Revis following Bowe across the formation tipped the Chiefs off that the Patriots were playing man coverage.
"The Patriots defensive front leaves a huge natural running lane to the trips side. Rob Ninkovich is in a 9 technique (outside shoulder of the TE) on the near side, Chris Jones is in a 3 technique (outside shoulder of the guard), Vince Wilfork is in a 1 technique (inside shoulder of the right guard), and Chandler Jones is in a wide 9 technique, almost over the slot receiver.
"That alignment gives the offense a big advantage in blocking angles. It's easier for an offensive tackle to kick out and block a 9 technique, as the defender has no way of crashing the B gap (between the guard and tackle). The linebackers were reading the backfield instead of the guards as Dont'a Hightower tracked the end around instead of crashing the B gap with Jerod Mayo.
"The Patriots are limited as to what you can do with Wilfork and the linebackers as the Chiefs could either run inside zone as the Chiefs did or they can run power in which case everyone blocks down and the backside guard kicks the 9 technique. Either way the offense has numbers.
"On the snap, Bowe again crosses the formation as a lead block for the 'reverse' by the slot receiver. This backfield motion draws Revis who is locked on Bowe. Ryan and Browner seem to have miscommunication on who is responsible for Avery, as both chase the slot receiver."
I personally think Ryan was suckered by the fake reverse.
"All the backfield motion is simply window dressing on a simple inside zone play. On the backside of the play the guard and tackle double team Chris Jones and would have attempted to get to Hightower, but the Patriots linebacker runs himself out of the play chasing the reverse.
"On the playside, the center reach blocks, aiming for Wilfork’s outside shoulder while the guard briefly chips Vince before attacking Mayo. Jones, as the aforementioned 9 technique, is an easy kick out block for the tackle. The motion created a numbers advantage for the Chiefs on the play side (RB, C, G, T vs OLB, MLB, NT), with McCourty backpedaling to 20 yards off the ball.
"The Chiefs were able to take advantage of undisciplined reads and over pursuit by the Patriots to create one of many big plays en route to a blow out."
The Patriots were sloppy the entire game, but there were so many mental lapses on the defensive side of the ball that the Chiefs were able to capitalize upon. Jones tried to go to the outside of the tackle, for some reason, while Hightower and Ryan completely ran themselves out of the play. These three players will be key defensive starters on Saturday, so they must in prime form to prevent another breakdown.
Thanks to Coach Chuck for his insight!