Drill Down: Third and Long

Drill Down: Third and Long

Drill Down--A look in words, audio, and pictures at each of the Redskins' plays on third and long when Washington and Seattle met in October and how they manged such success in converting them. (This story was originally published on October 4, 2005)

This story was originally published on October 4, 2005

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Mark Brunell talks about carryover of momentum from the Dallas game Audio

First Quarter

3-9-WAS 30 (14:12) (Shotgun) 8-M.Brunell pass to 83-J.Thrash to WAS 44 for 14 yards (21-A.Dyson).

From the shotgun, Seattle rushed four and sent seven back into zone coverage. They didn't pay much attention to Thrash, who found a dead spot in the zone about six yards past the first-down line. Brunell had a perfect pocket and was able to step up and fire it in to Thrash. Although there were five Seattle defenders in the picture, none reacted to the ball and the catch was made easily by Thrash.

3-7-SEA 13 (8:07) 8-M.Brunell sacked at SEA 21 for -8 yards (28-M.Boulware).

Brunell lined up behind center with Betts in lined up seven yards behind him and everyone bunched in tight. The defense rushed seven, two linebackers and a safety in addition to the front four and the safety Boulware came in untouched and Brunell briefly eluded him, but he couldn't get rid of the ball and Boulware got him for the sack.

Joe Gibbs talks about making adjustments Audio

3-13-WAS 17 (5:11) (Shotgun) 8-M.Brunell pass to 83-J.Thrash to WAS 33 for 16 yards (28-M.Boulware).

Seattle again came with a blitz, rushing six. This time, though, the Redskins countered by rolling Brunell out and keeping Chris Cooley in on a wing to provide additional protection. Brunell rolled right and fired to Thrash near the sideline. Thrash came from the inside slot and, broke to the sideline, receiving what was perhaps an illegal pick as Taylor Jacobs ran into corner Kelly Herndon, who was supposed to be covering Thrash. Thrash came back to the ball and his momentum actually carried him to the wrong side of the first-down marker. He quickly reversed his field and made the first with a couple of yards to spare.

3-13-WAS 30 (3:39) (Shotgun) 8-M.Brunell pass to 89-S.Moss to WAS 45 for 15 yards (21-A.Dyson).

Seattle brought the heat again, rushing seven. It doesn't seem as though the Redskins waited until halftime to adjust as they kept seven back to block. Dyson was playing Moss very tight and stayed with him, although there was no contact. It seems like a bump would have helped Seattle as it was a perfect timing pattern with Brunell, who had plenty of protection, whipping it in to Moss just as the receiver made his little hook to get momentary separation.

Brunell talks about success on third and long Audio

3-12-SEA 42(:15) (Shotgun) 8-M.Brunell pass incomplete to 80-D.Patten (21-A.Dyson).

Another blitz and another max protect by the Redskins. Brunell still had to hurry his throw a bit and it went into double coverage. Patten never had a shot as Dyson got a hand on the ball and it fell incomplete.

Jon Jansen talks about adjustments  Audio

Second Quarter

3-10-SEA 23(5:39) (Shotgun) 8-M.Brunell pass to 88-R.Royal to SEA 13 for 10 yards (94-B.Fisher, 57-K.Bentley).

Royal lined up at tight end on the right side and set up to pass block. Seattle rushed six, but the two blitzers came from the left. He then slid out just beyond the line. Brunell looked left, didn't find anyone, and checked down to Royal, who was standing just beyond the line of scrimmage with his arms up. He got the pass and easily ran for the yardage—yes, Robert Royal got some YAC—for the first down by the length of the football.

3-7-SEA 10(4:33) 8-M.Brunell pass to 89-S.Moss to SEA 2 for 8 yards (21-A.Dyson).

Seattle rushed seven and although the Redskins picked it up momentarily it was evident that the protection wouldn't hold up for long. Brunell took about a two-step drop and fired it into Moss who had run a slant. Moss, the ball and the first-down line all intersected at the right hashmark and Moss snapped it in.

Gibbs talks about Moss' hands Audio

Third Quarter

3-10-SEA 33 (7:31) (Shotgun) 8-M.Brunell pass incomplete to 80-D.Patten. PENALTY on SEA-28-M.Boulware, Defensive Pass Interference, 29 yards, enforced at SEA 33 - No Play

Certainly a questionable call here. Seattle changed up tactics here, rushing three and sending eight into coverage. Brunell had plenty of time and fired for Patten at the five. Boulware and Patten went up and the defender got his right hand on it while his left was behind Patten. He may have pushed off a bit, but there certainly didn't seem to be much effect. The odd thing was that the zebra who threw the flag was in front of Patten, so he wasn't in much of a position to see any shove in the back.

3-9-WAS 30 (3:23) (Shotgun) 8-M.Brunell pass to 26-C.Portis to WAS 42 for 12 yards (54-D.Lewis).

On third down, you should never throw to a stationary receiver who is short of the first-down marker unless, perhaps, that receiver is Portis. From the shotgun, Brunell checked down to Portis, who had run a little circle route out of the backfield. It appeared that Dyson had him dead well short of the first down but Portis quickly spun and found a crack between two other converging defenders for the first down.

Gibbs talks about Portis' play here Audio

3-6-SEA 22(:13) 8-M.Brunell pass incomplete to 89-S.Moss (28-M.Boulware).

Brunell was being chased backwards by blitzing cornerback Kelly Herndon and he couldn't get it to Moss, who had a little bit of room near the sideline but the pass was off the mark.

Fourth Quarter

3-7-WAS 48 (8:03) (Shotgun) 8-M.Brunell pass incomplete to 80-D.Patten (23-M.Trufant).

The Redskins missed a chance for a game-clincher here. Patten split corner Trufant and safety Hamlin and had a step or two. Brunell's ball floated up there a little too long, though, and Patten had to wait for it and Trufant recovered to make the play.


Brunell talks about the feeling going into overtime Audio

3-10-WAS 23(14:12) (Shotgun) 8-M.Brunell pass to 89-S.Moss to WAS 36 for 13 yards (23-M.Trufant).

From the Shotgun formation, the Redskins sent just three receivers out into the pattern and max protected against just four Seattle rushers. Despite the fact that it was seven defenders on three receivers, Moss found a spot in the zone about a few yards past the first down marker and Brunell, with plenty of time, fired it in. Moss slipped a bit breaking for the ball, but he snatched it in. (This brings up a criticism of Gibbs from last year. One of the "game has passed him by" specifics was his pass protection packages, that you can't only put three receivers out and keep the rest back to pass block. It appears that the issue was not an outdated, but receivers who weren't resourceful enough to get open in such situations.)

3-9-WAS 37(12:47) (Shotgun) 8-M.Brunell up the middle to SEA 45 for 18 yards (26-K.Hamlin).

Brunell went back and was immediately confronted with a blitz and a stunt. End Bryce Fisher was drawing a bead on Brunell as he set up in the collapsing pocket. Before Fisher got to him, though, Brunell decided to run and all Fisher could do was try to grab an arm as he passed by. The moment he got by Fisher, Brunell was in the clear and he made the first down and then some easily before doing a kind of running flop at the end of the run.

Gibbs talks about Brunell's play Audio

Brunell on his decisions to run Audio

Jansen just hoped that Brunell would emerge healthy Audio

3-10-SEA 45 (11:15) (Shotgun) 8-M.Brunell pass to 89-S.Moss to SEA 15 for 30 yards (31-K.Herndon).

Again the Redskins are in max protection, keeping back seven to block. Moss just ran to the 30, came back a couple of steps and Brunell's pass was right there. Dyson was playing him a bit soft and Moss took off laterally to the left, leaving Dyson to be a spectator as Moss found some wide open running room. The game-winning field goal came two plays later.

Gibbs on trying to get the ball to Moss more in the second half Audio

Brunell talks about this play Audio


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