DBs Vs. Pitt

1st Quarter.



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Pitt comes out in a Singleback. Denver matches up with a tight 3-4, with both ILB within five yards of the LOS. They run play action. The DBs bring four. Miller gets the outside shoulder of the ORT, and Wolfe pushes the pocket back. They throw deep over the top, but the pass is way off. 2nd and 10, Pitt comes out in a Singleback again. The DBs stays 3-4, but shifts a little to the Weakside, as Miller stands up a little outside in front of the TE on the Strongside. Pitt runs at Miller. The TE holds him off as he tries to set the edge, and Toddman is able to get outside. Pats might want to run at Miller a little. 3rd and 8, Pitt goes empty. Denver stays with an odd front in a 3-2 Dime. Miller is standing up outside and he is coming. They run a WR screen, and TJ Ward screams up past the LOS and knocks the WR spinning backwards to the ground to force the punt. The DBs win with defense. Okay, the returner waves his arms like he signally a fair catch, but his arms are down like he is waving it off. Then he catches the punt off a bounce and returns it, cheatingly, for 42-yards. Take notice Pats special teamers, they are likely to run this fake return, and illegal fair catch play on you guys.

Denver comes out in a 4-Wide Singleback, with Trips on the right. Manning drops and never turns his head from the right. He hits Thomas coming back about 9-yard downfield, Thomas turns up and runs for the 1st.

Broncos come out Empty. Payton turns right and never looks anywhere else. He hits Thomas with a nice pass over 10-yards downfield, and he drops it. 2nd and 10, 4-W Singleback, Bunch Left. They try to run off tackle to the right, but the edge is shutdown. Hillman turns, cuts back, and picks up a few yards to the left. It was actually a great run. 3rd and 5, 4-W Weak-shotgun with Trips-R. He never looks left, and throws to the RB sneaking out of the backfield, and still behind the LOS. Anderson catches and turns up field but can’t get the 1st down to force the field goal. That three-points was created by the special teams and defense, to force the punt and then cheatingly return it 42-yards. DBs-3. Pitt-0

Pitt comes out in a 4-W shotgun. DBs match up in a 3-3 Nickel with Miller standing up on the Strongside. The Slot Corner on the blindside steps off coverage, with a Safety behind him on the inside WR. He steps up to the LOS like an OLB and blitzes. They bring four, and Miller drops into coverage. Roethlisberger has to dump it off to the RB, who can't reach the LOS. 2nd and 11, Pitt comes out in a Weak-formation. Denver matches up in a 3-4 that is shifted to the Weakside a little. Pitt sends motion the left, and the Denver LBs shift further to the weakside. They clearly keyed not only run, but run to the Weakside. Toddman barely gets outside. 3rd and 8, 3-W Strong-shotgun. The DBs go into an aggressive 3-3 Nickel with all six guy up on the LOS or a yard off and looking like they are coming. They bring five. But the LB lined up on the Weakside behind Ware, delays a little, and when he sees the RB stay in, he comes as the sixth rusher. The O-line holds up, and he hits Coates underneath. He makes a CB and Safety look foolish and turns up field and runs for about 20 more yards.

Pitt comes out in a Singleback with a Bunch on the left. The DBs match up in their 3-4 with the ILB closer than normal, and a Safety creeping up behind them into the box. They are clearly keying the run. They run, and the ILB Marshal shots the gap and hits the RB behind the LOS. 2nd and 9, Pitt goes Empty and motions the RB out behind Trips-L. Pitt keeps four guys on the LOS three down and Miller up. They put five guys in front of the Quads-Right. But one DB walks off of coverage, and Blitzes the blindside edge again. When a guys walks off the slot and onto the edge like an OLB, he is coming. They bring all five. Roethlisberger hits Bryant on a slant inside. He burns Talib off the line and is wide open inside. If they can't cover Bryant on inside patterns, how are they going to cover Edelman. Bryant was 5-yards open on a five-yard pattern, and dropped it. 3rd and 9, Pitt comes out Empty. This will be some good Tape for the Pats coaches to watch, because Pitt is going Empty, like Brady is going to do, a lot. They have a bunch on the left, and the DBs match up in a 2-3 Dime with four guys on the LOS, 2-up, 2-down. The WR motions to the left to go Quads on the blindside again, and the ILB Marshall cuts over behind the NT. He covers the TE, and the DBs bring four. Roethlisberger throws underneath to the Slot WR dragging. He catches it easy in the slot and turns up field, but is a yard short.

The vaunted DB defense has not been good at covering the slot guys underneath on inside patterns. If you can't cover the quick underneath patterns you cannot beat the Pats with a healthy crew of WRs. Pitt goes for it on 4th and 1, they come out in a Singleback. The DBs match up in a Bruschi. A 3-4 with both OLB on the line, and both safeties lined up next to the ILB in a row four across two yards off the LOS. They run play action, and Wheaton gets open deep. Roethlisberger throw it to him and the ball is knocked out by Talib. Does Pitt win this game if they kick the FG here?

Denver comes out at the 32-yard line. 4-Wide Singleback, and motions into a Bunch-R. Manning drops, and never takes his eyes off the right side. He throws a bubble screen to the slot WR. 2nd and 6, 4-Wide Singleback, and he motions into 4-W Weak-shotgun Trips-L. They run off tackle to the right. They like to run away from the Trips side. Hillman gets five. 3rd and 2, 3-W S-shotgun. Manning checks out and fakes a signal to the twin WRs on the left, flapping his arms like a chicken. They hike the ball to the RB. Pitt tackles him in the backfield to force the punt. They punt the ball and it is downed at the three. It has been all defense and special teams for the DBs so far. Both units have been spectacular, and the offense has been terrible.

Pitt comes out in a big Singleback. The DBs match up in a 3-4 with both Safeties up in the box. Pitt runs a Dive. 2nd and 5, Pitt in a Singleback. The DBs match up in a 3-4. Roethlisberger drops, and they bring four. The two rushers on the strongside push the O-linemen back into Roethlisberger as he throws to force the bad pass. 3rd and 5, Pitt jumps off side. 3rd and 10, 3-W shotgun. The DBs match up in a 3-3 nickel. They bring four. They do stunts on both sides. Roethlisberger has to throw early, and it is incomplete to force the punt.

Pitt shanks the punt in the wind. "The last game, late in November in Denver, the game turned on a special teams play," Special Teams captain Slater said. "I'm just wondering if you guys talked about that, or if it underscores the importance of all three phases of the game? Because you had pretty much control of the game until that play." The DBs continue to dominate on defense and special teams, and get the ball back at the Pitt 31. That is the second time they have started a drive inside the Pitt 40-yard line, and went nowhere, but were able to kick FGs.

The DBs come out in a Singleback, with 2 H-Bs. They run off tackle to the left. The Pats are going to have to stop that off tackle run that they run from a lot of different formations, like they stopped the Dive against KC. 2nd and 1, 3-W Singleback. They try to run off tackle to the right this time. 3rd and 2, 3-W W-Singleback. Payton still has not thrown a single pass over 15-yards in the air, he also has only thrown to the side he stares down. Payton looks left, never looks back, and throws it badly into the dirt.

Norwood was doubled, and Payton never tried to look to another guy, he just jammed it into the dirt to force the FG. "Just do what we've been doing," Butler said. "When we get out there, he's [Payton] going to have a clue of what we're doing. The guy has been in the game for a long time. Whatever we throw at him, I'm pretty sure he'll try to handle it and try to take advantage of it. We don't know what's going to happen. So we just have to wait and see." They kick the FG to go up six. DBs-6. Pitt-0.

Pitt comes out in a Singleback. DBs match up in a 3-4. They bring five, and Pitt runs. They give up nothing. 2nd and 9, Pitt goes to quick for TV. Pitt in 3-W Singleback. With Denver in a 3-4. They bring four as the blindside OLB drops. The secondary zoned it up, and they leave Bryant uncovered 15-yards downfield. Their Coverage has been inconsistent at best. "When we're going fast and Tom is able to get the ball out of his hand pretty quickly," LaFell said. "It's hard for those guys to get in their pass rush. By the time they get to their pass rush and make their move off, or their second move off their first move, the ball is going and a lot of guys get real frustrated by that. We play at that tempo. We're getting those guys tired and by the time we're past the Fifty, the pass rush is dead." The Secondary struggled with a couple of broken coverages in this game.

Pitt comes out in a Singleback. DBs stay in their 3-4. They fake the run, and run a reverse. Denver is completely fooled. They tend to over-pursue to the ball, and Bryant ran for over 25-yards.

1st and 10, Pitt in a Singleback at the 16. The DBs go into their 3-4 with a Safety up in the box. They run a Dive to the left. The RB got through the line and continued to the left and ran to the pylon. 1st and goal from the One, DBs in a Goal line. The RB runs it in easily. Pitt-7. DBs-6.

The DBs come out in a 3-W S-shotgun Twins-L. Payton glances right, and throws left to the Slot WR going down the left seam. The ball floats for 15-yards and the CB knocks it down. That was the first pass by Payton that went 15-yard or more, and it went exactly 15-yards when it was knocked down by the CB. 2nd and 10, 3-W S-shotgun Twins-R. He never looks right. And stares down the WR on the left. He threw it to the WR on a Slant coming toward him. He caught the 4-yard pass and turns up field. Green runs for a 1st down.

1st and 10, The DBs come out in a 3-W S-shotgun Twins-R. They run Play action, and Payton moves to the right. So far he has looked off coverage, barely, once. Every time he is looking left he goes left. Every time he looks right he is going right. He threw a wobbler 12-yard in the air to Thomas and he took it for a few more. The Twins crossed inside and Payton threw to the outside WR cutting inside. He caught it, and ran for a First to end the first Quarter.

1st and 10, DBs come out in a 3-W Singleback Trips-R. Payton checks into a 3-W Singleback Twins right. He throws right for the 1st.

1st and 10, 3-W S-shotgun Twins-L. He goes for it all. That is the second pass he has thrown over 15-yards in the air in this game. Both were incomplete. 2nd and 10, 3-W Singleback, Twins-R. They try to run off tackle again. 3rd and 11, 4-W S-shotgun Trips-L. He throws underneath to Sanders. The ball is out in front a little too much and he drops it to force the punt. That essentially ends the 1st quarter. Payton is 6 for 11, only two passes traveled in the air over 15-yards. Both passes were incomplete (one pass was exactly 15-yards, so he really only threw over 15-yard once).

1st Quarter:  

4-W Singleback Trips-R: Pass 1 for 1

4-W Singleback Motion-Bunch-L: Run 1 for 1

4-W W-shotgun with Trips-R: PA Pass 1 for 1

4-W W-shotgun Trips-L: Run 1 for 1

4-W Singleback, motion into a Bunch-R: 1 for 1 Pass

4-W S-shotgun Trips-L: Pass 1 for 1

3-W S-shotgun: Wildcat fake: run 1 for 1

3-W S-shotgun Twins-L: Pass 2 for 2

3-W S-shotgun Twins-R: Pass 2 for 2

3-W W-Singleback Twins-L: run 1 for 1

3-W W-Singleback Twins-R: Pass 2 for 4   

2-H-B Singleback: run 1 for 1


J-S- Jet Sweep

Twins-Twins Singleback- Twin-WRs on one side and Twin-TEs on the other. With a single RB behind the QB who is under center.

3-W or 4-W- three Wides or four wides, which can include a TE, H-B, or FB standing up outside the tackles like WR.

I-Shotgun- RB lined up behind QB.

S-Shotgun- RB lined up next to QB on Strong side (right of QB).

W-Shotgun- RB lined up next to QB on Weak side (left of QB).

SB- Singleback- two TE, and two WR with QB under center.

Unbalanced SB- Unbalanced means they move one O-linemen to the opposite side of the line so there are three O-Linemen on one side of the center and one on the other. Usually the OLT moves over to the right side either inside or outside the ORT.

Pass- Means he drops to throw. If he scrambles or is Sacked the intent is still to pass.

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