Daily Archives: November 2, 2012

How a simple toss-sweep goes 77 yards

There’s pretty much only one way for a simple toss-sweep to go 77 yards for a touchdcown.

All potential tacklers must get blocked.

And that’s what the Seattle Seahawks did last Sunday in Detroit, on the first play of the second quarter. The Lions led 7-3, and the Seahawks had the ball on their own 23, 1st-and-10.

As the accompanying (DIAGRAM/VIDEO) shows, the Seahawks come out in a bunched running formation, and defy the Lions to stop it.

The Lions counter with their regular ‘9-wide’ defensive formation – a 4-3 with the ends flexed wider than usual. Seattle’s blocking is set up accordingly.

It’s a toss-sweep to the right, and the Seahawks get a hat on every potential tackler – if only momentarily, but long enough for running back 24-Marshawn Lynch to bust free up the right side. Namely:

Chalkboard**    The tight end on the left, 86-Zach Miller, on Lions end 93-Kyle Vanden Bosch;

**    Left tackle Russell Okung on Lions DT 99-Corey Williams;

**    Centre Max Unger on Lions DT 90-Ndamukong Suh;

**    The slotted tight end on the right, 85-Anthony McCoy, on end 92-Cliff Avril;

**    The one wide receiver, 87-Ben Obomanu (renowned for his physical blocking), on linebacker 52-Kevin Durant;

**    The two guards, James Carpenter and Paul McQuistan, shoot through the line and successfully dive to cut-block the other two linebackers, 58-Ashlee Palmer and 55-Stephen Tulloch – which creates enough wash to prevent either cornerback 36-Jonte Green or safety 26-Louis Delmas from getting to the playside;

**    The right tackle, Breno Giacomini, takes off to the right, on a search-and-devour mission aimed at playside cornerback 23-Chris Houston. Giacomini drive-blocks Houston right to the sideline and out of the way;

**    The leaves one Seattle blocker, fullback 26-Michael Robinson, and one potential Detroit tackler – the safety on the playside, 39-Ricardo Silva. And Robinson shoots right up the alley and ploughs straight into the fast-approaching Silva, and drives him back and to the right.

 

That’s it. Every blocker does his job, Lynch turns on the jets once he gets the edge, and is gone.

Just like the coaches drew it up.

Of course, running plays seldom work this way – there’s almost always a defender either beating a block, or a blocker blowing an assignment, or the runner misses the hole.

Or countless other things that go wrong.

Not on this play.

It didn’t help the Lions that their safeties and corners – with no receivers spread wide on either side – crouched up and in. It was not a proud moment for the Lions’ defence.

Seattle thus went ahead 10-7, and later took a 24-21 lead into the final seconds before the Lions pulled out a 28-24 victory.