Film Room : Patriots vs. Broncos

Seriously, people, this may become my all-time favorite blog feature. It’s just so helpful! For me and hopefully for you too! Thanks again to USA Football for doing such a great job of breaking down good plays in terms that real people (including normal girls!) can understand.

Here’s this week’s film, taken from Week 5’s Patriots vs. Broncos game:

So, what did we learn here? Let’s take a moment to review:

Danny Woodhead fought for the first down. But there were three essential blocks that helped him get there.

Block 1: Double Team Combo Block by Rob Gronkowski and Nate Solder

Gronk and Solder immediately double team the defensive end, Dumervil. Solder then delivers a burst of pressure to the outside so that Gronk can take over the block and he (Solder) can move onto the next level of defense and block the linebacker. (For more on where the defensive players line up, check out this post.)

Block 2: Zone Block by Logan Mankins

Before we begin, the only non-normal term in this video for me was “Okie Front.” To me, that just sounds like everything is okay up front, or that the players are residents of Oklahoma. Turns out, neither is true. An Okie Front is when, “both ends play a 5-technique head-up over the tackles while the nose tackle is head-up on the center.” (Thank you , cheesehead TV, for being the only reliable Google Search item with an actual definition.) Translation: those three defensive linemen up front are all lined up directly across from their respective offensive linemen, and each is responsible for blocking two gaps. Rewind and take another look and you’ll see it makes much more sense this time around.

Got it?

It’s such a great block by Mankins because he doesn’t freak out about who to cover. He plays his assignment – the zone block (a technique used to create lanes for running plays) – and stays patient, running with the center, to provide a solid line of offensive protection for Woodhead.

Block 3: Downfield Block by Wes Welker

Welker doesn’t slack just because the ball isn’t coming to him on this play. He jets down field and blocks the oncoming defender so that Woodhead can gain the extra yards they need for a first down.

And that’s that. A well-designed play well-executed by players. It’s a thing of beauty.

See you all next week for another rendition of my favorite feature! I can’t get enough!

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