October 22, 2017

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Andrew Luck's 19 yard scramble touchdown - explained!

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This week saw the sophomore quarterback Andrew Luck go up against the Oakland Raiders, and send the Colts on an 80 yard, 11 play drive that culminated with a touchdown.  But let’s focus on how the touchdown play was run.

Before the snap

1

The Oakland Raiders come out in the same formation twice in a row, a tight man-to-man defense with a single safety in Charles Woodson covering the back.  The offense is an empty back, shotgun formation with 2 outside receivers, 2 slots and a tight end.

As the ball is snapped, the defensive line and linebacker blitz, sending 3 to the left and 1 right.  The  offensive line does a great job of containing the blitz and parting the defensive line.

2

On the offense, the left outside receiver sets off and turns towards the sideline, pulling the defender with him.  The right slot receiver does a similar move on the other side of the field.  The left slot and right outside receivers run straight down the field, taking their defenders with them.  The reason they’ve done this?  To get the defenders to turn their backs to the line of scrimmage.   With their backs turned, they cannot see the impending run from Luck, who sets off.

Normally, a scrambling QB would look at sliding for the first down, but as Luck looks up, he sees a blocks from his wide receivers it means he would need to outrun safety Charles Woodson, which he does for the touchdown.

3

Now, we know the drawings aren’t exactly great, or to scale, so check out the video highlights on NFL.com

 

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