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New York Times: Drew Brees and the Record-Setting Touchdown

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At the New York Times, I analyzed the pass that gave Drew Brees the record for most consecutive games with a touchdown throw:

On a third-and-6 at San Diego’s 40-yard line, the Saints lined up in a Shotgun 5 Wide Bunch formation with “11” personnel: one running back, one tight end and three receivers. Running back Darren Sproles and receiver Marques Colston were split out to the boundary, and Devery Henderson and another Saints receiver were paired up with tight end David Thomas to the wide side.

When the Saints lined up, safety Atari Bigby (circled below) was lined up 10 yards off the ball.

As Brees called out a dummy snap cadence, Bigby began to creep toward the line of scrimmage. He got as far as three yards off  the ball, signaling to Brees that a blitz was on the way. When Brees made a check, Bigby backed up a couple of yards.

The Chargers did indeed call a blitz. Above, I’ve marked the pass rushers with a green star and those defenders who stayed in coverage with a red star. You can see that, in addition to Bigby, the Chargers rushed four more players: two interior defensive linemen and both inside linebackers.

Read it all at the Fifth Down.

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