Breaking Down A.J. Green’s 56-Yard Score
At the New York Times, I took an in-depth look at the A.J. Green touchdown that set the tone for the Bengals’ Week 10 win over the Giants.
With 12 minutes 44 seconds remaining in the first quarter, the Bengals lined up in an I-formation with their base “21” personnel of two running backs, one tight end and two receivers. Wide receiver Brandon Tate motioned across the formation.
As Tate motioned, cornerback Prince Amukamara — originally lined up over top of Tate — didn’t follow him. In most situations, that would suggest the defense planned to play a zone coverage. It’s rare that a defense would allow a cornerback to sit over top of the tight end and let the receiver move across the field to be covered by a safety in a true man coverage. Below, you can see Amukamara’s position as Tate settled down next to right tackle Andre Smith.
Just before the snap, Giants free safety Antrel Rolle (aligned just outside of Tate) and the Will linebacker Michael Boley showed blitz. Both defenders did indeed rush after quarterback Andy Dalton, meaning the Giants had only five defenders in coverage: Amukamara, the Mike linebacker Mark Herzlich, the Sam linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka, safety Stevie Brown and cornerback Corey Webster. As you can see above, Webster was lined up over Green to the boundary.
See the entire analysis at the Times.