A while back I drew reader(s) attention towards a new series on Football Outsiders where they exhaustively break down individual plays. They covered a Redskins/Titans play that yielded good yardage and a first down... for the Titans. FO's Mike Tanier must have a
vendetta crush on the Redskins, as his newest installment returns to the Redskins/Titans game, this time with the good guys on offense. The setup:
The situation: First-and-10, first quarter, Redskins trailing by three points. The Redskins deploy a three-receiver, single-back, single-tight end personnel package, but they align in a full house formation with Chris Cooley and Antwaan Randle El at "fullback."
The good news is that we have a very competent line, and they uncharacteristically fumbled this play. Regardless, Santana Moss is good enough to turn disaster (TFL, perhaps a sack) into a short gain. Also noteworthy is that our offensive personnel makes some things possible that other teams would not enjoy, notably Randle-El represents an open field threat as well as a semi-competent passer, which keeps defenders guessing. Moss is always dangerous in space. Clinton Portis, besides being an outstanding running back, is also an incredible blocker. To wit, please take a careful look at the video below, around 1:08 in. The pass is to Santana Moss on the right side of the field, CP gets blocked at the line. Off camera he sheds that blocker, hustles his ass up to the ball, puts one block on a would-be tackler that physically flips him over, he gets up, dusts himself off, and finishes off a trailer with another block. Portis plays with as high a motor of anyone I've seen in this National Football League: