We're back with another weekly installment of the ProGlide Top 5 Series, but this week we have a twist. With the Redskins defense struggling to contain Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski, the best way to stop them was to keep them from getting the ball. With the offense scoring 27 points, I thought we'd have a look at the top 5 offensive plays for this week.
Number Five: Rex Grossman's 6 yard touchdown pass to David Anderson
On this play, Anderson and Jabar Gaffney run slightly different variations of out routes. Santana Moss is there basically to occupy defenders in the middle of the field to allow as little coverage on the out routes as possible.
Grossman sees the pressure coming from his left and immediately rolls to his right.
The route combination that Anderson and Gaffney run get the defensive backs caught up with each other, buying Anderson a couple yards of separation. Grossman instantly pulls the trigger when he sees Anderson come out of his break.
Anderson makes the easy catch and gets us a touchdown.
Number Four: Roy Helu's 26 yard run
You'll have already seen this play if you read my last breakdown, but it was such a good run that I'm going to show it again.
This was our best run of the day. It was Mike Shanahan's offense executed to near perfection. The first thing to notice is Chris Chester sliding to his left and taking on the Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork. This allows center Will Montgomery and left guard Maurice Hurt to get up to the second level (quick note, interesting to see they allowed Chester to block the nose, Montgomery had been having a tough time doing that of late). Back up left tackle Willie Smith takes on the defensive end one-on-one. Tight end Logan Paulsen will chip the outside linebacker before going to the second level to take the safety, trusting that Young will come up behind him and take the linebacker. All of this allows Helu to just stretch to the outside.
As Helu takes the hand-off, he can see that the outside linebacker is coming off the chip from Paulsen, Smith has his block contained and that Chester has control of Wilfork on the inside. He could potentially have cut it back right there and followed Hurt and Montgomery back inside, but Helu decides to stretch it outside.
Young maintains his block for just long enough to allow Helu to get to the edge. Once he's past that block, he has Paulsen engaged on the safety and Smith still blocking the defensive end on the inside.
Helu turns upfield, leaving the linebackers and defensive lineman for dead. Paulsen keeps his block on the inside, and impressively receiver Anthony Armstrong gets a great block on a corner, giving Helu a running lane. Helu eventually gets caught by a defensive back, but not before picking up 26 yards.
Number Three: Rex Grossman's 9 yard touchdown pass to Jabar Gaffney
Gaffney is running into the center of the field before cutting outside. Grossman is going to sell a play-fake to Helu.
All three Patriots defenders in the center of the field bite on the play-action, leaving a big hole behind them for Gaffney to run into.
As Grossman comes out of the play-action, he makes his only read. Gaffney is going to cut outside after dragging his man too far inside to recover. (Also note, Willie Smith blocking one on one and doing a good job, for all you Smith fans out there)
Gaffney makes the easy catch and hilariously jumps the wall, falling on top of some Patriots fans.
Number Two: Rex Grossman's 51 yard bomb to Donte Stallworth
The Patriots are showing cover two (two deep safeties to cover over the top). But when the ball is snapped, one safety rotates down to join with two linebackers in zone coverage. The other safety rotates into the deep center of the field. We send Stallworth and Gaffney on go routes, while Moss crosses the middle of the field in between the zones and the deep safety.
Moss occupies the safety's thought just enough to delay him covering Stallworth over the top, giving Stallworth one on one coverage.
Grossman makes a PERFECT throw. Some of you may joke that this was a fluke and that he just threw it downfield as hard as he could and got lucky. That may be the case, but it hit Stallworth perfectly over his shoulder and in stride. 51 yard pick up, which sparks the offense into action.
Number One: Brandon Banks 49 yard touchdown pass to Santana Moss
What else could it have been. Simply an amazing and such an unexpected call. When I saw Banks get the ball and Patriots defenders chasing him down I literally thought "Oh no, Kyle is gonna get so much stick for that call". I was SHOCKED when he threw it to Moss.
Grossman will take the snap in the shotgun. He hands it off to Helu who flicks it back to Banks on the reverse. What's key here is that Moss sells it. He runs up and stalls his deep run, pretending to block. If he doesn't do this, the corner stays with him and breaks up the pass or might have even got an interception.
Grossman throws out a key block to give Banks time to get to the outside. Moss has done enough to sell the run and starts sprinting up the sideline uncovered.
They usually say smaller quarterbacks need a higher release point to get it over the lineman. But Banks isn't a quarterback. His kind of side-arm throw just about gets the ball down the field. He waits as long as possible to get the throw off.
Moss does an excellent job of locating the ball and coming back to get it. He avoids the tackle attempt by the last defender and runs free into the end-zone.
Moss show's Gaffney how it's done and celebrates with the fans. Amazing play.
There you have it, the top five this week. Where there any plays that missed out? Grossman did hit a fair amount of intermediate to deep routes nicely. Did I get the wrong order? Should touchdowns take priority? Let me know in the comments below.