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Anatomy of a Redskins Play: Pierre Garcon 88-Yard Touchdown Vs Saints

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Earlier on I broke down the anatomy of a play the Redskins used against the Cowboys after hearing the play-call on NBC show 'NFL Turning Point'. So I went back and watched every episode that the Redskins were involved in. Way back in week one, they played a clip of the play-call for Robert Griffin III's first NFL touchdown pass, the 88-yard throw to Pierre Garcon. One of the interesting things about it was that Griffin called the play backwards, but obviously it still worked. The play Kyle called was 'North Right Clamp Y Left Pass 19 Tiger Sift', but in the huddle, Griffin called it the other way. So when it took shape, the play was actually 'North Left Clamp Y Right Pass 18 Tiger Sift'.


The Redskins line up in the 'North Right' formation, with the tight ends 'Clamped' close to the line, but not with their hands in the dirt. The play calls for 'Y Right', telling the 'Y' receiver, in this case tight end Fred Davis, to motion in and join the formation on the right.


Skipping ahead slightly, the play call ends in 'Tiger Sift'. I'm not absolutely certain on what exactly this part of the call means. But what I believe it means is that the 'Tiger' man, the tight end Niles Paul who entered the game in place of fullback Darrel Young, sifts back across the offensive line and the direction of the play, as the picture above shows.


Back on track and the next part of the call is'Pass 18', calling for two deep in-breaking routes from both outside receivers, while Paul sifts back across the line into the flat as the hot read. It also tells the offensive line the protection. They are faking an outside zone run, usually numbered 18, hence 'Pass 18'.


The Saints defenders are drawn in by the play-action fake, leaving a big gap between them and the single deep safety. A gap that we've seen all season long.


Griffin feels pressure early from a free rusher and checks his hot read, Paul. But Paul is covered, so Griffin moves to the first designed read of the play, Pierre Garcon.


Griffin gets the throw off just before the free rusher hits him.


Garcon makes a fantastic mid-air grab across the middle while behind him, Joshua Morgan lays a huge block on the deep safety to cut him out of the play. Garcon is able to run free past the Saints defense and takes it 88 yards for a touchdown.

All of that, and Griffin called the play backwards!