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NFL: Green Bay Packers at Washington Commanders

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Film notes from Commanders offense vs. Green Bay

Emptying the notebook on the Commanders offensive outing against the Green Bay Packers

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Commanders offense had an up-and-down day against the Green Bay Packers; however, it was still one of their most efficient and balanced performances in some time. Arguably since the opener against the Jaguars.

Emptying the notebook from Washington’s performance against the Green Bay Packers, here are some key moments throughout the game.

Context: 3rd and 7, 1st quarter.

On what looks like a Flood concept with deep out by Terry McLaurin, crosser for Armani Rogers on 1st level, and Cam Sims and Curtis Samuel stretching field 3rd level. Heinicke floats into would-be INT. McLaurin could have possibly done a better job with route tempo here, as he couldn’t get under Samuel and Sims at the breakpoint. Center Tyler Larsen is on an island linebacker De’Vondre Campbell and Rashan Gary on a stunt to create interior pressure on Heinicke. Saahdiq Charles (RG) and Andrew Norwell (LG) are unable to give help to Larsen.

Context: 3rd and 3, 1st quarter.

On what seems to be a mesh concept, Cam Sims runs a deep Over to split Safeties, and he got open with Packers safety Darnell Savage getting turned around. However, Heinicke has good eyes and good anticipation on 2nd level dig throw to McLaurin, but the pass was behind him and almost resulted in an interception. Good explosion at the breakpoint for McLaurin; however, not much shake or manipulation by him with Alexander on his back.

Context: 2nd and 6, 2nd quarter.

Heinicke displayed very good processing vs. the Cover 6 call by Green Bay. With a simple pass (some might call a layup) on the Cover 2 side, Heinicke hits Samuel in rhythm and get him five additional yards. Additionally, a great jam by Packer CB Jaire Alexander on McLaurin disrupts the timing, and he undercuts any potential target his way.

Context: 1st and 10, 2nd quarter.

With a free rusher on the right side of Heinicke, his internal clock may be slightly rushed. However, Heinicke still has enough time to deliver a good pass. McLaurin does a good job knowing when to sit route with DB playing 6-yds off him at the breakpoint, but Heinicke badly misses.

Context: 1st and 10, 2nd quarter.

Heinicke was late on curl to Curtis Samuel, that almost gets picked off. Facing Cover 6, the Packers hook defender Rasul Douglas closes the space between him and Samuel while Heinicke pats the ball, goes through his progressions, and then drives on the ball when Heinicke commits to Samuel. There was solid pass protection on this play as well. Andrew Norwell was able to anchor good enough to hold off the power rush, displaying good use of hands and refitting under the defender to maintain leverage. LT Charles Leno holds his own on an island, but Rashan Gary gets slight pressure off Lucas.

Context: 2nd and 10, 2nd quarter.

Antonio Gibson displays some savvy manipulation at the line of scrimmage to get linebackers out of their gaps. OC Scott Turner gets a Samuel motion to the backside of the play, creating a defensive shift in the advantage of the Commanders. Gibson sells a cut inside the tackle before bouncing it to the perimeter and using his speed and acceleration to hit for 20. A shoestring tackle prevents huge play.

Context: 3rd and 1, 2nd quarter.

Heinicke displays good mental processing on a mesh concept. The Packers are running a Cover 3 with CB Jaire Alexander sitting in flats before Dax Milne’s route carried him vertically after the play-action. Milnes had space between the CB & S, but Alexander baited Heinicke into the throw, but he didn’t go for it. Instead, Heinicke chooses for the throw to McLaurin, making a great sidearm throw for a 1st down conversion.

Context: 1st and 10, 2nd quarter.

On this power run for Washington, Samuel is motioning to play-side of the formation. Pulling OL Andrew Norwell sucks in edge rusher Rashan Gary, and Brian Robinson is able to get to the edge with good acceleration. Samuel has a big block to spring him, and Robinson shows very good play strength to carry defenders for nearly 10 yards.

Context: 3rd and 8, 2nd quarter.

Another rep of very good processing by Heinicke. The Commanders are running a switch release from stacked alignment on the right side and have window dressing with a trips alignment on the left side of the formation. Heinicke’s head movement and eyes focused on the trips side create space in the middle of the field for Gibson. Heinicke then gets the ball over the linebacker for the Gibson touchdown.

On Terry’s touchdown, the Packers show a late rotation from a 2-high safety look to a single-high safety (Cover 1). Heinicke recognizes that and, similar to the Gibson touchdown, influences the safety by looking to his left before firing a perfect pass to McLaurin for the touchdown.

Context: 3rd and 11, 3rd quarter.

This play displays good processing from Samuel on his route stem. Samuel understands that he will create a leverage advantage when he reaches his breakpoint because of his route. The route he runs creates space to his left for Taylor to target him. Though it was a high pass, Heinicke was able to get the ball away from the cornerback, but also Samuel is able to climb the ladder and highpoint the pass for the big conversion.

Context: 1st and 10, 3rd quarter.

Scott Turner chose to break a tendency on this play. The Commanders ran 14 plays in 12 personnel against the Packers; ten of the 14 were rushes. On this two-man route, Cam Sims breaks open deep, and Heinicke is trying to target him for the touchdown; however, Armani Rogers quickly gives up edge pressure.

Context: 1st and 10, 3rd quarter.

The Packers sent a six-man pressure on this play, and Heinicke displays good competitiveness and upper-body play strength to find and get the ball to McLaurin on the mesh concept. Furthermore, McLaurin, on the crosser, shows good mental processing to recognize the coverage and find the open 2nd level void. McLaurin takes his route further upfield to get behind the linebackers.

Context: 3rd and 8, 4th quarter.

In a critical moment for the Commanders, Turner utilizes vertical routes against a cover 3 Zone. The vertical routes send field-side hook defender & deep 3rd defender upfield, leaving the flats wide open for Samuel. Heinicke recognizes the influence and gets it to Samuel with YAC opportunity.

Context: 2nd and 6, 4th quarter

Another good moment for Turner and Heinicke in this situation. McKissic and McLaurin are in a stacked alignment on the boundary side of the formation. However, McKissic is sent in motion toward the field side. Heinicke recognizes Cov 0 man pressure and knows Terry is 1v1 with Alexander. McLaurin’s whip route creates several yards of separation, and Heinicke delivers an accurate pass to get him upfield quickly after the catch.

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