Inside The Defensive Film Room – Todd Bowles Edition

Connor Rogers goes inside the film room to break down Todd Bowles’ defense…

With a new, defense oriented head coach in place, the Jets will look to makeover a unit that allowed 24 or more points in 11 of their 16 games in 2014 (30 or more points in 6 games). So what does Todd Bowles scheme look like? How many different looks does he run? How did the Cardinals’ defense perform in key situations? Let’s take a look…

Play #1:
Situation: vs. Detroit Lions – 1st quarter – 3rd and 1

Tony Jefferson is the deep safety playing in single high zone coverage. The second safety on the field is Rashad Johnson on the lower hash. He is assigned to cover the tight end on his side, but will attack down field if his match up stays home to block. The corner isolated man, press coverage is Patrick Peterson vs. Calvin Johnson.

The box is loaded, expecting the run. There are 4 down defensive linemen, 2 linebackers who will shoot the gaps on a run blitz behind them, and 2 outside linebackers assigned to seal the edges.

The hand-off goes to fullback Jed Collins, who is immediately wrapped behind the line for a loss and a 3rd down stop:


Play #2:
Situation: vs. Detroit Lions – 3rd Quarter – 3rd and 13

There are a couple of key things to note on this design, with the first being the ‘center fielder’ type safety. This is Rashad Johnson, who patrols the deep middle of the field and breaks on any passes thrown down the sidelines.

The four defensive backs are in a zone. The corners in the yellow marked zones play anything deep along the sideline. This simplifies their coverage strategy as they do not have to worry about the target gaining inside leverage on them. The inside is taken away from the defenders marked in the purple zone.

The 3 tech and 1 tech rushers at the line of scrimmage in between the hashes will drop into a zone to protect the short middle of the field. The far side rusher will attack from the 5 technique alignment (outside shoulder of the offensive tackle). The right tackle has tight end Eric Ebron staying home to help block. The rookie is confused by this look and will whiff on his assignment, as seen below.

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Bowles brings an overload, 3 man rush on the right side. This pushes the pocket, forcing quarterback Matthew Stafford 1 of 2 ways. He either has to drop back further, or move to his right. The rusher on that side wins his match up due to the disguise, leaving Stafford no where to go. He forces a throw to Calvin Johnson deep down the left side of the field, allowing the center field safety to break on the ball for an interception:

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