Each week, we will take a look at a play from the game, and have the play broken down by unfnole for us. Take it away ...
One of my specialties is strategy. I love watching game film and breaking down plays. When I saw that Niko had the abilities grab and slow down specific plays I jumped on the opportunity. So, give Niko a lot of the credit here, he does a great job with film. It is extremely high quality. However it is also a clip straight from Fox. When watching a game on the TV, you typically can not see the whole field so keep that in mind.
Also, Look at the down and distance. 2nd and 9 from the 42 going in. This is a perfect time and place on the field to take a deep shot. With that many guys so close the to LOS this tells me they are playing man coverage with 1 S Deep. That S's job will be to read the QB's eyes, react, and help deep. They have a CB on Kellen and a S on Stevens. The 3 LB drop back in coverage as soon as they recognize pass. My guess for that defensive play call is they are worried about crossing routes and want to take those away. When Graham recognizes that there is no blitz (which is his first priority) he releases to the flats on the short side of the field. This gives Byron an excellent check down opportunity. However, he doesn't need it here.
He gets great blocking for the most part. One of the nice things about a five step drop is it (in theory) gives the QB room to step back into the pocket if a rush is coming from the edge. Trueblood gets beat here, but it doesn't effect the play. Penn looks like he gets beat, but he doesn't. He allows the guy to take the edge and then continues to ride the Ends momentum backwards and takes him completely out of the play (You may be familiar with this if you watch Gaines Adams).
Most teams don't have two tight ends who can stretch the field. Some do not even have one. This is what makes this play so effective. The S has to choose who he is going to help with. Both TE's release deep. Stevens and Clayton try to draw the S to the wide-side of the field (though I have no clue as to what route they ran because of the film angle). Graham is keeping the linebackers to Winslows side honest by making them sit down and protect against a first-down. Winslow is as gifted as a WR when running routes and utilizing his speed. The Corner that is covering him makes a bad decision right off the bat. He plays from the inside out on Winslow. This wouldn't be a bad thing if Winslow wasn't running a Go Route. Winslow takes (and beats) Terrance McGee to the sideline and then turns him around by running more of a skinny post from there. The gives Winslow the extra step. The Safety is late and unable to help. Not sure if he shaded Stevens and Clayton more if he bit on the terrible play action. Leftwich stepped up in the pocket and delivered a beautiful strike deep to Winslow and Winslow makes an excellent fingertips grab for the touchdown.
I was upset after Week 1 with Winslows two drops. However, he redeemed himself this week and was one of the few Bucs to have a good day. He even garnered BucWild's praise by winning the proverbial Game-Ball.