That's how you pass a tough exam. We studied hard. But not as hard as we should have, since the boys wanted to go out Tuesday night and it was dollar beers for Tuesday Boozeday and we couldn't turn that down. But then we pulled an all nighter Wednesday to make up for it. We were nervous, we knew it was going to be tough, and that our opponent is one of the hardest in the business. It looked like it was going to turn ugly there for a second. We were skipping a lot of questions and staring an F in the face. But our brain decided to turn it up to 11% efficiency, found the answers to our problems, and we finished that sucker. That might even be an A- if this is a just world and the right partial credit is given. Now lets get hammered. Class is officially in session.
There was one question that was highlighted before the test when the teacher said 'everyone pay attention this is going to be on the exam!' so why don't we just start with that. Get it out of the way since that is the first one everyone in class flipped to. Of course I mean the Flash Gordon tuddy. I mentioned in Ramblings that would appear here. Because of that I almost went elsewhere. Actually, why don't I just give you a verbal account of some other cool plays the offense made?
One of my favorite McDick offense staples is his ability to run different plays out of the same set. Early in the game we ran a fake jet sweep to Jules which turned into play action. And a few times early, especially on the second tuddy drive, we ran a toss to CP. On that final drive in the game that iced it, Tom picked up a first down with a fake dive to Wiggle and actually did hand it to Jules on the jet sweep. And then he ran a fake toss to CP where he instantly spun around and hit Flash on a slant for another first. You gotta understand, this isn't a game of Madden. You don't have the massive playbook at your disposal to flip through between each play. Offensive Coordinators call similar plays through out the game. And good defenses pick up on it. We've made a living off that for 20 years. So Josh plays right into that mentality. Very few of his play calls are random. Some are, don't get me wrong, and some are a disaster. But he sets people up to pop them in the mouth later better than anyone in the business.
Even on the Flash tuddy. In the third quarter with the score tied at 17, he put Hoags, Jules, and Flash split left. On the snap, Jules hangs in the flat while Hoags and Flash run up to block. Tom hits Jules right away on a screen and it picks up 7. Now here's the tuddy. Trips left. Hoags hangs in the flat. Jules and Flash run forward.
The best part of all of this is you can hear Fillingsworth chortle before Flash even has the ball. Because he saw what I saw. Presnap the Packers see this. They're in a zone. Two DBs are responsible for heretical routes. The linebacker is going to try to come over to cover anything short. And there is safety help over the top.
Hoags hangs back and faces Tom, ready for the screen pass we've already set up, and the two DBs take that shit hook line and sinker. I know tackling in football is an everyone to the ball mentality, but how you don't even account for the mismatch behind you if you're wrong is beyond me. Maybe have a system in place where one DB fires at the ball and the other hesitates. Just in cases?! (Love Actually anyone???)
But naturally, the credit goes to Tom. Because the entire play is made right here.
Staring down Hoags like he's Gisele getting out of the shower. I'm actually surprised Hoags knees didn't buckle under that smoldering eye contact which would have ruined the whole play. And how about Bill gunning Tom on who he was really throwing to? Gotta love it.
Now I want to talk about the pass rush. In another section of that mic'd up release today was Bill telling our front 7 that the pass rush was exactly what we want. I know that's hard to process at times. Especially when Rodgers is making miracle throws and we are giving up a billion yards between the twenties and we have no sacks. But it's true. We forced several throw aways. We collapsed the pocket on him all night. And limited his scrambling. It was a big night for those big boys. How about a few examples to really get the point across?
We're starting with my favorite play by the defense by far. If you looked up setting the edge in the dictionary, you would see Bill Belichick holding up a pdf of this play. Third and 2, and if they convert this we're about get horseshoed and probably lose the game. We've got Clayborn in at RE. So many people on the line of scrimmage. We're showing pressure and Rodgers knows it.
To combat this pressure he goes read option. He sees all our guys dive bomb the interior line, so he pulls the ball back out of Jones's hands and takes it outside himself. Clayborn alllllllmost fucks up. He almost takes the bait.
But then he remembers something important. HIS JOB. Maybe in the Atlanta days it was cool to pin your ears back and fly after a quarterback or a running back on a big third down. But not in this defense. He remembers we have plenty of bodies in the middle whom he can trust to do their job and stop an interior run. He recovers in time to give chase, otherwise Rodgers was going to waltz for a massive first down.
And the cherry on top is he finished the play. Rodgers is hampered a bit with a knee injury, but the guy can still move. Clayborn keeps churning those legs, runs him down to the sideline, stops him short, AND forces a fumble. It moved when I saw this play. Not kidding.
What about the one sack we got on A-A-Ron? Another huge series after we took the lead. Trying to get Green Bay off the field on a 3rd and 7. We're only sending four, but as usual its a speedy bunch. From top to bottom you have HIGH, Butler, MY BOY Trey Flowers, and Clayborn.
It starts off as a straight rush. Everyone staying in their lanes. Trey is lined up over a guard so he knows this is a battle we expect him to win. And Clayborn is doing a great job of pushing the pocket back up towards the middle, while not going too far because he needs to hold that edge.
Then we run a TEX, which is a Tackle End Cross stunt. It works perfectly. One, because the LT and LG don't communicate it correctly, and the LT runs into his LG trying to slide over. And two, because Trey does make use of his advantage over a guard and is able to bust through the line even before the stunt becomes effective.
The result? They both get home, get a game swinging stop on third down, and remind Rodgers that it's Ass Eatin SZN.
Finally, there's this play by Trey. It isn't even great scheme or technique. It's simply for your viewing pleasure to show you how much of a monster he is. Trey Flowers doesn't have time for you chip blocks, your double teams, or your beefy Right Tackles. All he cares about is collapsing pockets and forcing incompletions.
Hell of a night for this unit that did a wonderful job slowing down a QB who you can only hope to contain. 17 points should be more than enough for this offense every Sunday night and twice on Feb 3rd.