More Tim Tebow "Swamp" Package Analysis

I was going to say "Part Two", but I have NO idea how many of these will eventually grace MHR's page, so let's leave it as a regular feature until it becomes irrelevant.

The Jets game featured the "swamp" package 8 times, out of a pretty unique formation, and also featured the first time Denver would use the swamp to get get other players besides Tebow involved in the offense, to some advantage.  It would also feature the first goalline incarnation of the formation.  As we will later see, the success of getting other players involved would eventually lead to two calls in the OAK and SF games that we would end up wanting back, and the success on the goalline formation would begin to limit the formations use to inside the 5-yard line almost exclusively.

For now, join me below the jump to look at how the Broncos used the swamp against the Jets.

 

Swamp 3

Swamp_3_medium

Setup

Early in the game, no score, between the 20s.  The Broncos have established a decent drive, but need some rushing yards for balance.

Formation

This is the most unique variation of the formation that I have seen all year, even post-Jets.  You will notice that Clady  moves out to the RE position, while Graham mans the LT position.  This is a VERY heavy unbalanced formation to the right, while Buckhalter and Maroney are lined up in a pistol style variant behind Tebow, strong to the left.  The Jets choose a balanced 3-4 look.

Execution

In this play, Maroney takes a step to the strong side, before running as an option back to the left.  Tebow heads for the left, while Buckhalter heads for the inside run.  On this play the MikeLB reads Tebow as the option, and follows him to the left, but the handoff goes to Buckhalter immediately who hits the gap between C and RG.  The Jets are in a bad alignment here, because the Broncos easily double team both DTs, leaving a wide open lane.  Buckhalter jukes the WLB, and picks up and extra 5 yards or so on the play.  Of note is that Walton has his foot stepped on and goes down, which causes his doubleteam to break down.  If the DT had remained sealed out of the play, Buck would have had room for the cutback he attempted, and the play may have broken for a long TD.  Slowing down forced Buck to take on the WLB, and allowed pursuit to catch up limiting it to a 13 yard gain.

Swamp 4

Swamp_4_medium

Setup

On the very next play, the Broncos line up in the same formation and run it again.

Formation

The Jets adjust by stacking the LBs over the weak (option) side of the formation.  They also spread the DTs slightly wider, inviting the run up the middle.

Execution

Once again the Broncos take the inside handoff, and this time, because the MLB has time to read the play and adjust, he moves easily into the running lane.  Buck cuts to avoid him, but is dragged down in congestion.

Swamp 5

Swamp_5_medium

Setup

With the Jets up 7-0 with plenty of time left in the 2nd quarter, the Broncos once again bring out the funky swamp formation once they have reached Jets territory.

Formation

This is the same oddball formation, with Clady at RE, though this time Gronkowski is flanking Tebow in the backfield.  The Jets only appear to have a screwed up substitution on the play, due to a tactical call they have made.  The RDE is lined up over Gaffney in the slot, apparently in anticipation of a strongside option play, but either a LB or DT needed to sub in on the line, because it is 7 on 3 in favor of Denver in a running situation at the line.

Before the snap, Tebow calls Gaffney in to flank on his right side, further complicating matters.

Execution

At the snap, both flankers (82, 10) head straight for the edges to seal block, and both Maroney and Tebow fake the option to the right before running weakside behind Gronk's block.  Unfortunately, Gronk misses his block on the weakside LB, forcing Tebow inside, but still a good gain on the play.

Swamp 6

Swamp_6_medium

Setup

Down by 7, plenty of time left in the 2nd quarter, Denver has 1st and goal at the Jets 5-yard line.

Formation

This is the first goalline formation we get to see out of the swamp.  It features 3TEs and a FB in the backfield beside Tim in the shotgun.  Before the snap Graham drags across the formation to create an exceptionally heavy unbalanced line to the right.

Execution

At the snap, Quinn and Graham double team the DE, While Larsen blasts up to seal whoever comes on the edge (in this case the SLB).  in addition, Hochstein pulls all the way across the formation while the rest of the OL cuts down and to the left, which gets the defense flowing to the left as well.  Hochstein cleans up Larsen's block, and Tebow motors for the corner (playside was the wide side of the field, so there was extra room to run).  Makes it look easy, and as we would later see, it is practically unstoppable so far.

Swamp 7

Swamp_7_medium

Setup

Down 10-7 on first drive of the second half, Denver once again whips out the oddball pistol formation around midfield, on first down.

Formation

Same as swamp 5, though Gaffney doesn't get called into the backfield.  Additionally, the Jets keep with the DE over Gaffney on the strongside (and yes, it is Gaff's responsibility to block him...), while the LBs have shifted back to the middle somewhat.  The Jets don't appear to be taking the weakside option too seriously.

Execution

Gaffney somehow manages to successfully block the DE, while Gronk and Graham try to seal the left side.  Maroney and Tebow fake the strongside option, and then Maroney runs the weakside option, while Tebow has a choice to follow the option or a pulling Hochstein under RG.  The LDE blowing by Graham is picked up by Gronk, but Tebow decides to take the middle path anyways.  LBs  have the LOS pretty messy, and the play bogs down.  (This is David Harris at work, btw).

Swamp 8

Swamp_8_medium


Setup

Still down 10-7, in the latter part of the 3rd quarter, Denver once again lines up the swamp around midfield, on first down.

Formation

Same funky pistol formation, only Moreno is the option back this time.  the JEts are sticking with their DE over the slot adjustment, and have also shifted the LBs heavily to the strongside.  You get the impression that they are getting antsy for when the option goes strongside, and they want to be prepared for it.

Execution

This is a weird one folks.  First off, Moreno fakes the option to the strongside, before running it to the weakside, while Tebow fakes the weakside option (with gronk hanging back ) before running to the strongside.  At this point it is clearly a running play for Tebow (i.e. no option, erm, option).  It also calls for Hochstein to pull completely over to help Clady seal the right side.  The Jets DE adjustment here helps, as Gaffney can't keep the DE turned out of the play, and David Harris sneaks along the line untouched (Graham was looking for him after chipping the LDE, but couldn't find him) to make a big play.

Swamp 9

Swamp_9_medium

Setup

Denver has tied up the game most of the way through the 4th quarter, and is driving in Jets territory.  On the first 1-10 on the jets side of the 50, they pull out the swamp.

Formation

We will call this the standard swamp pistol, with Gronk and Maroney in the backfield.  Jets keep the DE over the slot adjustment in play, but have gone with balanced LBs again.  They have also regapped the DTs, making it harder for the interior double teams to quickly make contact.

Execution

This play once again calls for Hochstein to pull across the formation and seal the edge, while Maroney runs the weakside option and Gronk and Graham seal off the WLB and DE respectively.  Tebow fakes the weakside option with Maroney, and then charges for the edge to follow Hochstein's block.  Unfortunately, Hochstein doesn't get to the outside in near enough time to effectively block, so Tebow cuts up behind the Kuper/Beadles block for a short gain.

Swamp 10

Swamp_10_medium

Next play of the same drive as 9 above. 2nd and 8,

Formation

Same formation, only this time Buck is in for Gronk as the flanker in the backfield.  Also the play is centered in the field.  the LDE and LCB for the Jets both squeeze in strong to the line, suspecting option action weakside.  Gaff once again has the RDE to contend with.

Execution

This one goes back to the first two swamp calls in this game, only this time the handoff to Buckhalter is faked, and Maroney and Tebow are actually running the option.  The LCB reads this perfectly from his spot up on the line, and he cuts off the option pass, leaving Tebow to contend with the LDE.  Tebow jukes past the DE, but by then the safety has made his way up and makes the tackle for another short gain.

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