Peyton Manning 55 - Part 4

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Two years removed from so much uncertainty. One thing is for sure, Peyton Manning is doing just fine. Read along as I analyze touchdown passes #34-43 and see just how capable he is at attacking all levels of the field.

TD #34 - 9 Yards Julius Thomas - 1x3 (Y)-(Z)(A)(X) - Cover 1 -Quick Slant

Man free by the Chiefs. They have Eric Berry on Julius Thomas on the left. Initially it looks like he will be double covered but he is going to blitz. Julius becomes the hot read with slight inside leverage on Berry and Manning splits the blitzing corner and linebacker and sticks the ball right on target. From there Julius carries Berry into the endzone, touchdown.

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TD #35 - 10 Yards Jacob Tamme - 3x1 (X)(Z)(A)-(Y) - Cover 2 -Seam

Press man underneath. Not sure what routes Decker and Welker are trying to run as the jams on them turns everything into a big muddle. DT is running a short in. On the snap Tamme releases to the inside, the outside backer goes to the flat to take Montee Ball. Tamme runs straight up the seam and is one on one with Hightower. Hightower stinks in coverage and is beaten, the safety is late getting over and Manning puts the ball right over the top of the LB right into the breadbasket of Tamme.

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TD #36 - 11 Yards Demaryius Thomas - 2x3 (X)(A)-(Z)(Y)(RB) - Cover 1 - Corner Fade

Press man across the board, single high safety. I've said it over and over, Peyton Manning will take Demaryius Thomas against man coverage all day. This is the only place he looks. Off the snap DT releases to the outside and outmuscles Talib's attempt to jam him. Talib stumbles a bit and DT has all the separation he needs.

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TD #37 - 41 Yards Eric Decker - 1x3 (X)-(Y)(Y)(Z) - Busted - Post

I have no idea what to make of this play. Flowers shows outside leverage which leads me to believe he thinks he has safety help over the top. Presnap looks like Cover 2 Man, but on the snap the linebackers drop to a zone and the playside safety steps up to cover Dreessen running a square in. That leaves Decker with inside leverage and enough separation on a deep post for Manning to drop the ball beautifully over the top. This was run from playaction. Coincidentally, 18 of 55 TD passes came from playaction.

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TD #38 - 3 Yards Knowshon Moreno - 2x2 (X)(A)-(Y)(Z) - Cover 2 Zone - Slant/Corner

Pretty similar to the smash concept. Instead of running an in or hook, DT is going to run a slant. On the other side, Decker has a whip route and Tamme has a post. Cover 2 with zone underneath and this is what makes the play possible. DT's man is going to pass off to the inside. Welker's man is going to pass off to the 2nd level. Both the safety and the corner get caught looking at Welker, and no one is even close to Knowshon who released into the flat. It seems as if Manning is looking toward Welker the whole way but snaps back to his outlet and hits him for the 3-yd touchdown pass. Moreno does a nice job at lowering his pads and getting the extra push to the goalline.

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TD #39 - 37 Yards Eric Decker - 2x2 (A)(Y)-(X)(Z) - Robber - Post

Yet another post pattern by Decker. This time the Broncos stack Decker and Demaryius. Cover 1, a single high safety. The other safety is playing a robber role. He reads the play and acts according. Usually you will see these calls on running downs. The robber is free to help in run support or drop back into coverage depending on what he sees. Brandon Flowers seems a little confused at the snap. He flips open and begins to run with Demaryius. As soon as this happens, Decker cuts right back across his face to the middle of the field. The single high safety takes on Demaryius and Decker has the entire deep portion of the field to himself. Once he gets a step on Flowers he continues to run over the middle and behind the robber. It's amazing how far across the field the pattern makes it. Great throw by Manning. He lets the ball loose when Decker is at about the Chief 20 yard line.

One other thing to point out, both in this touchdown and the 1st Decker touchdown. The Broncos are using personnel in their favor. On this play Montee Ball and Virgil Green usually equals a running play. Keep that in mind as we go forward.

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TD #40 - 15 Yards Eric Decker - 1x3 (X)-(Y)(A)(Z) - Cover 2 - Post

We have Cover 2 with trips alignment to the right. To the left of the formation you have the China concept (this time with the Knowshon running the outside route to go along with Demaryius' corner route), and to the right you'll get a double post with a whip by Wes Welker. Demaryius ends up getting double covered, as does Jacob Tamme. In fact it looks like they had an high/low bracket on Tamme with Berry playing LB underneath. The important presnap read by Decker is the fact that the outside defender Marcus Cooper has outside leverage and off coverage. He is going to protect the corner. Decker stems his route to the outside buying him more leverage before he cuts back to the middle on a post. Great route by Decker.

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TD #41 - 1 Yard Eric Decker - 2x2 (X)(A)-(Y)(Z) - Man - Corner Fade

On this play, we have Decker lined up one on one with Manning's favorite whipping boy Marcus Cooper. Manning checks into the call presnap, so perhaps it was a run call to begin with. Nothing fancy here, Corner Fade and a perfectly placed ball.

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TD #42 - 1 Yard Wes Welker - 2x2 (Z)(Y)-(A)(X) - Man - Pick

This shit isn't fair. Sprint right option, DT picks Welker's man, Welker is wide open in the flat for a touchdown. How many times have we seen this concept now? Still amazes me that the defense does not see this coming.

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TD #43 - 8 Yards Julius Thomas - 1x3 (Y)-(Z)(A)(X) - Cover 1 - Corner Fade

Julius shows off his basketball skills here. Jab step, head fake to the inside, plant and break to the outside. Doesn't even need to use his hands to get separation. In case you missed it, we have a TE capable of beating safeties on a quick slant and corner fade in the redzone.

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Raw Data

TD

Down

P

Formation

Alignment

Play

Coverage

Route/Concept

34

2-G

11

Singleback

1x3 (Y)-(Z)(A)(X)

9 yd (Y)

Cover 1

Quick Slant

35

3-5

11

Shotgun

3x1 (X)(Z)(A)-(Y)

10 yd (Y)

Cover 2

Seam

36

1-10

11

Shotgun

2x3 (X)(A)-(Z)(Y)(RB)

11 yd (X)

Cover 1

Corner Fade

37

1-10

12

Singleback

1x3 (X)-(Y)(Y)(Z)

41 yd (Z)

Busted

Post

38

3-3

11

Shotgun

2x2 (X)(A)-(Y)(Z)

3 yd (RB)

Cover 2Z

Slant/Corner

39

1-10

11

Singleback

2x2 (A)(Y)-(X)(Z)

37 yd (Z)

Robber

Post

40

3-10

11

Shotgun

1x3 (X)-(A)(Y)(Z)

15 yd (Z)

Cover 2

Post

41

3-G

11

Singleback

2x2 (X)(A)-(Y)(Z)

1 yd (Z)

Man

Corner Fade

42

4-G

11

Shotgun

2x2 (Z)(Y)-(A)(X)

1 yd (A)

Man

Pick

43

1-G

11

Shotgun

1x3 (Y)-(Z)(A)(X)

8 yd (Y)

Cover 1

Corner Fade

Wrap-Up

Eric Decker came up big on this stretch. At this point (outside of the Decker touchdowns off playaction) we are not seeing anything new. We are seeing the same concepts used over and over again, especially near the endzone. What makes this team so deadly in the redzone is the ability of each receiver to win a one on one matchup. Couple that with some creative alignments and route combinations and you have a juggernaut that cannot be stopped.

I'll will finish off this series by Monday. We have a dozen left folks, thanks for reading and GO BRONCOS!!!

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