Where ya goin' Ed?

Eric Decker's 51 yard touchdown was pretty awesome. But one question stuck in my mind, what the heck was Ed Reed doing? Let's see if we can figure it out.

First play:

11:30 1st Quarter / 1st & 10 / Ball on BAL 42



Denver is lined up in 11 personnel. Decker is wide to the field with Stokley in the slot. The formation is strong to the boundary and DT is wide to that side. Moreno is the backfield. The Ravens are showing a single deep safety with man underneath. After the snap Decker and DT press their routes 18 yds downfield before cutting back to the line of scrimmage. Stokley presses 12 yds down field before coming back. Because there is only a single safety deep, The corner can't let Decker get behind him or he gives up the big play. Peyton play actions to Moreno and then finds Decker coming back to the ball wide open for a 9 yd gain.

Second Play:

00:15 1st Quarter / 2nd & 7 / Ball on DEN 45



Denver is lined up in 12 personnel. The formation is strong to the field side with a TE on the line of scrimmage and another TE in a wing. DT is lined up to the boundary side and Decker is to the field. Baltimore is lined up in a 2 deep look and plays man underneath it. At the snap, Decker pushes 6 yds up the field and starts for the post, he then looks to the route up the field to get deep. DT presses 10 yds downfield and faints to the post before settling his route at the BAL 45. Manning fakes to the RB (I think Moreno but don't quote me). The back chips before settling around the 50.



The corner does a good job of forcing Decker to the inside where the safety can slide over and bracket for double coverage. Decker recognizes this instantly and breaks his route off and turns into an out. Manning sees it and hits him for a 14 yd gain.

Third Play:

06:08 2nd Quarter / 2nd & 5 / Ball on DEN 10



This one is pretty straightforward if you've been paying attention. 12 personnel, single safety look, play action max protect. Decker, boundary, works 15 yds down field and comes back. DT, field, does the same. Easy throw and catch for a 12 yard gain.

Fourth Play:

11:37 3rd Quarter / 2nd & 6 / Ball on DEN 21



Here we are again, formation look familiar yet? Single safety, 21 personnel, play action. Decker presses 5 yards, breaks for the post, sees the middle of the field occupied by the safety and breaks off into an out like before. Throw, catch, 15 yards, FIRST DOWN!


10:02 3rd Quarter / 1st & 10 / Ball on DEN 49



2 plays later and it's the same record as before. At the snap, Ed Reed sees Peyton acting like it's a handoff but sees Eric Decker pressing downfield. And he decides that he has HAD IT!!! He knows what's coming, Decker breaks off his route into either an out or a comeback and by god Ed Reed is going to undercut it and pick it off. So he camps his little behind outside the hash 15 yards from the line scrimmage.



Ed Reed is going to pick this pass off and he is going to return for a score! The game will be changed and the great Baltimore comeback will commence!

If it wasn't for just one small thing. Decker keeps running. He doesn't break his route off. Carey Williams is clearly expecting safety help over the top and checks up ever so slightly. Decker's got a step on his man and Peyton Manning exploits it. Ed Reed realizes how bad he just got burned and spikes his helmet on the sideline.

Game, set, match...PFM-1000

This is a Fan-Created Comment on The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR.