Jump to content
ExtremeRavens: The Sanctuary

Inside the goal line stand


Recommended Posts


The larger story here is how smart the Baltimore coaches were on the play. One of our SI reporters at the game, Matt Gagne, talked to coaches and found out the Ravens' plan on those last four plays, all from inside the 7-yard line, was simple: If Kaepernick was going to beat them, he was going to have to do it with his arm and not his legs.

Kaepernick still rushed seven times for 62 yards -- his fourth-highest output on the ground this season -- and he scrambled for a 15-yard touchdown with 10 minutes to play. But faced with making a goal-line stand as they clung to a 34-29 lead at the end, the Ravens were determined to make Kaepernick throw the ball.

On first and goal from Baltimore's 7-yard line, LaMichael James took a handoff but ran straight into a zero blitz, picking up just two yards before the two-minute warning. The zero blitz, or an all-out blitz, is the most effective way to disrupt the read-option. The offensive scheme operates like the pick-and-roll in basketball. Depending on how an isolated defender reacts, Kaepernick can either keep the ball like a point guard driving the lane or hand it off to a running back who has more room to operate.

Zero blitz takes away that wiggle room, with several defenders converging on the mesh point -- the few feet of space where it's not clear if the quarterback will keep the ball or hand it off. The downside, of course, is that an all-out blitz leaves the secondary in man coverage and wideouts will typically get open. This, however, wasn't a typical situation. A short field hems in the receivers, making the coverage effective even if the blitz is slow. On three of their last four plays, the Ravens pinned their ears back and went after Kaepernick. But, as Gagne discovered, not on 2nd-and-goal from the 5. That's when a chess match was just as effective as a street fight.

During the two-minute warning, John Harbaugh asked for zero blitz, telling defensive coordinator Dan Pees through the headset, "I do not want them to run the ball right here." Pees had already called for a base defense, zone coverage, but Harbaugh had him rethinking the plan.

"At the last minute he was going to change his call to zero blitz," Matt Weiss, the Ravens defensive quality control coach who was listening in on the conversation, told Gagne. "But he didn't, and that turned out to be a great call. Dean almost got talked out of his instinct, which would have been bad for us. If we're in zero blitz there, there's a good chance they score a touchdown."

That's because Kaepernick took the snap and sprinted to his right -- a move designed to beat the blitz that never came -- and was forced to throw into tight coverage. The ball to Michael Crabtree fell incomplete. The Ravens weren't disguising anymore blitzes, only to back off. Pees called for zero blitzes on the next two plays, and the pressure forced two more incomplete passes to Crabtree. "They were smart enough not to run the pistol. Dean did a great job of showing them zero blitz," Weiss said. "We basically just said, 'If you're going to score this touchdown, Colin Kaepernick is going to have to throw the ball in the end zone.' " It worked, and Baltimore won.


Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nfl/news/20130204/baltimore-ravens-win-super-bowl-xlvii-peter-king-monday-morning-quarterback/#ixzz2JzESaJah


Link to comment
Share on other sites

This will go down in NFL history as "The Stand".

Jim out coached himself. Peas won.


The Ravens players were totally focused on their assignments and the communication was excellent.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...