Revisiting 2019 - Adrian Amos' Week 5 Pressure

Dusty goes back to Week 5 of the 2019 season to break down a couple defensive plays in the Packers win over the Cowboys.

I hope everyone is doing their best during this time of social distancing and quarantine. Personally, I have left the house once in the past week, and that was to a non-crowded place with family. Thankfully, my children have been amazing so far. And I have football. Blessed, blessed football.

Today, we're looking at two plays from the Week 5 win over the Cowboys, both on the defensive side of the ball. If you'd like a deeper look at some of the passing concepts the Packers used that week, you can read my article here.

Play 1: 2nd & 11, 12:47 remaining in the 2nd quarter, Packers leading 14-0

The Packers were up 14-0, but the Cowboys offense hadn't looked bad up until that point. On their first drive, the Cowboys picked up 37 yards on their first 3 plays (12.3 yards per play), before a deep ball to a wide-open Amari Cooper was thrown slightly behind him. Instead of a big gain, it ended up being a tipped-ball interception for Jaire Alexander.

The Cowboys were rolling again on their second drive, before a 10 yard sack on 3rd down - courtesy of Za'Darius Smith - forced the Cowboys out of fringe field goal range and forced a punt.

On their third drive, they were rolling once again. They had picked up 40 yards on their first 5 plays (8 yards per play) and found themselves looking at 2nd & 11 at the Packers 35 yard line. My point is this: they may have been down 14-0 at this point, but their offense was looking good overall. That 14 point lead didn't feel very strong.

That is where we're picking up with this play.

The Cowboys are sending the two receivers on the left deep, clearing out the boundary. Randall Cobb [18] is running a deep crosser underneath those routes while Ezekiel Elliott [21] is running a flat route under the crosser. Those two parallel routes can really stress a defense: if the defender crashes on the flat, the deep crosser is open. If he drops under the crosser, the flat is open with space.

The defender in question is Chandon Sullivan [39]. He starts this play over the slot receiver, but drops back into zone and passes off the slot receiver to Blake Martinez [50] in the middle of the field. He then settles into his zone and keeps his eyes on Dak Prescott [4]. He drifts with Elliott on the flat route, but never crashes on it. 

Prescott likes what he sees to Cobb.

Sullivan turns and makes a tremendous play on the ball.

It's possible Prescott never sees Sullivan. It initially looks like Sullivan is carrying the slot receiver down the field - he turns and runs for a step or two - so Prescott may believe that area will be cleared out.

Since no one moves on the pre-snap motion, that tells Prescott he is looking at some sort of zone coverage. Maybe he thought it was man coverage on the slot receiver, but the more likely explanation is that he thought he could fit the ball to Cobb over Sullivan. He saw Sullivan, but he didn't think he'd be able to make a play on it.

Sullivan finishes off the play by paying homage to Nick Collins.

Play 2: 3rd & 5, 0:50 remaining in the 2nd quarter, Packers leading 17-0

Once again, the Cowboys are driving and trying to put some points on the board going into the half. Facing 3rd & 5 from the Packers 36 yard line, they're running an out route under a go route on the right side, with the out route breaking a few yards past the 1st down marker. Randall Cobb is running the out from the slot. A quick read-and-throw from Dak Prescott would pick up the 1st down and allow Cobb to get out of bounds to stop the clock.

Cobb gets good position on his route and the go route clears the boundary. Prescott hits the top of his drop and is set to throw to Cobb, but Adrian Amos [31] is in his face. Prescott sails the throw and the Cowboys are forced to kick a 54 yard field goal. A field goal that Brett Maher pushes wide right.

Let's look at how the pressure got to Prescott.

The right side of the Cowboys line is occupied by Kenny Clark [97], Za'Darius Smith [55] and Preston Smith [91]. Clark and Za'Darius Smith angle inside, while Preston Smith pushes outside. That opens up a wide gap off the right side of the line. Ezekiel Elliott is waiting to pick up the blitz. The problem - for Elliott and Prescott, anyway - is that the Packers send two blitzers: Blake Martinez [50] from the inside and Adrian Amos from the outside. They both hit the gap at the same time, and Elliott is faced with an impossible choice. He picks up Martinez, allowing Amos a free path. He hits Prescott in the waist as the ball is being released.

Very nice, well-timed blitz on a big down. Martinez does a nice job of not giving away the blitz until after the ball is snapped, as well.

Album listened to: Doves - The Last Broadcast; Autolux - Future Perfect




Dusty Evely is a film analyst for Cheesehead TV. He can be heard talking about the Packers on Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter at @DustyEvely or email at [email protected].


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Comments (3)

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Samson's picture

March 18, 2020 at 06:13 pm

The good ol' days... (nice job Dusty)

1 points
stockholder's picture

March 18, 2020 at 07:51 pm

Vikings get Pierce// /3yrs. 27 mil.///. ____!

-1 points
PeteK's picture

March 19, 2020 at 08:57 am

I think 18 guaranteed. Good riddance, too much money and yrs for a player that was sent home because he was over weight and now released. He would have been good for us in a limited 2 down rotational role.

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