The first part of this week’s film room series broke down the first scoring drive. Today in part two, we look at the second and only other scoring drive the Green Bay Packers would need to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
On the second scoring drive, the Packers converted two third and long situations and also had answers to some issues presented to them in the boot play action passing game, hitting two successful boot passes to set up a six-yard touchdown pass to receiver Allen Lazard.
Play No. 1 and Play No. 2
The first 2 plays of the drive netted two total yards, a three-yard toss play to the right side of the offense and a negative one-yard on a pony package RPO.
Play No. 3, 3rd-and-8 @ GB 31
On 3rd-and-8, the play call had each receiver running beyond the sticks on an out route, a deep stick route called a “tree” route (stick 6-yard, branch 8-yard, tree 10-yard) and a 12-yard dig route over the middle.
Tampa Bay is a cover-3 shell pre-snap that rotates in a cover-2 fire zone behind a 5-man rush. The end to the single receiver side flies out to the flat, the corner to that side becomes the deep safety, the free safety rotates to the opposite hash deep half, the corner plays the flat, the linebackers rotate out to the passing strength to cover #2 and #3, and nickel defender is the 5th rusher.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers could have probably ripped the dig route to his left to Randall Cobb (No. 18) but the safety might arrive as the ball arrives. Cobb could easily work back to the ball though. Rodgers pulls it down and dumps it off to tight end Robert Tonyan (No. 85) who’s able to get the first down against the off coverage.
Play No. 4, 1st-and-10 @ GB 40
The next play on first down is a boot pass to the left. The Packers have struggled with this concept this season (as have lots of teams) because the league is starting to adapt to the Shanahan tree offenses and not letting them get chunk yards on explosive pass plays downfield off these concepts.
Defenses have been sending pressure to the backside as soon as the quarterback boots out. To counter this, offenses should send some kind of slide route on a jet motion to hold that defender while the receiver breaks to the flat. The slide route off jet motion becomes the first read and if it’s there, the quarterback should throw it. It is an easy counter to backside pressure.
The Buccaneers do not send this backside pressure as Rodgers boots out to his right and finds receiver Romeo Doubs for a nine-yard gain in the flat down the sideline.
Play No. 5, 6, and 7
The next three plays netted six total yards, a run to pick up a first down after Doubs' catch, an incomplete pass on first down, and a three-yard gain on a run.
Play No. 8, 3rd-and-7 @ TB 45
On 3rd-and-7, Rodgers found Lazard for a seven-yard gain on a rub route combination of a “now” quick slant and stick route over the top to pick the defenders and create traffic.
The defenders are in man coverage in tight to the line of scrimmage and probably should’ve banjoed the coverage where they switch receivers depending on who goes in or out.
Tonyan runs interference on the stick as Lazard releases under him, making the defenders fight through the traffic. Lazard is open as Rodgers throws and picks up the first down.
Play No. 9 and 10
These plays were a two-yard run and a seven-yard check down to set up a 3rd-and-1.
Play No. 11, 3rd-and-1 @ TB 29
On 3rd-and-1, head coach Matt LaFleur called another boot pass, this time out of 12 personnel (one running back, two tight ends) with Lazard as a wing on the opposite end of the formation. Tyler Davis (No. 84) is the wing tight running the slide route to the left this time.
This time, Tampa Bay sends a backside pressure at Rodgers as he boots out to the left but Davis bumps this rusher and is able to slow him down as Davis gets out to the flat. Rodgers dumps down to him and Davis sprints for a 23-yard gain.
Play No. 12, 1st-and-6 @ TB 6
The drive culminated in a six-yard touchdown pass to Lazard running “lookie” slant on the backside of an RPO.
The play is a variation of running play the Packers scored on in week two versus the Bears when Rodgers pitched the ball to running back A.J. Dillon for a touchdown. In week three, they tagged a backside lookie slant to Lazard, an RPO read.
Rodgers is making a pre-snap box count read here on this RPO. Tampa Bay has eight defenders ready to stop the run and only two defenders covering two receivers with no safety help.
Rodgers carries out the fake and gets the defensive end to crash down as he pulls the ball and throws it out to Lazard.
Lazard, on the “lookie” slant, cuts across the face of the defender and wins inside leverage against the slot defender for the touchdown.
The Packers were able to gain some yards later throughout the game but could not score any points after this drive. Tampa Bay stopped blitzing Rodgers in the second half and the offense had trouble finding a rhythm after that.
In the first half, when Rodgers was blitzed, he was 14/17 for two touchdowns and 160 yards passing. When he was not blitzed in the second half, he was 13/18 for 95 yards and one interception. It will be interesting to see how upcoming defenses counter the Packers' quick passing game and what adjustments LaFleur will make during the week and on the fly during the game if they are unable to hit these bread and butter concepts.