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Packers Film Room: Green Bay’s duo run and play-action concepts

Meshing play-action schemes to the run game is what head coach Matt LaFleur does best.

Syndication: The Post-Crescent Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin / USA TODAY NETWORK

In preseason Week 2, Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love and most of the first-team offense played just the first quarter, with some starters going into the second quarter. In this game, Love looked more accurate but maybe less decisive overall and finished the first quarter five-for-eight for 84 yards and one touchdown in a 22-17 loss to the New England Patriots.

His lone touchdown pass came off of play action where he found rookie receiver Jayden Reed on a crossing route where Reed was able to catch and secure the pass while barrelling toward the front left pylon of the end zone. It came off of a play-action pass protection scheme known in the Shanahan tree as “P14-15 Jab,” with “Jab” being their duo run play.

Duo run scheme

Duo is a downhill vertical running game concept that looks like inside zone but is considered a gap scheme run because it creates new gaps along the front by displacing defenders with the double team blocks. On “duo,” the offensive line blocks the defensive front with a series of double team blocks, making the running back’s read the middle linebacker in the second level.

Just like on the outside zone, in the running back’s first three steps, he reads the run fit of the middle linebacker to determine if he is going to stay on an inside track or bounce to the edge away from the defender. The play requires the patience to let the blocks develop and the ability to set up the Mike linebacker for failure.

Duo play action

As with any play-action concept, it’s vital to make everything look the same as the run-blocking scheme. The Packers run duo quite a bit in addition to their inside zone concepts, so it makes sense to add the hard play fakes off of the duo blocking scheme into the game plan. This concept was popularized by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers under Bruce Arians, whose base running play is duo with a variety of play-action concepts built off of it.

The Packers are integrating more and more of those concepts in recent seasons and have already thrown an Arians staple for a touchdown in this preseason off of it.

In Week 1 versus the Cincinnati Bengals, Jordan Love found receiver Romeo Doubs for a touchdown off of their duo play action high cross concept.

In Week 2 of the preseason, the Packers installed this for the game against New England and made everything look like the run right up until the snap.

The offense lined up in 11 personnel and brought receiver Christian Watson in tight to the formation as a wing behind the C-gap between the tight end and the left tackle. The goal is to make the play look like an 11 personnel duo run.

Love points out the Mike linebacker before the snap to get the defense thinking run and hard sells the play fake after the snap. The critical block here is Watson, who sells the run by chipping the defender rushing through the C-gap.

The linebackers step toward the line and freeze as the routes behind them get to the second level. Love waits for Reed to clear the linebacker and throws an on-target pass that only Reed can catch before he lunges for the end zone.


Adding diversity to the run and play-action game this season is going to help Love tremendously as the Packers transition to just their third franchise quarterback in the last 25 years. He’s already shown great accuracy and poise in just these limited snaps in preseason, so fans should be excited to see how this plays out by the end of the year.