I love these posts (and the challenges of figuring out how to do them with the changes in highlight video posting techniques changing every season).
For those new to STP since the last season, I look at one play, typically a touchdown, where the offense was successful and break it down for you. We dive into the X’s & O’s to help give you a look inside the Air Raid offense, a la Kingsbury.
This week, we’re looking at a Johnathan Giles touchdown catch on a staple from the Air Raid/Run & Shoot offensive playbook.
Typically, there are plays leading up to a successful one that helped set it up with personnel, subs, or play fakes. This time, this play comes directly off of a turnover.
When I mentioned that this was a staple from Run & Shoot offense, I was referencing the route combination on the right side of the formation, the (flat) post and the wheel route behind it. It is testing the defense and how the defensive backs on that side of the field react to players crossing their face and how the two deep safeties respond to a receiver splitting between them.
The other outside receiver runs a go route up the sideline, and Mahomes checks off of him (Lauderdale is Mahomes’ second read if I’m reading his eyes correctly). Mahomes fakes the handoff and moves to his passing reads. The inside receiver to Mahomes left is running a little bubble screen and is the pump fake to see how the corner reacts on Lauderdale. If he had stepped up to take away the quick pass, Lauderdale would have been open behind the corner and in front of the safety flying over to pick up coverage. The linebacker covering the inside receiver moves towards the flat to cover the possible bubble and nobody bites on the pump fake. Mahomes moves to the other side of the field, picking up Giles 3rd in his reads and finds him open with space in front of him. The wheel route would have been the next read, with Stockton being the dump off, last resort throw.
Giles is lined up outside at the Z position. Quinton White is lined up at the H-back just off the line of scrimmage running the wheel route behind Giles. The SFA linebacker takes White and plays pretty good coverage in picking up the wheel route, taking him away as an option to throw to. Giles sees his corner off quite a bit and realizes he is playing zone. Giles crosses in front of the corner, essentially nullifying the corner and his coverage. With the defense in what appears to be Cover 2 (both safeties deep taking a half of the field), Giles splits between them and catches the ball in the middle of the field with defenders trailing him. Lauderdale, being the heady receiver he is picks up the block of his corner when Giles comes his way with the ball and the other defenders are all making a mess of their pursuit angles and the rest is church.