The title may sound like I’m going to pinpoint a bad play by the Bengals quarterback, and we know that would be easy after Sunday’s game, but this particular play shows how the Browns out-coached the Bengals.
First, let me show you a quick snapshot from the Packers game.
On this play, Green Bay blitzed their slot CB and forced Dalton into a sack/fumble and didn’t get the chance to hit Sanu deep down the middle.
Now back to yesterday’s game.
Gio Bernard has, at times, been used as a decoy receiver rather than a blocker. What i mean is, the Bengals will flare him out or loop him into the middle instead of blocking. This is to force the defense NOT to bring that extra rusher as they must now account for another receiver. But, as I showed in the picture above, teams have found a way to exploit that and the Browns followed.
* 3rd & 7 close to midfield.
* This is the drive where the Bengals shuffled their Offensive Line.
* You can see a Single-High (blue) look by the Browns presnap, but the safety is rotating towards the boundary.
* Bengals have 3-WRs with Eifert split to Dalton’s right.
* Eifert is running an Out & Up with the hopes of getting behind the LB and having the middle free to run.
* Sanu runs an Out & In as the safety valve underneath.
* At the snap, Cleveland brings 5 rushers with the MLB and CB blitzing (yellow).
* The snap is low and Dalton has to drop his eyes from looking at the defense.
* Again, the Bengals bring Bernard out of the backfield with no intention of picking up the blitz. The Browns blitzing CB doesn’t slow down — He’s not covering Gio.
* Dalton is just hitting his back foot as both main options are about to sell their fakes.
Allow me to flip to end zone angle for a second.
* As Gio comes out of the backfield, the DT (#92) picks him up and not the blitzing CB. Now the Browns are only rushing 4 with 7 in coverage. Advantage – Browns
* We don’t have a down field shot as of Monday morning, but with the Safety rotating away from Eifert and the way he sold his route, I’m betting he was open deep and Dalton tried getting it to him before he was sacked and stripped.
(Will update on Wednesday with picture).