Re: So I watched some film . . .
posted at 12/6/2013 5:19 PM EST
In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:
The two snapshots are just two plays, so it's unfair to really judge players based on just those two snapshots. But the big difference is that in the earlier photo on the playside, Kelly occupies two blockers leaving Mayo untouched to make the tackle in the backfield. On the later photo, Soapoaga is single teamed, leaving the center free to attack Hightower. No one gets off their blocks (both Kelly and Wilfork are great at sliding off their blocks and getting to the RB, obstructing his path if not tackling him). This leaves no one to tackle the runner, Tate, who scampers to the endzone 20 yards away.
Also note the spacing. Chris Jones and Soapoaga are really getting driven to the side leaving a big hole. In the earlier photo, the hole is contracting because the Pats defenders are collapsing everything to the middle.
Actually, Sopoage is doing about as well as Wilfork in that photo.
The thing I was coached, and always coached, it to keep your numbers to the endzone. You don't ever want to get turned.
The person who is really failing, hard, in that sequence is Jones (#94). The RB even takes off right through the spot he vacated.
Here is a hint for breaking it down, Prolate, don't watch the relative distance between players only, but also watch the relative distance between the players and the hashmarks. If you look, Sopoaga is actually pushing his man into the hole. He starts out over the left hashmark and ends about a yard or two to the right of that. He's actually advanced a yard upfield into the backfield too. He won his battle. He didn't dominate, but he won.
Yes his numbers have turned after the RB is through the hole, but he is already turning to pursue the RB at that point. He is breaking it off. While the RB was behind the LOS he controlled his man.
Chris Jones actually gets taken so far to the side that he is almost running into Chandler Jones. Moreover, his numbers are turned to the sideline from the get go.
Hightower is basically swallowed up. The Texans are (surprise) running away from Spikes' side.
The two keys here would have been either Hightower closing the hole by pushing his man back, or by Jones keeping the hole pinched, forcing the RB to run into Spikes.