FanPost

The Great Play to Reuland: What Happened There?


I posted these in a thread, but might as well put them here so more can see them. End of the 3rd Quarter, the Rams behind less than a score. Jets closing in a two-score lead. Sanchez looks at his first receiver Hill who is on a slant route. We hear in the replay that he may have been spooked by the safety. Like any good QB he then moves to his next target the TE Reuland. 18 yard play, and pretty much the game.

But was this a great play by Sanchez? A good play? It sure seems like it. But take a look at it closely. It is 3rd down and the Rams are guessing run big time. They have only one safety back. Hill is split wide and is the primary target. All he has to do is beat his man to the inside and there should be lots of running room.

Sanchez1_medium

Sanchez5_medium

You can see the Hill blows by his man right away (his head is barely visible). No safety is in the picture. And unbeknownst to Sanchez Reuland's man has been knocked down. Hill is wide open. But where is the safety? (Fouts brings the safety up on replay, but if you listen to it he seems mystified and is just offering an excuse).

Sanchez3-1_medium

As Sanchez is ready to throw the safety is backpedaling to the 10 (Hill is open slanting at the 17 maybe, out of frame above). The safety is not closing in on the play. Below you can see how far the safety is from Hill after Sanchez already gave up on the play.

Sanchez4_medium

Sanchez turns and is fortunate to discover that Reuland is wide open because of the fallen defender, but look at Hill his primary target. He is free as a gazelle and he was practically from the snap of the ball. Sure, it is great that Sanchez looked for a second guy, something he isn't always good at, but he got spooked off a possible touchdown to the fastest man on the field. The play was (apparently) designed to take advantage of Hill, but Sanchez actually blew the play. It all turned out roses, but this was STILL a game at this point.

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