Colt McCoy, RG3, and the Redskins Shutdown By the Rams Defense


Colt McCoy and the Redskins played the Rams at home resulting in a humuliating defeat. In this match-up the Rams defensive front seven dominated the line of scrimmage and shutdown the Redskins offense. This post will look at how McCoy and RG3 performed versus this prolific defense.

WR DeSean Jackson was out of the game due to a lower leg contusion suffered in the loss against the Colts so Andre Roberts and Santana Moss had to step up to fill the void.

Colt McCoy – 20/32 – 199 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT, 1 Fumble, 6 sacks for 45 yards
RG3 – 3/4 – 33 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT, 1 sack for 8 yards

Play 1
Situation: 1st and 10 at WSH 23
Description: Q1 – (14:54) (Shotgun) C. McCoy pass short left to P.Garcon pushed ob at WAS 33 for 10 yards (J.Jenkins).
Sideline View

Endzone View

Redskins start the game with McCoy in pistol formation. He motions TE Reed underneath WR Garcon on the left side in twins stack. Garcon was the first read on the play running a quick out and McCoy passes it to him with an accurate strike. Garcon then muscles his way for the first down.

Good start to the drive. McCoy notices that when motions Reed to the right, the CBs on the outside switch from both in off-man coverage to one playing man-to-man on the line while the other stays deep for Garcon’s route if he decides to go deep. If you notice on the otherside of the formation, Roberts is open underneath his CB playing off-man coverage as well. Good play design to neutralize the Rams defensive line with a quick pass.

Play 2
Situation: 1st and 10 at WSH 45
Description: Q1 – (13:49) (No Huddle, Shotgun) C. McCoy pass incomplete short middle to A.Morris.
Sideline View

Endzone View

McCoy in pistol lines up with TE Reed split out wide right with CB33 Gaines in man-to-man coverage over him. This is McCoy’s first read on the play. Gaines plays Reed well and doesn’t allow any separation, so McCoy makes a quick decision and checks it down to his RB Morris from the backfield. McCoy’s ball is too low for Morris who can’t bring it in for the reception.

I would have liked to see McCoy sense that his pocket is actually clean for the entirety of his progressions and then find a wide-open Garcon on the outside left side, but he immediately wants to release the ball and get rid of it. I’m guessing all week Gruden talked about the dominate defensive line, so this was probably the reason McCoy felt like he needed to get rid of the ball early, but the Redskins offensive line actually does a good job blocking at the four man rush.

Play 3
Situation: 3rd and 10 at WSH 45
Description: Q1 – (13:03) (Shotgun) C. McCoy pass short left to P.Garcon to SL 44 for 11 yards (J.Jenkins).
Sideline View

Endzone View

McCoy lines up in shotgun with Helu in the backfield. McCoy has Moss and Roberts in twin stacks to his right and Garcon alone wide left. Garcon runs an out-route and is McCoy’s first read. Immediately after the snap McCoy watches the safety sprint from the line of scrimmage into deep coverage and then passes the ball low and outside of Garcon on the sideline. This is actually a good ball by McCoy. CB Jenkins is playing off-man coverage and closes in on Garcon after he completes his cut. In order for solely Garcon to make a play on the ball, the ball had to be low and away.

Watch Garcon on this play. He rounds his route at the top of the stem. This isn’t good and allows Jenkins to recover and tackle him immediately after he makes a rolling catch. Realistically, if he ran a perfect route on the play with a quick cut to the outside the result would have been the same, i.e. a reception, but against elite cornerbacks this could be the difference between a completion and a pass breakup.

This is a quick one read pass that helps keep the pocket clean.

Play 4
Situation: 2nd and 11 at STL 45
Description: Q1 – (11:44) (Shotgun) C. McCoy pass short left to P.Garcon to SL 32 for 13 yards (T.Johnson; T.McDonald).
Sideline View

Endzone View

McCoy in shotgun has trips left with Garcon, Roberts and Moss and TE Reed by himself on the right outside. The Redskins favorite passing formation. Garcon from the outside runs a quick in-route over the middle and catches McCoy’s well placed ball.

The reason why this play works is because the Rams are in Cover 2 with four zones underneath. The combination of Moss’ seam route and Roberts’ corner route pulls CB33 Gaines out of the play allowing Garcon to be open. Garcon then uses his speed and elusiveness to muscle up the middle for a first down. From the 2013 season, the one thing I always loved about Garcon is how angry he runs and how willing he is to be physical with the opposition.

Play 5
Situation: 2nd and 13 at STL 35
Description: Q1 – (10:20) (Shotgun) C. McCoy pass deep middle intended for R.Grant INTERCEPTED by R.McLeod at SL 16. R.McLeod to SL 17 for 1 yard (R.Grant). The Replay Official challenged the runner was down by contact ruling, and the play was REVERSED. (Shotgun) C. McCoy pass deep middle intended for R.Grant INTERCEPTED by R.McLeod at SL 16. R.McLeod to SL 17 for 1 yard (T.Compton).
Sideline View

Endzone View

McCoy is in empty-set shotgun. Helu lines up wide left with TE Reed in the left slot and Garcon lines up wide right with Grant in the right slot. The Rams are in Cover 3 with four underneath zones. FS23 McLeod is playing deep center field.

McCoy snaps the ball and immediately finds Grant running a post route through the middle of the field. Grant makes his cut and is actually open if McCoy can deliver an accurate pass to him. Instead, McCoy overthrows Grant and FS McLeod makes an incredible diving catch on the ball for the interception.

Keys this play: (1) This was actually a good play call on 2nd and long. On first down, the Redskins ran with Morris and lost 3 yards, so another run probably would not have worked. (2) The Rams have been lining up in this four zones underneath zone formation for most of the first drive (see plays above) so a breaking route past this and before the deep safety would worked. (3) McCoy stares down his receiver (Grant) the entire play allowing FS McLeod to make a play on the ball. (4) McCoy throws the ball innaccurately allowing the FS to make the play.

Good play; poor execution by McCoy. He needs to look off the safety. He could have easily looked at the far left side or even Reed running the in-route over the middle to draw the safety away from the play, so the worst this would have been is a missed opportunity as opposed to an interception.

The Redskins defense managed to hold the Rams to 6 pts up until halfway into the 3rd quarter, but ultimately the Redskins offense could not complete any drives and the Redskins defense and special teams let the Rams score another 18 unanswered points. Here is McCoy’s other interception on the day.

Play 6
Situation: 4th and 11 at STL 21
Description: Q4 – (5:25) (Shotgun) C. McCoy pass deep middle intended for J.Reed INTERCEPTED by T.McDonald at SL 2. T.McDonald pushed ob at SL 22 for 20 yards (A.Morris).
Sideline View

Endzone View

McCoy in shotgun has trips left and Garcon wide right by himself. Rams are in Cover 0 and rush seven pass rushers. FS23 McLeod creeps into the box and rushes through the open hole between B-gap between RB46 Morris and RT68 Compton. McCoy evades this first hit by turning his shoulder and then fires downfield for Reed running a deep post route over the middle of the field.

There is pressure in McCoy’s face, so he can’t fully step into the throw. McCoy ends up underthrowing a lob pass to Reed for an easy interception by SS25 McDonald.

First, great evasion by McCoy to not get taken down by the free rusher. Second, horrible throw by McCoy. If he is still going to throw a lob pass he needs to place this ball uncatchable for the defense, i.e. too far in front of Reed as opposed to behind him. Third, this play occurred on 4th and 11 and the Rams are giving the WRs plenty of room underneath to throw a screen or another quick pass to take advantage of it. I’m all for an endzone strike, but four deep routes and no checkdown is a bad decision waiting to happen.


Samuel Gold

Sam founded NFL Breakdowns after working his way through the journalist farm system and is enjoying life in the big league. Growing up outside of Washington, D.C., Sam didn’t choose the Redskins, the Redskins chose him. Out of a love for the game and an insatiable curiosity to determine why his beloved team was underperforming, Sam turned to studying film in NFL Breakdowns.