Steven-Jackson-Cardinals-Nov-2012

Anatomy of a Play: Steven Jackson breaks off a huge cutback run

Situation: 1st and 10 from the Rams 8 yard line, trailing by 3 with 11:11 left in the 3rd Quarter. 
Personnel: 12
Play: Duece Left Slot F Jam 26 Stretch 
Defense: Indy Base Cover 1

After a sluggish 1st half showing by the Rams offense, the offense gets the spark it needed on the 1st offensive play in the 2nd half when Steven Jackson's takes the ball for a 46-yard gain.  The Rams would cap the 92-yard touchdown drive with a Bradford-to-Givens 37-yard touchdown pass, giving the Rams a 21-17 lead.  The Rams would never trail again.  

The Rams come out in a Flank Left formation with Lance Kendricks aligned in a wing position behind tight end Mike McNeill to the left and two receivers to the right.  But with Kendricks in a jam motion, the formation of the play call is actually Deuce Left Slot because in a Jam Motion, Kendrick's finishing location is what determines the formation call.  In a Jam Motion, if Kendricks initiates on the edge (which he does he in a wing position behind Mike McNeill) he'll finish on the edge.  

The Cardinals are in their base 3-4 look.  The alignment of the defensive linemen upfront is sometimes referred to as an Indy front by defenses.  They are showing a two-high safety look, but just prior to the snap, Strong Safety Adrian Wilson will roll down into the box and play man over Mike McNeill.  The Cardinals now have 8 in the box to stop the run leaving FS Kerry Rhodes as the lone deep safety.   

Take a look at how Steven Jackson was able to burn the Cardinals for his longest run in nearly two seasons. 

Pre-snap: Blocking Assignments & Execution

The offensive line and tight end Mike McNeill are working in a series of two-man calls, which are perfectly executed to open a massive backside cut lane for Jackson.

Post-snap: Jackson's Run

Jackson prepares for and takes the handoff with immaculate footwork, fully selling the primary running lane while giving him the balance to make the cutback that leads to a huge gain.

With big #39 getting his heaviest workload in the division, averaging 22 carries for 92 yards in four games against the Cardinals, Seahawks and 49ers, expect to see the ball in his hands a lot on Sunday. Hopefully, Jackson and his line can replicate this kind of success and spark an upset win over San Francisco. 

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