Head Coach Matt LaFleur called a great game on Sunday against the Seahawks. He used a steady dose of play-action and misdirection to keep Seattle’s defense off balance. More impressive were the tendency-breaking route concepts he dialed up for two Packers touchdowns.
The first came on Green Bay’s opening drive. This was 3rd-and-7, and Seattle was playing man-free coverage. Focus on Davante Adams and Geronimo Allison at the bottom of the screen. At first, it looked like their routes would be crossing, similar to the slant-flat combination we see so often out of the Packers’ passing game.
Cornerback Tre Flowers saw the releases and assumed Adams would be running an inside route with the traffic from Allison’s route creating a natural rub or pick on him. This is a common concept for beating man coverage. Flowers broke hard inside on Adams’ release as a result.
The only problem was that Adams and Allison would not cross, and instead, both bent their routes back. Flowers was caught inside, leaving Adams wide open for the touchdown.
In the 3rd quarter, LaFleur dialed up another tendency-breaking route design. Below, you can see that Adams motioned inside with Flowers again covering him in man. This type of motion towards the formation is often accompanied by crossing or deep-over routes.
Sure enough, that’s exactly what Adams’ route appeared to be after the snap.
But once again, Adams bent his route back to the sideline after getting Flowers to break hard to the inside. The result was another big touchdown for the Packers.
It certainly helped that Aaron Rodgers also made a couple of ridiculous throws on key 3rd downs on Sunday. The combination of Rodgers being Rodgers and LaFleur dialing up some great play designs will be a necessity against the 49ers’ dynamic defense in the NFC Championship Game.
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