One great way to beat cover-3 is with a post-wheel route combination. Below, you can see that the defense is in a cover-3 defense, with the deep safety and each outside corner responsible for a deep 3rd of the field. This particular post-wheel attacked the corner on the left side of the defense.
Tight End Greg Olsen’s post route was designed to eat up the deep third defender to that side, which he did.
Tight End Ed Dickson ran a wheel to the area vacated by the deep third defender.
This route combination broke down the coverage beautifully.
On a similar play later in the game, the Panthers called another cover-3 beater. This time, it was a post-corner route combination. As you can see, the Panthers got the cover-3 look they wanted again.
The post on the outside would end up taking the deep third defender to that side with him, opening up a void for the corner route.
Once again, the coverage was broken down beautifully.