In the Los Angeles Rams loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football, quarterback Matthew Stafford started the game with an interception to end the first drive for the Rams offense. Here’s a breakdown of that play.
The play comes on a second and eight from the Rams 43 yard line.
The offense lines up with a three by one formation with Stafford under center. Odell Beckham Jr, Cooper Kupp, and Tyler Higbee line up split to the left in that order with Kupp in the slot.
The defense matches with a single high safety and appears to be in a zone based coverage.
OBJ runs a go route, Kupp a 15 yard out route, Higbee stays home to block, and Henderson runs to the flat.
On the snap, the defense is in a single high cover 3 as all three deep defenders play high keeping OBJ covered on the go route.
Kupp finds himself quickly behind the linebackers in an open area under the high safety. At this point Stafford is at the end of his drop in step to hit Kupp in an open zone but didn’t and it seems like this was a missed opportunity. Kupp continues on his out and is squeezed then by the nickel defender playing the outside zone.
This nickel playing the outside zone is deep for a base cover 3 but he’s in perfect position to cover the coveted sail area that Kupp is targeting and has hit so many times. Why isn’t this nickel in the shallow flat area? It’s because the 49ers dedicated one of their rushers to take the running back allowing the nickel to get deep without giving up the flat. This means that the defense only rushed three and still was able to compel Stafford to climb the pocket reset the feet and maybe miss his open receiver.
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