Jonathan Baldwin and the Chiefs' Week 2 Play-Action Passing Game (via sbnarrowheadpride)
This post and video are going to discuss the role of play-action passing in the Chiefs offense as it pertained to the game last week against the Buffalo Bills. The video will talk a little more specifically about Baldwin's role in the offense on those plays, including some graphics that break it all down.
There were a couple of trends that I noticed in this game that might be worth noting and looking for when they take on the New Orleans Saints this Sunday. After the jump I'll have breakdowns of the Chiefs offense on these play-action passes and more detailed information on Jon Baldwin's role in the offense against the Bills.
Jon Baldwin played 39/71 snaps that I charted for the Chiefs in their game last week against the Bills. His formation numbers are below.
26/39 plays he was lined up as the far left receiver
11/39 plays he was lined up as the far right receiver
2/39 plays he was lined up as the slot receiver
24/39 plays he was lined up without a slot receiver or tight-end on his side of the formation
11/39 plays he had a slot receiver lined up on his side
1/39 plays he only had a tight-end on his side
1/39 plays he had both a tight-end and a slot receiver on his side of the formation
The video will break down Baldwin's numbers for the Chiefs offense on play-action passes but one of the interesting notes about the Chiefs offense on these play-action passes is the formations they're using when running these plays.
It's hard to determine trends without knowing game plans, adjustments, schemes, etc.. They can change from week to week or they could be determined by injuries, score, field position or any other of a number of variables. But one that stood out that you might keep an eye on is the Chiefs ran SEVEN play-action passes against the Buffalo Bills, and SIX of those plays were in either 12, 21 or 22 personnel. That's 86% of the plays.
The Chiefs ran 11-personnel in 60% of their plays overall, so those numbers mean when the Chiefs are going to use play-action passes they're doing it most of the time with either two tight-ends or two running backs out on the field. Are they doing this to keep as many people in to block as they can? It would seem so because of the five pass attempts on play-action passes (two ended in sacks), they were attempted at an average of 19 yards down the field.
They weren't all completed and the ones that were I just took it from where the ball was caught, not including any run after catch. This tells me we're trying to go deep each time we run play-action and that we don't feel as if Cassel would have enough time in 3-WR sets to accomplish this so we're keeping in an extra tight end of running back/full back to help block.
These two plays below are from the Chiefs fourth drive of the game which started early in the second quarter. These plays were run back-to-back on 1st and 10, and then 2nd and 6. You'll notice that it's the same formation, same personnel and minus the motion not in the second play, they look the exact same.
You can't see them on this view but you've got Jon Baldwin lined up wide left and Dwayne Bowe lined up wide right. We're in 12-personnel which means there's a much better chance we'll run a play-action pass than if we were in 11 personnel.
It's interesting on this second play that the safety for the Bills (#37) lines up 5 yards closer to the LOS on 2nd down than he did on 1st down and the Chiefs are in the same formation. He's just close enough to give Cassel a tiny window to deliver this ball. Say what you want about Cassel but this is a big-time throw so let's give him credit for these plays too while many are knocking him for every incompletion.
These numbers are just something to keep in mind as the Chiefs get ready to play the New Orleans Saints. Will we see the Chiefs mix-in some more play-action passes in 3-WR sets (11 personnel), or do we stick with running those plays with an extra tight-end or running back on the field?
I'm hoping that we can see more of Jon Baldwin getting involved in the offense that isn't strictly on deep passes down the sideline. For someone as big and as physically superior he would be to a defensive back trying to tackle him, I'd think we could find ways to get him the ball quickly and let his god-given athletic ability take over.
Are these numbers something that would become too predictable for defenses to account for when planning against the Chiefs? Is this the week that Baldwin becomes a bigger piece of the offense?