The Passing Chronicles: 2021 Week 7

Dusty takes an (abbreviated) look at Tonyan's Week 7 touchdown

Remember last week when I led off saying how crazy it was at work and I'd have to have an abbreviated article? Then I proceeded to write a regular article, anyway? Well, I really mean it this week. I'm sitting here with 30 minutes until post time, writing this intro. Work is crazy, but football is football. Today we're looking at a single, solitary play. I failed you.

The play we're looking at is Robert Tonyan's touchdown, because it's a touchdown and a fun play to look at.

3rd & 3, 12:35 remaining in the 3rd quarter, Packers leading 14-7

The Washington Football team came out of halftime down 7, but a Rashan Gary strip-sack quickly gave the Packers the ball back in Washington territory. Their first two plays gained 7 yards. They were now facing 3rd & 3 and desperately needing points. It'd be a shame to waste such nice field position.

But field position would not be wasted. No sir. Not on this day. The Packers are in a 3X1 look, with Aaron Jones as the single back and Tonyan as the nub TE. There is a linebacker aligned outside of Tonyan, and another set in the middle of the formation. The Football Team is showing a single-high safety, and, based on what they have been showing all year, they would not be rotating to a two-high look. Tonyan is running a corner route while Jones is running a flat. I think of it as a somewhat modified Smash concept. At the snap, the inside LB falls with Tonyan while the outside LB falls with Jones. That gives Tonyan outside leverage on the corner route against a LB. Rodgers already knows that's where he's going, but he wants to keep the safety in check.

Rodgers checks the safety, looks back to Tonyan then checks the safety one more time. He is held in place so Rodgers hits the back foot and tosses to Tonyan on the corner route. The LB never has a chance, the Packers go up 21-7 and the game is pretty much over.

One last thing to bring up here is the concept being run on the left side of the screen by Davante Adams and Randall Cobb. It's something that should look familiar. They release as if they'll be crossing each other on a slant/flat look, only to reverse right before crossing, with Cobb running a crosser and Adams on a sluggo. 

The release is a familiar motion, and it did exactly what it was supposed to do: it fooled #29 and turned him completely. He was looking to jump over the mesh point of the routes and was caught jumping over when Adams reversed course. If Tonyan didn't have the angle on his defender before the ball was even snapped, this would have been an easy touchdown to Adams. And if you're wondering where you've seen this before, it was probably the 2019 Divisional Round.

One of my all-time favorite plays, and I grin like an idiot every time I see it broken out again.

Thank you for your understanding this week. Hope to be back to my full level next week.


Dusty Evely is a film analyst for Cheesehead TV. He can be heard talking about the Packers on Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter at @DustyEvely or email at [email protected].

3 points

Comments (3)

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LeotisHarris's picture

October 27, 2021 at 04:10 pm

Thanks, Dusty. Like my grandma used to say, a little bit of Evely goes a long way.

3 points
PeteK's picture

October 27, 2021 at 06:52 pm

Might be some new WRs in the passing chronicles next week.

2 points
Fabio's picture

October 28, 2021 at 03:05 am

Thanks Dusty
As always, beautiful analysis
And thanks again for the effort
Greeting from Italy

4 points