The Passing Chronicles: Jayden. Reed. (aka, Z Shot Bow)

Last week we looked at Dontayvion Wicks’ first career TD in a loss to the Falcons. We also got our first look at Motion last week, which I’m sure gave a thrill to each and every one of you. This week we’ll get to see what a shift looks like. Huzzah! Oh and we’ll also get to see a big play that led to a huge comeback win for the Packers, if you’re into that kind of thing.

This game holds a special place in my heart because I got to witness this game at Lambeau Field. The 4th quarter was quite possibly the loudest I’ve ever heard the stadium and I certainly did my part, as my shredded voice was able to bear witness to.

Today, we’re looking at the 30 yard gain to Jayden Reed [11] with 4:43 remaining in the game and the Packers down by a score of 17-11 (that’s after being down 17-0 heading into the 4th quarter, of course). We’re going to look at the call itself and the responsibilities for As a reminder, this is how the Packers structure their calls:

  1. Motion/Shift
  2. Formation & Strength
  3. Formation Variation
  4. Motion
  5. Run Concept or Pass Pro
  6. Pass Concept

Playcall: Shift Gun Trips RT G Open H D 3 Scram Z Shot Bow

As we do every week, let’s break this down into its individual components.

Motion/Shift: Shift

This is just the initial language to alert everyone that a shift will be detailed in the call.

Formation & Strength: Gun Trips RT

A shotgun, empty formation with trips (3 receivers) to the strongside of the formation (“RT” = right side of the formation). In this core formation, the Y is aligned in-line and on-the-ball on the strongside and the X receiver is on the weakside of the formation.

Being down 17-0 in the 4th quarter limits your options, so the Packers ran their entire offense in the 4th quarter out of shotgun.

Formation Variation: G Open

This gives two directions. “G” tells the H (running back) where to align initially. In this case, “G” would have the H aligning on-the-ball and as the furthest receiver to the outside.

“Open” tells the TE to align with a 5 yard split from the offensive tackle.

Motion/Shift: H D

Shifts the H from “G” to “D”. In the empty alignment graphic above, that moves him off-the-ball and with a tight split to the line.

Pass Pro: 3 Scram

We’ve talked about Scat protection in the past. Scram is Scat protection out of an empty formation. Out of the alignment in the Week 1 play we looked at, Scat called for the offensive line to block 4 down to the widest two defensive linemen and leaving the backside tackle to block out. 

With the way the Saints defenders are aligned here (with Pete Werner [20] aligned to the weak side), the left tackle and left guard block out while the center, right guard and right tackle block out.

Pass Concept: Z Shot Bow

As I mentioned earlier, the Packers entered the 4th quarter of this game down 17-0. That led to a pass-heavy and simplistic offense. In the 4th quarter of this game, the Packers passed on 78.3% of plays and had a 0% play action rate. It makes sense. You’re down 17-0 and everyone knows you’re going to pass, so why try to sell the run?

They also didn’t do much motion at the snap in the 4th quarter, only utilizing motion on 4.3% of their 4th quarter snaps, their second-lowest 4th quarter motion rate of the year (the utilized it on 0% of snaps in the 4th quarter of the week 8 match-up against the Vikings).

So we’ve got no trickery here. We have a pretty standard concept for them: Bow on the left and Z Shot on the right. We can see how this works out:

Bow is the two-man concept on the left, comprised of the Arrow from the H and the Basic from the X. That is paired with a Middle route from the Y. The read is to look to the Y first and if he’s breaking to an opening, throw to him. 

If that’s not open, it’s a 5-step drop to the Bow concept. The QB is looking at the Basic first as it wraps over the Arrow route. The idea being that the Middle route will clear room in the middle of the field and the Arrow route will hold down the hook defender. 

If the Basic isn’t open, work down to the Arrow route from the H. 

On the right side of the field, you’ve got the Z Shot, with the Stomp route from the Z being the shot. The “Alert” means it’s not a part of the progression, but the QB will look to hit that player if the defense is giving a particular look, either pre-snap or immediately post-snap. 

On this play, the Saints are giving a single-high look, with the Mike LB shaded to the trips side. Jordan Love [10] is looking for Man Free defense (Cover 1 Man), with the Mike carrying Luke Musgrave [88] up the middle of the field & passing him off to the single-high safety. If that’s what he sees, that means he has Jayden Reed [11] on a one-on-one with Alontae Taylor [1]. Love likes that match-up so if that’s what he sees post-snap, he’s taking the shot.

That’s exactly what he gets. Love looks down the middle of the field at the snap, confirming the coverage and holding the safety to the middle. He hits the top of his drop, hops to adjust his footwork, then fires a dime to Reed, who comes down with an incredible diving catch.

You can see how the protection works here, as well. The two on the left work left, everyone else works right.

This wasn’t the first time the Packers had this call on the day. They ran it without the shift earlier in the 4th quarter, with Love hitting Romeo Doubs [87] on the Basic route for a gain of 17.

Without the shift, the call was Gun Trips D Open 3 Scram Z Show Bow

With the Will LB not playing on the line to the left, we see the Scram protection work with the LT protecting the left while everyone else slides down right.

This time the Saints are showing a two-deep defense, which gets rid of the Alert, as the safety is capping the Stomp route on the right. Post-snap, they fall into a Tampa 2 look, with the LB carrying Musgrave up the seam. Love looks to Musgrave, then comes back to work the Bow concept. AJ Dillon [28] is holding down Werner on the Arrow route, but Werner is cheating a little to the middle so Love can’t fire in-rhythm. He holds the ball, stares down Werner, then comes back to Doubs in the middle and fires a rocket.

Seriously. Watch how Love holds down Werner then rips this ball to Doubs.

Nicely done from Love on both of these. Works the concept when he needs to and takes the shot when it’s available. 

Every time I talk about this game, I will bring up this picture. The game itself was incredible, but being able to witness this game with some of the best people in the world is even better. I am lucky to have made such good friends through this little football hobby that I do.

Albums listened to: Brittany Howard - What Now; Beyonce - Cowboy Carter; Haux - Blue Angeles; Vampire Weekend - Only God Was Above Us; Phosphorescent - Revelator




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].


4 points

Comments (5)

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crayzpackfan's picture

April 10, 2024 at 03:10 pm

I would have pump faked to 11 and threw to 88 for a TD. If I was playing Madden that is.

0 points
SicSemperTyrannis's picture

April 10, 2024 at 09:21 pm

Hey Dusty, I'm a big fan of your work! I think you never did a breakdown of the loss against SF? I understand, after such a high the week before, losing was such a bummer. Even so, I consider it a great game: not to be overlooked, GB was even playing. Even better, they were actually IN the game right up to the last 52 seconds.

My novice perspective says our calm cool & collected QB just panicked; had it been 4th & 25 with the clock expiring, trying for that last throw would've maybe been a good choice. On first and 10, just about anything else would have been better, but I'm not sure what those options were and this seems like a great play to analyze. I can easily forgive JL10 for this, I just hope he doesn't beat himself up over it too much.

JRJ had a great attitude, ready to come back with a vengeance, like the team did in the off-season before winning the SB with #4. I hope losing him doesn't prove disastrous. I still say #25 is the hungriest player on the team, and his long-time friendship with Josh Jacobs could pay off, infecting the whole locker room with that level of intensity!

I see no sense in blaming #17 for the loss, there were plays were everybody on the team could've done better. (Well, maybe #33 had a perfect game?)

Also, a better understanding of if player fatigue was a factor at that point. Hopefully you can get to this before week 1? I'd appreciate it :) It's a long off-season


2 points
DustyEvely's picture

April 11, 2024 at 12:34 pm

I did something on that game. I didn't look specifically at that play, but I did look at the overall passing game. The lone play I looked at was the TD to Bo Melton on the fake WR Screen. I looked how how the 49ers had played that defensively at different points of the season and why that likely informed this play.

I'd have to look at that last play again, but, if my memory serves, there wasn't a great option to throw to. Love was outside the pocket & it was 1st & 10, so he probably should have just chucked that sucker out of bounds. That's something he wasn't great at early in the season, but learned to do that a little more as the season went along. Just trying to be Superman in a moment where he didn't have an avenue to do that.

Anyway, here's the link to what I wrote.

0 points
T7Steve's picture

April 11, 2024 at 01:25 pm

I thought I'd missed this one in January, Dusty, but I see I made a comment back then, so it was just old age again.

0 points
T7Steve's picture

April 11, 2024 at 07:53 am

Dusty: "That led to a pass-heavy and simplistic offense."

The description of this "simplistic play" would make a book thicker than the playbook I had in high school. HA!

The way you sort through it helps allot. Outstanding work, Dusty!

These articles give me a whole new respect for these youngsters' intelligence. No wonder it takes a while for everyone to get on the same page. With the limited practice time they get it also gives me more respect for the coaches too.

When Walker went to the left to block and everyone else went to the right (as the play called), it reminded me of the game he did that, and the edge dropped back or held his ground and he let the linebacker go right by him. Wonder if that was the same pass pro play call, that the D had scouted and adjusted for? I remember it was early while he was just getting his ears wet.

1 points