Question - how to counter the zone blitz?

Discussion in ' - Patriots Fan Forum' started by BlitzFritz, Jan 19, 2012.

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  1. BlitzFritz

    BlitzFritz Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    The thing that concerns me the most about this game is the Ravens use of the zone blitz to disguise pressure and confuse the OLine. IIRC, this has been employed by the Jets and Clowns (under the Rat and Rob Ryan) as well, and it has been pretty effective. I also think the G-Men used this at times in the game that shall not be mentioned.

    What is the best antidote? Is the no-huddle the way to go, and if so, why does that work? (does the D not have time to call plays too?)

    Looking for some insight from our resident football geniuses (as well as some general chatter) on this important topic.

    Thanks! (Can't wait til Sunday, can't really concentrate at work....) :rocker:

    -- FRITZ
  2. PittPatriot

    PittPatriot Supporter Supporter

    #11 Jersey

    Excellent question…sadly, I am not the resident genius you are looking for. I just want to know what job has you working at this hour?
  3. BlitzFritz

    BlitzFritz Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    LOL its a white collar grind. but i do take time out to go to Pats home games!

    -- FRITZ
  4. Calciumee

    Calciumee Supporter Supporter

    #3 Jersey

    I just hope BB knows how to counter it!
  5. Fencer

    Fencer Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    #12 Jersey

    Pittsburgh pretty much invented the zone blitz, and we do fine against that most games.

    There's little chance Brady will be confused by Baltimore's standard defensive scheme. If the Pats have a week offensive game, it will either be because Baltimore dialed up something unexpected, and it worked, or more likely because the Pats were just beaten physically, mainly at the line of scrimmage.

    The Ravens have two of the best rushers and/or DL in the game in Suggs and Ngata. They also have an awesome DB in Ed Reed to exploit anything the QB might do wrong due to pressure. They also have a generally sound, vigorous, and tough attitude, led by Ray Lewis. That's what's scary about their defense.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2012
  6. Shockt327

    Shockt327 Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    I don't know how much I agree with the premise....

    I get what you are saying. But you are using the phrase "zone blitz." I think I know why, but it's really an "overload blitz." That's the phrase I'd stick to. The zone blitz concept kind of works the same way as an overload; its a blitz, but the D will drop back one defener thus leaving an offensive lineman blocking air. Thus, you've created a favorable numbers mismatch.

    If you drew a line down the center of the offensive line, often you see 3 OLs on one side, and two OLs + 1 TE on the other side. Balt, on obvious pass downs, will simply try to send more pass rushers than there are blockers to one side. To counter this, they'll drop off defenders on the non-blitz side -- thus leaving the OL blocking nothing but air if they can't adjust.

    But in the downfield coverage? They really aren't a zone team. I've always got the impression of Balt, just like the Jets, as being a man coverage team. Blitzing, in general, is far more suited for man coverage. Every team will mix in zone, sure. But Balt is more man-to-man than anything. Now, that certainly doesn't mean they do know how to disguise it. You'll often see LBs crowd the LOS, and you cannot be certain who, say, picking up the TE or blitzing. Or you'll see the safety line up 5-10 yards behind the defender covering the slot, and it'll make you wonder if it's indicative of a corner blitz -- but if that corner blitzes, you'll see the safety in man. It's stuff like that. But it's still man coverage, mostly. Pittsburgh, will mostly stick to a 3-deep zone scheme, and they'll try to funnel routes inside to were they have underneath zone defenders. When they do zone bliz; it's mostly out of far more "base" looks. It's not as overtly agressive looking because it really goes hand-in-hand with running a 3-4.
  7. Double TE

    Double TE 4 LIFE Supporter

    #91 Jersey

    On TV they said that if Brady recognizes it, he audibles to a run play and Woodhead for example just torches Ds like the Ravens. Why? Its because they are aggressively coming and he is small, quick and agile and can weave through for 7-8 yards. Also the screen game works well to stop it. Neither of which they used vs. the Jets last year btw, which was mind boggling to me.

    I think a big key is not to become predictable. Keep the D on its toes.
  8. Shockt327

    Shockt327 Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    Brady's INT came on the screen....
  9. Wilfork#75

    Wilfork#75 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    #75 Jersey

    Like Shockt said, I think Baltimore will come out with overload blitz's and man coverage. I think the key will be for the WR and TE's to get a clean release off the line to allow Brady to make quick decisions. If they get jammed on off the line or re-routed, it is going to make Brady's job a lot more difficult and could lead to some turnovers. I think they will mix up the formations (Hernandez in the backfield) and send their WRs and TEs in motion trying to get them clean off the line. And like Double TE said I think the screen game and draw plays with Woodhead would be effective, especially if the Ravens come out aggressive. I don't think Gronk will be the centerpeice of the offence early, I think it will be Welker, Woodhead and Hernandez on short routes looking to get YAC. If they can be succesful with that and force the Ravens to focus more on coverage, then Gronk could become very effective. But in the end I think the success of the offence will come down to Brady making good, quick decisions, and I have all the faith in the world that he can do that.
  10. Double TE

    Double TE 4 LIFE Supporter

    #91 Jersey

    What INT are you referring to? Not last week.
  11. IllegalContact

    IllegalContact Pro Bowl Player

    I don't believe the ravens do that when ngata and cody are out there at the same time......otherwise, protect yourself with a short crossing route....
  12. PatsFan24

    PatsFan24 In the Starting Line-Up

    Screen pass or a draw play. Or better yet, great protection from the O-Line.

    And maybe a 3rd down punt! :)
  13. NEP4Life

    NEP4Life Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    For some reason, the Pats seem to have hit a rough patch in the screen game, which used to be a strength against aggressive defenses.

    And the screen game is not a good place to have a weakness, because a poorly executed screen is often highly susceptible to being intercepted.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2012
  14. Fencer

    Fencer Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    #12 Jersey

    Brady also doesn't seem to have thrown the swing pass as accurately in recent years as he did early in his career.

    Lack of reps in practice?
  15. alvinnf

    alvinnf In the Starting Line-Up

    Pressure up the middle for the Ravens. Suggs creates such havoc on the outside it stretches the inside for them to bring pressure up the middle. Zone blitz, everybody does the zone blitz. The Ravens are going to try to butter their bread right up the gut. Solder is the key for me on this game. Extra TE and protect it up, give guys like Gronk and AHern a chance to get up the field.
  16. Gumby

    Gumby In the Starting Line-Up

    #11 Jersey

    Above quotes seem like valid options, also....

    Was just watching replay of Saints/49s last night. Saw them hitting the RB on a lofted pass when he goes out on the blitzing side instead of the RB trying to pick up only 1 of the 2 unblocked rushers.

    That also burns the D for big yardage WHEN IT WORKS and to seems to cause them to slow down on the rush the next time around.

    you do have to hit it though and not get ball knocked down by jumping blitzer or get your QB killed because he is most likely going to take some kind of hit doing this as a strategy.
  17. flynismo

    flynismo Banned

    Is Solder 100% this week? Saw that he was on the injury report...he's going to have his hands full if he is limited in any way.
  18. flynismo

    flynismo Banned

    A draw is usually money vs an overload. Keeps up the appearances that a pass is coming, and gives enough time post snap to reveal where the blitz is coming from.
  19. Shockt327

    Shockt327 Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job


    How bad has our screen game gotten? Brady has been picked off, like, 3 times in 3 years on screens; most notably in the 2010 playoff game against the Jets. Schobel has one in 09 too. I think the Browns in 2010 had another.

    And with Weis, this team had one of the best screen attack you'll ever see. Hopefully McD can restore it.
  20. Rob0729

    Rob0729 Supporter Supporter

    #12 Jersey

    You are right. Brady feasts on zone blitzes by spreading the team out and attacking the open areas in the zone caused by the extra man rushing the passer.

    The Ravens use primarily man coverage. They can also pressure the QB with a four man rush (although they couldn't last week). I think they will need to this week to be effective. If they blitz Brady too much, they are going to leave mismatches on Gronk, Welker, and/or Hernandez. Brady has too quick of a release and that could kill the Ravens on a play here and there.
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