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Inside the one coverage that’s killing Joe Burrow and the Bengals

Inside the one coverage that’s killing Joe Burrow and the Bengals #coverage #killing #Joe #Burrow #Bengals Welcome to Americanah Blog, here is the new story we have for you today:

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(Sam Greene-USA TODAY Sports)

Burrow completed 33 of 53 passes for 338 yards, two touchdowns, and four interceptions against the Steelers in the season opener, which the Bengals lost, 23-20, in overtime. Three of Burrow’s four picks came against Cover-2, including his first pass attempt of the 2022 season.

Not that it was Burrow’s first play of the season. That was the play before, when Burrow also took his first sack of the season. And this play brings up another overall issue with this offense — if you want to play as much quick game as they seem to, you have to have at least some of your receivers running quick routes.

Joe Burrow’s first play of the 2022 season. He hits his back foot, facing front side, and all three of his receivers to that side are still running their routes.

This play ended in a sack. Go figure. pic.twitter.com/zbDq3xeGLg

— Doug Farrar ✍ (@NFL_DougFarrar) September 21, 2022

On the next play, with 12:52 left in the first quarter, it’s a pretty obvious Cover-2 look. Safeties Minkah Fitzpatrick and Terrell Edmunds are dropping back to deep halves, linebackers Devin Bush and Myles Jack are dropping to their spots, as is nickel defender Cam Sutton, and cornerbacks Levi Wallace and Ahkello Witherspoon are squatting underneath. This isn’t a particularly sophisticated coverage, but Burrow is late on the throw even though he’s got a decent pocket, and Fitzpatrick jumps the ball intended for slot receiver Tyler Boyd.

Burrow’s fourth interception, which happened with 8:23 left in the fourth quarter, was against a somewhat similar concept, but some interesting personnel switches. This time, the Steelers were running Cover-2 out of big nickel, with Fitzpatrick and Tre Norwood as the deep safeties, Edmunds playing left outside cornerback, Sutton playing right outside cornerback, and Witherspoon moving into the slot.

The Bengals countered this with several routes turning to the right as they went along, and in theory, there was at least one big play here if Burrow had gone for it. Mike Thomas, the outside slot receiver in Cincinnati’s 3×1 set, runs a sail route to force Sutton to make a high-low decision. Sutton decides to break on Boyd’s stop route from the inside slot, and as it turned out, that was the right choice. But Sutton made that choice before Burrow released the ball — had Burrow made the sail throw, which he had time to do, it’s a whole different ballgame. Edmunds probably isn’t catching up to Thomas in time.

“They just did a lot of two-high and really, we just tried to move everybody around,” Ja’Marr Chase said after the Steelers game. “Use short routes and get everybody underneath, and we didn’t hit too many hole shots today. We tried to go in the middle of the field to attack the safeties.”

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