Simplicity, and execution... The keys to the top offense of the last Decade...

As I've discussed in my X's and O's pieces recently, many times, the game of football, or the success of a particular play or team comes down to execution.

One of my favorite football writers, Chris Brown, at, has been working on a piece breaking down in detail, the Indianapolis Colts offense in the Manning years. No one can deny the success that those teams were able to have on the offensive side of the ball and as a team.

The post, found here, is top of the line stuff. I will continue to endorse Chris's work at Smart Football, because it is continually on top of the trends in football.

Chris analyzed hours of tape from the Colts 2006 Super bowl winning season, and actually broke down 2 games worth of the holy grail "all-22" tape that guys like me salivate for. He includes 30 minutes worth of cut-ups from these 2 games in the post.

The Colts’ offense was, structurally at least, among the simplest in the league for the entire time Manning was there. They used only a handful of formations — and almost always lined up Marvin Harrison (and later Pierre Garçon) split wide to the right and Reggie Wayne split wide to the left — ten or so core pass plays and just a couple of core runs. I know that sounds a little silly, especially since we’re constantly told that NFL playbooks are incredibly dense and huge and so on, but the Colts killed people with like fifteen, maybe twenty plays, and they did it for a decade. How?

He goes on to break down each of the core concepts found in the Colts offense through those years. In these you will find the Smash concept and the flat-7 concept (he calls it China), as well as the 4 Verticals idea I address in my attacking Tampa 2 post. As well as some other concepts I'll be getting to as we get into other zone coverages and different man coverages.

I hope you enjoy reading this post, and if you want to continue to deepen your understanding of the game, look around Chris's site some more. It is one of the best.

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