FanPost

Dan Quin Defense - Wild Card Edition

Below are an amateur’s observations on the Dan Quin Defense as seen during the wild card weekend: Dallas 31, Tampa Bay 14.

It was an exuberant, wild defense that was display in Tampa Bay on Monday night, making one wonder about what happened to the team we saw the weekend before. Surprisingly, the defense played more snaps (82) than in any other game so far this year, and that was in spite of the offense having an almost 10 minute advantage in time of possession. This resulted in the defense playing a lot of snaps in a short amount of time—somewhat staggering when one looks at how many snaps some of these players accumulated.

Snap Counts

So, what did happen? First of all, Vander Esch was back and leading the team in tackles and making his presence felt with both his tackling and coverage skills. As I noted before, this young man might need to learn how to spell "Franchise Tag." He was a monster.

In a similar vein, the big, run-stuffing tackle Johnathan Hankins was back after missing four games, only this time he was making a name for himself in rushing the passer, providing one of the few sacks awarded during the game.

Outside of the quarterback stuffing Hankins, DQ decided to go with lighter, faster defensive tackles and let both Bohanna and Gallimore ride the bench for this game.

In the linebacker position, DQ went with size and experience with only Gifford garnering a minimum number of snaps while Cox and Clark focused on special teams.

Parsons (I don’t know whether he is a linebacker or defensive end anymore) played the most number of snaps he has played all year. He plays in so many alignments that the Swiss Army is starting to trade out their old knives and switch to Micah Parsons knives. Occasionally he even lines up as an off-ball linebacker.

Name

Position

Weight

Snaps

lbs

%

Lawrence

DE

265

44

Williams

DE

261

32

Fowler

DE

261

35

Armstrong

DE

255

60

Vander Esch

LB

256

88

Barr

LB

255

68

Parsons

LB

245

96

Clark

LB

240

0

Gifford

LB

243

2

Cox

LB

233

0

Watkins

DT

305

22

Odighizuwa

DT

280

55

Bohanna

DT

360

0

Gallimore

DT

302

0

Golston

DT

268

32

Hankins

DT

340

24

In the defensive backfield, it was the first time I have seen 4 defensive backs all play 100% of the snaps this season. Occasionally that happens with one or the other of the cornerbacks, but the safeties? Normally they get a few breaks. If it wasn’t for Kearse being forced to leave early due to his knee, there might have been another safety getting 100% of the defensive playing time.

Name

Position

% Snaps

Diggs

CB

100

Rhodes

CB

53

Bland

CB

100

Wright

CB

0

Wilson

S

100

Mukuamu

S

45

Hooker

S

100

Kearse

S

51

Facing a team that was known to throw the ball a lot (66 times in this game) DQ opted for experience over height and newcomer Xavier Rhodes took over the 3rd corner position, leaving Wright as inactive for the game. This was a bit of a surprise since Wright had been playing well. Mukuamu, who didn’t play on defense at all last week, played considerable time at safety/CB. Presumably this was all related to the match up, and I don’t expect the defensive back line-up to remain fixed for the rest of the post-season.

In any case, the line-up worked about as well as one could expect. The new guy didn’t look overwhelmed (perhaps because he has 10 years of experience with other teams), though he did look bewildered and out of position on a long pass to Evans (which was fortunately dropped). This should happen less frequently as he becomes more familiar with everyone’s responsibilities in the DQD.

Blue Star Plays

Below is a list of players that did something special: A sack, a pass defensed, a tackle for loss, a fumble or fumble recovery. Interceptions get 2 stars. There is an additional column showing the number of star plays divided by the total number of plays that player participated in.

The notable statistic this week is how many players got their hands on balls this week: a total of 6 different players. Although only 2 sacks were recorded, that is not the only evidence of getting pressure on the QB. Other indications are the number of incompletions (31), and the number of times the defense got their hands on the ball. All of these indicate that QB was under pressure.

The Blue Star Play leaders this week were Kearse and Parsons with 5 each. Encouragingly, there were a number of other players that earned stars as well. Of these other players I will point out Mukuamu who earned 2 stars in spite of only being an occasional participant on the defensive side of the ball.

Name

Stars

Star %

Kearse

5

11.9

Parsons

5

6.3

Hankins

2

10.0

Mukuamu

2

5.4

Vander Esch

2

2.8

Wilson

2

2.4

Watkins

1

5.6

Odighizuwa

1

2.2

Barr

1

1.8

Blitz Effectiveness

The DQD blitzed Brady on a total of 7 pass attempts. Brady, noted for his ability to get the ball out quickly, was still affected by the pressure. Of the blitzes, 3 were in the 1st quarter, 3 in the second, and 1 in the third. There were no blitzes in the 4th quarter, as DQ opted for coverage during desperation time.

Blitzes

7

Sacks

0

TD

0

1st Down

3

Incomplete

4

Overall, there were a few new tweaks to the DQD, especially with the personnel. Can’t wait to see what surprises await San Francisco!




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