FanPost

DQ Defense - Divisional Round

Below are an amateur’s observations on the Dan Quin Defense as seen during the divisional playoff weekend: Dallas 12, San Francisco 19.

On a night when Dak seemed to be a tick late on many of his throws, the defense fought hard the entire game, but in the end San Francisco prevailed.

Snap Counts

What can snap counts tell us about the defense?

Name

Position

Weight

Snaps

lbs

%

Lawrence

DE

265

68

Williams

DE

261

9

Fowler

DE

261

9

Armstrong

DE

255

41

Vander Esch

LB

256

98

Barr

LB

255

65

Parsons

LB

245

100

Clark

LB

240

0

Gifford

LB

243

0

Cox

LB

233

0

Watkins

DT

305

11

Odighizuwa

DT

280

68

Bohanna

DT

360

0

Gallimore

DT

302

30

Golston

DT

268

23

Hankins

DT

340

53

During the playoffs the bench got shorter. DQ clearly played those that he thought were the best run stoppers and allowed the others on the defensive line to merely to give the others an occasional break. Fowler and Williams, their pass rush specialists, saw the field for a total of 6 plays each. Odighizuwa and Hankins got the majority of the snaps amongst the defensive tackles, and the others mostly served as subs.

The subs, when on the field, played hard, just like one would want. My favorite scene from the whole game was watching big 96 (Gallimore) chasing the tight end (Kittle) 30 yards down the field in the third quarter. He is listed as 302 lbs. but he looks a bit heavier to me. The play sums up the entire game in some respects. It shows the heads up play by Gallimore as he notices that Kittle (TE) is not being covered as Purdy scrambles around and decides he better chase him down and gives it his full effort. Kittle juggles the ball a bit and then there was a heads down play by #7 as he throws his back into the tight end just as he was starting to get control of the ball. If he had kept his head up he could have easily swatted the ball away and perhaps even intercepted it. So, there was some good effort but also some mental mistakes—as a result the final score was unfavorable to the Cowboys. I would like to see a time on Gallimore as he chases Kittle down the field, but perhaps the next gen stats people don’t have a calendar. My comment is probably is a bit unfair (Sorry, Neville). However, it does highlight the effort players were making in this playoff game. if you have the chance, his effort is certainly worth watching a second time.

Vander Esch and Parsons rarely left the field. Barr, served as the other linebacker when needed, and Clark and Cox never saw the field on defense. Size and experience were chosen over speed.

In the defensive backfield, Diggs and Bland were the corners. The slot was covered by one of the safeties (usually Mukuamu). Kearse, Wilson, and Hooker played almost every down, and Mukuamu came in whenever they wanted four safeties. Overall, they played it like they wanted to stop the run by having safeties play near the line, and they would take their chances if San Francisco wanted to pass.

Name

Position

% Snaps

Diggs

CB

100

Rhodes

CB

0

Bland

CB

100

Bell

S

2

Wilson

S

92

Mukuamu

S

32

Hooker

S

100

Kearse

S

98

In a little bit of a surprise the new guy (Xavier Rhodes) didn’t play a single snap on defense. It was two corners only throughout the game.

Parsons

Micah Parsons lined up off the ball quite a bit more than typical in this game. Again, it seems like the plan was to pressure Purdy early (perhaps to try to get into his head) and then concentrate on stopping the run.

In the first quarter, he lined up on the right side of the line of scrimmage on every snap.

The first few plays of the second quarter he lined up as a linebacker

From then on he moved around a bit. Overall, here is where he played

Off ball linebacker: 20%

Right DE: 47%

Left DE or other: 34%

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. If a player gets more than 10 tackles they also get a star. There is an additional column showing the number of star plays divided by the total number of plays that player participated in.

Player

Stars

Star %

Lawrence

3

6.7

Odighizuwa

2

4.4

Bland

2

3.0

Barr

1

2.3

Vander Esch

1

1.5

Kearse

1

1.5

Parsons

1

1.5

Lawrence had a very good game, as did several others, but overall not as many stars as last week. It just goes to show that good solid defense doesn’t require a lot of exceptional plays; rather, good solid play from the entire team can keep points off the board.

Overall, the DQD did what DQ expected of them. Everyone played their position and didn’t react to the motion and position flexibility that San Francisco used so frequently and which has confused many other defenses.

His choice of going with experience and run-stopping ability proved to be a good one as the SF offense was mostly held in check. He experimented with using Mukuamu to cover receivers last week and he continued the practice this week. As a group, the safeties played well, but didn’t get many stars. Kittle was a handful, but he got open by his own effort and ability, rather than due to miscues on the part of the defense.

Had a few plays gone just slightly differently, the outcome of the game would have been different. There were some interceptions that could have been had, but the players have only a fraction of a second to decide and react. What may seem obvious to us in the stands may not be as obvious to a player who has only a ground-level view and must react in an instant.

Thanks DQ for giving us the season to enjoy watching your defense. You’re welcome to stay in Dallas one more year!




Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.