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Analyzing Pressure - Week 1 Cardinals vs Panthers

Ray Horton threw all sorts of pressure at Cam Newton on Sunday.
Ray Horton threw all sorts of pressure at Cam Newton on Sunday.

As I followed the game and read through to game thread one thing became clear, the blitz, the use of it, how often and how many to send, so when I was able to I watched the game on my laptop and took a few notes about our defensive performance, in particular the blitz and getting pressure on Cam Newton.

A few key notes;

I have recorded a "blitz" as any time the Cardinals rushed 5 or more at the QB, or intended to do so (I.E this included running plays), there are some 4 man rushes where we sent a S, it will only be included if I deemed it "of note"

The first part of each series is the actual blitzes, the "other plays of note" involve 4 men or less rushing the passer, but jumped out at me for one reason or another.

The setup is relatively simple: Down and Distance - Defensive set up - What happened.

Nickel - Refers to 4 men with their hand on the ground with 2 LB's and 5 DB's.

2-4-5 - Refers to 2 men with their hand on the ground with 4 LB's and 5 DB's

3-3-5 - Refers to 3 men with their hand on the ground with 3 LB's and 5 DB's

3-4 or 34 - Refers to 3 men with their hand on the ground with 4 LB's and 4 DB's

After the jump is the analysis, enjoy.

First defensive series

1st and 10 - 34 defensive set - Blitzed Wilson and Washington on a running play that gained 2 yards

2nd and 8 - 34 defensive set - Blitzed Washington and Lenon, ended with a sack split by Washington and Lenon, a loss of 6 yards.

Other plays of note

3rd and 14 - No DL 2-4-5 Set - Rushed four, Dockett, Peterson, Porter and Washington, Calais Campbell in coverage, resulted in an incompletion.

Second defensive series

Plays of note

2nd and 6 - - 3-3-5 - Rushed 4, but 4th rusher was Adrian Wilson, play resulted in 1 yard loss on a running play.

3rd and 7 No DL 2-4-5 - No Pressure on QB with a 4 man rush (Dockett, Peterson, Washington and Porter blitz, Calais Campbell into coverage. Blown coverage (Looks like Rhodes was expecting help deep and Wilson has taken the blame for this), 77 yard TD Newton to Smith.

Third defensive series

2nd and 6 - 2-4-5  - Schofield, Haggans and Marshall blitzed. O'Brien Schofield got a hit on Newton, but did not get him down, Richard Marshall completes the sack, with some help from Washington for a loss of 4 yards.

Other plays of note

3rd and 10 -  No DL 2-4-5 set - Rushed 4 with Campbell, Dockett, Schofield and Haggans rushing,  Dockett got pressure on the QB, result was an incomplete pass/drop by Olsen (Wilson beaten in the coverage)

Fourth defensive series

1st and 10 - 3-4 set - Blitz by Washington and Lenon, no pressure on the QB, pass completed for 21 yards.

1st and 10 - 3-4 - Blitzed with Porter and Wilson from opposite sides, no pressure created, pass incomplete.

2nd and 10 - 3-4 Blitz with Porter and Haggans, draw play, run for 11 yards.

1st and 10 - 3-4 set - Blitz with Wilson and Porter, Ran away from blitz, no gain Wilson made tackle from the backside.

2nd and 10 - 3-4 set - Blitzed Porter and Haggans Good pressure from both, Newton forced to step up, Rhodes closed in for a sack. Rhodes was spying the QB.

Other plays of note

2nd and 12 - 2-4-5 set - Washington, Docket, Campbell and Haggans blitzed. Newton rolls left and completes a pass to Lafell for 24 yards.

3rd and 16 - 3-3-5 set, 4 man rush with Porter and Haggans, Haggans got solid pressure. Looked like he was held, penalty was for illegal use of hands to the face against Haggans, penalty declined as it was 4th down.

Fifth defensive series

2nd and 16 - 2-4-5 , Clark Haggans, Dockett, Campbell, Schofield and Marshall blitzed, quick outside pass gained 6 yards negated the blitz though Schofield had driven his man backwards from a LOS at the 5 yard line into the endzone before the ball was thrown.

Other notable plays

3rd and 10 - 2-4-5 - Rushed 4, Docket, Schofield, Porter and Campbell, Schofield created good pressure, and forced Newton out of the pocket, he ran for 2 yards.

Sixth defensive series

Plays of Note

2nd and 4 - 3-3-5, Blitz comes from Porter, Lenon, Dockett, Campbell and R.Marshall. Good pressure, Newton hit as he throws, INT Washington, nullified by a roughing the Passer call.

1st and 10 - 2-4-5 - Rush 4, Porter, Haggans, Dockett and Campbell, Pocket was collapsing, but Newton had time, makes a great throw to Smith for a TD, Peterson had solid coverage.

Seventh defensive series

1st and 10 - 3-4 set - Looked like both  Joey Porter and Haggans were set up to blitz, slowed by Playaction. Newton rolled out, Porter got good pressure, Play caught by Smith OOB, Good coverage by Jefferson, tough throw to do anything with as a CB. Challenged and reversed.

2nd and 10 - 2-4-5 - Blitzed with Schofield, Porter and Lenon (Campbell and Dockett on the DL), running play gained 2 yards.

3rd and 8 - 2-4-5- Wilson, Marshall, Lenon, Dockett and Campbell rushed, good pickup, complete to Olsen for a gain of 12 yards.

1st and 10 - 3-4 - Haggans and Rhodes came on the blitz, Rhodes made a tackle for a loss of one, Arizona took the holding penalty on the play (Holding on Dockett)

Other notable plays

1st and 20 - 3-4 - 3 man rush with Dockett, Campbell, Williams, very late delay blitz by Porter, no pressure, INT by Daryl Washington.

Eighth defensive series

2nd and 10 - 3-4 -Blitz by Lenon and Porter, draw play resulting in a loss of two on tackle made by Porter and Dan Williams.

3rd and 12 - 2-4-5 - Blitz by Washington, Wilson, Dockett, Holliday and Lenon, Good pressure came up the middle from Washington, Wilson also go through, Throw completed to Brandon Lafell in front of Peterson for a 13 yards and a first down.(Too much cushion/poor coverage)

2nd and 8 - 3-4 - Blitz by Lenon and Haggans- Blitz picked up well by OL, Diving catch made in good coverage for 21 yards.

Other plays of note

1st and 10 - 3-4 - 3 Man Rush (DL only) - Newton has a whole heap of time, underthrown to Olsen who makes a leaping grab and gets inside the 5 yard line.

Ninth defensive series

2nd and 13 - 3-4- Lenon and Washington Blitz, No pressure, pass complete to Shockey for 13 yards.                                      

1st and 10 - 3-4 - Schofield and Porter on the blitz, running play gains 8 yards.

2nd and 2 - 2-4-5 - Blitz by Schofield, R.Marshall and Lenon, running play gains 2 yards and a first down.

1st and 10 - 3-4 - Blitz by Schofield, Porter and Washington, running play gains 5 yards.

2nd and 5 - 3-4 - Blitz from Porter and Schofield, running play called for a gain of 5 yards.

2nd and 11 = 2-4-5 - Blitzed Lenon, Washington, Schofield and Porter, Lenon with good pressure up the middle resulting in an incomplete pass on a quick slant.

3rd and 11 = 2-4-5 = Washington, Porter and Schofield and the blitz, pressure from all over the place, Campbell, Washington, Schofield and Porter were all in the backfield with a chance, Washington and Schofield split the resulting sack.

Other plays of note

1st and 10 - 3-4- 4 man rush with Washington as the 4th rusher, run stuffed by Washington after he fought off a block, loss of 1.

Tenth defensive series

1st and 10 - 3-4 - Blitz from Lenon and Porter, Lenon arriving with pressure up the middle, great pass by Newton complete to Steve Smith for 15 yards.

1st and 10 = 3-3-5 = Blitz Washington, Lenon, Haggans and Schofield, Screen pass, 8 yard gain. (This is the play Washington got injured on.)

3rd and 10 - 2-4-5 - Blitz by Lenon, Haggans and Richard Marshall, Lenon and Haggans forced Newton to step up and flushed him from the pocket, Marshall with the sack.

Other plays of note

1st and 15 - 3-3-5 - 4 man rush Schofield, Dockett, Campbell and Haggans, pressure put on by Schofield, hit Newton from behind as he threw the pass was tipped and almost intercepted by Rhodes.

Eleventh defensive series

2nd and 10 - 3-4 -Porter and Lenon come on the blitz, No pressure, completed to Shockey for 15 yards.

1st and 10 - 2-4-5 - Porter, Lenon and Marshal come on the blitz, Newton flushed form pocket rolls right and throws incomplete. Dockett had any scramble from Newton covered.

3rd and 11 - Nickel, Walker and Lenon come on the blitz, pressure on Newton from Walker and Haggans, who was forced to run, tackled for a 1 yard gain by Nick Eason.

Other plays of note

1st and 10 - 3-4 - 4 man rush Porter was the fourth rusher, he got pressure had him wrapped up, but Newton gets ball away, incomplete.

Twelfth defensive series

1st and 10 - 3-3-5 - Blitz from Lenon, Walker, Porter and Haggans, good pressure from Lenon forces Newton to try to run with the ball for a gain of 1 yard. (Haggans filled a gap nicely forcing Newton to go backwards 5 yards to go forwards)

1st and 10 - 2-4-5 - Blitz from  Wilson, Lenon and Walker, Lenon was driving his TE into the backfield, but Newton was still clean, incomplete pass.

3rd and 10 = 3-3-5 = Blitz from Lenon and Walker, not much pressure, incomplete pass in good coverage by Richard Marshall.

4th and 5 - Nickel - Blitz from Wilson and Walker, pressure was arriving, Walker was coming free, quick pass forced, complete to Goodson, but short of first down.

Other plays of note

1st and 10 - Nickel - 4 man rush, no pressure, defense did not see ready as Newton got off a quick snap before the 2 minute warning, 28 yard pass completion.

2nd and 9 - 2-4-5 - 4 Man rush, but 3 of them were LB's (Haggans, Porter and Lenon) Dockett drops into coverage, pocket was collapsing, complete to Steve Smith for a gain of 23 yards, Haggans called for roughing the passer - contact with the QB's helmet.