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Anatomy of a James Conner 11 Yard TD Run

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Arizona Cardinals Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Background: Nov 14, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back James Conner (6) runs the ball in for a touchdown during the second half against the Carolina Panthers at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice

Feast your eyes on this play design by Kliff Kingsbury and Sean Kugler and the picture perfect execution by the offense.

  • 2nd and 10
  • 12 Personnel (2 TE, 2 WR, 1 RB) —- 84 Harris TE to right, 86 Ertz TE to left, 13 Kirk WR to left, 4 Moore WR to left, 15 Streveler QB in shotgun, 6 Conner RB to right of QB)
  • Strength of Formation: to Left (3 receiver side, pre-snap)
  • Motion 4 Moore from left slot to the right to pose as possible running threat to right
  • On snap, motion 86 Ertz to right, in order to pose flow of play to right and possible TE shovel pass or underneath the formation route to the right.
  • RPO (run/pass option) handoff action from Streveler to Conner, which Streveler hands off, but effectively sells the possible QB speed option run to right with Moore as possible pitch option.
  • 84 Harris TE blocks right edge and runs an out route to right
  • 74 Humphries LT knocks 43 Reddick OLB 5 yards sideways to open hole
  • 64 Harlow RG and 61 Hudson C double team on 97 DT and take him for a sleigh ride, while 79 Jones RG makes a good seal block downfield on 31 FS.
  • 13 Kirk WR makes key outside seal block on 34 SS.
  • 6 Conner RB takes handoff, runs back left against the initial flow to the right and keenly cuts inside the Harlow/Hudson double team with a burst that carries him untouched into the end zone.
  • The multiple player flow to the right with Moore, Ertz and Harris creates confusion for the 2nd and 3rd levels of the defense, while Conner runs relatively hidden until he bursts through the alley created by Kirk, Harlow, Hudson Jones.

Play Variations from this Formation:

  • Jet sweep to 4 Moore WR
  • Out pass options to the right to 84 Harris TE and 4 Moore WR and 86 Ertz TE
  • Shovel pass option on right side motion to 86 Ertz TE
  • Speed option to right with 15 Streveler QB and 4 Moore WR.
  • Fake handoff to Conner, QB 3 step drop, screen pass to either side, to the left 6 Conner RB or to the right to 86 Ertz TE

James Connor with major props to the Cardinals’ offensive line:

  • Leads NFL in rushing TDs with 11
  • Leads NFL in total TDs with 12