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Anatomy of a McCoy Shovel Pass TD to Ertz

Arizona Cardinals v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Background: SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 21: D.J. Humphries #74 of the Arizona Cardinals reacts after defeating the Seattle Seahawks 23-13 at Lumen Field on November 21, 2021 in Seattle, Washington.

Take a good, close look at the ball fakes and the blocking scheme on this well executed shovel pass from QB Colt McCoy to TE Zach Ertz which capped off a first possession 7 minute 21 second 82 yard drive that put the Cardinals up 7-0.

  • 2nd and goal from the 2 yard line.
  • Typically with this down and distance and the Cardinals in a goal line formation (12 personnel, 2 TEs to right, 2 WRs to left, 1 RB to left of QB), this is meant to look like a running play.
  • WR Rondale Moore motions to the right, presenting a jet sweep threat.
  • On the snap, after WR Rondale Moore fakes as if he’s been given the ball, (which freezes the MLB) QB Colt McCoy then fakes and sells a read option to RB James Conner, who runs wide to the left, thus taking the edge OLB with him
  • Meanwhile, the key blocks on the play come from LT D.J. Humphries who administers a crushing down block on the DT and RG Max Garcia, who pulls to his left and kicks out the DE.
  • TE Zach Ertz who was lined up as an H-Back behind the outside shoulder of TE Darrell Daniels, sneaks underneath the formation to his left and is undetected by the MLB.
  • QB Colt McCoy deftly delivers the shovel pass on the money to TE Zach Ertz who cuts precisely inside of RG Max Garcia’s block and bolts untouched into the end zone for the TD.
  • This is another classic example of Kliff Kingsbury’s mastery of the “art of deception”.
  • Which just goes to prove that even though “you can’t always get what you want” —- “if you try sometime, you might get what you need.”

Have a safe and joyful Thanksgiving day with your loved ones, Birdgang!

Thanks to everyone here at ROTB.

Much respect and the highest of regards,

Mitch