A Phinsider Scouting Report: A Look at This Week's Matchup Against the Washington Redskins

KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 06: Head coach Tony Sparano of the Miami Dolphins yells from the sidelines during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs on November 6, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

For the past couple of weeks I've been reading a book called "Take Your Eye Off the Ball." The first chapter dealt with how coaches game plan for an upcoming matchup. As I read, the author started mentioning something about a scouting report that certain coaches do for game planning. I was pretty interested by what it had to say and so I decided to try to make my own scouting report for this week's game against the Washington Redskins

What you will see after the jump are all of the offensive drives the Redskins had against the San Francisco 49ers last week grouped separately by the quarter each drive was played in. These drives will give you a sense of what to expect when Washington comes to town and how the Dolphins should prepare for it. With all that being said, here's a look at this week's scouting report.

Down And Distance

Field Position

Play

1st and 10

WSH 20

Helu 16-yd run

1st and 10

WSH 36

Helu 2-yd run

2nd and 8

WSH 28

Helu 2-yd run

3rd and 6

WSH 40

J. Beck inc. short middle

2nd DRIVE

 

 

1st and 10

WSH 20

Helu 4-yd run

2nd and 6

WSH 24

J. Beck short pass to Helu for 2 yards

3nd and 4

WSH 26

J. Beck inc. to Helu

3rd DRIVE (After Penalty)

 

 

1st and 10

WSH 8

Helu 2-yd run

2nd and 8

WSH 10

J. Beck complete 12-yard gain to Willis

1st and 10

WSH 22

Helu 3-yd run

2nd and 7

WSH 25

Helu 6-yd gain

2nd and 2 (Offside Penalty)

WSH 30

J. Beck complete to Hankerson 8-yd gain

1st and 10

WSH 38

Helu no gain

2nd and 10

WSH 38

J. Beck pass intercepted

 

First of all, let me explain what this massive chart is and what I’m using it for. It’s basically a table breaking down each drive the Redskins had in the 1st quarter against the San Francisco 49ers. "AlejandroN, I know what it is, I can see it on ESPN, what’s the point?" Well, in order for coaches and players to game plan, they have to watch film and study their opponents previous games to get some knowledge on how they play and what plays were called. So basically, this chart will show us what the Redskins offense usually looks like at the beginning of games, and as we go further into the article, we’ll examine how the ‘Skins tend to look like as their games progress.

The first chart above shows all 3 beginning drives the Redskins had starting off the game last Sunday. As you can see, on "1st and 10" the Redskins ran the ball 100% of the time in the 1st quarter. You can almost conclude with absolute certainty that on "1st and 10" situations (depending on the time left on the clock) Sparano will most likely game-plan for Roy Helu running the ball all the time.  It would be wise for Sparano to shift to a 4-3 scheme during these kinds of situations in order to efficiently stop the run, much like the 49ers did.

On 2nd down, Washington threw the ball 66% of the time, however Helue was still given a sufficient amount of touches. Here it would be wise for Miami to game-plan a shallower zone-type coverage; preventing short passes down the middle, but still being able to prepare for the run.  Now let’s move on to the 2nd quarter.

 

2nd Quarter

Down and Distance

Field Position

Play

4tht DRIVE

 

 

1st and 10

WSH 21

Helu 11-yd run

1st and 10

WSH 32

J. Beck complete Helu 3 yards

2nd and 7

WSH 35

J. Beck inc. short middle

3rd and 7

WSH 35

J. Beck complete Gaffney 12 yards

1st and 10

WSH 47

Torain 2-yard run

2nd and 8

WSH 49

J. Beck inc. short middle

3rd and 23 (AFTER PENALTY)

WSH 34

J. Beck complete to Helu for 8 yards

5th DRIVE

 

 

1st and 10

WSH 9

Helu no gain

2nd and 10

WSH 9

J. Beck 2-yard scramble

3rd and 8

WSH 11

J. Beck inc. deep middle

6th Drive (1:50 remaining)

 

 

1st and 15

WSH 14

J. Beck 3-yard scramble

2nd and 12

WSH 17

J. Beck complete, later fumbled

7th DRIVE (1:03 remaining)

 

 

1st and 10

WSH 27

J. Beck inc. short right

2nd and 10

WSH 27

J. Beck complete for 13 yards

1st and 10

WSH 40

J. beck complete for 8 yards

2nd and 2

WSH 48

J. Beck complete for 11 yards

1st and 10, 2nd and 10

WSH 41

J. Beck incomplete

 

END OF HALF, SF:13 WSH: 3

In the 2nd quarter, Mike Shanahan seemingly sticks with his regular game plan from before leaving minimal room for change. Although the Redskins ran the ball 50% of the time in the 2nd quarter, three of the passes thrown were with less than one minute remaining on the clock and with Washington running the 2-minute drill. Sparano should stick with his run-stop personnel on 1st downs due to the fact that with more than one minute remaining, Washington ran the ball 10/11 times, showing no element of surprise or balance whatsoever.

On 2nd downs the inconsistency and lack of balance between the run and pass was very relevant as 100% of the 2nd down plays were an intended pass. In this case, Sparano may want to send out his "nickel package," making it easier to stop the pass. He should carry this on to the 3rd down situations as well, mainly because Washington threw it 100% of the time as well.

If Miami plays half as good on defense against the Redskins than they did against the Chiefs in the 1st half last week they should have no difficulty with this predictable Washington team.

 3rd Quarter

Down and Distance

Field Position

Play

 

8th DRIVE

 

 

1st and 10

WSH 20

J. Beck sack

2nd and 13

WSH 17

Helu 1-yard run

3rd and 12

WSH 18

J. Beck complete for 8 yards

9th DRIVE

 

 

1st and 10

WSH 19

J. Beck 4-yard scramble

2nd and 6

WSH 23

J. Beck inc. short-middle

3rd and 6

WSH 23

j. Beck short pass complete for 12 yards

1st and 10

WSH 35

J. Beck inc. deep middle

2nd and 10

WSH 35

J. Beck complete for 7 yards

3rd and 3

WSH 42

J. Beck screen for 17 yards

1st and 10

SF 41

Torain (-4) yard gain

1st and 25 (After Penalty)

WSH 44

J. Beck complete for 8 yards

2nd and 17

SF 48

J. Beck complete for no gain

 

You can notice after the first drive that Shanahan’s half-time adjustment was to shift to a passing gamell. There were "0" runs on 1st and 10 situations this quarter after running the ball 90% of the time in the previous two quarters. The Redskins completely flipped the game plan around by throwing the ball 83% of the time, probably because of the score and the fact that the run game was just not being efficientt. 

 

So, the key to this happening on Sunday is for Miami to shut down Roy Helu and Ryan Torrain in the 1st half and forcing John Beck to make throws in the second half. Let’s take a look at the final quarter.

 4th Quarter

9th DRIVE CONTINUED

 

 

3rd and 17

SF 48

J. Beck screen for 15 yards

4th and 2

SF 33

J. Beck inc. short right

10th DRIVE

 

 

1st and 10

WSH 24

J. Beck complete for 10 yards…then fumbled

11th DRIVE

 

 

1st and 10

WSH 44

J. Beck complete short-middle for 6 yards

2nd and 4

At 50

J. Beck complete for 7 yards

1st and 10

SF 43

J. Beck complete for 6 yards

2nd and 4

SF 37

J. Beck inc. short middle

3rd and 4

SF 37

J. Beck inc. short middle

4th and 4

SF 37

J. Beck inc. short right

12th DRIVE

 

 

1st and 10

WSH 28

J. Beck complete for 16 yards

1st and 10

WSH 44

J. Beck complete 7 yards

2nd and 3

SF 49

J. Beck inc. short middle

3rd and 3

SF 49

J. Beck complete for 4 yards

1st and 10

SF 45

J. Beck complete for 7 yards

1st and 10

SF 34

J. Beck complete for 3 yards

2nd and 7

SF 31

J. Beck complete for 12 yards

1st and 10

SF 19

J. Beck 0-yard scramble

2nd and 10

SF 19

J. Beck complete 9 yards

3rd and 1

SF 10

J. Beck complete for 1 yard

1st and Goal

SF 9

J. Beck TOUCHDOWN for 9 yards

 

FINAL SCORE: SF: 19 WSH: 11

It’s obviously demonstrated that it was 4th quarter desperation time in Washington. Unfortunately for the Redskins, the only good drive they had was when all hope was already lost. The Redskins threw the ball 100% of the time in the 4th quarter and were able to matriculate the ball down the field for a last minute score.

Shanahan’s game plan was exploited throughout the game. He had a run-first 1st half and a pass 1st desperation-time 2nd half. After the big win in Kansas City, the Dolphins have a lot of momentum coming into this week (even for a 1-7 team). This game on Sunday is a very winnable game; Washington does not yet trust in "The Mormon" and will continue being a run first team until it gets to hurry-up mode, where they are still not very efficient. The key to the game is to score efficiently in the 1st half while stopping the Washington run and then force them to throw the ball in "hurry-up" mode the in 2nd half.

P.S: This is my first scouting report, and it might seem a little sloppy so bare with me. If you have anything that you would like me to post on an up-coming post, please just let me know. Thanks guys.

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