Anatomy Of An Awful Goal Line Play

Two days later and I still can't wrap my head around the Ronnie Brown play. Of all the hard to explain, crazy things that have happened this season, that one may be the worst. It may have been the most poorly planned, ill-executed single play that I've ever seen. Let's break it down.

First, here's what Andy Reid had to say when asked about that particular play.

"Well, you know what, I didn't do a very good job on that one. I probably should have done a different play right there. And he did have a run pass option."

The video is below, so try to checking out the first few moments a few a times and you'll notice a few things. First, Andy says it was a run/pass option. Pretty much every option play I've ever seen starts with the RB going parallel to the line of scrimmage, because that gives the back some actual room to throw. On this play, Ronnie Brown is running directly at the line, so if he did have an option to pass, I have no idea how he would have ever used it (well, we know how he used it...). Then, you'll see that just one guy goes out on a pass pattern. That appears to be Clay Harbor, who is lined up on the left. He actually looks like he might have been open, but it didn't really matter because the guy he was lined up against at the snap, flies by him and grabs Ronnie Brown almost as soon as he is handed the ball. In the meantime, Owen Schmitt was just standing there not blocking anyone or seemingly doing anything at all.

To compound the problem Brown faced, guard Kyle Devan had fallen on the ground in front of him. So even if the rusher hadn't come clean, he still would have had to leap over his own guy, who fell down presumably trying to pull block. This is quite literally a case of the Eagles getting in their own way.

And if you look at the rest of the line... Jason Kelce gets driven back, Brent Celek is pushed all the way into the backfield and Todd Herremans is pushed back as well (and he's not one of these "undersized" guys). Only Jason Peters and King Dunlap appear to get any kid of push. So even if all the things I described in the first couple paragraphs hadn't gone wrong, the play still had very little chance of success because it simply wasn't blocked at all.

And then of course, the coup de gras. Ronnie Brown inexplicably just throws the ball away as he's being tackled. It was like putting on big absurd cherry on top of a fail sundae.

See if you can spot all of this in the video. Literally everything happens within 2.5-3 seconds.


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