Granted Peyton Manning is the best in the game today, arguably the best to ever play, with 4 MVP’s, perennial All-Pro status, one Super Bowl ring in his possession and one hanging in the balance, and he’s not done yet. But the same way he has devised a method of attacking defenses, there is a way to attack him. Even the best are beatable. Granted his offense was designed to take advantage of the rules that favor offensive football in today’s game, as well as the lack of aggressiveness you see exhibited by most defenses.
I realize that he is a master of adjustments and many have said, it would probably take two or three different game plans implemented in one game to beat him, I would agree to a certain extent. If you think that you can come out and play the same coverages and run the same blitzes from the beginning of the game to the end against him, how mistaken you are. The Saints will need to use a combination of multiple game plans, new disguises, variations of blitzes, technique strategies and various ways of attacking the Colts blocking schemes.
First things first, the Jets came out with a few new looks that the Colts had not seen. They dominated the first quarter and a half. That is about the time defensively where you have to make some changes to what you have done. No doubt Peyton and Tom Moore, looking at your scheme from the booth and in pictures, will come up with protections and ways to pick it up and block what you show them more than once. What can you do different, you must give him as many new and different looks as you can. You can’t let him get comfy in the pocket, or allow him to go to his 2nd and 3rd reads, this is where he is most dangerous. It ‘s clear the Colts have abandoned the running game, they have gotten more production out of their screen game than running the ball all year. So the focus has to be on #18.
Like all QB’s Peyton does not like to get hit or be pressured, so how can the Saints apply pressure without giving up the big play. The way to beat good QB’s of the is to throw off the timing of their routes. Because it takes great talent in your secondary to do this, is it rarely done. The Jets put their best on the Colts best, and the colts killed them with their 3rd and 4th options and WR’s, if you don’t have the personnel to match up it is almost impossible to beat them. Having your safeties and corners sit in predictable alignments throughout the game, particularly in zone coverage gives the QB a pre-snap read, and playing 7-10 yds off the ball is like 7 on 7 practice for Peyton. When the routes are on time, and everyone’s where they are supposed to be within the timing of the route, it’s pre-determined before the ball is even snapped where the windows are and where he will throw the ball. The secondary has to be in constant motion, moving up and back, lining up inside pre-snap and moving outside on the snap of the ball to create confusion for good QB’s, it will also screw up the WR’s, their reads and adjustments are predicated upon the corner, safety alignment and coverage. Most defensive coordinators are so afraid of giving up the big play, they don’t allow their corners and safeties to play aggressively. Yes you only have one chance to jam the WR and if you miss it could be a touchdown. What’s the difference between this bend but don’t break attitude that 95% of the defensive teams in the NFL use, letting them march up and down the field, before deciding to get aggressive