Carolina Panthers Film Analysis: What went wrong on the last play against the Bills

The Carolina Panthers had a nail-biting 9-3 win over the Buffalo Bills last Sunday. Despite shutting down the Bills offense and giving up only 3 points the entire game, the Panthers nearly blew it on the final play of the game, when Zay Jones was able to slip past the Panthers coverage to score a potential touchdown. Luckily for Panthers, the pass from Tyrod Taylor was slightly overthrown and Jones wasn’t able to come down with the catch, so the Panthers were able to narrowly escape with the victory. So, what went wrong? From the television broadcast angle, my initial guess was that the Panthers were in a Cover 2 shell, and Jones’ corner route from the slot was the perfect way to attack the soft spot in the Panthers zone coverage. With James Bradberry occupied underneath in the flat , I thought safety Kurt Coleman had to do a better job of playing Jones’ corner route. However, on Monday, we were able to get some clarification from Defensive Coordinator Steve Wilks, who did an excellent job explaining what really happened on the play “It was an empty formation and we play in quarters. And James, in my opinion, got a little nosy,” said Wilks, sternly Darrel Young Jersey. “He allowed that No. 1 receiver to occupy. He drove on the comeback, which we don’t do in that situation. Thomas should have pushed through, which he was, and James should have stayed deep with Kurt Coleman inside out, James should have been outside-in and it really should have been an interception.“Here’s the All-22 According to Wilks, the Panthers were actually in a Cover 4 on the final play of the game. Cover 4 is one of the most popular coverages in football, and it’s basically a 4-deep coverage shell that splits the deep portion of the field into four equal zones, hence the name Quarters. Here’s a diagram Bradberry is responsible for his deep quarter of the field, but he lets himself get occupied by Lesean McCoy’s comeback route underneath. Biting underneath opens up the zone behind him, and Jones is wide open on the corner route. A slightly more accurate pass from quarterback Tyrod Taylor probably results in a Bills touchdown, and likely victory. If Bradberry stays disciplined and doesn’t bite on the McCoy’s underneath route, Wilks said the pass would likely end up being intercepted, as Jones would be double covered by Bradberry on the outside and Coleman on the inside.Mistakes happen in the NFL, and sometimes you just get lucky. This play will be an excellent learning opportunity for the Panthers defense and rising young cornerback James Bradberry.

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