Colts Film Breakdown: Frank Gore Dives For End Zone On Successful Screen Play

Posted Dec 27, 2017

Intro: Each week, will take a look at a significant play from the previous week's contest. This week's installment examines running back Frank Gore's second-quarter 14-yard touchdown reception to get the Colts on the board against the Ravens.

INDIANAPOLIS — This week's film breakdown looks at the Indianapolis Colts' perfect execution on a screen play to get running back Frank Gore into the end zone in the second quarter of Saturday's game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium.

Here's the All-22 development of Gore's play:


Down 10-0 halfway through the second quarter, the Colts finally found themselves deep into Ravens territory, facing 2nd and 10 from the 14. After getting to the 20-yard line, only to have Adam Vinatieri’s 38-yard field goal attempt blocked by safety Tony Jefferson, at the 1:18 mark of the first quarter, the Colts knew that getting points this time around would be the only acceptable outcome.

On this particular drive, the Colts had utilized the run game well, as Frank Gore had three carries for 22 yards — including a 12-yard run — while rookie Marlon Mack started the possession with an eight-yard carry, and would get the Indy offense to the Baltimore 14-yard line with an 11-yard run. So, on 2nd and 10, because the run game was working so well, the Ravens are much less likely to be able to guess what’s coming their way; will the Colts go for another run to set up a potential 3rd-and-short? Or, set up in the shotgun formation with three receivers and a tight end spread out across the field, could they go to the air, like they did on first down, an incomplete pass to tight end Ross Travis?

The Ravens, meanwhile, come out in their nickel package, in which they take out a defensive lineman in order to get another defensive back on the field. In this instance, the Ravens line up with two defensive interior linemen, two outside linebackers on each end of the line, two inside linebackers behind them, and then three cornerbacks and two safeties in the secondary.


On the snap, first off, the Colts’ offense linemen do a terrific job baiting the Ravens’ defensive front towards quarterback Jacoby Brissett. Meanwhile, left tackle Anthony Castonzo (against future Hall of Famer Terrell Suggs) and left guard Jeremy Vujnovich (who chips defensive tackle Carl Davis to help center Mike Person) do a great job creating a lane for Gore to run through to receive the screen pass from Brissett, who actually does a great job initially looking to his right to freeze inside linebacker Patrick Onwuasor and safety Tony Jefferson before quickly turning to his left and finding his running back. The three Colts’ wide receivers on the play — Chester Rogers and T.Y. Hilton on the left and Kamar Aiken on the right — each run vertical-type routes to help clear out their defenders and give Gore — and his blockers — even more room to operate.

Tight end Jack Doyle is critical, too, because he runs a flat route across the field to his left and is able to engage with Pro Bowl inside linebacker C.J. Mosley, who is assigned to cover Gore on the play. Meanwhile, right on Doyle’s heels is Vujnovich, who is Gore’s lead blocker after he caught the ball at the 20-yard line. Gore turns his head and sees plenty of open field, with a big blocker ahead of him, to boot.

The blocking by the receivers here is key. Rogers, who ran all the way to the goal line near the left sideline, completely takes his man, cornerback Marlon Humphrey, out of the play. Hilton, who is covered by cornerback Maurice Canady, does a good enough job getting in safety Eric Weddle’s way that he is just late getting to Gore a couple seconds later. Doyle, meanwhile, is able to get Mosley on the ground before he can make any sort of attempt at tackling Gore when he runs by. But the key block on this play comes from the big fella, Vujnovich, who, after seeing Mosley is taken care of, locks in on Canady and is able to dive at the corner’s right leg as he jumps in the air, forcing him to the ground, too.


The rest of the play is all-Gore. With three players — Jefferson, Onwuasor and Humphrey — bearing down on him as he gets inside the five-yard line along the sideline, Gore plants his right foot at the three-yard line and starts an all-out dive towards the front-left corner of the end zone, making Jefferson and Humphrey whiff in the process. The 13-year veteran does the rest from there, rolling onto his backside, hitting the ground and then rolling back to his feet to be greeted by his teammates for his first receiving touchdown of the season.

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