Week in Review: Film Study: Dalton Stays One Step Ahead of Chiefs

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In the past couple of weeks, the Bengals offense has been clicking more than it has since Andy Dalton and A.J. Green arrived. Even against the Broncos, Dalton played well against probably the best pass-rushing team in the league, but he has been at another level against the Chiefs and Giants.

The gameplan against the Chiefs was outstanding. Jay Gruden knew that the Chiefs play almost exclusively press-man coverage with two high safeties or a single high out of which they will either press or bail in man coverage.

With route combinations and an audible package suited for any option that the Chiefs threw at them, the Bengals were able to move effectively down the field. Even as the Chiefs became increasingly complicated pre-snap, Dalton was always one step ahead.

Andy Dalton checks into a run to the right after diagnosing the overload blitz to his left.

In this play on the Bengals’ first possession, Dalton sees the cornerback cheating in and the safeties beginning to roll to compensate for the corner blitz. It is not rocket science, but Dalton checked into a stretch zone run to the right, away from the flow of the defense motioning to Dalton’s left.

Although the overload blitz was successful in reaching Dalton, especially when it caused Tamba Hali to be isolated against Andrew Whitworth, he often checked into a draw or stretch play that played off the defense’s aggressiveness. While Dalton could have done a better job finding a hot receiver on a few plays, he did the smart thing against blitzes with the defense in exclusively man: he tucked the ball in and ran.

That might sound familiar from the preseason, because that is exclusively what the Aaron Rodgers did to the Bengals.

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