Now fast forward to today’s NFL. Imagine a scenario where an offense breaks a huddle with five offensive linemen, a QB, RB, WR (lining up on the weak side) and three TEs lining up on the strong side. All of a sudden you have what equates to a defensive coordinator’s worst nightmare. That configuration of players will line up in what appears similar to a goal line formation and in order to stop it the defense will have to line up in a goal line formation.
However, this offense will have a tremendous advantage over the defense by virtue of the fact that the three TEs will be one step behind the line of scrimmage and provide the offense a lot of options on what to do next, based on the personnel the defense has on the field.
Sep 8, 2012; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish tight end Tyler Eifert (80) lines up against the Purdue Boilermakers cornerback Josh Johnson (28) in the third quarter at Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame won 20-17. Mandatory Credit: Sports illustrated
If the defense lines up DBs on those tight ends, it’s a running game mismatch that should allow for some huge gains on the ground. If the defense lines up LBs on the TEs, the offense can split one of the TEs out as a second WR essentially,and with a plyer like Tyler Eifert (as seen below), it’s a clear mismatch for a much largert and taller TE to be lined up against a smaller and scrawnier DB. This allows the offense to just as easily create those mismatches in the passing game. Those examples only scratch the surface. With the TEs on the field the possibilities are very wide-ranging.