How did Julio Jones beat the Panthers in the red zone?

Click here for the entire Inside the Playbook series.

Julio Jones caught two TD passes from QB Matt Ryan in Atlanta’s 31-23 comeback win on Sunday vs. the Panthers in Carolina. Today, let’s focus on Jones’ 17-yard TD on the 7 (corner) route, talk formations, alignments and how the Falcons were able to isolate the WR inside of the 20-yard line.

Falcons vs. Panthers
Personnel: 3x1 Posse (3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB)
Route concept: Flat-7

Playbook

Route Breakdown

Alignments and splits: Check out Jones from his pre-snap alignment to the open (weak) side of the formation. That is called a “nasty” (or reduced) split into the core of the formation. To run the 7 cut, Jones has to create room up the field. Instead of a wide split that requires a hard, inside stem to get vertical for the 7, Jones is already in the position to run the route. Remember, the pre-snap splits of the WRs tell you the story.

Open side route concept: Nothing complicated here. The Falcons are running your classic Flat-7 combo. With the RB offset to the open side, Atlanta is creating a “stack” look. With Jones on a vertical release, the Falcons can release the RB to the flat. Different alignment, but the same concept we will see vs. Cover 2 out in the field.

Closed side route concept: This is called a “Tare” route. A concept you will see in on a consistent basis in the NFL with a 3x1 alignment. The No.1 WR will run a clear out 9 (fade) route with No.2 to the flat and No.3 (TE Tony Gonzalez) on the option/out route. Depending on the split of the backside X receiver, always be alert for the slant route.

Free Safety help: The Panthers are playing Cover 1 (man-free) and that impacts the FS help in the middle of the field. DBs are taught to funnel receivers to their help and play with outside leverage. However, with Jones on an outside breaking route, the CB is on his own once he loses leverage to the outside.

Follow me on Twitter: @MattBowen41

Upcoming Games

Oct 24th, 1:00 PM

Kansas City -3 +103

Tennessee +3 +103

@

Oct 24th, 1:00 PM

Washington +7.5 -107

Green Bay -7.5 -107

@

Oct 24th, 1:00 PM

Carolina -3 -117

NY Giants +3 -117

@

Oct 24th, 1:00 PM

NY Jets +7 -105

New England -7 -105

@

Oct 24th, 1:00 PM

Atlanta +3 -112

Miami -3 -112

@

Oct 24th, 1:00 PM

Cincinnati +7 +108

Baltimore -7 +108

@

Oct 24th, 4:05 PM

Detroit +13.5 -110

LA Rams -13.5 -110

@

Oct 24th, 4:05 PM

Philadelphia +2.5 -122

Las Vegas -2.5 -122

@

Oct 24th, 4:25 PM

Houston +14.5 -107

Arizona -14.5 -107

@

Oct 24th, 4:25 PM

Chicago +10 -107

Tampa Bay -10 -107

@

Oct 24th, 8:20 PM

Indianapolis +3.5 -118

San Francisco -3.5 -118

@

Oct 25th, 8:15 PM

New Orleans -3 -120

Seattle +3 -120

@

Oct 28th, 8:20 PM

Green Bay +3.5 -108

Arizona -3.5 -108

@

Oct 31st, 1:00 PM

LA Rams -14 -111

Houston +14 -111

@

Oct 31st, 1:00 PM

San Francisco -3.5 -111

Chicago +3.5 -111

@

Oct 31st, 1:00 PM

Miami +11.5 -112

Buffalo -11.5 -112

@

Oct 31st, 1:00 PM

Cincinnati -4.5 -115

NY Jets +4.5 -115

@

Oct 31st, 1:00 PM

Tennessee +2.5 -111

Indianapolis -2.5 -111

@

Oct 31st, 1:00 PM

Pittsburgh +3 -105

Cleveland -3 -105

@

Oct 31st, 1:00 PM

Philadelphia -4 -111

Detroit +4 -111

@

Oct 31st, 1:00 PM

Carolina +2.5 -111

Atlanta -2.5 -111

@

Oct 31st, 4:05 PM

New England +5.5 -110

LA Chargers -5.5 -110

@

Oct 31st, 4:05 PM

Jacksonville +3.5 -112

Seattle -3.5 -112

@

Oct 31st, 4:25 PM

Washington +3.5 -116

Denver -3.5 -116

@

Oct 31st, 4:25 PM

Tampa Bay -4 -111

New Orleans +4 -111

@

Oct 31st, 8:20 PM

Dallas -2.5 -110

Minnesota +2.5 -110

@