In the third week of the preseason, you rarely see really well-designed, complex plays if only because offensive coordinators want to hide it. If not, then they want to evaluate their players in an environment that makes it easy; a simple play is easy to break down in that regard. Andy Reid didn’t do that because he enjoys fun.

The Chiefs ran a play-action, fake reverse screen to Knile Davis and moved three or four Vikings out of the play entirely, and created some awkward blocking angles to do it. At the same time, they still gave themselves options if the screen wasn’t there for them or pressure arrived too early. At a glance, the play looks like this:

Kansas City Screen 4


That’s a lot of lines, which doesn’t help anyone, but there you go. The loop in the “F” route designates that the fullback looked back for the pass, in case the pressure arrived too early on the screen or the left tackle couldn’t bat the defensive end inside. The “Z” on the fake end-around is an available receiver if the Vikings don’t bite on it and they crowd Davis at the point of attack. But the first option was the one that worked out for them in the end.

Incidentally, the “Y” has what looks like an insanely difficult block on Anthony Barr, but it’s actually far easier because Barr is expected to move to contain the end-around. Here’s a video poorly diagramming the play, and how the Chiefs got a few more yards than they should have, even with its excellent play design:

For a more complete recap of the game, head over to Vikings Journal, where I wrote about the Vikings offense and defense at length.


  1. Arif, that is some seriously nice use of diagram technology to show what happened. Way better than watching a video 30+ times and trying to stare down each player and then 30 more trying to see if the play worked because of O execution or D error. Loved it.

  2. Barr was very good last night, but he needs to try to wrap up there instead of leading with his shoulder.

  3. that is some kinda cool diagram stuff there, arif. on my screen, the vid looks like it’s boiling and cooking

    nice play, but i’ll bet both norv and zim have used it and seen it before, or something very similar to it. maybe kc pulled this one out of their bag of tricks because they were so desperate due to our overwhelmingly awesome run-stuffing defense last night, and because reid was promised a doughnut if he used it

  4. Love the play breakdowns Arif! The really add to my appreciation of the game.

    It would be great if you could break down some OL plays, those protections and run-blocking schemes are the most difficult for me to track and follow during the game (beyond the obvious misses/blitz pick ups). TV coverage/angles focus mostly on catches/runner. (when actually it seems far more important to understand the routes run by all the receivers *before* the catch and the protection scheme that bought the time for the play to develop…same for running, I get that AP is a lethal combination of power, speed, and physics-defying jump cuts…what’s more difficult to appreciate is how much/little our blocking is supporting him (beyond the obvious gaping hole or AP brilliance).

    Thanks for all you do. Your analysis has really helped to reinvigorate my interest in the team/game.

  5. Yes they do CSlinde, that sucks for them. Being that they are our opponent to kick off the year…good for us? Let’s hope Shaun Hill doesn’t turn into Dan Marino for a day. Maybe Zimmer can make sure he doesn’t.
    I believe he can. With a some help from those players of course.


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