Player Game Analysis: VY v the Colts


I know my most recent post was statgeekery looking at running success and I have a followup to do on that, but with the Titans’ backup quarterback recently yapping his mouth, I thought I’d watch some actual football and see how he did in his most extensive work after the first week of the season, in Week 17 against the Colts.  Going back to one of my old gimmicks, I broke down every called passing play he ran that game.  So, how’d he do?

2Q 10:06 1-10-TEN16 Pass to McCareins for 11 yard
1st play of the drive, and 1st play VY is in the game.  Titans come up in an Ace package (2 TE, 2 WR), with White as the lone setback.  The Colts CBs are both playing about 7 yards off.  McCareins is the wideout left, and VY throws to him immediately on a smoke route 0 yards downfield.  Matt Giordano is too slow, and JMac gets 11 yards before Jennings pushes him out of bounds.  A very easy throw to start off.

2Q 9:40 1-10-TEN27 Scramble right end for 7 yards
Another Ace package, but this time both wideouts are to the right side.  VY fakes the stretch handoff to White left, then boots right.  DE Brocks stays at home.  Scaife is the short outlet, but he’s late getting out and covered by Giordano.  VY uses his athleticism to avoid Brock and scrambles for 7.  This was another play designed to be an easy read.  It’s not clear from the TV coverage whether there was another, deeper option-it looks like the outside WR was running a comeback, but Brock’s presence probably means this wasn’t an option.

2Q 9:13 2-3-TEN34 Pass incomplete to Scaife
This is a 3-wide set, with Scaife in the slot to the left side.  VY takes a straight dropback, and the Titans keep 7 in to block before the TE (Stevens) and White release.  VY throws for Scaife down the seam about 25 yards downfield, but the pass is batted away by Bethea.  It’s clear from the replay that Scaife had separated from Giordano and the ball is thrown too late, allowing Bethea to make the play.  This is a chance you have to convert to start in the NFL.

2Q 9:08    3-3-TEN34 Delay of game
Can’t tell exactly whose fault this penalty is.  The Titans are late breaking the huddle.  VY calls for the ball with time to spare, but the center (Harris) doesn’t see him signaling for the ball.  This is more on Harris than VY.

2Q 9:08 3-8-TEN29 Scramble right end for 4 yards
Titans come out in a 3-WR set with Scaife and the slot WR to the left side.  VY takes the shotgun snap, pseudo-fakes to the back, and moves right.  He avoids the first defender, but not the second or the third, and is stopped wel short of the first down marker.  One thing I will say about this play is the protection was not very good.  There was generalized pressure on the pass to Scaife, and a QB who’s used to being in space moves here.

2Q 2:00 2-3-TEN37 Pass incomplete to Scaife [Brock]
Titans come up in a 3-WR set, Scaife in the slot right, and VY under center.  Brock absolutely abuses LeRoy Harris here with a swim move, and is on VY as soon as he has a chance to set his feet.  VY gets rid of the ball to Scaife who’s about 5 yards downfield over the middle, but the ball is behind him.  This throw was forced by the pressure.

2Q 1:56 3-3-TEN37 Pass incomplete to Scaife
Another 3-WR formation, slot right, VY under center.  Scaife is lined up as a TE to the left side and runs a short 5 yard curl to the outside.  VY finds him, but the pass is too far to the inside and Bo can’t haul it in.  This is another fairly simple throw, and one you simply have to make as an NFL QB.

3Q 14:17 2-7-TEN32 Pass to Scaife for 8 yards
Titans come out in another Ace package.  Scaife is lined up off the line on the left side and runs a short out route.  VY looks right first, then looks left and finds Scaife about 6 yards downfield.  Bo lunges forward and gets the first down.  Another throw with a not very high degree of difficulty, though one that shows off why someone like Matt Stafford gets drafted so high.  This is a long throw from one hash to the other sideline, and a guy with a laser rocket arm can make these better than a guy without one (which, for the record, includes at least half the starting QBs in the NFL).

3Q 11:43 1-10-IND 48 Pass to Hall for no gain
Strong I formation, with Hall to the left side and White the deep back.  VY with the dropback, and both Hall and White stay in initially to block before slipping out.  Hall moves into the flat to the left side, and VY throws it to him.  College-type awful spot costs the Titans at least a yard, maybe a yard and a half.  The only interesting question a play like this is whether anyone was open downfield, and it’s impossible to tell from the TV coverage.  Hey, NFL, please make available coaches’ tape.  I’ll pay you for it.

3Q 10:22 3-3-IND41 Pass to Hall for 11 yards
I-formation, with 2 TE to the right side.  VY drops back and waves the ball at White while Hall moves into the flat on the right side.  Hall beats the defense to the edge, then bounces off of two guys and spins upfield for a couple more yards.  Ahmard Hall is awesome.  Nicely placed throw by VY, allowing Hall to move upfield immediately.

3Q 9:39 1-10-IND30 Pass incompelte to Scaife (Thomas)
Ace formation.  VY fakes and bootlegs to the left side.  Scaife runs the shallow drag, and VY throws for him, but Thomas had stayed home and is able to bat the ball away.  Scaife was definitely open about 3 yards downfield, and Stevens, running a deeper drag, may have been open with a well-placed throw.  Scaife was definitely the safer option, and a reasonable decision, but Thomas did a nice job.  One thing I noticed as far back as the DAL game that was VY’s first start-a disciplined defense will really clamp down on VY’s bigger plays using his mobility.  And here, the Titans have run bootleg twice, the end has stayed home both times, and the Titans didn’t get much on either play.

3Q 9:34 2-10-IND30 Pass to Stevens for 9 yards
3-WR set, slot left, Stevens the TE on the right side.  He runs a little semi-streak up the middle, then sits down in front of three defenders just short of the marker and VY hits him.  Simple throw, reasonably executed.

3Q 8:55 3-1-IND21 Sacked for -9 (Cu.Johnson)
Basic I-formation, with the WRs in fairly close.  VY playfakes to White, who kind of chips Johnson but apparently enough to annoy him.  VY stumbles a bit trying to scramble away and Johnson is able to trip him up.  White really needed to do a better job of getting a legitimate chip on Johnson.  Stewart blocked inside earlier than he needed to, but if White had gotten a real block on Johnson instead of just waving in his general direction this isn’t an issue.

2-11-TEN10 3Q 5:20 Scramble right end for 5 yards
Weak I, with both wideouts to the left.  Hall slips out to the left flat, while VY scrambles to the right side.  A QB left confident in his mobility takes the dumpoff, I think, and of course it’s impossible to tell if anything is available downfield.

3-6-TEN15 3Q 4:46 Pass to Jones for 13 yards [Howard]
VY in the gun with Ganther to his right, 2 WRs and Scaife to the left, and another wideout right.  Ganther stays in to block initially before slipping out.  VY steps up in the pocket (into Howard), and has a nice pass to a jumping Jones over a jumping defender.  Pretty sure Jones started in the slot to the left side, making this a little corner route.  Very nice throw, and a pretty play.

1-10-TEN28 3Q 4:22 Scramble left for 8 yards
Ace formation, VY in the shotgun.  VY moves left and pumpfakes to Hawk on what appears to be the comeback route about a dozen yards downfield.  White actually throws a block here, giving VY a couple more yards on the scramble.  VY takes a hit here, when he could have gone out of bounds a couple yards earlier and avoided that.  Probably a wise decision in most cases to avoid that hit, but one I won’t get exercised about here.

2-8-TEN44 3Q 2:25 Sacked for -4 (Howard), fumbles and recovers
Shotgun 3-wide, with Stevens the TE to the right side.  Fake to Ga
nther on the off tackle left, and boot to the right side.  Excellent hustle by DE Howard, who blew by Loper at the snap and who Ganther didn’t get enough of a shove on.  VY has no idea Howard was coming, nor should he have-there’s no way Howard should have gotten to Young anywhere near as quickly as he did.  VY is aware enough to see the fortuitous bounce of the ball right to him, and immediately covers it.  Eagle and Wilcots talk about the need for a “mental clock” after this play, but that’s full of it-Howard was supposed to be blocked, and should have been.

3-9-TEN43 3Q 1:54 Pass to Jones for no gain
Shotgun 3-wide, Stevens TE right, slot left.  Jones runs a very shallow draft coming out of the left slot, and VY flips the ball to him, but he has nowhere to go.  One thing about this play is VY starts to move out of the pocket too quickly-he sees Scott lose Brock a little and immediately moves out, which means he has to short-circuit the decision process.

1-10-TEN11 4Q 12:45 Scramble up middle for 1
Strong I to the right side this play, one WR to each side.  Fake to Henry, who then slips out.  VY sees pressure coming, and immediately looks to run forward-the OL had the ability to recover, but he again short circuits the decision process and scrambles forward for almost nothing.  Fisher is angry after this play, but you can’t tell from the TV who he’s yelling at.

2-9-TEN12 4Q 12:05 Pass to Ganther for 2
Same formation as last time, Henry the deep back and Ganther at fullback.  Waggle play, and VY throws immediately after turning around from the playfake.  Plenty of Colts defenders to that side, and Ganther doesn’t get much.

3-7-TEN14 11:20 Pass to Ganther for 1
Shotgun 3-wide, slot right, Stevens the TE left, Ganther the setback right.  Quinton moves immediately into the flat right, and VY throws him the ball.  Pass is maybe a little underthrown, but it didn’t matter much as Ganther falls forward for a yard.

AND that was it for VY in Week 17.  This was a pretty vanilla gameplan, and few of the throws VY attempted were of any high degree of difficulty and some of them you and I and anybody else who played backyard football could probably make.  It’s not worth making any big decisions in a game I normally refer to as a “Who Cares? Fest”, but two things I saw a lot of from VY were evident here.

First, his lack of NFL-type accuracy.  It’s not enough to simply hit the receiver, but you have to put the ball in the right place for him to pick up additional yardage, or away from the defender.  He did a nice job of this on the 3rd down pass to Hall, but this was not generally a strong point.

Second, lack of pocket awareness.  You wouldn’t expect anybody to come in Week 17 after playing hardly at all the previous 14 games to excel in this regard, but somebody with great instincts could still show this.  VY doesn’t have those great instincts, which does not come as a surprise to anyone who’s watched him a lot at the NFL level.

Aside from those two points, well, the breakdown speaks for itself.  For a contemporaneous look at the game, please check out Drexel’s game recap post.  I don’t think the PBP breakdown does much to change any opinions expressed then, like my opinion of Loper changed after I looked at how the Titans’ O-line did in the playoff game against San Diego, but I thought actual football would be a nice break.

This post is also titularly part of the Player Game Analysis stuff I started with the Roos post back in September.  I’ll be returning to that as we lead up to the season looking at one player in each game.  Definitely on tap are Tulloch’s first start against the Vikings and Kevin Mawae’s game against the Jets.  Other ideas-Collins, probably against the Bears.  Haynesworth, some game, not sure which one-maybe the first Colts game.  Jason Jones, maybe his big game against the Steelers.  I’d like to do the safeties, but doubt I could do a great job given the limitations of TV coverage.  If there’s a player and a game you’re interested in seeing a breakdown of, let me know.


5 Responses to “Player Game Analysis: VY v the Colts”

  1. kevin G Says:

    Tulloch, without Albert tulloch is going to have to step up and make more plays, especially in the run game. I am also wondering just how good he actually is, considering how little the MLB was used last year. great job!!

  2. Alvin Mullins Says:

    Great post. Let’s put this puppy to bed now. VY is a bust, was always going to be a bust. He doesn’t have the football knowledge not instincts to be a NFL QB. His arm isn’t good enough and when you don’t have an arm all you have are your legs.
    VY might make it in some wildcat formations but even there I think CJ is a much better option. Time to coach him up as well as possible. Design an offense that will make him look good and put it out there this pre-season so maybe a team will be snookered in a trade for him.
    Right now he ranks as the worst 1st round pick the Titans/Oilers ever made!

  3. Johnathan Says:

    Worst first round pick? Not even close. Pacman, for example, is much worse of a pick than he was.

  4. Alvin Mullins Says:

    Actually Pacman & VY were pretty close. Pacman had some value, VY has some value.
    The both did fairly well when they played for the Titans. The team didn’t get anything for Pacman and my guess is we won’t get much for VY.

  5. Bob Loblaw Says:

    Dollar-for-dollar, yes he’s the worst. Strictly on the basis of 1st round selections, Andre Woolfolk takes the cake. At least Young and Jones helped bring the team back to respectability in ’06.

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