The Washington Post

Matching up

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In the preseason, the Commanders appeared to play less pure zone in pass coverage and more matchup zone, which incorporat­es man-to-man principles. In a matchup zone, defenders drop to spots, as they do in pure zone coverage — but when a receiver enters a defender’s area, he matches him. Here’s an example from Kansas City:

 ?? ?? Best-laid plans: But Mahomes evaded the pressure and threw a sidearmed dot to wide receiver Justin Watson, who had spun away from Holcomb, for a 14-yard gain. It was a reminder that, even when the rush and coverage work together, sometimes the plan just doesn’t pan out — especially against one of the NFL’S best quarterbac­ks.
Best-laid plans: But Mahomes evaded the pressure and threw a sidearmed dot to wide receiver Justin Watson, who had spun away from Holcomb, for a 14-yard gain. It was a reminder that, even when the rush and coverage work together, sometimes the plan just doesn’t pan out — especially against one of the NFL’S best quarterbac­ks.
 ?? ?? Stick to it: Washington played zone, but when the crossers entered Jamin Davis’s and Cole Holcomb’s zones, each linebacker stuck to his man and trailed him across the field. Ultimately, that gave the line a better chance to record a sack.
Stick to it: Washington played zone, but when the crossers entered Jamin Davis’s and Cole Holcomb’s zones, each linebacker stuck to his man and trailed him across the field. Ultimately, that gave the line a better chance to record a sack.
 ?? ?? Lined up: On third and six in the first quarter, the Chiefs ran a concept called mesh, which includes two receivers running crossing routes from opposite sides of the field.
Lined up: On third and six in the first quarter, the Chiefs ran a concept called mesh, which includes two receivers running crossing routes from opposite sides of the field.

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