Carolina Panthers wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. burned the Pittsburgh Steelers for two long touchdowns Thursday night in the preseason finale and below is a look at both of those plays.
On the first touchdown on the Panthers opening offensive possession of the game, the Steelers are playing a quarters defense as the two cornerbacks and two safeties are each responsible for a quarter of the field.
Curtis Brown has a tough assignment here in playing off of Ginn as he must protect both over the top and inside in man coverage. He has to be on his hip the entire route past 12 yards and as you can see in the gif below, Ginn gets inside Brown down the seem by a few steps and a perfect throw easily beats him. This was a mismatch all the way.
On the second deep touchdown to Ginn in the second quarter, the Steelers are in a cover-2 defense as Brown has the underneath coverage on Ginn while safety DaMon Cromartie-Smith should provide help over the top.
There was a shot at halftime of Cromartie-Smith being frozen for a half second on the play as he was more concerned about helping linebacker Jason Worilds over the top with the tight end. Unfortunately I didn’t grab a shot of it soon enough and the feed has since been edited. Just so you know, Worilds had great coverage on the play. Cromartie-Smith then has to take a bad angle because of his lack of depth and is of course late helping Brown as the receiver easily blows by each of them.
Panthers quarterback Derek Anderson described the play after the game.
“I came out and saw the safety take a bad angle right away and Ted’s so fast that I just gave him a chance,” Anderson said. “I don’t think you can actually overthrow him.”
Brown, however, is not entirely off the hook for the play as it appears as though he gives up way too easily. Don’t think that will go unnoticed by the coaches.
It would be great if we had an all-22 of both these plays, but that feature is not available until the regular season. We don’t need those shots, however, to know that both Brown and Cromartie-Smith weren’t at their best Thursday night.