Set up the Enjoyable: Talanoa Hufanga is a menace and different issues to observe in Week 3


Welcome again to Set up the Enjoyable, the place soccer is enjoyable and I want to … effectively … set up that!

I’m nonetheless engaged on the intro, please be affected person with me.

Week 2 gave us some superb comebacks and insane wild, just like the Tua renaissance recreation, the Jaguars merely proudly owning the complete metropolis of Indianapolis and the Justin Herbert “Put the workforce on his again like Greg Jennings in Madden” second. All will in all probability make the video that explains what occurred within the 2022 season by the tip of the yr.

Nevertheless, we transfer on to Week 3, and with that, extra cool issues and funky gamers I loved that you could be careful for.

Talanoa Hufanga: my favourite menace within the league

The San Francisco 49ers protection is a workforce filled with menaces. Which means, they only wish to trigger issues for each offense they play. All 11 guys play with their hair on fireplace and aren’t afraid to get just a little soiled. They remind me of the Phantom Troupe from Hunter x Hunter, particularly within the Uvogin Requiem scene the place they only destroy this whole metropolis as a result of their buddy was killed by Kurapika.

Second yr security Talanoa Hufanga could be probably the most menaciest of all of the menaces, nonetheless, and in 2022 he’s been among the best safeties within the league. What I really like probably the most about Hufanga is he simply makes explosive performs occur for the protection. A defensive explosive play is a deal with for loss, sack or turnover.

The 49ers line Hufanga up in every single place, and within the trendy NFL, having a 6’0, 200 pound security who might be as versatile as Hufanga is vital within the workings of an efficient protection. Let’s watch him go to work right here. He’s lined up because the deep security, however walks down when the Seahawks movement a receiver in to make it appear like they’re working Duo. The receiver arc releases from Hufanga, and Seattle runs a boot off the run motion. Hufanga merely simply assaults the QB and forces a hurried throw and an incompletion:

In opposition to the run, Hufanga has nice instincts, mixed with tackling skill and the need to trigger issues on function. Seattle tries to run cut up zone out of pistol, with the cut up motion going away from Hufanga, however he comes flying in off the sting to get the deal with for loss. He simply makes issues occur, and it’s so enjoyable to observe.

This got here in opposition to the Bears in Week 1, however this was the play that acquired me out of my seat. The Bears movement the slot receiver to get Fred Warner, Niners MIKE and one other menace, out of the field. This places Hufanga, a security, into the run match, which is what you need as an offense. Nevertheless, Hufanga can be a menace, and slips the block by the guard on Duo out of the gun to make an excellent spectacular run cease.

His versatility doesn’t simply cease within the run recreation. The Niners ask quite a lot of their safeties, to alter rotations primarily based on movement, swap obligations if personnel shifts and to do quite a lot of rotation publish snap. Hufanga’s instincts within the run translate to the cross as effectively, the place he additionally simply blows shit up.

On this instance, the 49ers are in Quarters protection. The Seahawks movement a receiver from the alternative aspect because the ball is snapped, making Tyler Lockett, the receiver tight to the LOS, the brand new quantity 2 receiver. On this protection, Hufanga matches any route by quantity 2, who runs a Bang 8 (rhythm publish, typically used with RPOs). This movement causes the LB to that aspect to widen, which opens the window for Geno Smith to make the throw to Lockett.

Hufanga comes from off the roof (from the highest of the quarters protection) and drives down on Lockett’s route, emphatically closing any window Smith had and causes an incompletion. He’s a great soccer participant, man.

This interception is attributable to Hufanga, as soon as once more simply inflicting issues for the Seahawks passing offense. Seattle motions to empty which provides Hufanga the accountability once more of matching no matter route the second receiver runs. Hufanga undercuts the in-breaker, deflecting the cross proper into the opposite security’s palms for the INT.

Creating turnovers and simply total mucking issues up for the offense is pivotal in protection now, and Hufanga has confirmed to be among the best within the enterprise at it. On Sunday evening, the Niners play Denver, who will greater than possible run quite a lot of play motion and attempt to assault Hufanga’s eyes with misdirection. Be careful for this menace on Sunday Evening Soccer.

The Packers enter their Ginuwine period

Do we predict Matt LaFleur and Aaron Rodgers love the music “Pony” by Ginuwine? I believe so, as a result of the Inexperienced Bay Packers abused the Chicago Bears on Sunday evening with their Pony personnel.

Pony personnel is when there are two working backs within the formation, and the Packers have two superb backs in Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon, who’ve complementary talent units. With the dearth of depth on the receiver place, it is sensible that each would play on the similar time.

Nevertheless, Inexperienced Bay isn’t simply throwing personnel on the market simply to do it; there’s a mindset and a way to the Pony insanity.

Let’s watch this primary play within the Pony bundle in opposition to the Bears. Inexperienced Bay motions the TE to the play aspect, in all probability to get rookie nook Kyler Gordon (who by no means actually performed nickel in school) into the run match.

The Packers then assault the sides of the protection in what appears like crack toss motion, the place the TE who was motioned over cracks the playside EDGE participant, and RT Elgton Jenkins pulls round him onto the sting. The way in which Rodgers palms the ball off to Jones is just like performs the Niners would run with Deebo Samuel. Watch the bottom LB’s eyes, although. He will get caught taking a look at AJ Dillon, who runs in the direction of him. That slows him down and prevents him from attending to the play earlier.

On this subsequent play, the Packers use Aaron Jones in movement to stretch the protection horizonally to create cutback lanes for AJ Dillon. Watch how Jones’ orbit movement makes the linebackers stroll out additional, and the way far the space is for the linebacker to come back make the deal with. Deliberate issues like these are used to create tiny benefits that may be the distinction between two yards and 6 yards.

On this landing, Jones begins out off the ball however lined up as a large receiver. He motions in and takes the jet sweep (which shouldn’t rely as a cross) into the tip zone, and he will get an awesome block from Dillon.

Chicago’s linebackers had been dazed and confused on Sunday evening, and Matthew McConaughey wasn’t even within the constructing. That is how calculated use of their personnel could make this offense dynamic on the bottom. See the linebacker shift when the TE motions off the ball? They’re anticipating the identical exterior play that was proven earlier, however as an alternative will get a run with Dillon. Simply nasty.

This passing play ends in a sack, however what I really like probably the most right here is the method behind them. Inexperienced Bay LOVES getting Aaron Jones vertical within the passing recreation out of the backfield, they usually acquired the precise look the wished from the Bears protection, which runs Cowl 1 with a linebacker within the center gap space.

The AJ Dillion quick (movement on the snap) movement will get the protection to nail down on Dillon, they usually get Jones on a linebacker. The precise look you need, and one the Packers have exploited earlier than. The Bears single security on the prime of the protection has to run with the deep over, and if Rodgers isn’t sacked, he in all probability will get a TD to Jones.

The Packers play the Buccaneers on Sunday, they usually received’t win by simply attempting to hammer at that run protection like banging right into a wall. If they’ll drive the Bucs protection into errors with this personnel, and as soon as once more stretch their second stage gamers horizontally, they need to have a preventing likelihood on offense, with out a true receiving risk.

Catching up with some rookie receivers

The 2022 WR class within the NFL Draft wasn’t as dominant on the prime because the 2021 rookies, however there are some top quality receivers that had been picked. Some have adjusted to the NFL slower than the others, however the ones that it is best to be careful for primarily based on their Week 2 efficiency are the Jets’ Garrett Wilson and the Falcons’ Drake London.

The very first thing that stood out to me after I watched Wilson go for 102 yards and two touchdowns on eight catches is how sudden he’s. He goes from cease to start out—from gradual to extraordinarily quick—within the blink of a watch, and for those who’re not prepared, you’ll find yourself like Martin Emerson Jr. on this fade route for a landing:

His pace not solely threatens defensive backs, however how shortly he can get out and in of breaks with out giving off an excessive amount of of a inform can be so spectacular for a rookie. Watch how he turns Grant Delpit round on this out route. The pinnacle faux and three exhausting steps to the within then exploding again out leaves Delpit within the mud.

Poor ol’ Jacob Phillips will get hit with Wilson’s skill to cease and begin within the crimson zone, the place the Jets run Wilson on a spot and go, which requires Wilson to cease as if he’s working a spot route, then break upfield. A greater throw and Wilson would possibly’ve had a 3rd landing.

What’s intriguing is how the Jets are placing him in favorable positions to succeed. Wilson isn’t the most effective at getting off of press but, so New York is solely scheming him free appears and targets out of the slot or out of bunches and stacks. The Jets are in empty right here, with Wilson out vast. The Jets movement Wilson right into a tighter formation with the slot receiver to his aspect, making certain that he received’t see press protection and he can work in opposition to a slot defender, which is unfair to that defender.

The Jets play the Bengals on Sunday, who’ve a nice however unspectacular protection. Search for offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur to proceed to scheme Wilson up targets the place he can use his electrifying skill after the catch and physique management to cube up beneath defenders.

London’s utilization is a little more attention-grabbing to me, primarily as a result of I didn’t essentially see him as the kind of participant they’re utilizing him as, nevertheless it’s working!

Atlanta is utilizing him loads on smoke screens on their RPOs. If QB Marcus Mariota doesn’t like what he sees, he can throw it out to London, who has proven he could make guys miss. Per Sports activities Data Options, London leads all rookies in yards after the catch, and that’s for a cause. He’s an even bigger man, however he can transfer.

The place I’ve been impressed with London and the Falcons is how they’ve used him on in breaking routes, utilizing his measurement to assault the center of the sector, locations vacated by linebackers. The Falcons run a Dagger idea with Kyle Pitts (LOL) working the deep route, and London working the dig behind him. London can go up and get the ball and create a throwing lane for his QB, simply put it within the space code.

What I’ve additionally favored his how London is aware of when to settle in a zone, as an alternative of working into site visitors. I’m assuming he’s imagined to run a dig to the bottom right here, however as an alternative throttles down when he sees vacated grass and Mariota hits him for an enormous completion.

When the Falcons tackle the Seahawks, ensure to search for how London is used. Head coach Arthur Smith has made it a precedence to get the rookie targets. Now if solely they might do this for Kyle Pitts.


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