Further review: Brown's third-down conversion

September, 15, 2009
9/15/09
1:44
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky


The situation: The Colts are up 7-6 with 10:11 on the clock in the third quarter, facing a third-and-9 from their own 30-yard line.

Peyton Manning lines up in the shotgun, between tight end Dallas Clark on his right and running back Donald Brown on his left. Reggie Wayne is in the slot to the left with Austin Collie outside of the numbers left and Pierre Garcon spaced the same to the right.

Against three-wide and expecting pass, the Jaguars are in dime personnel, with Tyron Brackenridge (who lines up near the line between the left end and defensive tackle) and Scott Starks on the field along with only one linebacker, Brian Iwuh, who starts off to the offensive left.

Here’s what I saw unfold after the snap:
  • Manning fakes a handoff to Brown who heads up the middle.
  • Left tackle Charlie Johnson rides right defensive end Derrick Harvey wide and right guard Ryan Lilja arrives to help make sure Harvey has no chance to recover and get in position to influence the play.
  • Right tackle Ryan Diem gets chip help from Clark, whose contribution actually puts left end Quentin Groves on the ground. Clark then draws the attention of Brackenridge.
  • Right guard Mike Pollak and center Jeff Saturday team up to stymie defensive tackle Derek Landri.
  • Brown cuts right near the line of scrimmage and has a step on Iwuh who is in pursuit. A bit deeper, Wayne has cut behind Brown on a similar cross.
  • Manning delivers the ball to Brown in stride and he catches it, continuing to the right but dipping his left shoulder to angle for yardage before safety Reggie Nelson arrives and cuts him down.
Result: Ten-yard gain, first down.

Ultimate outcome: The third-down conversion makes Manning five-for-five throwing in such situations. The Colts go 60 more yards in five more plays, pulling ahead 14-6 when Manning hits Wayne with a 35-yard touchdown strike.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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