Money Down Pass Defense Review - 2022 Week 1

Jaguars' Doug Pederson defends DC Mike Caldwell after defensive fiasco

When Mike Caldwell was named defensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars he was sort of an unknown to me at the time, so I have decided to get an idea for how he approaches defense by charting what he called on "money downs" (3rd and 4th downs with 4 or more yards to go) during the 2022-2023 season.

3rd & 5 at WSH 31

For the first applicable 3rd down Washington takes the field in 11 personnel (3 WRs, 1 TB, 1 TE) or what Nick Saban refers to as BLUE. Mixing things up they decide to line up in an Empty (no skill position players in the backfield with the QB) Quads Bunch to the left (from the QB's perspective). Mike Caldwell matches with 2-4-5 personnel (2 defensive linemen, 4 linebackers, and 5 defensive backs) and calls Cover 6 Invert, which plays quarters over the passing strength and a deep half field coverage on the weak side played by that side's corner while the weak safety drives down to cover the quarter/flat closer to the line of scrimmage. The Commanders run a whip route with the furthest outside receiver Curtis Samuel and are able to split the tackle attempts on the run after catch to gain the first down.


I didn't bother to draw up each player's responsibility because I could just steal an image of this defense from the Madden 46 Defense playbook, when things get less cookie cutter on defense expect me to do my best in Google Slides to relay that information.

3rd & 5 at WSH 45

Washington continues to take the field in BLUE personnel and after motioning Curtis Samuel out of the backfield are once again in an empty formation. Mike Caldwell matches with 1-5-5 personnel and runs plain old Cover 2 Man in response with Foye covering the TB and Lloyd covering the TE. From his now flexed out position Curtis Samuel runs the underneath portion of a Mesh concept (two short crossing routes that rub the defense in the middle of the field) and gets the ball in space forcing a missed tackle by Darious Williams on his way to a first down.


3rd & 8 at JAX 41

Not wanting to deviate much from what has been working so far Washington takes the field in BLUE personnel once again, however they call a 93 protection (6 man protection, leaving the back in to pass block to the QB's left) instead of going empty for a third time. The Commanders line up in a Gun Trey RT formation (QB in the shotgun with 3 receivers to the right of the OL with a backside tightend). Caldwell sends the 2-4-5 personnel back on to the field to play Cover 2 Man, with Foye once again assigned to the tailback and Lloyd the TE. This time the ball goes to Terry McLaurin on a pick play which forces a missed tackle from both Williams and Campbell on the way to yet another first down.


3rd & 11 at WSH 27

Washington goes back to using BLUE personnel in an Empty formation this time with Trips left and a 73 series protection ( Empty protection with TE pass blocking to the QB's Left). The Jaguars take the field in 2-4-5 once again, but things get spicy with the responsibilities as the defense plays Tampa 2 with the Nickel DB dropping back to cover the deep middle 1/3 of the field while the front 4 play a POP and JAM stunt on the o-line to rush the passer. This time the defense holds true, forcing the QB to check down to the tailback's arrow route short of the sticks.


3rd & 20 at WSH 26

Offense is in BLUE personnel Trey RT formation. Defense is in their 1-5-5 package in a 50 front (5 defenders lined up on the o-line) eventually dropping into a 2 deep 5 under zone coverage with Andre Cisco and Shaquil Griffin inverting their deep/under responsibilities. The Commanders throw a screen pass to their tailback but to no avail, the defense gets their second "money down" stop.


3rd & 8 at WSH 24

The offense is in BLUE personnel in an Empty Flex Dolphin H Wider formation. The defense responds with a 1-5-5 package and a 50 front with Chaisson showing blitz on the blind side. This time Caldwell modifies his earlier call of Cover 6 Invert by having Darious Williams add a Nickel blitz into the equation. The Commanders Wolf route combination gashes the defense on the deep out to Logan Thomas, another first down is surrendered.


3rd & 10 at WSH 36

For the last money down of this game the Commanders don't fix what ain't broke and are once again in BLUE personnel and align in a 2x2 formation (2 pass eligible receivers to each side of the offensive line). The defense is in 2-4-5 personnel with the two DL lining up outside the offensive tackles with two rush linebackers in at the defensive tackle positions who run a JAM and POP stunt. The call is Cover 2 man with a Banjo call on the weakside of the formation (defensive backs play inside out on their receivers release). Unfortunately Devin Lloyd gets beat on Logan Thomas' climb route for another first down.


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