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Video analysis: How the Falcons shut down Dawson Knox

Considered one of the breakout stars for the Buffalo Payments this season has been tight finish Dawson Knox. The Payments have leaned closely on him, with Knox solely falling underneath 80 p.c of snaps in three video games he’s appeared on this season. The final time this occurred was in mid-October. Towards the visiting Atlanta Falcons, Knox fell simply shy of 90 p.c of enjoying time. Regardless of this new emphasis, Knox was solely focused twice in opposition to the Falcons. He had zero receptions. Did they do one thing particular to remove the budding star? Let’s discover out.

Play 1

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From the very first play Atlanta confirmed its main technique to sluggish down Dawson Knox—get in his method. That is much like the controversial Cole Beasley bump on the interception. Defenders are allowed to guard themselves so conditions like this typically aren’t referred to as as a extra incidental kind of contact. The one on Beasley is much less incidental, however you get the concept. Issues like this occur so much.

Play 2

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This one is shut sufficient to the line the place blocking can happen. The defender would have a very good case of defending himself too, for the file. The result’s the identical. Get the place you suppose Knox will probably be operating. Anticipate contact. The Falcons performed bodily in opposition to Dawson Knox early.

Play 3

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One other think about Knox’s quiet day was respectable stress by Atlanta. Pro-football-reference.com has the Falcons pressuring Josh Allen 23.3 p.c of the time. That’s not world-beating (the Payments pressured Matt Ryan 42.4 p.c of drop backs). Nevertheless it occurred sufficient to influence Knox’s recreation.

Play 4

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Knox was usually subjected to “competent protection” as effectively. You would possibly bear in mind Mark Sanchez speaking a few route the place Knox was subtly pushed to the sideline. That was good protection. On this play Knox is roofed effectively. It occurred a very good quantity.

Play 5

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Josh Allen was credited with 26 passing makes an attempt. That’s tied with the recreation in opposition to Kansas Metropolis for the lowest of the season. In contrast, Buffalo ran the ball 44 occasions. A giant motive that Knox had a quiet day was as a consequence of play calling by Buffalo. Total, Knox was fairly efficient as a run blocker. This was not an announcement I’d have made final season and is probably going a significant component in the Payments’ newfound consolation in making Knox practically omnipresent on the subject.

Play 6

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That is an instance of particular enchancment I noticed a number of occasions in opposition to Atlanta. Understanding the place the operating again goes and turning a block away from the lane is a superb ability to own. It was good to see it.

Play 7

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Lastly, I feel Josh Allen actually was having an off day. This was first down and the Payments don’t have any motive to be in desperation mode once they’re up by seven. There are defenders who can shut and certain cease an enormous achieve by Knox, however nobody is shut sufficient to interrupt up the move or cease him earlier than he will get not less than a very good achieve. I don’t know the play name or progressions, but it surely appears bizarre to me Knox wouldn’t be thought of an possibility on this play as he’s not concerned in something aside from being open.

Abstract

The Falcons did have a plan to deal with Dawson Knox. I wouldn’t name it a grasp plan, but it surely labored once they wanted it to. That’s no disrespect to Atlanta because it was a very good plan for the file. I simply can’t name it a grasp plan that took Knox out of the recreation as different “non-Falcons” causes contributed to the tight finish’s lack of manufacturing. Atlanta did effectively, however they didn’t create a blueprint for different groups to take Knox out of the equation.

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