Analyzing the Hail Mary Defense


I know this must be hard to watch, but we have to take a look at what went wrong. After analyzing it over and over, I found a few key things in the play. Here they are.

  • The ball is thrown in an area where there are initially only two defenders, Eugene Wilson and Glover Quin. Even as the ball arrives, there are no receivers behind the defense in the endzone.
  • As the ball approaches, not many players around it are actually aware of its location. Of only the few that were, only Wilson and Quin were in position to make a play on the ball.
  • Glover Quin probably did the right thing by swatting the ball. But he surly didn’t do the right thing as he swatted the ball across the field as opposed to just swatting it down. He just needed to cup the ball and spike it on the ground.
  • When I watched the play, I also looked at what the receivers were doing. As the ball is about to be swatted by Quin, you can clearly see the receivers reading his actions. They are most certainly prepared for the ball to be swatted their way, and they capitalized off the mistake.
  • For whatever reason, defensive coordinator Frank Bush had the corners playing up near the line of scrimmage. It was as if they wanted to play press coverage and didn’t. They let the receivers go right by them, effectively taking them out of the play and allowing them to get in position to catch the swatted ball.
  • For whatever reason, Brian Cushing was out there on that play. Last I checked, corners and safeties are more effective in pass coverage than linebackers, even though that might be debatable based on how the defensive backs been covering so far this season.
  • Last, I was watching the three down linemen that the Texans sent at David Garrard. Something that Mario Williams did caught my eye. As he rushed around the edge, he still had a chance to at least hit Garrard before he threw the ball. Instead, Mario turns around and signals to the referee to throw the penalty flag for holding. I think that’s inexcusable looking back on it.