Over the next several days, I’ll be taking a look back into the 2010 regular season at the X’s and O’s of the New England Patriots’ most memorable touchdowns. The Patriots’ Official Website put together a list of 2010’s most memorable touchdowns, and these will be the basis for the plays that will be analyzed. These X’s and O’s pieces, like the ones I did during the season, diagram the play and explain how it worked.
Today, we’ll take a look at TE Aaron Hernandez’s second touchdown against the eventual Super Bowl Champions, the Green Bay Packers. This touchdown was also the subject of the photograph which won “Best of 2010.”
In the image above, you can see how the Patriot offense and the Green Bay defense were lined up before QB Tom Brady snapped the ball. The Patriots were lined up the in the shotgun with RB Danny Woodhead lined up to Brady’s right, tight end Aaron Hernandez lined up as a wide receiver to Brady’s left, TE Rob Gronkowski is lined up on the line of scrimmage, WR Wes Welker is in the slot to Brady’s right and WR Deion Branch is lined up wide right. Green Bay is in a nickel defense, with an overload to the right to line up against Gronkowski, Woodhead, Welker, and Branch, who are all lined up on the right.
Unfortunately, I don’t have access to coaches film so I can’t give the perfect overhead view. All of the film shots I could see did not show what the receivers did on the right side of the field, but that doesn’t really matter much. They served their purpose, which was to allow Hernandez to become isolated on the left side of the formation. Hernandez had only to beat Green Bay’s Sam Shields to get open. Hernandez ran about a 5-yard out route. Tom Brady was going to Hernandez without question. He was looking his way the whole time, as this was a very quickly executed play. Brady released the ball just as Hernandez was coming out of his break, and he gained enough separation to make the catch. Brady hit him in stride, and the rest was up to Hernandez. Hernandez was able to break the Shields’ tackle and high-step into the end zone.
To view the video footage of this play as well as other highlights from this game, click HERE.