Every week during a long season, many fans make the comment, “They need to run the ____ play that worked so well against Cincy”. Or when good plays happen, “Where was that against Tampa?” Or why don’t we run more ____plays that worked so well against _____?”
Well the correct answer to all questions is this: sometimes plays work and don’t work because of the individual matchups- and the players’ execution of those plays- not just because they are “great plays”. In other words matchups and execution matter. And sometimes a dominant player on the other side may dictate a lot of what you do or don’t do.
Think about what the giants are doing this week preparing for Micah Parsons. After watching the film on him, I guarantee there will be some plays they DON’T run because of what Micah Parsons can do. I promise you, many giants fans will be screaming at their tvs about why they aren’t running plays that worked last week. The correct answer to that is because the matchups are different this week.
Watching Cooper Rush hit on multiple passes that Dak didn’t the week before was a combination of Dak playing poorly coupled with a very tough Tampa defense. Look at what Tampa did to the saints last week. Rush played very well Sunday against Cincy but their defense isn’t the Bucs.
So in this long season, don’t be surprised if you scream at your tv for Kellen Moore to call that play that worked so well last week…and then it never happens. Because not every team has the same strengths and weaknesses. And individual matchups are often what dictates the play calls.
And honestly IMO play-calling is one of the most overrated parts of football. Sure it’s important, but sometimes the OC has made a great play call but the players didn’t execute it very well. Maybe a key block was missed or someone ran the wrong route.
Play-calling is about 25-50% of the success we see on Sunday. The rest is film study, preparation, and execution. And that coupled with great execution against the right matchups is what leads to success.