Last week, we discussed how the Falcons' use of play-action helped them move downfield against Philadelphia. Kyle Shanahan's unit accomplished the same in Week 2, and this time around, Jacob Tamme was the main benefactor.
Tamme on Sunday notched 77 receiving yards on four catches—one of which went for 41 yards, the longest reception of his NFL career. When going over 83's tape, an obvious detail stands out right away: The veteran tight end did a great job getting open.
How did he manage to find so much space against a respectable Giants defense? Let's take a look.
The first snap we're going to break down is that 41-yard play. Matt Ryan starts by faking a handoff to Devonta Freeman, and Tamme initiates what appears to be a run block. Julio Jones cuts to the middle of the field.
Ryan pulls the ball back; Tamme disengages from the edge rusher and starts his route. Ryan rolls left and Jones gets some separation near the hashmarks. The Giants surely watched tape of the Eagles game, when Ryan found Jones and Roddy White over the middle on several occasions. Understandably, their focus shifts to Atlanta's star wideout.
However, as the Fox broadcasters mentioned, New York forgets about Tamme. Ryan cuts his roll out short, plants his feet…
...and finds Tamme, who could have read a Tolstoy novel in the time it took New York to track him down.
It's pretty incredible how open he gets. Obviously the Giants are at fault here but, at the same time, a lot of credit goes to Shanahan for drawing this up perfectly.
In the next play, Atlanta runs the play-action again—this time from a shotgun formation. As Ryan fakes a handoff, Tamme moves in the opposite direction of Freeman's assumed path. This puts linebacker Devon Kennard, tasked with covering the tight end, in a difficult spot.
Kennard falls for the play-action, if only for a second. That one movement to his left is enough to put him out of position.
Tamme is Ryan's first option here, and the QB realizes his TE is going to be open.
Kennard tries to recover, but it's too late. Ryan lobs an easy pass to Tamme.
Kennard eventually makes the tackle, but not until Atlanta gains 15 yards and a first down.
By following his assignments and executing when called upon, Tamme helped the Falcons' offense become especially dynamic on Sunday. Between him, Jones, White, Freeman, Leonard Hankerson and Devin Hester (when healthy), Ryan now has plenty of reliable weapons to utilize in the passing game.