Matt Waldman’s RSP NFL Lens LB Lorenzo Alexander (Bills): Pre-Snap Psychic

Matt Waldman’s RSP NFL Lens showcases a tackle for loss thanks to Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander’s effective pre-snap read of the Broncos’ play design. 

When a defender correctly anticipates an offensive play, he can appear psychic. Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander’s backfield corralling of Bronco C.J. Anderson is a perfect example.

All professional defenders understand how to attack Power — a gap run highlighted by a pulling guard to the edge of the line of scrimmage. Where a defender can earn a distinct edge is when he anticipates the play call and times his attack from a backside angle away from the offense’s resources.

This is exactly what Alexander does below.

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Alexander correctly identifies that slot receiver shifting to the wing is a fullback. He’s not lulled asleep by the fullback’s pre-shift position away from the formation. He either identified this tendency of the Broncos from film study, or he recognized that the slot receiver was only a slot receiver in alignment, not by number and that tipped him off.

Even with Alexander missing the initial tackle, the penetration is so fast and disruptive that it affords the linebacker a second-chance opportunity. These details and the knowledge of attacking where the offense isn’t, transforms this play into a winning defensive effort.

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