Protection, Play-Action and Playmakers Aid Brady Quinn's Efficient Day

Christopher HansenNFL AnalystDecember 4, 2012

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 02: Quarterback Brady Quinn #9 of the Kansas City Chiefs calls out a play against the Carolina Panthers during the first half on December 2, 2012 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas City defeated Carolina 27-21. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
Peter Aiken/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs won their second game of the season over the Carolina Panthers thanks the competent quarterback play of Brady Quinn. Quinn had just four incomplete passes, tossed two touchdowns and had three pass plays longer than 18 yards.

Quinn is known as a quarterback content with checking the ball down and taking the short completion, but on Sunday he opened things up. Quinn took care of the football and made plays against a top-10 pass defense.

Quinn’s teammates made him look good far more than he made his teammates look good. No one will be mistaking Quinn with Peyton Manning. Quinn’s big passing plays came on play-action and only a few throws were on target. Quinn benefited from protection, play-action passes and his teammates making plays.


Example No. 1

On the first drive of the game Quinn had two of his three longest pass plays of the game. His longest was a 34-yard strike to wide receivers Jon Baldwin.

Jamaal Charles had rushed three times for 17 yards, and the running game was working. Quinn used a play-action fake and a pump fake to get Baldwin wide open down the right sideline.

Quinn’s protection was also fantastic and there was nothing to impact his throw at all, yet his pass was behind Baldwin. The pass forced Baldwin to adjust in the air with his momentum going forward and then twist around after making the catch to dive toward the goal line.

The play was a success, but the throw was hardly a good one. Quinn benefited tremendously from the effectiveness of Charles which allowed the play-action fake to work wonderfully. Quinn benefited from good pass protection and a wide receiver who was able to adjust to what was a poorly thrown pass.


Example No. 2

In the fourth quarter, Quinn completed a 19-yard pass to tight end Tony Moeaki that helped the Chiefs get a field goal that put them up by six points.

After a play-action fake, Quinn was forced to move to his right to avoid pressure. Quinn makes a dangerous throw across his body while falling away. He doesn’t step into the pass at all.

On a normal day against a better defense, Quinn might have paid for such a risky pass, but instead Moeaki goes into a feet-first slide to make the catch. The play-action fake enables Moeaki to get wide open, but poor protection and Quinn’s poor throw cost Moeaki yards after the catch.

The protection certainly contributed to the poor throw, but against better teams this is a sack or a high-risk throw that is intercepted. 


Example No. 3

One of the few big third-down completions that occurred without the aid of a play-action fake came in the second quarter on a pass to Dwayne Bowe. After converting that third down, the Chiefs went on to score a touchdown with just two seconds remaining in the first half.

On the play, Quinn gets great protection, even though the Panthers are aware that the Chiefs need to pass to get first down. Quinn smartly looks for Dwayne Bowe, who is drawing coverage from Josh Thomas.

There was almost no pressure on Quinn and Bowe has position on the cornerback, but Quinn throws the pass high and hard.

Bowe made a great play by going up to get it, but Quinn’s pass likely cost Bowe a chance for yards after catch. The play goes down as a completion, a third-down conversion and 18 yards, but on other days the overthrow might have been intercepted.

It was a good day for Quinn and the Chiefs needed it. But it was the play of the Charles, Bowe, Moeaki, Baldwin and the offensive line that really made for Quinn's successful day.