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Mini Film Analysis: Reggie Hodges' Blocked Punt

This was one mistake we absolutely must avoid during the regular season. Without even really trying to come after punter Reggie Hodges, Philadelphia was able to block a punt and begin their possession deep in Cleveland Browns territory.

How did they do it? Who is to blame? More after the jump.

The Eagles double-teamed one of our gunners, lined one man over a second gunner, and had one man back to receive the punt. This left them with 7 players to rush the punter. They aligned with 4 rushers to our right and 3 rushers to our left.

With no more than 4 men to a side, the long snapper and the "personal protector" (the guy lined up the deepest in the punt protection will block opposite one another, with the long snapper going to the right in this case. Our protection would look something like this, with the left and right sides flip-flopped:

courtesy Smartfootball

Off of the snap of the ball, you can see LS Christian Yount slide to the 4 rusher side (right):

Kaluka Maiava (lined up at RG here) makes sure Yount has time to get his hands back up to block #79, while James-Michael Johnson and (I believe) Joshua Cribbs get out to block #28 and #31.

Unfortunately, instead of staying in to block #67, Maiava inexplicably folds over Yount's block and starts to release down the field (here he is behind Yount):

Above, you can see Maiava continuing to work his way to the other side of the formation before running down the field. The only explanation I can think of is that Maiava thought the "personal protector" (Sims) was also blocking to his side, so he could let #67 through and release downfield. In my experience that RG position never has the first release downfield, and if a team is going to let someone go it will either be the wings, the long snapper or the personal protector:

courtesy Smartfootball

Regardless, we won't win many games if we see more images like this during the regular season: