Bunch sets are helping Rams shred coverage
"They very often motion across the formation from 2 by 2 to 3 by 1. And then when they get in 3 by 1 sets, Ross, they are in bunch a lot and they get a feel for how defenses are going to play bunch. There are multiple ways to play bunch formations, and they get a feel for how defenses play it and they do such a good job attacking that."- Greg Cosell
One of the best examples of how the Rams dissect coverage with a bunch set came against the Saints. It involved freeing Nacua against Tampa 2 coverage, which is essentially a three-deep zone with both safeties and a middle linebacker as the last line of defense.
The play was highlighted and broken down by NFL Network's Brian Baldinger, beginning at the 0:16 mark.
Notice how Nacua motioned to where fellow wideouts Cooper Kupp and Tutu Atwell were stacked. An outside release by Nacua gave Rams' quarterback Matthew Stafford three targets.
Multiple receivers challenged the deep and intermediate layers of the Saints' coverage structure. They lost the challenge when Nacua was left wide open between the numbers.
Bunch plays like these put defenses in a bind. Play zone and at least one receiver will enter the void in the shell. Line up in man and have a nightmare trying to track multiple pass-catchers in traffic across the middle of the field.
The Rams' playoff opponents need a plan for all the motion and bunches, starting with a Detroit Lions defense led by coordinator Aaron Glenn. He's part of the Bill Parcells' coaching tree, so the Rams should expect to see plenty of two-deep coverage.
Fortunately, motion can also overwhelm this structure on the ground.