NFL Rewind: Minkah Fitzpatrick’s brilliance; Lions, Packers’ run-game wrinkles

We are two weeks into the NFL season. ARE WE HAVING FUN YET?!

Storylines will continue to emerge as the still-young 2022 NFL season ages. But before it hits maturity, let’s take a look around at the plays, players and teams that have stood out over the past two weeks.

Minkah Fitzpatrick, Cover-2 game-changer

Watch both of these plays and see if you notice any similarities, other than Minkah Fitzpatrick intercepting a pass…

Play no. 1:

Play no. 2:

Those are TV copies that don’t truly show every defender. Maybe a few of you, though, noted that — despite the result happening on different parts of the field — each of Fitzpatrick’s interceptions came with the Steelers in a Cover-2 defense.

That call may seem like a relatively “safe” defense, not akin to the ways of the “Blitzburgh” mantra. But when a defense has a player of Fitzpatrick’s intelligence manning the deep half, there are ways to still be aggressive and create game-changing plays. On both of these plays, Fitzpatrick diagnosed the offensive concept so quickly that he was able to put himself in a position to punish quarterbacks.

First, against the Bengals’ Joe Burrow. Fitzpatrick reads a classic high-low concept (and a Cover-2 beater, in theory) and steps right in front of the receiver to take the ball back for a score.

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