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BDL 2019 Week 5 - Oklahoma City EF5s @ Cuba Smugglers


Oklahoma City EF5s @ Cuba Smugglers  

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  1. 1. Who Wins?

    • Oklahoma City EF5s
    • Cuba Smugglers

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  • Poll closed on 10/10/2019 at 04:01 AM

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BDL 2019 Week 5

Match:   Oklahoma City EF5s @ Cuba Smugglers

Away Owner: @Whicker

Home Owner: @MD4L

Vote for who you think will win this game.

One vote per person, duplicate accounts will be banned and action taken against those attempting to rig the results.

One vote per team involved in the match. Co-owners may vote in every match up except their own.

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Note: Players that have a (D) next to their name indicate that they are doubtful or unlikely to play. Players with (Q) are game-time decisions.

Good luck to you both

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Oklahoma City EF5s

QB: Matthew Stafford
RB: Joe Mixon
WR: Adam Thielen
WR: Allen Robinson
WR: Robert Woods
WR: Emmanuel Sanders
LT: David Bakhtiari
LG: Quinton Spain
C: Rodney Hudson
RG: Brandon Brooks
RT: Brian O'Neill

RB: Melvin Gordon III
RB: Frank Gore
RB: J.D. McKissic
WR: Michael Gallup (Q)
WR: D.J. Moore
TE: Mark Andrews
TE: Trey Burton
OL: Morgan Moses


LOLB: Von Miller
DT: Cameron Heyward
DT: Stephon Tuitt
ROLB: Matt Judon
ILB: Cory Littleton
ILB: Dont'a Hightower (Q)
CB: Tre'Davious White
CB: Marcus Peters
CB: Joe Haden
FS: Jordan Poyer
SS: Adrian Amos

OLB: Ryan Kerrigan
DL: Steve McLendon
DL: Margus Hunt
DL: Lawrence Guy
LB: Quincy Williams
CB: Pierre Desir
CB: Michael Davis
S: Bradley McDougald

Cuba Smugglers

QB: DeShaun Watson 
RB: Dalvin Cook 
WR: Julio Jones 
WR: Brandin Cooks 
WR: DJ Chark 
TE: Jesse James 
LT: Anthony Castonzo
LG: Laken Tomlinson 
C: Ryan Jensen 
RG: David DeCastro
RT: Rob Havenstein 

RB: Jaylen Samuels 
RB: Damien Williams
WR: Chester Rogers 
TE: Ian Thomas
RB: TJ Yeldon 
OW: Taysom Hill 
WR: Justin Watson
C: Alex Mack

Edge: Jerry Hughes 
DT: Jurrell Casey 
NT: Fletcher Cox 
DE: Arik Armstead 
MLB: Eric Kendricks 
OLB: Kyle Van Noy 
RCB: Kenny Moore
NCB: Anthony Brown
FS: Rodney McLeod 
SS: Tyrann Mathieu 
LCB: Richard Sherman 

SLB: De’Vondre Campbell 
Edge: Denico Autry
WLB: KJ Wright 
SS: Khari Willis
SS: Ronnie Harrison 
RCB: Isaiah Oliver
NT: Derrick Nnadi 
CB: Kevin Johnson

Edited by SirA1
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Oklahoma City

We are 4-0 and currently at the top of the BDL mountain. It hasn't been an easy road thus far and it doesn't get any easier this week with a trip to Cuba against one of stronger owners and teams in the league. Despite a slower start to the season, Cuba is a team that we respect to the utmost and we've had this game circled for a couple weeks as a potential letdown game after our two big wins against Portland and Lancaster. We will make sure that doesn't happen by giving our opponent the respect they deserve on their home turf.


Slow it the **** down. We've been speeding the past couple of weeks due to our deep receiving group and underhanded secondaries in front of us. We've used our passing game at the forefront and we've been pushing that pedal to the floor. This week, we are going to approach this game in a slower paced, balanced offense that looks to control the game and keep the Cuba offense on the sidelines.

The Cuba offense is one we respect to the utmost with its explosiveness and balance. We believe that, in this game, stopping them starts with keeping them on the sidelines as we work our way down the field. We want to use a nice methodical pace with our running, screen, and short passing game working as our primary options.

We will continue to use a lot of spread formations (although we will of course dip into 11 and 12 personnel at times) this week. We believe that this accomplishes two things. The first is that it pulls most of Cuba's strongest defensive group, its linebackers, off the field. The second is that it allows us to continue using our stable of top wideouts to get good matchups against lesser corners.

We will run out of the spread in this game as we believe our offensive line can win at the line of scrimmage and our running backs can make plays in space against light boxes. When running inside, we will use double teams at the point of attack. When running outside, we will often attempt to pull one of our guards as a lead blocker as well as our wide receivers out of motions and/or bunch sets. We will use a healthy amount of screens to both our backs and receivers as a way to offset pressure and utilize our strong WR blocking. We will also use jet sweeps and pitch plays to our wide receivers out of motion in an attempt to stretch and tire the defense further.

Although Cuba's secondary isn't short-handed like our previous opponents, it contains only one corner, Richard Sherman, that we believe can cover our wideouts one-on-one. We will work our short passing game to take advantage of our favorable matchups, continue to work the clock, and move the chains. Adam Thielen will operate solely out of the slot in this game. We believe that Cuba will shadow him with Sherman in man-to-man, so we feel Thielen in the slot will help Matthew Stafford identify coverages. We want to rotate in Michael Gallup and Mark Andrews to help us take our deep shots and D.J. Moore will get some opportunities on screens.

Joe Mixon will draw the start, but he and Melvin Gordon will both receive a healthy amount of carries as a thunder and lightning approach. Our play calling will not change based on which back is in the game. Frank Gore (early downs) and J.D. McKissic (3rd down) will rotate in as fresh legs when needed.

We will use minimal protection this week as we feel our screen game, running game, short passing game, and overall O-line strength will be enough this week. Our backs will be used as outlet receivers when passing.


Cuba's offense is probably the most explosive in BDL with multiple deep threats and a strong running back. We trust that our offense can move the ball in this game, so we will look to play a mostly conservative defense that looks to limit big plays.

Despite our criticism of teams in past weeks for running a base Cover-3 zone defense against Cuba, we now see it as a good option to limit deep throws. We want to keep three defenders deep with Cuba's weaponry, and we want to keep Adrian Amos in the box as an extra defender against Dalvin Cook. Amos will line up in the box and play the curl/flat. Joe Haden will play the one opposite him. Dont'a Hightower and Cory Littleton will play the hook/curls. Tre'Davious White and Marcus Peters will play the outside deep thirds. Jordan Poyer will play the middle deep third. We will mostly have our cornerbacks play off coverage in order to minimize the chance of getting beat deep.

We will also use a Cover-4 zone out of the same single high look. We believe that the Cover-4 is a good defense against Cuba's passing game as they have been using their backs and tight ends for protection and 4 deep zones should completely erase deep options. In our Cover-4 call, Amos will bail at the snap and play one of the deep quarters alongside White, Peters, and Poyer. We will have Haden and Hightower play opposite curl/flats (each watching for the back or tight end to run a delayed route after a chip) with Littleton playing the lone middle zone.

We will occasionally send a blitz from our inside linebacker, slot corner, or strong saftey spots. Our primary goal from these is to put extra pressure on Rob Havenstein against our edges, especially Von Miller. In these, we will utilize a Cover-3 zone shell with 3 underneath zones.

Miller will primary line up on the left against Havenstein, but we will switch him occasionally to try and get him a clean one-on-one against Anthony Castonzo. As always, we will rotate in our defensive line as necessary.

Against 4 WRs, Pierre Desir will come on the field for Dont'a Hightower. Against 2 WRs, Quincy Williams will come on the field for Haden.


Cuba Smugglers

We’ve got something to prove this week. Oklahoma City is a great football team.

This week we want Julio Jones to be the difference maker. We are going to use him at each receiver position and let him win routes within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. This primarily comes in the form of slant routes in the slot. We will run outs and comebacks when Julio is on the boundary. This target share is determined by the coverages Oklahoma City attempts to utilize. We imagine they will operate from a cover 2 shell. In that area, Julio can make more plays as a slot receiver. We may try to run Brandin Cooks on some crossing routes as he should be able to get open against a non man cover defense. Cooks should work on shallow crossing routes with DJ Chark for more options that Watson can get the ball out quickly and get into rhythm. It should be noted that the OKC defense played a primary man based defense last week. Should that continue, we are going to use more bunch formations to make it harder for defenders to move through pick plays. Stacking Julio with other guys is the best move to create easy matchups where he can still accomplish our plan vs zone; routes under ten yards where his YAC gets put to use.

With Adrian Amos being one of the better in the box safeties, Dalvin Cook is going to run around 18-22 times from ordinary plays. We like using David DeCastro on counters where he can get to Matt Judon or Von Miller and give leeway to one of the more explosive players in the league. Cook will be utilized on some toss plays where his speed will force the LBs to make plays in space. After Corey Littleton, Oklahoma City lacks guys who excel making plays in the open field. Judon and Hightower are moreso run stuffers that are used with their hands on the dirt so Quincy Williams is the next man that poses as a coverage defender. That should open up more inside runs as a matter of establishing plays to the edges. When we use Watson as a rushing option, his added ability as a dual threat means Oklahoma City has to sacrifice something. If they decide to play zone, we’re going to attack the middle of the field with the passing game. The seam routes in particular would be open against a cover 2 so Julio Jones will lineup there. If they decide to play cover 3, we will target more crossing and out routes where the isolation opportunities provide our offenses top players a chance to make plays continuously. 

Finally, we’ve got a bag of trickery because the personnel on our roster. OKC played a much more pass friendly defense and we’ve got some formations to keep the defense guessing. Taysom Hill is already known for his dynamic ability and undercenter we figure OKC will be more concerned about the run. However when we use Jaylen Samuels for some wildcat reads, it should make things a lot harder to process on the line of scrimmage. We’ve got some backward passes and laterals that can be utilized and the goal would be to get DJ Chark on an isolated matchup. Because Julio Jones and Cooks tend to attract so much attention, we will have them run deep on side to open Chark toward isolation matchups on the other side. These total snaps should be about 10 plays ultimately, and 8 of them are straight forward running plays to potentially move the pile forward. Taysom Hill will throw the pass.

This offense is one of a kind in BDL because they play 10 personnel more than anyone. Although there are four viable receivers, this puts more emphasis on adequately blocking for Stafford. Although we started slow, there is a viable pass rush on this team that starts with interior pressure. Fletcher Cox and Jurrell Casey should create enough damage to win one on one battles, particularly against Spain. Hudson and Brooks are dynamic but we will win some matchups. Where we can make things harder is making it hard for Stafford to correctly read who’s coming. Kyle Van Noy leads this role as we’re going to use more 3 DL sets with Van Noy serving as a spy that first reads the running back before rushing the passer. Our favorite asset of his is if the offense decides to keep Joe Mixon as a blocker we can have him as a delayed rusher. With 4 receivers, it’s easier to assess what Oklahoma City wants to do. Therefore, we’ll gladly make them more of a running offense based on our coverage schemes. With more 3-2-6 pseudo 4-1-6 defenses, we think Stafford will he pressed to consistently beat a defense that is expecting a heavy pass gameplan. Some of the DL formations may feature Cox/Nnadi/Casey as more run friendly schemes while we can adjust and add guys like Arik Armstead, Jerry Hughes, Van Noy, and Denico Autry to generate a viable pass rush from .

Melvin Gordon returns to give this offense a nice 1-2 punch with Mixon as a presumable starter. Those players are both useful receivers so it’s easy to remain focused on the passing game this week. De’Vondre Campbell is coming off his best game of the season (17 tackles, 2 forced fumbles) with most of it being in run defense. He’s another excellent blitzer so he’ll function as a quality role player and off ball LB when Van Noy is designated as a pure pass rusher. The rest of our LB group has played well whether it’s former EFs LB Eric Kendricks or KJ Wright. None of these guys will have full time roles today because of the receiver friendly nature of the offense, but they should all get a chance to contribute on areas they excel at (Wright - coverage LB, Kendricks - run defense, Campbell blitzing sub package guy for Van Noy).

Finally in the secondary this team also stands out because their overall talent. There is no significant downgrade from receiver 1 (Thielen) to receiver 4 (Sanders). Scheming one out is futile unless a defense is playing man because the others have all shown moments of high level play. In the early stages we like running a cover 3 defense. We’d rather have OKC target areas of the field and we make those adjustments during the game rather than saying we’re trying to double anyone. Sherman’s side for example is one area we figure will not be targeted much. He’s played well and there will be other areas Oklahoma City will try to exploit. We benched Isaiah Oliver for this reason and his snap share should be around 20-30% rather then the starting role. Kenny Moore takes his place outside and Anthony Brown moves into a starting role. Brown should play around 80% of the snaps and will focus more on the shallow routes Oklahoma City considers a staple to their offense. Moore will play as a traditional cover 3 CB looking to avoid deep plays.

Tyrann Mathieu will have more of a free role today. As the starting safety he’ll mix some cover 3 in the box assignments with a cover 4 deep responsibility role. That should consist of about half of his assignment. His other objective will be as more of a LB role because the pass friendly 10 formation we figure to play against for at least 50% of the game. If we decide to man up, he’ll probably cover the running back from the LB position. He’s a nice compliment to our non coverage specialist LBs and fits the 6 DBs we want to frequently have out there. Khari Willis and Ronnie Harrison will subsequently take a portion of those safety reps next to Rodney McLeod. This accomplishes putting more guys that can play in space and tackle in the open field. Provided we can accomplish these things, we will promptly make the second half adjustments to figure who Stafford wants to target and throw additional attention on 3rd downs and toward the big situations in the 2nd half.

Edited by SirA1
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I think both of these teams have really good offenses. However when it comes to defense, I feel like OKC gets the edge. 

However what was a deciding factor for me is that some of Cuba's gameplan, I perceived as too cautious and unsure of itself. I feel like Cuba make be going into this game too guarded and it may lead to them not taking advantage of some opportunities that they may have in other weeks.

I think it's a tough fought game but in the end I like OKC, 27-17

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3 minutes ago, MD4L said:

Where exactly is the cautiousness you speak of?

I dont love the alterations you've made this week with your secondary. Not just Oliver but with taking Tyrann out of the role he is best suited for and keeping him deep.

I also dont love the idea of keeping Julio within 10 yards of the LOS (I did see you'll run him deep some too)

But inside of that middle area isnt an area I think Julio will have as much success against this defense. I feel like you went away from your aggressive nature and if you'd have remained as aggressive as you've been in past weeks, I would actually have voted for Cuba because I dont think OKC has faced much aggression this season.

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This matchup comes down to the better offense vs the better defense and counter to the stance that defense wins games, here the star studded offense of Cuba does just enough to escape a nail bitter with the victory. Two really good teams battle to the end, but only Cuba can claim victory in this one on a last second FG

Cuba 31-28

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Watson was a stud this week. I really like the Cuba offense and I like the implementation of different strategies. OKC is a beast in its own right. But I think Cuba squeaks one out here. With using Julio at all receiver positions throughout and closer to the line of scrimmage on routes he neutralizes a lot of the cover 3 concept of OKC. They will get matchups they like in this one. 

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Cuba's main goal was to make OKC go to the running game by using a variety of coverages. OKC openly picks to go away from their biggest asset to go to a run heavy 4 wide formation. Playing Matthieu up also helps contain the run game in this scenario. No additional blockers beyond the line so you are hoping and praying for a misdiagnosis presnap. I like Cuba here.

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I like OKC planning to focus on playing keep away this week, but I'm concerned that even with spreading the field out they're going to have an issue running the ball inside. With focusing on double teams on the inside, that's going to leave Cuba's LB's and safeties untouched to meet RB's at the LOS.  And Cox and Casey are capable of even destroying a perfectly good double team from time to time also. I feel like this is going to stall out more drives than Whicker thinks and in a game that's a guaranteed spring I think Cuba's offense is too good to slow down. I like the idea of the cover 3 (even though you hated on it before) but Frogs WR's are versatile enough he game planned to attack soft spots in a cover 3 if he had to. Cuba

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I think the gameplan was a little off for OKC this week. I question the decision to go run heavy while going 4 wide. I get the reasoning given but I just don't think it'll necessarily be effective. I think this game is still close as both of these teams are immensely talented but in the end I think OKC has a couple more stalled drives than Cuba does.

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