Tape Study: E-Bowe the Letter

Last week, Dwayne Bowe torched Jacob Lacey and the Indy secondary for 7 catches, 128 yards, and two scores. This week’s Tape Study looks at all the times he was targeted last Sunday to find just who exactly was to blame for Bowe’s huge day.


The Chiefs don’t throw at Bowe even once.


3-3-KC 27 (9:58) (Shotgun) 7-M.Cassel pass incomplete short right to 82-D.Bowe (27-J.Lacey).

5 man rush on 3rd down. Lacey is all over Bowe. Honestly, it looked like pass interference to me, but they didn’t call it, and in the NFL that’s considered perfect coverage.

1-10-IND 41 (5:20) (Run formation) 7-M.Cassel pass short right to 82-D.Bowe for 41 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

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Terrance Johnson comes in for Lacey and starts by giving Bowe a 7 yard cushion. That’s basically begging for a slant. The linebackers all look run first, so they don’t fill the zone. Johnson takes a bad angle on Bowe, and lets him get by. The real screw up on the play was by Bethea, however. Somehow, Bethea expects Bowe to cut inside (where Johnson was), and the safety gets turned around. Bowe blows right past for a score. This play is basically a 10 yard completion that Bethea turned into a touchdown. Bad play byJohnson, AWFUL play by Bethea.

1-10-KC 35 (:57) (Pass formation) 7-M.Cassel pass deep right to 82-D.Bowe pushed ob at IND 36 for 29 yards (27-J.Lacey).

This is the play that was a back breaker, setting the Chiefs up for their second touchdown just before the half. Again, this one is all on Bethea. Lacey clearly passes Bowe off in the zone. He did his job. Bethea makes two terrible mistakes. First, he’s late picking up Bowe. Second, he fails to tackle him once he makes the catch. Lacey deserves no criticism here. He was in zone, and passed off Bowe to cover another wideout short.



3-1-KC 29 (13:36) (Run formation) 7-M.Cassel pass short right to 82-D.Bowe to KC 44 for 15 yards (41-A.Bethea).

This is the same play as the touchdown earlier, only this time, Bethea makes the tackle (showing what should have happened the first time. The real question here is why Lacey is giving 7 yards of cushion on 3rd and 1. This is a coaching fail, pure and simple. As a DC, if you see your corner 7 yards off a big physical wideout on 3rd and 1, you dang well better call timeout and realign. For Cassel, it’s too easy. EVERY NFL QB checks to a quick pass to Bowe in that situation. Maybe Lacey isn’t where he was supposed to be, but I blame the DC for either putting him there or letting him stay.

1-10-KC 44 (12:59) (Run formation) 7-M.Cassel pass incomplete deep right to 82-D.Bowe.

The 7 yard cushion is back, but this time 90 gets token pressure on Cassel who freaks out and chucks the ball out of bounds. Good coverage long by Lacey.

1-10-KC 7 (6:47) (Run formation) 7-M.Cassel pass short right to 82-D.Bowe to KC 19 for 12 yards (27-J.Lacey; 51-P.Angerer).

Lacey plays up on Bowe who runs the slant. This is just an incredible physical play by Bowe. Lacey puts his hand on the ball as it comes in, but Bowe wrestles it away. Because Lacey is going for the ball, Bowe drags him for about 7 more yards. Sometimes, you just tip your hat to the other guy. Good coverage. Better play.

2-1-IND 29 (3:52) (Run formation) 7-M.Cassel pass incomplete deep right to 82-D.Bowe.

Lacey gives the seven yard cushion. Bowe fakes the slant and breaks to to the outside. Lacey does an incredible job staying on a swivel. He matches Bowe stride for stride. This was probably Lacey’s best play of the day.

1-5-IND 5 (:45) (Run formation) 7-M.Cassel pass short right to 82-D.Bowe for 5 yards, TOUCHDOWN. Penalty on IND-27-J.Lacey,

Lacey fails to get his head around on Bowe, and draws an interference flag. If he had looked for the ball, it would have been perfect coverage. It doesn’t matter anyway, as Bowe makes a circus catch. Again, even interfering with Bowe didn’t stop him. It was an incredible performance.


1-10-KC 20 (12:59) (Run formation) 7-M.Cassel pass deep middle to 82-D.Bowe to KC 37 for 17 yards (51-P.Angerer; 41-A.Bethea).

P/A fake by Cassel causes the linebackers to bite. Lacey had long sinced passed off Bowe to the zone which had a huge hole in it. Put this one squarely on the linebackers who were out of position. Lacey was blameless.

2-9-KC 47 (9:18) (Run formation) 7-M.Cassel pass short right to 82-D.Bowe to IND 44 for 9 yards (27-J.Lacey) [93-D.Freeney]. PENALTY on KC-82-D.Bowe, Delay of Game, 5 yards, enforced between downs.

Lacey plays up on Bowe and is all over him. Bowe makes a tough catch and just powers through Lacey for extra yards. Tackle made, but not soon enough. The coverage was good, but Bowe was just too big for Lacey here.

2-7-IND 46 (8:04) (Run formation) 7-M.Cassel pass incomplete short right to 82-D.Bowe (27-J.Lacey). PENALTY on IND-27-J.Lacey, Defensive Pass Interference, 10 yards, enforced at IND 46 – No Play.

The Chiefs go back to the same exact play as the last one. There’s handfighting this time as Lacey pulls Bowe down.

1-10-IND 19 (6:06) (Run formation) 7-M.Cassel pass incomplete short right to 82-D.Bowe.

Back to the 7 yard cushion, and the Chiefs respond with the slant. Duh. This time the close by Lacey is better, so it only would have been a 5 yard gain, but Cassel throws behind Bowe incomplete.


Lacey had a rough day, but the early mistakes were more on Bethea than Lacey. Lacey did play solid coverage several times. The Chiefs were smart to take advantage of free yards given by the Colts D, as they persisted in giving too big a cushion, despite the fact that Lacey covered Bowe well when he played him tight. In the end, what seemed like a catastrophic day by Lacey (which is what I expected the tape to reveal, by the way), was equal parts bad play by Bethea, a couple of bad plays by Lacey, stupid defensive positioning, and a bunch of amazing from Bowe. 87 of Bowe’s 128 yards receiving were had nothing to do with Lacey at all. Bowe had 3 catches for 87 yards against Johnson and the zone, but only 4 for 41, and one PI for 10 yards in 9 targets. That’s less than 6 total yards a target against Lacey.

I expected to give Lacey an F for this game just based on my impressions at the game, but after looking at the tape, I think it was more of a B day against a guy who made some A+++ plays. Most corners were going to have trouble with Bowe on a couple of those plays. Sometimes, you have to admit that he’s on scholarship too.

The biggest concern is why Coyer let Lacey give 7 yards of cushion on 3rd and 1. I have no explanation for that, but it’s a massive coaching fail. If Lacey was following orders, they were stupid orders. If Lacey was making a mistake, they should have called timeout. Either way, there’s no excuse for that.

Lacey’s not a great corner by any means, but neither is he the train wreck that fans (myself very much included) thought he was. Only one of Bowe’s catches was on third down (the idiotic 3rd and 1). It wasn’t Lacey’s fault the Colts D wasn’t getting off the field last Sunday.