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How did Luke Musgrave get so incredibly wide open on TD vs. Cowboys?

One of the easiest — and most beautifully-designed — touchdowns of the Green Bay Packers’ 2023 season came Sunday night at AT&T Stadium. Quarterback Jordan Love connected with tight end Luke Musgrave — who had no defender within 15 yards of him — for what ended up being a 38-yard touchdown pass late in the third quarter of the Packers’ 48-32 win over the Dallas Cowboys.

So, how did Musgrave get so incredibly wide open?

The Packers ran a clever version of “Y Leak,” a play gaining popularity in the LaFleur/Shanahan systems. The genius of the play call from Sunday is all the deception built into design.

Put simply, LaFleur combined two Bear-killers from Week 1 to dagger the Cowboys.

The Packers hit Y Leak in the season opener. Musgrave was wide open, made the catch but stumbled down before he could score at Soldier Field in Chicago. LaFleur dialed it up again Sunday but with some subtle but important changes.

First, here are the All-22 angles of the play:

The first deception: the run fake. The Packers were gashing the Cowboys on the ground. On the two previous plays, Aaron Jones ripped off runs of 10 yards and 27 yards, so the Cowboys brought a safety down into the box. The Packers countered by faking a split zone run with the offensive line crashing right and Tucker Kraft coming across the formation from the right to left to kick out the backside and simulate the look. The fake worked; all three of the Cowboys’ second level defenders take multiple steps downhill as if playing the run, and all three lose track of Musgrave almost immediately because of the threat of the run play to the right and the rollout to the left.

The next deception: The fake throwback pass. Another call back to Week 1. In Chicago, the Packers got an explosive gain out of Jones on a designed throwback pass off a run and rollout action. The Packers simulated that look here, with Jones peeling off to the right and looking back for the ball with blockers in front.

This is the point of perfection in the play design. Instead of one of the linebackers finding and trailing Musgrave, the lone defender to the playside of the field crashes downhill in an attempt to cover Jones on the throwback. The other two have eyes on Love’s rollout and are caught in no man’s land.

The play design also occupied the single-high safety. Bo Melton, the single receiver to the offense’s left, ran a deep corner. Christian Watson, aligned to the right, ran a deep crosser from right to left. The corner trailed Watson, and the single-high safety helped over the top on Melton.

By the time Love throws the football, there is not a single coverage player on Musgrave’s half of the field. In fact, both corners and the safety are on the opposite hash.

It was elementary from there. Love was able to fade away and throw the easiest pass of his life to Musgrave, who had over 15 yards of separation from his nearest defender when he made the catch at the 14-yard line. After composing himself at the catch point, Musgrave turned up field and rather easily scored.

Dagger. With the Cowboys on the ropes, LaFleur took his two best play designs from a Week 1 win over the Bears and combined them to throw the knockout punch. The Packers took a 41-16 lead on the easiest touchdown of the season and cruised into the NFC Divisional Round.

Story originally appeared on Packers Wire