Wide receiver Scotty Miller's first trip to Las Vegas was supposed to be for his bachelor party this past April, he told NFL Network this week. A weekend with the boys full of fun, sun and maybe some winnings. Well, the COVID-19 pandemic tabled those plans but Miller was still able to take a successful boys' trip to Sin City this year.
Only this time, instead of getting lucky on the slots, he was getting lucky in the slot. And on the outside. And coming across the field. He had the best game of his young career against the Raiders on Sunday culminating in a different kind of win than those on the casino floor and here are just a few of the highlights.
2nd & 7 @ TB 28
This was Miller's first catch of the afternoon and it shows not only is he a deep threat, but he can use his speed for some intermediate gains when you just need a first down. Bucs are in an empty formation with Tom Brady alone in the backfield in the shotgun. They have a four-wide formation though it's running back Ronald Jones who's on the outside opposite Miller with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin mirroring each other in each slot while tight end Rob Gronkowski is attached to the formation with his hand in the ground on the left side of the line.
The Las Vegas defender on Miller is playing off, likely expecting Miller to go deep as the Raiders are in a zone coverage. Really, Miller goes nowhere and instead waits for the ball to come to him on a pass from Brady in the backfield and then quickly turns on the jets to beat the nickel corner to get the first down with the outside corner already too far off to get to him.
2nd & 10 @ LV 33
The Bucs are in 11 personnel with Jones in the backfield and in a 3x1 formation with Miller in the slot below the numbers. Wide receiver Justin Watson motions from the outside in, making Miller the outside threat. The Vegas slot corner is again, playing off, but this time for good reason.
Miller releases like he's heading straight up the numbers to the inside of his defender but then ends up gaining the outside leverage as he uses his speed to get ahead of his man. Brady unleashes an absolutely perfect throw and Miller comes down with it. The ball placement was absolutely perfect – make no mistake. There are very quarterbacks in the league that can make that throw but the reps Brady and Miller have put in on the deep ball so far this season are the reason why Miller was able to catch it.
1st & 10 @ TB 37
This drive really helped set the Bucs up for the rest of the game, giving them a two-touchdown lead. A good chunk of it (45 of the 70 yards) were due to Miller. The 33-yard touchdown wasn't the only deep ball Brady connected with Miller on. He also grabbed a 35-yard pass in stride to move Tampa Bay down the field in a hurry.
Raiders are in man coverage and Miller starts out in a stacked alignment with Evans, who stays outside. Miller crosses and just flat out uses his speed, leading his defender the whole way. The deep safety has to make sure to stay deeper than Evans until he's sure Evans isn't getting the ball. By then, he's too far off Miller to help at that point. Miller takes it for 35 yards after turning upfield before he's run out of bounds.