Te'o barely bites on the play action: maybe a step and a half and he's back trailing Funchess heading into the flat. By the time the ball is released, Spond has taken the flat, and Te'o has headed back towards Gallon, allowing him to make the interception. Look at the relative position of Gallon and Te'o as the camera pans with the pass: Te'o is a couple yards away and closing fast. Good chance he breaks up an accurate pass and takes Gallon's head off with it....and...
I disagree a bit. I don't think this was an effective play action at all. While the strong-side OLB does bite significantly, Teo does not, and he's the important one to breaking the coverage. He takes two steps forward. By the time he breaks down to change direction, the fake hand-off hasn't even been completed. When he starts his drop into coverage, Gallon is still a half yard behind him. Gallon is only open on the backside, but the time he gets to the frontside of the play, Teo will be in front of him. When I think of effective play action, I think of Wisconsin when opposing defenses bug out so much their LBs are almost getting blocked by the OL. Teo taking two steps forward is not effective play action in my opinion.Later in the game, NBC was nice enough to break down all of Denard's massive mistakes, including this interception. Here's a different view (video below).
I would think the counter would be have Gallon settle in the zone instead of draging the entire away across the field, but I honestly don't know how fesible that would be, as it would require Denard to snap his head back across the field and make a quick pop pass.
Just before the pass
As Denard lets go
Wide fucking open.
Stand in the pocket. Take the hit. Make the throw.