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Old 09-17-2006   #1
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Default Texans vs. Colts: First Impressions

I guess I beat Herv to this punch. I thought I'd go ahead and get this out of the way.

First impressions. I'll watch the DVR and gametape later.

Richard Smith either doesn't watch tape or can't analyze it. I'm not sure which is worse. Our defensive playcalling today looked like ... hmm, where have I seen this? Every other team that Peyton Manning routinely has lit up this decade. Plenty of four-man rushes, plenty of robber zones ... just the kind of playcalling that hasn't been successful against Manning in, oh, the last eight years or so. At this point, it isn't going to matter how good our offense is, because our defensive playcalling isn't going to beat anybody but the lower half of the league. I know we're talking about Manning and McNabb, at this point, but Smith's playcalling has looked pretty horrendous to date.

Carr looked okay today. He had a fumble he shouldn't have, and he looked more gun shy today than he was against Philly. He had some great passes and some bad ones. I would have liked to see him challenge the upfield passes more; too much dumping off and too-quick releases. In his defense, our offensive line was pretty awful today. I'll have to rewatch the tape to assign sack responsibility.

Dayne looks like he'll be serviceable at least. I picked up Morency in my fantasy leagues early on because I knew Lundy would be out sooner or later. He doesn't find the holes well, doesn't have a second gear, and isn't particularly shifty. Of course I didn't think we'd go and trade him, but Gado looks like a suitable pickup. Nothing special, but good enough.

Lewis Sanders just isn't going to get it done. He's a nickel at best.

That's about it. I think it's that simple. Lousy protection, horrid defensive playcalling. I don't like feeling that I've been outcoached. Maybe I'm too hard on Smith; two Super Bowl caliber offenses is one hell of an initiation rite, but I'm most sincerely troubled about that facet of our team at this point.
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Old 09-17-2006   #2
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Mario was signed specifically to get in Peyton's face. I didn't really see it. A few "moments," but nothing exceptional.

Offensive line - Well, I started a Tackles thread, so I'll leave it at that.

Running Game - Looked better than last week, but still pretty lousy.

I see glimmers of things to come, but the light at the end of the tunnel is still a hell of a long ways away...
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Old 09-17-2006   #3
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Not to knock your first impressions or anything, but it sure seems like you've confused playcalling with ability.

Inability to get pressure on Manning renders any playcalling ineffective.
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Old 09-17-2006   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus
Not to knock your first impressions or anything, but it sure seems like you've confused playcalling with ability.

Inability to get pressure on Manning renders any playcalling ineffective.
Sending four rushers against five linemen and a backfield blocker? How are 4-5 rushers supposed to create significant pressure against 5-6 blockers? Honestly?

Too much 4-5 rushers. Too much soft zones. Call it inability all you'd like, but Mario or anyone on our line isn't supposed to just routinely toss these guys aside. You create pressure in part by creating mismatches, which we for the most part refuse to do from a playbook standpoint.

There were a number (too few, but we did do it) of times where we rushed 5-6, and typically Manning threw a bad pass. It's not a coincidence. When he's hurried, he's awful. When he has 4+ seconds to throw the ball, he'll find just about anybody.

Our secondary is bad, but its more playcalling at this point than it is an issue of talent. We have upper-echelon talent upfront, despite what people want to try to insist. We still need technique work, but when you repeatedly rely on zones and a weak rush against Peyton Manning, you're going to get 43 points hung on your head. It's scientific and there is only about six years of video footage floating around the NFL film department that very accurately verifies that theory.

The league's top defenses don't start six Pro Bowlers apiece; they rely on one or two great players and a handful of good enough players running smart plays. Personnel wise, we're not great, but we're good enough.
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Old 09-17-2006   #5
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How many snaps did Mario sit out in the first quarter alone?? what's up with that??

Then those 3-4 fronts, with Babin standing up??

then you've got 7 guys covering 4 recievers, and they still burn you??

I agree, I didn't like the play calling, but we've got bigger fish to fry.
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Old 09-17-2006   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thunderkyss
How many snaps did Mario sit out in the first quarter alone?? what's up with that??

Then those 3-4 fronts, with Babin standing up??

then you've got 7 guys covering 4 recievers, and they still burn you??

I agree, I didn't like the play calling, but we've got bigger fish to fry.
Beating a zone is easy, no matter how many coverage defenders there are. Find the window and wait.

Repeat after me:

Find the window, and wait.

And if your quarterback has eyes (and in this case, 4+ seconds to throw) he'll find you. Repeatedly zoning Peyton Manning of all people is absolutely brain dead.

The fact remains (I will post specific numbers when I watch the DVR) that we zoned a very high percentage of our defensive plays.

Not sure why Mario seemed to be coming out so much. I would guess he was tired. Again, not sure why. I noticed a lot of changeover up front today though; wasn't just Mario.
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Old 09-17-2006   #7
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jerek . . . when you play a 4-3, you have to have the ability to create pressure with just the 4 down linemen on enough occasions to keep the other side honest.

If the only way to get pressure, is to manufacture it by rushing more than that, (blitz) then you taking away from the coverage. You're just exposing a weakness. Pretty simple stuff really.
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Old 09-17-2006   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus
jerek . . . when you play a 4-3, you have to have the ability to create pressure with just the 4 down linemen on enough occasions to keep the other side honest.

If the only way to get pressure, is to manufacture it by rushing more than that, (blitz) then you taking away from the coverage. You're just exposing a weakness. Pretty simple stuff really.
What's simple is that no team that has ever beaten Peyton Manning has created pressure primarily with a four-man rush (or tried to.)

Today, we tried to create pressure on Manning primarily with a four man rush.

Sure, you can try with four, and sure, you should expect to every once in awhile. Yes, our down linemen still need improvement and technique work.

But bottom line, you have to bring additional rushers to get Manning uncomfortable. We didn't. We lost. It doesn't surprise me. My problem is that it seems like it surprised our DC.
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Old 09-17-2006   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerek
What's simple is that no team that has ever beaten Peyton Manning has created pressure primarily with a four-man rush (or tried to.)

Today, we tried to create pressure on Manning primarily with a four man rush.

Sure, you can try with four, and sure, you should expect to every once in awhile. Yes, our down linemen still need improvement and technique work.

But bottom line, you have to bring additional rushers to get Manning uncomfortable. We didn't. We lost. It doesn't surprise me. My problem is that it seems like it surprised our DC.
Exactly. How did San Diego and Pittsburgh beat Indy last year? Confuse and hit Peyton.
Not too much confusing about a 4 man rush and a Cover 2
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Old 09-17-2006   #10
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I’ll be interested how the team responds after that game.

I could not believe that CBS cut the game right after halftime and went to Buf – Mia game. It’s common to change games towards the end but to switch at the half… WTF!!!

Anyway that was embarrassing and the worst start ever. Lots of problems watching Payton have 4+ seconds every single pass play.

No pass rush, no secondary, horrible defense. We need a complete turn around on our defense. Allowing 525yds should never happen.

If we could’ve stopped them on some of those third downs imagine the difference in possession and score. Only one punt by Indy??? There is simply no excuse for that!!!

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Old 09-17-2006   #11
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My impressions:

We didn't even belong on the same field as Indi today.

- Manning was giving a clinic today. We never did anything to stir him up.

- Eric Moulds was a great pick up.

- David Carr's passes were accurate and for the most part good decisions. When he has more time to throw, he'll throw downfield more. He looked to get rid of the ball more quickly but how can you blame him if he's getting nailed from behind by the edge rush. Two of the fumbles were his fault, one was just a good pass rush. Tom Brady got hit from behind to begin their game with the Bills last week, fumbling the ball and giving up a defensive TD; does Tom Brady not have any pocket presence? David Carr is not the problem with this football team, and he can be a good starter for us, IMO.

- AJ supposedly tore it up in training camp, he hasn't looked especially sharp thus far. He's looked good, but not pro-bowl worthy.

- Our defense sucks.

- Having Spencer go down is a real shot to the pills, our LT of the future will be a rookie again next year....great.

- Our OL still couldn't give good protection or run blocking against Indi's 1st teamers.

- Dunta looked really bad and Sanders looked worse. Our secondary wasn't even usually on the tv screen when the receivers made the catch, they were completely out of their league.

- Samkon Gado had a good burst on his long run. I'd like to see more of him. Lundy looks like he doesn't belong, he won't be a starter in this league for long. Dayne is a decent #2 option.

- Our defense sucks, I don't care if it's the Colts.

- The linebackers weren't involved much, the ball just sailed over their heads.

- Mario looked much better, but he was absent it seemed like for entire drives at a time. Casserly said he didn't want Bush because he wouldn't be an every down back and why draft someone #1 if they won't even be in the game that often.....well, Mario played maybe 3/5's the snaps today, wth?

- If we ever get our run blocking, protection schemes functioning David Carr will look much better. He's not traditionally a very good pocket passer, but he had a 140 QB rating strictly from the pocket today. Give him the opportunity to use PA and roll outs and he'll throw for more yards/TDs.

- Owen Daniels was a great draft choice.




This was a wake up call for our team as to just how far away they are from really contending. I don't think Mr. McNair gets to see us beat the Colts for maybe another 2 years, barring many injuries to the Colts starting line up. It was really embarrassing today right out of the gates. Here's to hoping they compete next weekend.
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Old 10-05-2006   #12
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Default Re: Texans vs. Colts: First Impressions

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Originally Posted by jerek View Post

The fact remains (I will post specific numbers when I watch the DVR) that we zoned a very high percentage of our defensive plays.
Have you watched the DVR yet?? I'd like to hear those specific numbers. Especially about how many times Manning had 4+ seconds to throw the ball.
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Old 10-05-2006   #13
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Default Re: Texans vs. Colts: First Impressions

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Have you watched the DVR yet?? I'd like to hear those specific numbers. Especially about how many times Manning had 4+ seconds to throw the ball.
I started to count the number of blitzes (anyone not in the front 4 rushing) but lost count and got interrupted, never got around to finishing it. My notes are at home and I don't remember the numbers, but it was something like just under 20% of passing plays. I haven't tallied comparisons (say for my pet examples the Pats or the Steelers) but my impression was and remains that Smith blitze(d) much less in those games than did those teams who typically have a lot of success rushing Manning into bad throws. Most notable was how rarely we rushed on third down (I think once out of the first six or so I counted) in obvious passing situations which Manning converted effortlessly.

I hope to have the time this weekend to go over these and other numbers, but hopefully it's less relevant now that Richard Smith finally started blitzing.

Unfortunately (well, not really, but for purposes of providing useful statistical information, it's unfortunate) I've been really busy these last few weeks. Believe me I'd like the information too; impressions are well and good but it's always better to have them enforced by actual, relevant numerical analysis whenever possible.
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