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Game review/prediction/analysis alot of stuff
OK. So I'm a little caught up in the post Cowboys Euphoria. Now before everyone calls me a bandwagon fan, I still don't think this is a playoff year for us. I think we're alot closer than I imagined 2 months ago but lets keep some things in mind.
This is one game. Granted its the first game in which starters get a rhythm. This team has shown flashes of brilliance before. The beginning of the 04 season. I'm not saying this is a good football team. I'm saying its not a bad football team. Yesterday we basically saw the best case scenario for this team. The Oline played well, we ran the ball effectively, though it was in short spurts. We got some pressure on the QB and the Safetys allow much to get behind them.
There are those that will call me crazy for not thinking this is a 10-6 season. But I still say its not. I think this team is going to exceed my expectations this year, but not by that much. I said before that this team will look great in some games and horrible in others. We haven't seen the horrible yet. It will come though. Young teams with first year starting QBs and young defenses do that. This is kind of a mixed bag of unorganized thoughts about both this game and this season.
QB Schaub: I think we really need him to stay healthy. Its evident he has pocket presence but just as importantly he can make all of the throws. I still think this will be a learning year for him though. He is going to make mistakes. I think he'll easily set the record for TD passes and throw for 20-25 tds. At the same time look for him to throw some ints. Before you lambaste me for predicting he might throw 15-18 ints keep this in mind. He doesn't have to force passes right now. If the play doesn't look good, so be it. This, despite all of the pregame build up, was just a preseason game. when the passes he's throwing are for real he is going to be more likely to try to force passes. Teams are also going to amass film on him throughout the year. He's going to have to adjust. How well he adjusts to the scouting reports on him will go a long way to determining how well we do this year. As for yardage, I'm expecting about 3000 yards.
WR: Andre is the man. He should see 90-100 receptions and I think he will top 1100 yards. Beyond that... I still don't know. I love JJ. I was luke warm on him till this game, as a receiver, but I'm starting to think this guys ceiling may be VERY VERY high. Again though, while this was as close to a reg season game as it gets. It wasn't. When we play a team with good safety help (despite his big reputation, Roy Williams, is horrible in coverage and gambles too often) Jacoby's speed and athleticism alone won't get him catches. There's a reason that most receivers take 3 years to hit their stride. He's going to have to learn to run routes. He needs to hit the books. I still think between He and Walter we have #2 quality guys, but it will take time. They looked great today.
RB: Green/Dayne. This makes for a nice 1/2 punch. You better hope Green stays healthy though. Dayne seems very suited to 10 carries a game to me. He can come in and punish. I know that's not his style, but he's still a load to bring down and the 10 carries he gets can help wear down a defense. Green on the other hand, is still getting up there in age. I'd like to see us limit his touches to about 20 a game. That's a total for running and receiving.
OL: Wow. All the talk about JJ and Mathis et al. Somebody fired the turnstiles. We only gave up one sack all day. When they got pressure on the QB, Schauby threw the ball to the right person, OR there the ball away. We only had 1 run for negative yardage and one for no gain. The line was opening holes.
DL: Well we had a pulse today. Mario looks good. Okoye wasn't overpowered by a HUGE oline. That's impressive. We've had questions about how he would deal with the shear size of opposing lines. Those have been answered IMHO. I like the idea of lining up 90 and 91 on the same side of the line actually. Mario showed today that he does have some explosiveness off the line when he's not thinking. If that's the case, those two should be stunting together a lot. Force opposing tackles and guards to think about that before they stand up and road grade our guys. That will exponentiate both of their quickness off the ball. And Okoye is really quick enough to play DE it looks like. Let him come around the edge some and see how LTs deal with having to wait a second to see who they are going to pick up. We did miss a number of tackles today though. I was thinking, that has to frustrate a coach. Having done 95% of the work and then to not wrap up. This was all over though
not specific to the DL. More on that in the LBs. Mario was over persuing. Which is good. Someone called for him to make mistakes
LBs: We missed alot of tackles. Our defense could have been REALLY dominant otherwise. They didn't have a great game offensively, but if we had tackled the first time we got to someone we could have held them to a Cheifsesque performance. Ryans had a solid game and the LB's did fly to the ball, it was just they didn't always rap up.
DBs: Initially I thought they played ok. Then I went back and watched the film. Either we were in real open zones or we blew coverage quite a few times. I counted 4 plays where a guy caught the ball with no one near him. That shouldn't happen. Especially considering that you can put Drob on an island and they have basically a TE and one other WR threat. On the plus side, I do like Simmons. He seems like he knows where to be. Drob played a monster game. If he wasn't in the game, there's no way we win. His coverage on Owens or anybody with a star on their chest was amazing.
Special teams: Hey that Jacoby Jones kid is fast. How nice is it to have he and Maths available to take kicks. I say let him do it more and rest Mathis if you feel like Mathis can contribute at WR. Coverage was ok and we didn't miss any XPTs. That's nice. We didn't kick a field goal. Glad to see it. When we had a drive with some momentum we scored a td.
Coaching: We played above what I consider to be our average game. We appeared well prepared. I said in an earlier post that I thought the defense would be better and the offense worse in the regular season. I might have to take that back. Even on a night when we did alot right we missed out on a fundamental. We missed too many tackles. It lead to a TD on one play (Owens burning 3 players who all tackled eachother) and a 1st down on two other occasions at least.
If and its a BIG if, we get that kind of effort out of the team as a whole. This could be a 9-7 type team. You look at KC. They have looked horrible all preaseason. Of course that figures to change when 27 comes back. I'm tired but I will post my updated game by game prediction of the season later (as if anyone cares lol). I'm still not sold on this team. I am optimistic, but I still feel like its a young team who has shown in one preseason game that they are ready to play meaningful games in December. Maybe I'm off. I'm sure there are plenty who are about to tell me how off I am.
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Re: Game review/prediction/analysis alot of stuff
But what I also realize is that they played two perfect games with zero....zero mind you mistakes. And you're just not going to get that every week with a young team. I can't bang on the o-line. They are a veteran group that have the smarts to keep us in every game.
BUT....pull the Salaam lynch pin out from the bottom of that house of cards...and they all fall down. And everyone has called the d-line. They showed up this past weekend. Was that the begining or was it a breif marage ? I dunno. What i do know is the front four production must go up for the team to reach beyound twenty something turnovers for them to have a shot at 9-7 or better and cover that back four. Vonte Leech must stay healthy. with out the threat of the rushing attack, they are a dead duck with out play action passing plays. And they gotta get out of the gate 2-1 or better.
All of those things are not pie in the sky long shots. But there is a lot of them. And the shear number of them, suggests to me, that they'll have to be very lucky to meet them all and make a play off run.
TBS, then next game may well be a stinker. He has to get the thirteen onto the field who'll not make the cut so he can evlauate them. Don't give up on them if they have a clunker in Tampa Bay. You're not crazy. They've showed enough this summer to climb onto the bandwaggon. soon as we go 2-1 I'll be there right with ya.
"Everybody understands that the only way we're going to do it is by extremely hard work."
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