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Old 10-05-2009   #1
Spike
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Default Season Review

After both the disappointing loss against the Jets and the exciting victory against the Titans, I decided that I was going to withhold judgement of the team until after a sample of four games. Now, after four games, I think I need a couple of more games to make a determination. However, my gut is that our current record is probably indicative of what we are - and notwithstanding my desire for more, I think the realistic expectation for this team is a .500 record.

Before the start of the season, I expected a 3-1 start. I thought our offense would clean up on most of the small mistakes and that the defense would improve from the bottom 1/3 in the league to the middle of the pack. Based on the first four games, it appears that both the offense and defense have taken a step back. We can all look at the Raider's game and make arguments to the contrary, but right now - that game is looking like the outlier.

On offense, I think this team has cleaned up some of the small errors, but the big difference between this year's squad and last year's sqaud is the lack of running game. Worse, in 4 games I think Slaton has caughed up the ball already twice as many times as he did all last season. I do think that we look much better in the red zone, but Schaub doesn't look as confident as he did at the end of last season. It is hard to be disappointed with the overall production, but we just don't look crisp and the play calling leaves me scratching my head at times.

I can't really explain the defense. It doesn't make sense to say, however, I think the entire body of work seems a little better...but the results are worse. I think we have better peices, but our tendency to give up the big play and/or our inability to get off the field in third a long situations just kills this team. In the games we have lost (and even the Titan's game), the defense basically puts the team in a hole by giving the other team 7 points on busted plays.

Reasons to be pessimistic: All of the fans on this board are constantly looking for an indicator that this team has turned the corner and is on the road to be consistently good. Unfortunately, long and short term history of this franchise is that we are consistently inconsistent. This season looks no different. Also causing me heartburn is that we lost two at home, which puts more pressure for us to win one or two on the road that we haven't historically won.

Reasons to be optimistic: Overall, I think we played poorly the first four games. I think there is tremendous room for improvement and we are still at .500. The offense has been able to move the ball, notwithstanding a lack of running game...which has improved the last two games. The defense can't get any worse. Cushing and Dunta missed the entire pre-season and should be much more ready these next four than they were the first four. We seem to have some options in the defensive backfield and, why we may never be stellar, there is still time to find a combination that will be serviceable. Finally, we already have won one of the tough road games that we needed to steal to make up for the two home losses.

Final Thought: Overall, I'm disappointed with the overall play of this team. With the way we ended last year, there was a real hope that we would get off to a fast start this season. In general, I don't feel that this team is always as prepared as it should be and, in addition to the inconsistency of the team as a whole, I think that is a bad reflection of the coaching staff. If this team ends with 8 or 9 wins, I think you have to look for a coach who can take you to that next level. I think we have a lot of talented players here and that we wouldn't need to completely "rebuild" to make the next step.

However, Kubes and Co. still have time to prove me wrong on this thought...and I hope to eat crow early and often on this one.
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Old 10-05-2009   #2
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Default Re: Season Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike View Post
After both the disappointing loss against the Jets and the exciting victory against the Titans, I decided that I was going to withhold judgement of the team until after a sample of four games. Now, after four games, I think I need a couple of more games to make a determination. However, my gut is that our current record is probably indicative of what we are - and notwithstanding my desire for more, I think the realistic expectation for this team is a .500 record.

Before the start of the season, I expected a 3-1 start. I thought our offense would clean up on most of the small mistakes and that the defense would improve from the bottom 1/3 in the league to the middle of the pack. Based on the first four games, it appears that both the offense and defense have taken a step back. We can all look at the Raider's game and make arguments to the contrary, but right now - that game is looking like the outlier.

On offense, I think this team has cleaned up some of the small errors, but the big difference between this year's squad and last year's sqaud is the lack of running game. Worse, in 4 games I think Slaton has caughed up the ball already twice as many times as he did all last season. I do think that we look much better in the red zone, but Schaub doesn't look as confident as he did at the end of last season. It is hard to be disappointed with the overall production, but we just don't look crisp and the play calling leaves me scratching my head at times.

I can't really explain the defense. It doesn't make sense to say, however, I think the entire body of work seems a little better...but the results are worse. I think we have better peices, but our tendency to give up the big play and/or our inability to get off the field in third a long situations just kills this team. In the games we have lost (and even the Titan's game), the defense basically puts the team in a hole by giving the other team 7 points on busted plays.

Reasons to be pessimistic: All of the fans on this board are constantly looking for an indicator that this team has turned the corner and is on the road to be consistently good. Unfortunately, long and short term history of this franchise is that we are consistently inconsistent. This season looks no different. Also causing me heartburn is that we lost two at home, which puts more pressure for us to win one or two on the road that we haven't historically won.

Reasons to be optimistic: Overall, I think we played poorly the first four games. I think there is tremendous room for improvement and we are still at .500. The offense has been able to move the ball, notwithstanding a lack of running game...which has improved the last two games. The defense can't get any worse. Cushing and Dunta missed the entire pre-season and should be much more ready these next four than they were the first four. We seem to have some options in the defensive backfield and, why we may never be stellar, there is still time to find a combination that will be serviceable. Finally, we already have won one of the tough road games that we needed to steal to make up for the two home losses.

Final Thought: Overall, I'm disappointed with the overall play of this team. With the way we ended last year, there was a real hope that we would get off to a fast start this season. In general, I don't feel that this team is always as prepared as it should be and, in addition to the inconsistency of the team as a whole, I think that is a bad reflection of the coaching staff. If this team ends with 8 or 9 wins, I think you have to look for a coach who can take you to that next level. I think we have a lot of talented players here and that we wouldn't need to completely "rebuild" to make the next step.

However, Kubes and Co. still have time to prove me wrong on this thought...and I hope to eat crow early and often on this one.
I have to say I agree with you assessment. The Raider game may have been just a tease as I still do not know which team we have; the one that stepped up and suplexed Titans are the one that caved to Jets. I really like the GM and coach. McNair is a great owner even if I feel he is loyal to a fault sometimes. We have the foundation of a very good team but players like Okoye, JJ, Barber, Orslovsky and Studdard make we wonder what we have. Others like Schaub and Slaton are pro bowl candidates one minute and Jessica Rabbitt the next.

The next four games could help the W column and still not tell us anything. I project 3-1 and 5-3 midway thru the season. There are just too many question marks for me to get an accurate read but I think our biggest enemy is just lurking in the wings and that nemesis is injury. Other than the flu, we have done well since regular season started with Pitts only starter I can think of. It will be interesting to see how long it will take Reeves to get back into playing shape especially after watching DR look lost. Take out AJ, Schaub or Winston and we may just crash and burn.

I have Texans picking #14 next draft and selecting Taylor Mays.
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Last edited by badboy; 10-06-2009 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 10-05-2009   #3
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Default Re: Season Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike View Post
After both the disappointing loss against the Jets and the exciting victory against the Titans, I decided that I was going to withhold judgement of the team until after a sample of four games. Now, after four games, I think I need a couple of more games to make a determination. However, my gut is that our current record is probably indicative of what we are - and notwithstanding my desire for more, I think the realistic expectation for this team is a .500 record.

Before the start of the season, I expected a 3-1 start. I thought our offense would clean up on most of the small mistakes and that the defense would improve from the bottom 1/3 in the league to the middle of the pack. Based on the first four games, it appears that both the offense and defense have taken a step back. We can all look at the Raider's game and make arguments to the contrary, but right now - that game is looking like the outlier.

On offense, I think this team has cleaned up some of the small errors, but the big difference between this year's squad and last year's sqaud is the lack of running game. Worse, in 4 games I think Slaton has caughed up the ball already twice as many times as he did all last season. I do think that we look much better in the red zone, but Schaub doesn't look as confident as he did at the end of last season. It is hard to be disappointed with the overall production, but we just don't look crisp and the play calling leaves me scratching my head at times.

I can't really explain the defense. It doesn't make sense to say, however, I think the entire body of work seems a little better...but the results are worse. I think we have better peices, but our tendency to give up the big play and/or our inability to get off the field in third a long situations just kills this team. In the games we have lost (and even the Titan's game), the defense basically puts the team in a hole by giving the other team 7 points on busted plays.

Reasons to be pessimistic: All of the fans on this board are constantly looking for an indicator that this team has turned the corner and is on the road to be consistently good. Unfortunately, long and short term history of this franchise is that we are consistently inconsistent. This season looks no different. Also causing me heartburn is that we lost two at home, which puts more pressure for us to win one or two on the road that we haven't historically won.

Reasons to be optimistic: Overall, I think we played poorly the first four games. I think there is tremendous room for improvement and we are still at .500. The offense has been able to move the ball, notwithstanding a lack of running game...which has improved the last two games. The defense can't get any worse. Cushing and Dunta missed the entire pre-season and should be much more ready these next four than they were the first four. We seem to have some options in the defensive backfield and, why we may never be stellar, there is still time to find a combination that will be serviceable. Finally, we already have won one of the tough road games that we needed to steal to make up for the two home losses.

Final Thought: Overall, I'm disappointed with the overall play of this team. With the way we ended last year, there was a real hope that we would get off to a fast start this season. In general, I don't feel that this team is always as prepared as it should be and, in addition to the inconsistency of the team as a whole, I think that is a bad reflection of the coaching staff. If this team ends with 8 or 9 wins, I think you have to look for a coach who can take you to that next level. I think we have a lot of talented players here and that we wouldn't need to completely "rebuild" to make the next step.

However, Kubes and Co. still have time to prove me wrong on this thought...and I hope to eat crow early and often on this one.
Great post and I agree with a lot of what is in it.
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Old 10-05-2009   #4
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Default Re: Season Review

if we could be 4-4 at the turn, when we usually turn it on, then go 6-2 to end the season, I'd be reasonably happy.
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Old 10-05-2009   #5
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Default Re: Season Review

We should be 3-1, or 4-0, not 2-2. I am not happy about getting beat by the Jags at home and being embarassed by the Jets at home. beating the Raiders is nothing to hang your hat on, and beating the Titans in a barn burner appears to be far less impressive after every team so far taking turns raping them.

We have a 5 game strech with 4 on the road coming up before our bye. We really need to go at least 3-2 to have a decent chance at the playoffs.
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