Sunday, September 21, 2008

Stomach Punch

Jags 23 - Colts 21


Westside Rob said...

I Fan posted a shorter version of this to Stampede Blue too but I wanted to get your guy's take on it:

OK, so I rewatched the whole game tonight, and played almost all of the defensive plays back in slow mo and most of the offensive breakdowns that way too. Here are some conclusions.

The D-Line and more specifically the DT's were not the primary reasons for the massive yardage racked up by the Jags. The primary and consitent failure came from the Colt LBers. In fact I'm of the opinion that Clint Sessions is the second coming of Gilbert Gardner. The LBers were consitently out of position, inpatient in maintaining their gaps, and time after time they missed tackles even when in position. The DL held the line and their assignments for the most part. The LBs just took poor angles, the wrong gaps, and just plain missed tackles that they can't miss in this defense.

They were also the primary culprits in giving up passing yardage too. Most of the passing yardage was short underneath stuff to TE's and RB's. Our LBs seemed to be way out of position in coverage and then again missed tackles they should have made. Jennings is responsible for most of the other passing yardage given up and should be benched in favor of giving Hughes or someone else a chance.

Bob Sanders being healthy probably would have helped, as Bullitt was in position several times to save a play and failed to make the tackle, though his tackling wasn't even close to as poor as Sessions. I can't stress enoug how bad Sessions was in this game. I lost count on how many times he was out of position or just plain missed a tackle. Diving for the shoe strings ain't going to get you paid in the NFL.

The Coaches, WRs, the O-Line, and Peyton can all equally share the blame for the offensive struggles. Too many drops by the WRs though they were much better in the 2nd half. The O-Line run blocked well (we were NEVER stopped on a running play). We didn't have nearly enough Run balance (I still don't know who to blame the poor play calling on; Peyton or Coaches) However the O-Line had WAY too many false starts and blocking mistakes, though they played better overall then they had the first 2 games. Peyton was so very up and down. Great plays one minute and horrible decisions and throws the next. The first pick was not totally his fault, but the second was a horrible decision compounded by an even more horrible throw. He had a lot of other throws that were somewhere between way off and slightly off target so definitely not a great day for Peyton but he did lead the comeback. I'm still upset about the 2 passing play calls on 1st and 2nd and Goal on the final drive. I think you have to calls runs/QB sneaks there to gain yardage and eat up clock/Jag timeouts.

I don't think you can really say the offense or defense was more at fault. They both failed miserably. The only two bright spots were the running game and the Special Teams (coverage more so then returns). If we had been more committed to the run I think we'd have seen a big day for the Colts RBs. Instead we played(and called plays) like we were behind and in doing so "played" right into the Jags hands. We should have won this game.

Looking ahead at schedules, if we can't sweap the Titans (which looks like will be very tough to do) we could be in real jeopardy of NOT winning the South this year. Of course before that even matters we have to get our ship righted. I don't know i Wheeler can be an improvement over Sessions or not but I guess eventually Hagler comes back in a few weeks...

Demond Sanders said...

Dude, I don't think you can say a defense holding a team to 16 points is failing miserably. The D made a huge fourth down stop, got a clutch turnover, and had another fourth down stop taken away from them by a penalty.

I think the D played plenty good enough to win, until the second interception put them back on the field. Just my opinion, I know others see it differently.

Westside Rob said...

Your right. Saying they(the Def) failed miserably is going too far. One thing my buddies and I were talking about today was as bad as this year's Def has felt it's still NO WHERE near as bad as early 2006. That team sacrificed BIG yards, BIG plays, and BIG points. This defense at least has limited the BIG plays, and primarily limited teams to field goals. HOWEVER, this has been against 3 medicore at best offenses who are't very balanced.

My main point was the the Def needs to be able to get the other team off the field, and the LBers seem to be the main reason to me that they failed at that task.

Another thing to note though is in the past the team had a VERY large share of their salary cap tied up almost exclucively on the offensive side of the ball so a porous defense was somewhat to be expected. These days there are big money players on the Def so they need to play better then they are.

The more I go through all of this though the more blame(and generally I'm not one to play the blame game) I put on the Coaches. Their game plan for this was pretty poor for both sides of the ball. I don't understand why they don't communicate to Peyton that no matter what alignment he's seeing that he needs to think run a little more because the other team isn't stopping it, and remind him that he's not playing 100% and even he could use a little more run support within the structure of the game. I just don't think we can totally "pass" our way out of this funk. Let's play some smash mouth football and mix in the throws to keep people of balance. When Edge was here we'd call runs even when we knew we couldn't run. I don't see that committment from the Colts these days. Especially in a game where they were absolutely running successfully the whole game, and you need to better manage the end of the game clock...Man I'm long winded today...sorry.