Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Upon further review...

I finally finished the tape of Sunday night's game. Here are some of my observations (the rest I'll save for the podcast):

1. I was stunned by how different the game seemed on TV with Madden and Michaels announcing it. They painted the Colts as much worse than they seemed live. They were wrong about a lot of things, primarily Madden's observation that Manning didn't look deep enough. I counted 12 times Manning looked deep. There were 2 drops, 1 hurry, 1 sack, 2 coverage throw aways, Wayne didn't get his feet down once, 2 dump downs, 1 defensive penalty, 1 time Wayne had a ball knocked away, and the other was a ball of Wayne's fingertips in the endzone. Three times of 12, the receivers messed up by dropping a ball or failing to get feet down, 4 times the protection wasn't good enough. The 12 deep attempts netted one contact penalty and two dump-off passes. The Colts looked deep fairly often, but the line and receiver play was poor.

2. Here's the breakdown of Manning's incomplete passes:
WR drops 3
Dump offs under pressure 4
Hit as he threw 1
Throw away (good coverage) 2
WR failed to get feet down on sideline 1
Tipped passes (Manning's fault) 2
Tipped pass (O-line) 1
Bad throws by Manning 4
Misread of defense 1

Manning had about 7 passes that were off. 10 of his incomplete passes were failures by the wideouts or O-line, and 2 more can be chalked up to good coverage.

3. Stan's assertion in the comments yesterday that the failure to run the stretch play hurt the Colts offense may prove true in the weeks to come, but there was no evidence of it in this game. He also wondered about the Bears coverage. The Bears coverage was not really that good, and only came into play 5 or so times during the game. The Bears pressure was good, not their coverage. That jived with what we saw at the game, as we only commented on the coverage on two plays. Looking down on the play is where you can best judge the coverage and the QB intent.

4. The loss of Clark was devastating as Robinson couldn't have played worse as blocker. More on that in the podcast. The whole line played bad. Ugoh had the best game by far, but even he gave up a sack late. Charlie Johnson was horrible. Again, more on the line play in the podcast.

5. The lack of a run game late had more to do with the score and the failure of the deep plays than anything. A couple of negative runs in key spots were ugly, but there was yardage to be had most of the time.

6. I'll talk about the 4th down call on the podcast, but let's just say that one guy failed miserably to do his job and a play that should have worked, didn't. I still believe that a punt in that situation would have resulted in a Colts loss. We would have been down two scores and gotten the ball back with time running short and only 1 time out. The Colts were down two scores and were going to be down two scores even if the Bears took a short field for a TD (which they did). A first down might have saved the game. It might have been the wrong play choice, but I still think it was the right call. Over time, the numbers bear out that going for it on fourth and short is a better strategy than punting.

7. Bob Kravitz is on crack. In what may be his worst published piece ever, he litters his report card with inaccuracies and bizarre conclusions:
  • He questions whether the run game problems were Joe Addai's fault. Watch the tape, Bob. IT WAS THE LINE. Addai several times made men miss at the line of scrimmage to get big runs. He had a couple of key runs for losses where he was annihilated as he took the hand off. To blame Addai is ignorant and lazy.
  • I'm not sure how he figured the Colts YPA, but it should be 5.2. He lists it at 4.7. He may be including sack data, but I doubt it. I think he's just lazy. He claimed Manning had 'rust' that was 'mental'. There is simply no indication of that. Again, watching the tape showed the Colts attempting to do all the things they always do, but poor line and WR play doomed the offense. I'm not sure what 'ghosts' Manning was seeing, but he didn't look confused on tape. He looked frustrated at his line, but not confused.
  • He called the Colts special teams "atrocious". Again, without any real reason why. The Colts special teams outplayed the Bears. For once, they were not the cause of the loss. There was a poor strategic decision early and one penalty on a return. They also made a great play on Hester's hesitation return.
  • He is 100% wrong on the volume of the stadium. The Luke was extremely loud in pregame introductions. He admits he couldn't hear because the press box is sealed, and then says it wasn't the fans that weren't loud, it was the stadium. The fans were full throttle through the first Bears possession, but then the pace and events of the game took them out of it. Sorry Bob, you weren't paying enough attention. The crowd WAS the reason for the lack of noise, but if you came out of the press box once in a while, you might know that.

8. I don't like our chances on Sunday. As long as Charlie Johnson is playing, we are in trouble. He was amazingly bad.

9. The dumbest thing a fan can do is kill the coach for decisions that didn't decide the game. Don't criticize a coach for challenging a big play. Stupid coaches (Jack Del Rio) challenge spots (like whether it was a TD for the Jags or a 2nd and goal from the two inch line) or meaningless 5 yard catches. On huge plays like the saftey and the fumble, challenging the play is the right thing to do. Never forget Troy Polamalu. There was never a play that looked less overturnable than that.

Dungy didn't lose that game.

Marvin Harrison, Charlie Johnson, Ryan Diem, Jamey Richards and Gijon Robinson lost that game.

Simmons whines about Brady's knee.

Vince Young is a nut job.

FO looks at our injury situation

I get why the Colts drop, but how does San Diego not fall farther? We have an excuse. What was theirs?

Here are those DVOA rankings.

Quick Reads says Peyton didn't do too bad, but I'm still fuzzy on the new stats.

Floyd Reese isn't always very smart, but I'm really hoping he doesn't remember how bad the Colts line was last year.

Any Given Sunday is more about the Bears playing well than the Colts sucking.


Shake'n'bake said...

From Simmons' mailbag

Q: I am giving this Cassel dude four weeks. If he doesn't get better, I'm gonna jog through my routes and stop going over the middle. Cool?
-- R. Moss, Foxboro, Mass.

SG: Just kidding. I wrote that one. But that has been the underrated part of Brady's injury -- the Pats didn't just lose Brady, they might lose Randy Moss, too. His track record of quitting on bad quarterbacks is both extensive and frightening. I don't even want to talk about this.

Demond Sanders said...

Kravitz is nuts.

As Greg Rakestraw and others have complained about: YOU CAN'T HEAR IN THE PRESSBOX. If you can't hear the PA or the music how can you attest to the loudness of the crowd?

Bad journalism dude.

Shake'n'bake said...

Bears over Colts will be featured on FO's Any Given Sunday to be posted later today.

Shake'n'bake said...

Oh and week 1 DVOA (DAVE) ranking up and the preseason projection mailbag with the answer on the Colts D projection will be next week in the DVOA rankings.

Shake'n'bake said...

If that performance last night is mediocre (19th in VOA) I think I would shoot myself in the face if my NFL team was a truly awful one.

Deshawn Zombie said...

The thing is that the game wasn't actually very lopsided. It was a weird game in which one very big play changed everything. As bad as the line was, Manning was amazingly sharp. He threw some lasers. A couple of drops and a fumble and the game goes the wrong way, but most of the game stats were actually pretty even.

That's not to say it wasn't as bad as looked. Some things were awful. But there wasn't as much bad as it felt like. But what was bad...was really bad.

Bob M. said...

Stop it (Re Simmons Mail Bag). I'm getting all... aroused at the tought. Sure Moss crawling into his mental cave torpedoes DZ's hope for Cassell to get 50 TDs, but it also means a 7-9 season for the genius of all geniuses.
Plus, it really cuts into Cassell's chances for success with the supermodels....

Anonymous said...

How many outside zone stretch plays were run? How many play action passes off the fake of it?


Deshawn Zombie said...

I didn't see any true stretch plays, and I don't remember too many P/A passes, but that wasn't the problem in this game. The Bears coverage wasn't that strong. Any 'trouble' the Colts had in the passing game had more to do with the blitz than with the coverage. And truthfully, if the WRs had just caught the passes that hit them in the hands, we wouldn't even be talking about struggles in the passing game today.

The lack of stretch/play action may hurt us in future weeks, but I'm not convinced from looking at the tape that it had anything to do with what happened this week. The Bears blitzed, Manning threw deep, the WRs didn't make plays on catchable balls. It was that simple.

Bob M. said...

Though it's hard to fault FO's thesis--the night was more about a resurgence in Chicago than a collapse in Indy.
The Colts' youngsters struggled in the center of the line and it affected the whole game plan, but there's no need to panic. That was my takeaway from the AGS article.
If the exact same personnel faced off in three weeks, I'd call it even, and if the same guys met in Week 10, it would be a no-question Colt win. Add back in Saturday (knock wood), Lilja, Clark.... we'll be in good shape later on. This might be one of the rare instances when a Week 4 bye is a blessing. I would not want to be our Week 5 opponent.

Adam said...

That Sports Guy quote from shake'n'bake is dead on. We're going to see Moss from Oakland instead of Moss from last year. He needs an A+ QB throwing to him to keep him involved. Cassel is, at best, a C+. I'll give it two weeks before Moss has a "knee injury" and is riding the bench.

Anonymous said...

You guys are sugarcoating the loss the other night too much. It wasn't as pretty as you guys make it out to me. I shouldn't even say you guys - Demond seems to be much more realistic than Zombie, and less critical of Colts critics. Zombie if you really help poor people for a living I don't see how you can call Vince Young nuts based on the story you guys linked. The only real reason you help poor people is probably because they are the only ones who will listen to you and/or pay any attention to you. Try telling Vince Young to his face that he is nuts or pick on someone your own size instead of hiding behind your screen.
I'm sure you're calling me a Jags fan but whatever.

Deshawn Zombie said...

1. Leave a name next time, brave boy.

2. I haven't sugar coated anything. What did I say made you think I was calling it 'pretty'? I think it was closer than the score mainly becuase I think the Bears are a bottom 10 team, and will finish the season with about 5wins. I was at the game. I watched the tape of the game, documenting every play. I don't think they can win this week given the state of the offensive line. I don't think the players they ran out there are adequate, nor will they be anytime soon.

3. My opinion of that game is that Manning played well, the defense played mediocre but good enough to win, and that the line and the WRs were horrible. What's your opinion?

4. Seriously? You are going to get touchy feely on Vince Young? He is a fabulously wealthy, powerful athlete who can't keep his head screwed on straight. I didn't know that calling him "nuts" was such a vicious attack. When someone goes so far off the reservation that the police have to be called in to find him, I'd say that 'nuts' is pretty fair word.

5. Ah, you're a Jags fan. That explains it. You lost to a team whose quarterback is nuts. No wonder you are so bitter.

Deshawn Zombie said...

PS: I love your implication that poor people are stupid. Classy.

Demond Sanders said...


Your pie-hole? Shut it.

DZ isn't sugarcoating anything, in fact he has predicted we'll lose to the Vikings before turning it around after the O-Line gets back in tact.

We are re-instituting our rule against anonymous player-hating. Leave a name or it gets deleted from now on.

Westside Rob said...

Once again you prove that people that don't like what they hear but have actual arguments against it usually resort to personal attacks instead. This is an OPINION blog, the guys that run it state their opinions. If you don't like it don't read it. Personal attacks just prove that you don't really know what the hell you are talking about anyway

Westside Rob said...

NO actual arguments.

People like Anon get me worked up and then my brain moves faster then my fingers...