Friday, October 31, 2008

Tape Worm

Here are my observations after watching the tape from the Colts Titans:

1. ESPN did a terrible job with replays. Way too many tight shots on replays. I guess they are 'dramatic', but they don't tell you anything. They never replayed the key fourth down incompletion to Harrison. Awful.

2. Mike Pollack really did play poorly. He was dominated all night. Ugoh struggled a bit early, and there were a couple of plays where either he or CJ failed to block the right guy. Ugoh played better as the game went along. Pollack is the weak link right now. (Horray for CJ! He's off the bottom of the totem pole!)

3. Darrell Reid completely missed blocking the guy who tackled Rhodes in the backfield on the key fourth down play. If he makes that block, Dom has a chance. He didn't, and he didn't.

4. Manning actually played significantly better than I initially thought. He was off on a couple of throws, and the Titans made a play or two, but mostly he was ok. There were a lot of plays on early downs where Pollack would miss a block and Manning would quickly dump off. The line was better in the sense that Manning at least had time to unload. It was not better in the sense that he tons of time. I never had a good look at the Clark pick until I just saw it. Yikes. The ball hits him in the hands and then in the shoulder. Gotta make that play, 44.

5. Clint Session played GREAT on run D, but struggled in coverage. On the key 3rd down with the Titans up 17-14, the Colts actually put Bethea in at linebacker, but he made the same mistake Session did. Neither guy got deep enough in the zone to take away the out route to the WR. In all, the linebackers were wonderful. It was easily their best game of the year.

6. On the Titans key drive to tie the game they converted three big third downs. One was on an illegal contact foul (which ESPN never showed). The second was converted on Dante Hughes and Matt Giordano. The third was completed on Hughes and Bullitt. Tell me that injuries in the secondary haven't killed the Colts. There was also a pick on the second third down play that the officials missed. It should have been offensive PI. Mostly, the officiating was clean from what ESPN showed (which wasn't much).

7. The score at the end of the third quarter was 14-14. Somehow I forgot how close that game was. It made watching it all the more frustrating. They should have won this game. Now we know why Tim Jennings is the #3 CB...because Kerry Collins completed A LOT of throws on Dante Hughes. The holes in the zone were just too big.

Mostly, I was encouraged by the tape. This looked like a team ready to break out. If so, it had better happen fast. There are some tough games on the back half of the schedule, and 5 losses at the half way mark might be too many to overcome.


Shake'n'bake said...

A survey of ~80% of the leagues players put Dungy as the coach they most want to play for, and put 3 more former Dungy assistants in the top 5.


zac said...

I must say, our poor play has definitely eased my excitement over this upcoming game against the Pats. I'm sure NBC is loving the turn both of these teams have taken. I haven't seen a single ad for this game, if it would have happened last year on Sunday night, NBC wouldnt have stopped the commercials.

I mean, even JC is starting his taunts against us by saying we should demolish them. Even in the preseason before Brady went down the guy was talking about how their secondary would be their undoing.

With enemies like that, who needs friends?

Anonymous said...

That's because I've seen every single Patriots game since 1986.

Like I said....two rookies in the nickel package and 3 rookies and a practice squad guy in the dime set.

If the Colts don't throw up 30 against this group, I think they'll miss the playoffs.


Anonymous said...

I was also frustrated by ESPN's lousy coverage. The key play was the illegal contact and we never saw whether it was a good call or not.

zac said...

See what I mean? He is defensive about how badly his team sucks. Don't give the Pats credit, or JC will be all over you.

jc said...

Not the whole team Z-man...just the secondary. they're only as strong as your weakest link.

Bob M. said...

JC, then how strong are the Colts? Their 3rd string CB? The brain-frozen OL? The midget-wrestling castoffs playing DT? Not sure who our weakest link is and afraid to find out.

The only thing that would surprise me on Sunday night would be a blowout (20 pts) by either team. Over the broadest spectrum of probabilities, I'd say a 30-24 game is most likley. But as they say, I've been wrong before and probably will be again. As for which team should win... let me confer with my Magic 8-Ball and get back to you on that.

Okay, one more thing that would surprise me would be six direct snaps to Addai resulting in 4 TD plays. After Miami did that to New England I installed it in my 7 year-old's flag football team playbook--it's our ONLY reliable play (attesting to my patheticness as coach, when I have to trick 2nd graders to score).

Shake'n'bake said...

I've never coached, especially not second graders, but I'd imagine that it's pretty hard to get them not to bite on misdirection. In high school some of my friends coached our grades powderpuff team. I guess that's somewhat similar. A limited coaching time to players that for the most part don't have much of an understanding of the game.

Senior year they killed running the gimmickiest offense for an entire half. It was this a team in our conference runs it on their PATs. We used it every down for an entire half, and it worked.

Shake'n'bake said...

It's not a great look in the video so I'll explain it a bit.

the long snapper, holder and kicker line up normally, but the other 8 line up off to one side with 7 in line and one lined up behind him. The holder looks at the D and if there are 2 or less defenders lined up on their side of the formation they snap it to the holder and the holder and kicker option sweep away from the rest of the offense (and the 9 defenders with them).

If they put three or more over the holder/snapper/kicker the holder gets the snap and passes it to the player waiting behind the 7 man line, who runs in up the middle on them.

Anonymous said...


that's the old swinging gate and a lot of HS coaches still do it as SOP on extra points (if the defense adjusts, the line then goes over for std XPt.

With young kids, (flag football or tackle), always run the WR back on an end around path and fake the reverse when you run a sweep. Hand it on the reverse sometimes to keep them honest. You will freeze the defense almost every time -- they can't help it. In any event, the threat from the handoff fake will do more to free up the RB than the same WR trying to block downfield.

If your fastest, quickest athlete is running on the edge and the OLB or CB stops (even for an instant) due to the fake, the defender will almost always lack the ability to accelerate from a standing start in time to make a play.


Shake'n'bake said...

I didn't see the whole thing so I'm not sure, but I think Illinois ran the swinging gate on a PAT.