Short-yardage passing had a good year, except at the end of the Super Bowl. We look at the return of quarterback runs, the rise in pass-happy strategy, and 2014 success rates for offense and defense.
11 Sep 2011
compiled by Rivers McCown
Each Sunday, the FO staff sends around e-mails about the games that each of us are watching. We share information about the games that the rest of the group might not be watching, ask questions, and keep everyone else informed about which games they might want to tune into (if they can).
On Monday, we compile a digest of those e-mails and produce this feature. By its nature, it can be disjointed and dissimilar to the other articles on the site.
While these e-mails are generally written with Audibles in mind, they do not represent a standard review of all the games each week. That means we aren't going to cover every game, or every important play. We watch the games that we, as fans, are interested in watching, so your favorite team's game might not be covered to your fullest desires or even at all. (If you are a Seahawks or Patriots fan, you are probably in luck; if you are a Bills fan, not so much.) We have no intention of adding new authors to cover every game on a given Sunday, nor will we watch a different game from the ones that we're personally interested in watching, just to ensure that Audibles covers every game.
Rivers McCown: Really interesting to see Robert Quinn inactive this early.
Brian McIntyre: With 34-year-old James Hall on the injury report all week with a back injury, Steve Spagnuolo not dressing the healthy Robert Quinn, a first round defensive end with elite pass-rushing talent, against the Philadelphia Eagles is very surprising. Talent-wise, Quinn is one of the top three defensive players on the roster, so it will be interesting to see if this is about Quinn struggling to pick up a complex system, the staff sending a message that he needs to work harder to earn a spot on the 46-man roster, or both.
Aaron Schatz: Quinn is not the only surprising scratch in that game. Danny Watkins' difficulty picking up the Eagles offense really doesn't square with the pre-draft scouting on him.
Mike Tanier: A little Eagle nightmare erupts early as the offensive line collapses on the first series and the linebackers get washed out on a Steven Jackson touchdown on the Rams first play. Watch the replay to see Moise Fokou completely flattened.
Doug Farrar: That was interesting in that Jackson showed a lot more lateral movement than he did in the preseason -- he looked positively logey the last few weeks.
Mike Tanier: Eagles cannot stop run. Luckily, Sam Bradford has a little trouble with a handoff and the Eagles scoop and score.
Brian McIntyre: On the fumble return by Juqua Parker, Darryl Tapp will get credit for the forced fumble, but Antonio Dixon deserves partial credit. His penetration pushed Jason Brown into the backfield, causing Bradford to trip over one of Brown's legs.
Mike Tanier: The Eagles just forced a field goal thanks to two dropped passes. If I were Josh McDaniels, I would not call another pass until the Eagles stop two straight running plays.
Vince Verhei: It's mostly Cadillac -- Jackson only has two carries, although one went 47 yards. Caddy has ten carries for 50 yards.
Mike Tanier: Can't do Audibles. Watching the 2003 Falcons. Oh wait, the 2011 Eagles.
Vince Verhei: Rams have a third-and-11 at the Eagles' 36. Rather than risk doom on a pass play, they run Jerious Norwood. He gains seven yards to set up a 47-yard field goal (which was missed). That tells you everything about the Rams' game plan today.
Vince Verhei: Down 14 points, the Rams have a third-and-14, and they run AGAIN. It gains 13 to set up a fourth-down try. Eagles call timeout. Rams converted on fourth-and-short, then got a 40-some-yard pass interference on Nnamdi Asomugha that looked like a terrible call to me (although I was out of the room and only got a passing look at one replay). Eagles then stiffened and Rams kicked a field goal.
Near the end of the third quarter, Rams WRs have a combined five catches for 44 yards.
Mike Tanier: Ehh... Nnamdi had his hand on the back of the receiver's neck on that PI call.
The whole bar just cheered for A.J. Feeley. Philly fans are weird.
Mike Tanier: I see on the Gamebook that the Chiefs averaged 5.4 yards per completion. Jamaal Charles had five catches for nine yards, with a long of nine yards. One of my first NFL Rewind odysseys tomorrow will be to find out how the hell that happens!
Mike Kurtz: Apparently (according to Glazer), Devin Hester has the green light to take kicks out of the end zone when he feels like it. What could possibly go wrong?
Ben Muth: My brother and I were just arguing whether Matt Ryan was the best average QB in the NFL, or the worst good QB in the league. I chose the worst average, and Ryan throws an awful pick on cue.
David Gardner: The Bears set up a nice fake reverse left and then switched back a screen to the right. Matt Forte did all the legwork, though, breaking tackles left and right and getting in for the score.
Aaron Schatz: Wait, do you mean best average, or worst good? Or do you mean worst average, actually?
Mike Tanier: I think Ben is going for an upper lower middle class thing.
Ben Muth: Basically I figure there are about five tiers.
Looking at it, I'd probably put Ryan in good, but barely.
Mike Kurtz: Jay Cutler is holding on to the ball way too long. I imagine this will be covered in the new column, but it's already led to two very avoidable sacks.
Ben Muth: That doesn't sound ANYTHING like Jay Cutler, Mike.
Aaron Schatz: To be clear, the reason why Matt Ryan was seventh in DVOA last year (and also did much better in ESPN's Total QBR compared to standard stats) is that he was awesome on third downs. We'll see if that continues this year...
Mike Tanier: To be fair to Ryan, the Bears defense looks REALLY good today.
Ben Muth: Matt Forte looks really good. Making quick, short cuts to make guys miss and falling forward for a couple extra yards. Martz dials up an awesome QB rollout, TE throwback screen on the 10-yard-line. The only other guy out there was the offensive tackle. Jay Cutler over threw him by six yards.
Mike Kurtz: Eric Weems has let three punts, now, drop and roll when a little hustle would've given him a fair catch. Each punt has rolled, and one of them pinned his team within their own five. Absolutely atrocious.
David Gardner: Tampa is catching some lucky breaks early. Aqib Talib's pick-six came off a tipped pass, and the Lions just had a horrible red-zone possession. Matthew Stafford threw a pass into the stands when he had Calvin Johnson wide open, and then Brandon Pettigrew dropped an uncontested TD pass.
Doug Farrar: Tony Scheffler's pirate-themed celebration at the Big Sombrero on his touchdown catch insures that he will lead the league in YAR(RRRRR) at the end of week 1.
David Gardner: Josh Freeman just got tackled on a scramble, and he got up and went straight to the locker room -- looked like he was limping on his right side.
Tom Gower: After the Titans go three-and-out, the Jaguars run the ball down the Titans' throats with an 11-play drive, nine of them runs, that was awfully reminiscent of the Jaguars' success in the game in Nashville last year. The capper was a 21-yard romp by Maurice Jones-Drew where he went up the middle untouched after rookie defensive tackle Karl Klug decided to slant to the left to open the hole.
The Titans played a little bit better defensively, but not much and go to halftime down 10-0. The defensive line had a little bit better performance later in the half, not getting regularly blown 3 yards off the ball. The offense, particularly Chris Johnson, has continued to struggle. CJ's not finding running room and the passing game is not consistently effective. Mike Munchak tried to make things interesting by attempting a 66-yard field goal at the end of the half, which was predictably wide and short. I've written some in FOA and on my blog about how I thought the Titans in their defensive philosophy were trying to solve a problem that didn't exist, and the evidence today still suggests they haven't even achieved their goals.
Vince Verhei: I'm sure there's a good reason why, at halftime, Matt Hasselbeck has 17 passes (plus two sacks) and Johnson has four runs. Actually no I'm not sure about that at all. I can't think of a single flippin' reason that makes sense.
Tom Gower: CJ has been finding very little running room. His four carries have netted three yards. Running CJ is doing nothing other than putting them in second (or third)-and-long, and they're choosing to pass in those situations. Yes, it's weird to virtually abandon the run in the second quarter, but they weren't going to suddenly start running the ball effectively without doing something else.
Vince Verhei: It's FOUR carries. You can't determine anything off that.
Tom Gower: After a good goal-line stand to keep the Jaguars to a FG and a 13-0 lead, the Titans finally have some offensive success of the fluky and unrepeatable sort, as Matt Hasselbeck scrambles up and sort of flips a pass to Kenny Britt, who'd lost Rashean Mathis on a crossing route. One Jaguars defender whiffs, and Britt races to the end zone for an 80-yard score.
Well, the Titans get a second score, this one also a TD pass to Britt on a nice grab and toe-tap against Mathis in coverage. The big play on the drive was, yes, a 25-yard pass to Britt. Johnson found a little bit of running room, but not much. Despite the relatively small number of carries, he's figured heavily -- I haven't quite kept track, but roughly a third of the Titans' plays today have been either handoffs to him or passes in his direction.
Ben Muth: Marc Mariani just let a punt bounce on the 20. It rolled to the 2.
Tom Gower: After that punt, the Titans manage to move the ball, but take 1:22 to run three plays and a quarterback spike. Matt Hasselbeck then elects to try a Brett Favre Dying Quail Special, which results in an easy interception for Dwight Lowery to seal the win for the Jaguars. Titans finish the game with 43 yards rushing, but do break 20 minutes in TOP for those who care about that stat.
Aaron Schatz: OK, there are 2:00 left in the game, you are winning by two, and its third-and-5. Do you run the ball and take 40 seconds off the clock? Or do you throw and hope to ice the game with a first down? I'll take either choice, but what you don't do is throw the ball to a fullback with one career catch who is for some odd reason split out wide and covered by a cornerback. I guess Dick Koetter disagrees with me, because apparently with the game on the line, the Jaguars felt the man they could depend on was Brock Bolen. Who?
Tom Gower: Yes, that was Dirk Koetter masterminding himself. The corner, Jason McCourty, had actually had a pretty good game, too, so it's not like they were picking on Kareem Jackson or somebody we know can't cover. And it was a timing route where Bolen isn't looking for the ball. I think Koetter does good work at times, but that was a very weird call.
Doug Farrar: You're already seeing how A.J. Green affects coverage -- Sheldon Brown just molested him on what was supposed to be a little end zone fade halfway through the first quarter. He'd better get used to some Hack-a-Shaq.
Andy Dalton's third red-zone throw on Cincinnati's first drive was where lack of arm strength came home to roost -- he just can't fire it into tight windows, preferring to sort of loft it in there in a tight timeframe. Batted away, drive over.
David Gardner: Bruce Gradkowski is in for the Bengals! The legend lives on!
Robert Weintraub: Dalton was as expected: made most of the right reads but wasn't asked to throw much downfield, by design or because he can't, we'll have to see. Then he got injured (right wrist -- he was handshaking hard with it after the game, so he must not be too hurt), and the Immortal Gradkowski came in. Cincy's field position was terrible in the second half -- Brandon Tate, feh -- but the defense kept it 17-13 for a long stretch. That seemed certain to be the final, with no first downs coming (especially when the rain started bucketing down), when Joe Haden, who had been exceptional all day, fell asleep as the Browns were slow to set up in coverage. Green was left uncovered and Gradkowski alertly quick-snapped, maybe a veteran play Dalton doesn't make, maybe not. From there Carlos Dunlap took over, getting major push on virtually every passing down. Cedric Benson ran left all day, then ran right on third and three to the house to wrap it up.
The Bengals fan in me was always confident because the Browns still have no playmaking ability, and even without Johnathan Joseph the Bengals match up just fine with them. Of course, I won't be secure Cincy can move the ball this season, with or without a healthy Dalton. Not til they get get much more practice together.
Vince Verhei: The Pittsburgh Steelers gave up one 20-yard run in 2010, and that one run went only 24 yards. On their first run play of 2011, they give up a 36-yarder to Ray Rice.
Mike Tanier: McKinnie later held to negate a long pass play.
Doug Farrar: Terrell Suggs with insane speed looping inside to force the Roethlisberger sack/fumble. And you can already see the effect Lee Evans is having in just clearing out coverage for underneath routes. They’re learning what the Steelers already know -– you need a speed receiver for more than just the catches.
Vince Verhei: Flacco to Rice for a touchdown to make it 21-7 Baltimore. This is one of the best games I've seen Flacco play -- he's confident in the pocket, going through his reads quickly and decisively, finding the right man and making accurate throws. He's converted a bunch of third downs. It helps that he's been mostly unharrassed, of course.
Doug Farrar: Rice just posterized Lawrence Timmons on that play. He's gone HAM today for sure.
Aaron Schatz: HAM?
Doug Farrar: First definition only. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=going%20ham (editor's note: NSFW)
Mike Tanier: Haloti Hgata just took a lumpin' handoff from Roethlisberger.
Ben Muth: Ngata guessed the Steelers play in Tecmo Super Bowl.
Vince Verhei: Ravens score again as Dickson beats Troy Polamalu and Flacco makes another great pass. Then on the conversion, they fake the kick and the holder finds a gaping hole off left guard for an easy two points.
Aaron Schatz: The Steelers then turn the ball over again with a tipped interception that lands in the hands of Ray Lewis. But on fourth-and-one in the red zone, the Steelers stuff Ray Rice. This is a good example of how momentum doesn't really mean anything. The Ravens had all the momentum going into that play. They're up by 22 points, they've gotten two turnovers on the last two Pittsburgh plays. But the Steelers are a good run defense, and they're going to stuff you a lot of the time on that play whether you have momentum or not.
David Gardner: They just showed Mike Tomlin's reaction after that Ray Lewis interception. I have not seen him lose his composure before, but he looks close to snapping.
Mike Tanier: And Steelers - Ravens becomes WWE, complete with ref knocked on butt.
Vince Verhei: Steelers turn it over again. Ravens, up 25 points with less than four minutes to go, start throwing for the end zone. No, these teams do not like each other one bit.
Mike Tanier: You know, if they flashed a shot of shirtless Cal Ripken eating a crabcake, this would qualify as pornography in Baltimore.
Mike Kurtz: My only comment on Steelers-Ravens is: This is what happens when you say nice things about the Steelers.
J.J. Cooper: Wow, as a Steelers fan that's the most depressing start to a season since the 51-0 loss to the Browns in the 1989 opener (the Steelers lost the next week 41-10 also but did make the playoffs). But as I was watching the Ravens destroy Pittsburgh, I couldn't help but think back even farther. The 1979 Steelers had a similar feel to this year's team -- an aging team trying to grab another title before the defense got too old to compete. Midway through that season, Pittsburgh lost to the Chargers 35-7 in a game where Terry Bradshaw threw five interceptions and the Steelers turned the ball over eight times. This felt a whole lot like that. That team did end up winning the Super Bowl, but they showed signs of their age on defense all year. In the opener today, you saw some age from the Steelers' defense as well.
Mike Tanier: Levon Helm looks ready to go at quarterback for Indy!
Doug Farrar: Well, so much for my "Mario Williams is losing the leverage battle at OLB" argument, at least when Dallas Clark is trying to block him. #90 blasts through and takes Kerry Collins down on the Colts' first offensive play. I'm interested to see how the Colts' tackles cut-block Williams when he's playing OLB as opposed to DE or LEO to use his height against him, but that was a nice start.
Rivers McCown: When Collins pump fakes, it takes almost as long for him to reset as it does to load a catapult. A leaping J.J. Watt forced the guards to roll boulders, and on a quick throw and that gave the Texans time to force a fumble that led to a short field touchdown.
Ben Muth: Whatever the Collins situation is, I'm pretty sure Howard Mudd wouldn't try to use Clark one-on-one against Williams.
Mike Tanier: On a sad note, the Colts game has been switched off by the bartender.
Rivers McCown: Attending this game was awkward. It felt unnatural watching the Colts just die off as if they'd never existed. I'm sure that part of that is Collins' lack of familiarity with the offense and the Indianapolis pieces, but I don't think Colts fans have much reason for optimism at this point.
Aaron Schatz: OK, well, if we wanted some specific examples of how all these injuries were going to hurt the Giants, Anthony Armstrong made Aaron Ross look very silly on two straight plays to give the Redskins a 14-14 tie at the end of the second quarter. First, he beat Ross easily on a double move. Then he outmaneuvered Ross in the end zone to catch a ball that drifted right over Ross' right shoulder and into Armstrong's hands.
The Redskins claim Armstrong is the fastest receiver in the league. Dude, if you were that fast, you wouldn't have been playing in some nowhere minor arena league two years ago. You would have been drafted in the first round by the Raiders.
For the most part, the Washington offensive line has done a good job on the Giants defense, but when they've given way it's been at very bad times -- a sack on third down in the third quarter that knocked the Redskins out of field goal range, and now a sack-and-fumble two minutes into the fourth quarter.
Credit where credit is due. Rex Grossman looked like a real live boy today. He played very well for Washington. Even the incomplete passes were almost all accurate.
Mike Kurtz: The singer in San Diego just did the absolute worst rendition of the national anthem I have ever heard. It was basically a random string of syncopations.
Mike Tanier: Ahhhh ... the Chargers special teams.
Vince Verhei: Amazing, aren't they?
Ben Muth: In a year without Manning, it's nice to know we can depend on the Chargers special teams to provide consistency.
Doug Farrar: And there's Nate Kaeding being carted off the field. Oh, dear. Mike Scifres is now San Diego's punter AND kicker. The odds of San Diego's 2011 special teams DVOA going lover than the 2010 version just went up a tick.
Aaron Schatz: Honestly, there's a good chance that the Percy Harvin return touchdown is a blip, and the Chargers' special teams aren't going to come close to the crapitude of 2010. Special teams just aren't that consistent from year to year, especially when we're talking about an extreme like last year's Chargers, and remember they had one of the best punters in the league until last year. Even if he may now be their punter AND kicker.
Mike Kurtz: The really sad part about Minnesota's kickoff return touchdown is that it wasn't even due to great blocking. In fact, one of the guys in the not-wedge completely whiffed and San Diego had a clear shot at Harvin at the ten. Harvin made a nifty move, but it was all Harvin, with special thanks to NORV.
Ben Muth: Wow. Jared Allen drops into coverage on a swing route that turns into a wheel route and makes a great pick. Incredible play for a defensive end.
Vince Verhei: I've been watching that game out of the corner of my eye. I've seen Allen drop into coverage a handful of times.
Mike Kurtz: Scifres nails his first NFL field goal attempt, a 40-yarder. Awesome.
Minnesota has been called for encroachment three times in a six-play drive. I've probably seen bigger second-half collapses than this, but the Vikes have made a really good case.
Ben Muth: McNabb threw for 39 more yards than me today. If you add Vince Verhei's yards it's still less than 40 yards more.
Ben Muth: Jeff King was clearly the least popular Panther considering no one was within 25 yards of him on that TD catch.
As a Cardinals fan I'm torn between the "Kevin Kolb is way better than anyone we had last year" camp and the "Kevin Kolb is throwing a lot of checkdowns" camp.
J.J. Cooper: Patrick Peterson just ripped off a game-changing 89-yard punt return for Arizona. He almost Leon Lett-ed it at the end but he was smart enough to look back and realize he needed to speed up to not be caught from behind.
Tom Gower: As somebody who thought he'd never be a good NFL quarterback, I'm ridiculously impressed with Cam Newton's play today. He's missed some passes for sure, but mostly because he's throwing a bit high, not because he's throwing it right to defenders. I don't think they're asking him to do anything sophisticated, but he's really executing the gameplan. I don't care, much, that they turned the ball over on downs -- he made the right throws and could've had a TD if Legedu Naanee didn't knock legs or whatever with the defender.
Doug Farrar: The thing about him is that he has one of the best arms in the NFL already. As long as the other stuff started to come though, you know that he was going to be able to do things most rookies couldn’t as a result. But it was during the preseason that I started to think the Panthers were really on to something. Certain throws he really struggled with at the combine and at his Pro Day -– quick outs, certain short timing slants, longer seam throws –- got a lot tighter as he went through the process. Especially for this lockout-truncated season, and considering the super-basic offense he had at Auburn, I’ll join the “ridiculously impressed” bandwagon. He’s going to fall on his face at some point, but he’s also very much for real.
Creative play of the day: Alex Smith pitches to Frank Gore headed left. Gore cuts back to the right behind a pulling lineman and ...Smith! Better yet, Smith throws TWO good blocks on the play! That was awesome!
Aaron Schatz: What happened to John Moffitt?
Vince Verhei: Moffit at RG. Robert Gallery is out.
Danny Tuccitto: Ray McDonald with a sack, a (separate) pressure, and a run stop on the first series against the Seahawks.
Mike Kurtz: I feel really bad for Pregnant Seahawks Fan Lady. She's been carrying that kid for what, 17 months now?
Danny Tuccitto: The more things change, the more they stay the same. 49ers' offense goes coverage scramble, false start, Gore up the middle, Gore up the middle. Andy Lee boots 61-yard punt.
Vince Verhei: Two notes on just how radical the Pete Carroll makeover has been in Seattle:
1) Only ten players on the 53-man roster in 2011 played for the team in 2009.
2) In Jim Mora's last game as coach, the starting defense averaged 235 pounds. Today, the starting defense averaged 255 pounds.
Danny Tuccitto: It's still early, but one definite improvement from Jim Harbaugh: challenge-flag-throwing mechanics.
Ted Ginn just did the "catch punt after a hop" thing you guys have been talking about all day. Did Goodell send out a leaguewide mandate or something?
Mike Tanier: Captain Composure just composed a symphony of getting sacked and fumbling straight into the air and into the arms of a Niners lineman. In B flat.
Vince Verhei: 16-0 49ers at halftime. They're averaging 2.9 yards per rush, but I think the line is blocking better than that -- they're putting Seahawks on the ground, especially on those pitch-counters they keep using. The problem is that Earl Thomas is having a whale of a game, with a team-high five tackles out of the secondary, including two for a loss. Niners are also predictably run-heavy, with 16 runs and only 11 passes. Expect that to go even higher in the second half.
As for the Seahawks offense, they're averaging 2.3 yards per pass play, 1.1 yards per rush, they're getting Andrew Luck, and that's that.
Danny Tuccitto: Immediate impression of first half: The game-management, strategic, and mental-preparation differences between Harbaugh and Mike Singletary are obvious to this long-suffering 49ers fan. No delay of game penalties, and they actually had timeouts left to use in their two-minute drive at the end of the half. Not to mention that tricky little use of a pre-snap shift by an eligible tackle to draw Seattle offsides on fourth down at around the four-minute mark of the second quarter.
Another thing is that I can already hear Niners fans touting this defense tomorrow. It's the Seahawks' offense, people.
Rough series for Vernon Davis. On second down he has a chance to make a big catch downfield, but hears the footsteps of 232-pound safety Kam Chancellor and pulls up short. Then on third down the 49ers try a tight end screen to Davis, and it loses five yards.
Ricky Jean-Francois called for a personal foul for "clotheslining." Ben and I exchange psychic glances and ask "That's a penalty?"
Danny Tuccitto: So I'm guessing the Seahawks' special teams DVOA is not going to be pretty this week.
Vince Verhei: I'm still trying to figure out why they punted down nine with less than three minutes to go.
Tom Gower: All hail the great Ted Ginn!
Brian McIntyre When your head coach's big catchphrase is "Always Compete", punting when down nine with three minutes to play and two timeouts, against a division rival in a season-opener, makes no sense whatsoever. What's your deal, Pete?
Ben Muth: Incredible pre-game ceremony. Goosebumps.
Vince Verhei: Actually, Mark Sanchez looked a little shocked.
Mike Tanier: Sanchez has been beyond brutal so far. He has not had a lot of time to throw, but gosh, get the ball in the receiver's vicinity now and then...
Mike Kurtz: Even I wouldn't argue that Sanchez is really this bad. I think he's just terrified of Ware after that first series.
Aaron Schatz: Maybe at halftime someone needs to put a calendar in his locker with the page open to "January 2012."
Mike Tanier: I will grab the calendar everyone passed around to use on Schottenheimer.
Ben Muth: It's 7-0 and Chris Collinsworth goes out on a limb to say Rob Ryan's defense is winning the battle. I concur. When a defense gives up zero points they are generally in the range of well to quite well.
Mike Kurtz: So after basically gaining an extra 30 seconds to figure out what to do next by shouting at Riveron while he was trying to announce the twelve-men penalty (by forcing him to keep moving away from the shouting players), the Cowboys then immediately get a delay of game. Honestly they're lucky they didn't pull an unsportsmanlike in addition to the other two. Just unreal.
Aaron Schatz: According to Collinsworth, Jets offense is looking for "completions and runs." This makes them very different from every other offense, I guess.
Mike Tanier: Sanchez has protection now and is starting to pick it up.
Mike Kurtz: Except for that awful throw into double coverage. I do agree, he's overcome his jitters, but he's still making poor decisions.
Aaron Schatz: They've definitely spread it out for him and encouraged passing tonight, although I could do without motioning tight end Jeff Cumberland out wide. Doesn't seem like a big threat to me.
Sanchez has been really good in the second half. I realize part of that is the injuries to the Dallas secondary, but injured cornerbacks don't make you accurate.
Tom Gower: He's been getting time, but he's still inconsistent. On the drive after the Tony Romo fumble, he hits Plaxico Burress on the deep in or whatever against the blitz, then completely misses the smoke route the next play. Of course, then he coughs up the ball on a sack...
Mike Kurtz: I am really, really sick of the "pre-check for review/review every scoring play" rule already, and it's week 1.
The Jets tie the game on a blocked punt touchdown...
Rivers McCown: So that's what Joe McKnight is around for!
Mike Tanier: Gotta love the Justify Your Existence blocked punt!
Rivers McCown: Questions that need to be answered:
Mike Kurtz: It just struck me -- Garret has basically received no play whatsoever. It's all Ryan vs. Ryan, despite the fact that one of them is a coordinator. That is kind of insane.
Romo is picked off inside his own 50...
Tom Gower: Dez Bryant can't run, it's Darrelle Revis, and Romo threw it right to him. Maybe there was some coverage read Bryant was supposed to make where he should've cut off his route, but that's just ... pathetic.
Rivers McCown: Can we hold this game up as an example whenever anyone talks about how quarterbacks win games and are clutch? Sanchez's game-winning drive went two yards.
Aaron Schatz: I do wish that announcers would stop talking about how quarterbacks don't throw at Revis, though. They do throw at Revis. Not as much last year, compared to 2009, but they do throw at him. Receivers don't catch many passes against him because HE'S THAT GOOD, not because they aren't being thrown to at all.
Mike Kurtz: Credit to the Jets for not playing for the field goal on their last drive. Demerits to the Jets for being so awful at their attempts to get to the end zone.
Robert Weintraub: More painful throw away -- this opener or last season versus Washington?
153 comments, Last at 16 Sep 2011, 12:57am by BigCheese