Week 10 Review

I never look at statistics when I watch games the next day in order to get a truly organic idea of what happened, that way nothing influences what I see.

I’ll be doing this instead of my podcasts the rest of the way, time permitting.

Here’s a look at the early games from Sunday with those hard to find facts about plays missed etc:

BAL-HOU

- I was surprised that the Texans moved the ball as well as they did in this game. That stood out as the game progressed. Plays were there to be made but they had penalties and too many mental breakdowns which prevented them from scoring. When you don’t watch the entire game, you really never get a sense of what really happened. Watching bits and pieces of this game on Sunday, I didn’t feel that Houston could have scored much more than they did. I felt differently after watching it fully on Monday.

- Owen Daniels missed two TDs on consecutive drives. One was on the Haloti Ngata INT. All Sage Rosenfels had to do is lob the ball over his hand on the first one. Second one was a pass to the right where Daniels had OLB Jarret Johnson one-on-one and if the ball was accurate, there’s an easy TD.

- Steve Slaton had a TD catch on a 58-yard screen called back to a penalty. Beautifully designed screen pass, about as perfect as you’ll see. Too bad there was a hold (which I couldn’t see)/

- Todd Heap had a 28-yard catch called back due to a penalty. Because of the lack of depth at WR, it’s becoming apparent that Heap has to be more of a factor.

- Second INT by Rosenfels was right to Ray Lewis and he threw off balance a little because he was under pressure.

- Great throw by Rosenfels on Kevin Walter crossing pattern for the long TD.

- Rosenfels shows once again why he’s not a starting QB in the NFL. Bad reads from time to time. He can look really good at times then he has unexplainable mental breakdowns. He reminds me a bit of A.J. Feeley.

- I’d say we had Rosenfels pegged correctly in his ranking. The Ravens didn’t shut him down at all. That’s the thing, the plays were there to be made. I didn’t feel that way on Sunday but after watching the game in full on Monday, it was apparent Houston should have scored much more than they did.

- Great job of looking off of the safety on Joe Flacco’s TD pass to Yamon Figurs.

- Once the team upgrades Flacco’s passing options in future years, look out. He’s going to be a big-time QB. Look at how well he’s doing with sub-par talent around him.

- Flacco still will make some rookie mistakes with his mechanics from time to time. He needs to get his feet set at all times. When he doesn’t, he takes power and torque from his throws.

- Flacco missed Clayton for a 38-yard TD pass, he put too much air under the ball. Had he thrown it with more power, it was a likely TD. These issues will be alleviated the more he plays and with further film review with the coaches.

- Great job of Flacco of reloading on his TD pass to Heap. Heap fell down and then got up and Flacco waited for him. Also a nice play call on the 2-point conversion. They had Clayton clear out his defender so that Mason could go right behind him and then to the right for an easy score.

NO-ATL
- Drew Brees is a great QB but he will revert to non-sensical decisions from earlier in his career from time to time. The throw into double coverage than was picked off down field on their first drive is what I’m referring to. The pass never should have been thrown.  

- The addition of CB Domonique Foxworth is clearly helping the Falcon defense. Their secondary went from being well below average to possibly above average.

- On Matt Ryan’s first TD pass to Roddy White, it was a great read and he had great protection up front. He’s the most polished rookie QB we’ve seen in a long time.

- Atlanta will never be a pass happy team. They are very methodical in their approach. The passing game clearly works off their running game. You can see why they signed Michael Turner.

- Amazingly, Ryan has really good timing with his receivers. You usually don’t see that this early from a rookie QB.

- Great throw by Brees on Colston’s second catch. CB Chris Houston was right on him and Brees had to make a stick throw to the right of Colston’s frame. Brees did a nice job of stepping up and feeling the pressure to make the throw.

- On what would have been Colston’s third catch, it looked to be a 10-yard TD catch. Throw over the middle on a crossing pattern. Colston had it and then the defender (Forxworth) stripped it out of his hands. I’m sure Colston would say he should have caught it.

- John Abraham is playing at as high of a level as any DE in the league. He tormented Saint LT Jammal Brown all day.

- There’s a throw by Drew Brees early in the fourth quarter which was amazing but no one will even notice. He threw the ball in the middle of the field while Devery Henderson was in his route. That’s called throwing to air or throwing with anticipation–something Cosell and Jaws always talk about.

- Atlanta clearly has finally defined Jerious Norwood’s role as we’ve been saying for a few weeks. The TD catch and run was a great example of his ability to make a big play in space. He never should have scored but he’s capable of making a big play at any time when seemingly there’s not an area for him to go.

JAC-DET

- Daunte Culpepper’s lack of timing with his WRs was evident early on. He did move around pretty well though. His arm strength didn’t look to be all the way back. He did hit Calvin Johnson on a deep pass in the first quarter. But in the second quarter, he had him open for pass over 40 yards but it floated and was short so Reshean Mathis broke it up.

- There’s absolutely nothing special about Kevin Smith and he’s way too slow to be a starting RB in the NFL. A good frame of reference is on a goal-line carry in the first quarter. On a short run to the left on a goal-line carry, all he had to do is run over the defender on the ground who had his arm out. Smith stumbled on the player and didn’t get much farther.

- Jerry Porter saw a lot of snaps early in this game whether it was on early or passing downs.

- Fred Taylor almost scored on a red zone run, he got tackled at the one yard line. Two plays later, MJD had his second TD run.

- I noticed Matt Jones wasn’t involved at all in the passing game until late in the first half. Not sure if that was a function of Porter playing more now that he’s healthy. But in the third quarter before he got hurt, Jones was much more active.

- Fred Taylor looked fast as ever. It was just a matter of his OL opening up holes which obviously has been a big problem this season.

- The Porter TD pass was an embarrassment for the Lion defense. Jones ran a poor route where it looked like he was expected to clear out the left side and run to the middle so Porter could go the other way. Jones ran slow as usual without any effort. Porter got lucky that he didn’t run into Jones. The play seemingly took forever to complete.

- Drew Stanton’s passes were moon balls meaning they were thrown with way too high of an arc. He looked like he had no clue out there with what his was doing.

GB-MIN

- Aaron Rodgers missed WR Jordy Nelson for a big play down the left sideline on the first series probably for 40 years. He was uncovered but the ball was thrown off line.

- Interestingly, Gus Frerotte missed WR Sidney Rice for an easy TD inside the five-yardline then on the next play, Rice easily beat CB Tramon Williams again for a TD catch.

- On their next series, Frerotte missed Bernard Berrian for a 50-yard play down the right side line as the pass was way out of bound.

- It’s obvious by watching Sidney Rice, he’s going to be active in the redzone area because of his size but his PCL sprain is keeping him from becoming a factor in the other areas of the field.

- That was a heck of a catch and run by Chester Taylor in the third quarter.

- If you’re looking to figure out why Donald Lee hasn’t been much of a factor this season, look no further than backup TE Tory Humphrey. He’s just as athletic and keep in mind the team was close to trading for TE Tony Gonzalez so they obviously aren’t high on Lee anymore.

- One of the big reasons why the Packers couldn’t make any big plays down field was because of the pressure the Viking DL put on the OTs all game. Deeper routes require deeper drops by Rodgers and he just couldn’t get enough time to throw.

SEA-MIA

- The TD pass from Chad Pennington to Ted Ginn was amazing. Pennington’s pass had to be perfect for Ginn to catch it because it was right over double coverage by a few inches.

- The biggest reason why Pennington is throwing more than expected this season is because of Miami’s inability to control the clock with the running game.

- Ricky Williams looked as fast as ever on his long TD run.

- I was very impressed with the accuracy of QB Seneca Wallace on their first few drives. He threw the ball well in traffic and put it through a double team on Bobby Engram.

- There must have been at least six dropped passes by Seahawk receivers in the first half, TE John Carlson had at least two.

- Koren Robinson dropped a wide open pass for a TD late in the third quarter. The pass was from the twenty and no one was close to him when he made it in the endzone.

- Julius Jones was more decisive with his runs again, hence lots of big gains throughout the game.

- Keary Colbert beat coverage for a 30-yard catch down the right side line late in the third quarter but he wound up dropping the pass. On the next play, he dropped a 20-yard pass wide open over the middle. In a big surprise (tongue firmly in cheek), Colbert was cut on Tuesday.

BUF-NE

- Marshawn Lynch ran more decisively early on.

- Matt Cassel is doing a better job of looking off the safety. He was also throwing with good timing and anticipation in this game.

- Cassel does really trust Wes Welker. If his first read is covered, the next one seems to be Welker.

- Buffalo ran two plays out of “Wild Cat” formation in the second quarter (Fred Jackson and Lynch each had one play).

- If you want to see what the Patriots are looking for from Laurence Maroney, take a look at BenJarvus Green-Ellis. He’s a decisive, patient runner who will hit the holes that are there. No dancing here. I was very impressed with Green-Ellis in this game. He was able to get to the second level on several runs and he also did a nice job of setting up his blocks. He’s not fast but it’s obviously the coaches trust him and that’s big when you look at who calls the shots with this team.

- New England is trying to get Randy Moss the ball deep a few times/game (I counted four times this game) but aren’t having much luck. Teams are trying to take that away which is why Cassel is going underneath so much to Welker.

TEN-CHI
- Since both teams are so good at stopping the run, they decided to come out throwing.

- Rex Grossman’s first drive wasn’t bad. He made two throws that were off the mark but he threw mostly well–for him.

- He was way off on the second drive and threw the ball wildly which resulted in an INT.

- By the time the second quarter was underway, the coaches clearly wanted to get the ball out of Grossman’s hands and not let him throw it.

- Bo Scaife continues to be heavily involved and is either the first or second option on every passing play.

 - I don’t know what his pass targets were but Brandon Jones was getting a lot of looks in this game. Justin McCareins didn’t even look like he was playing.

- Good to see Justin Gage involved again. CB Nate Vasher didn’t get a good jam on him and Gage got past him for a short TD catch. He also made nice catch to start the fourth quarter on Vasher who used outside technique to force Gage inside. Kerry Collins made a great throw for a first down there.

- Grossman missed Devin Hester for a 50-yard bomb that might have resulted in a TD catch in the third quarter. It was just out of his reach.

- LenDale White has no chance at doing much against good run defenses because he’s so slow. However, he did find success on their first drive of the fourth quarter. He did bang it in there on three successive runs and scored on the final one.

- Chris Johnson’s first run of the game was good but he couldn’t find any room to run after that carry.

STL-NYJ

- Thomas Jones runs with great vision and he finishes off his runs well. It’s puzzling why he doesn’t get the ball more–especially with Favre struggling as he has lately.

- The NYJ OL dominated the STL front four on the first series. They moved the DTs off the ball constantly–especially on Jones’ TD run.

- Ken Darby is what I remember him as. He’s a stocky back who runs well inside. He’s nothing special but he keeps his legs moving.

- On Dustin Keller’s big down field catch, that’s the matchup that coaches want-slow LB (Quentin Culberson) on a fast TE and the safety was way too late. They did it again on a 4th and 2 inside the STL red zone.

- Marc Bulger looks like a completely different player than from year’s past. He lacks confidence in what he’s doing.

- Once Keller breaks free of their TEBC next season, he’ll easily be a top-10 fantasy TE for years to come. Perhaps closer to top-five.

CAR-OAK

- As we predicted, the Panthers would pick on Raider CB Chris Johnson and they did that on Muhsin Muhammad’s TD catch. That should be theme the rest of the way for opposing offenses. It was a great call as Steve Smith ran a fade which cleared out the front the endzone for Muhammad.

- Smith had a bad drop on a 15-yard slant late in the first quarter. He beat CB Nnamdi Asomugha inside but bobbled the ball.

- Johnson actually covered Smith a bit in the first half, not exclusively Asomugha.

- Raider QB Andrew Walter just missed Javon Walker for a 40-yard deep pass down the right sideline.

- On Walter’s first INT, his pass hung up too much in the air (intended for Smith) and Asomugha easily caught it. On the second one, Walter turned his body for no reason and didn’t step into the throw causing the ball to be caught by Richard Marshall.

- Walter has poor pocket awareness and takes too long to throw the ball. His footwork is also bad.

- It’s too bad TE Dante Rosario plays for Carolina. If he played in a better passing offense with another team, he’d be pretty solid.

- Smith just missed catching a 50-yard pass that was picked off. Jake Delhomme’s pass was off the mark but had it been accurate, Smith would have been able to haul it in.

- Not to take anything away from DeAngelo Williams’ performance on that 69-yard TD run, but two would-be tacklers try to grab him high which is just terrible tackling. He didn’t have to make anyone really miss on that run.

- Delhomme’s first wasn’t that bad compared to his second half performance. He missed wide open passing options down field at least four times.

- Williams has excellent change of direction but he also dances around too much.

KC-SD

 

- Antonio Gates appeared to have hurt his foot/toe on a side line catch early in the game. He didn’t miss any plays but I’ll be interested to see if he shows up on the injury report this week.

- Watching Malcom Floyd, I forgot how tall he was. He’s every bit of 6’5″ and he showed on a fade on their first drive about 30 yards down the left sideline. There was no way for the defender to stop him because he’s too big.

- Tyler Thigpen aims his throws a bit which causes them to be too low or short. He worked mostly out of the shotgun again. But he’s generally accurate because he has a lot of time to throw and he does a nice job of surveying the field.

- Also noticed, as we have since he took over, mostly everything is 15 yards and in with Thigpen. Those are the throws he can clearly make.

- On Mark Bradley’s TD catch, Quentin Jammer, who has some of the worst ball skills I’ve seen for many years, tried to use inside technique which kept Bradley outside. Problem is he peeked into the backfield and then thought he had help deep and didn’t. Ever notice why Jammer doesn’t have a lot of INTs in his career? He’s bad with the ball in the air. He’s never lived up close to his contract or where he was selected in the draft.

- Noticed that Tony Gonzalez didn’t really get involved until late in the second quarter. Not sure why that was. But as the game progressed after that, he was the man.

- Bad throw on a potential TD pass to Vincent Jackson late in the first half. Jackson broke free down the right side line for 28 yards but Rivers floated the ball instead of throwing it on a line. Because of that the safety cheated over and made the catch.

- Chris Chambers only seemed to play in three-WR sets, a sure sign that he was still dealing with his injury.

- Tomlinson just couldn’t break off any decent runs other than one out of single back/shotgun. The Chief defense surprisingly played well in this game despite the injuries they had to deal with.

- On Rivers’ INT in the third quarter, bad decision. He threw the ball under duress and had no chance to complete the pass. He should have just thrown the ball away before getting hit.

- It’s been absolutely clear when Chambers can’t play or is limited, Jackson more or less is going to be their top big play option. It looks like they want Jackson to be the big play option with Gates handling everything underneath. I’ve noticed that each time Chambers has been out.

IND-PIT

- While he had two TD runs in this game, Mewelde Moore doesn’t look fast at all. In fact, Greg Cosell and I talked about that a few weeks ago. Neither of us thought he looked fast when carrying the ball. What he’s become is a patient runner that sets up his blocks well. The biggest problem he had in this game was that he ran too high and needed to get his pad level lower.

- Reggie Wayne’s first TD catch is as lucky as you get. The pass had too much loft under it and it shouldn’t have been completed. It was deflected in the air by CB Ike Taylor right into Wayne’s waiting hands.

- The Colt offense was unimpressive in the first quarter and the passing game was out of rhythm.

- The flea flicker player early in the second quarter to Hines Ward was lucky. The Colts disrupted the play but some how it got completed. Ward came very close to scoring (went down at the 1-yardline).

- The Colt front seven seemed to be more physical in the first half for whatever reason.

- If you want to see the value of Bob Sanders to the Colt defense, look no further than a second down running play with less than 12 minutes left in the second quarter. He blew up the play after coming from the secondary all the way to the Steeler backfield.

- As has been the case for many weeks, Peyton Manning just missed Wayne for a deep completion in the second quarter. However, on another drive late in the quarter, they hooked up down the middle for a 25-yarder. Great timing and anticipation by Manning as Taylor had great coverage.

- Later on that drive, Manning just missed Harrison for an easy TD down the middle of the field. Harrison was wide open with no one around him.

- The next time they got the ball back just a minute later after a turnover, Manning missed Harrison on the right side line for a 20-yarder.

- Manning really started to get into a rhythm late in the half and into the third quarter but again, I don’t think he’s the same player that we’ve seen in the past this season for whatever reason. Could be the time he missed in August/July and the fact that they can’t run the ball consistently well.

- Wayne caught another pass off of a deflection in the third quarter.

- I find it interesting that Nate Washington is on the field as much as he has been of late. I’m not sure if that’s a function of game planning against the opponent.

- Great job by Manning to hit Dominic Rhodes on the wheel route on the game winning score. Manning scanned the field and found another option.

Category: Fantasy Guru Daily

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10 Responses

  1. [...] Flacco missed Clayton for a 38-yard TD pass, he put too much air under the ball. Had he thrown it with more power, it was a likely TD. These issues will be alleviated the more he plays and with further film review with the coaches. More [...]

  2. Dave R says:

    Adam,

    You do a great job. Thank you. I enjoy reading your work more than I enjoyed the podcasts. Your blog will become a welcome part of my morning commute.

    Dave

  3. Brobby says:

    hey.. you take alot a time doing this and i comend you for that but you say things that are absolutely false… the thing i saw is the part where you say John carlson dropped atleast two passes… how about we say one… the last offensive play for the hawks and thats the only one i can think of… and that catch was damn tough … even though thats why he was drafted to catch those important completions… but please be accurate…
    -brobby

  4. Adam Caplan says:

    Brobby: In the stats packet I got this morning said he dropped two. And that matched up with what I saw. So please be careful of making comments like that. His play also of late is slipping. I think the more Carlson has to be asked to do the more it hurts him. I think he has to be part of the passing game, not the focal point.

  5. Adam Caplan says:

    Dave: Good to hear. I think Greg’s addition has been even bigger than John and I thought when we decided to go with everything. It’s a credit to Greg really.

  6. Wyatt says:

    Adam, thanks for the great analysis. About Chris Johnson (RB) any signs that he is hitting a rookie wall, or was it just the CHIDEF wall? Thanks to Fantasy Guru I own him in 3 leagues so I’m hopeful he’ll finish strong, but not counting on it. Thanks!

  7. Adam Caplan says:

    Looked like CHI D was playing 8 in the box last week so he couldn’t find any real room.

  8. Frank C says:

    Adam,

    Great work here. I love your commentary podcast with breakdowns of the film from each game. With a new baby at home, I can’t watch nearly as much football as I once did, so I rely on this info to make crucial WW and lineup decisions.

    Any chance you guys can add an option in the blogs where you can show a printer friendly version. I like to print these out and read them on the train. See if those tech guys can figure something out, so I can kill a few less trees. Thanks!

    - Frank

  9. Adam Caplan says:

    Frank: We’ll take a look at that in the future, we’re copy and pasting text so some times is doesn’t line up for printing options. I’m all for tree saving…

  10. steve says:

    Geez Brobby,
    How about chilling out a bit? Seems a little disproportionate to characterize 1 missed catch vs 2 as “say things that are absolutely false”. You’d think he’d accussed Carlson of breaking and entering or something. Given missed catches seems a bit subjective to start, a difference of 1 hardly seems mentioning.
    On a separate note, excellent synopsis Adam. It is very readable.

    Frank, although it adds a step to getting a printed version, copying and pasting the blog into a word doc results in a nice clean version. Just don’t get too engrossed and miss your stop!

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