Week 12 Game Reviews

Houston Texans at Cleveland Browns

Texans

- Nice job by Sage Rosenfels on their first drive of throwing with good timing. He read the defense well and got the ball to his receivers on time with anticipation.

- With Houston doubling Andre Johnson, Kevin Walter got one on one coverage and he easily beat short CB Brandon McDonald for a TD. Rosenfels threw it up to Walter who made a nice adjustment on the ball.

- Ahman Green got lots of work in the first half before he injured his knee.

- Nice mixture of run and pass in the first half. They kept the Cleveland defense guessing.

- The Texan OL gave Rosenfels plenty of time to throw the ball in the first half. The Brown defense got next to no pressure on Rosenfels and when they did, he easily stepped up in the pocket to make his throws.

- Andre’ Davis had a nice long kickoff for a TD called back due to a penalty.

- Walter was getting open all the time in the first half. It was just a matter of the ball being spread around to other options and in the running game.

- Rosenfels missed Walter late in the first half for a TD in the right of the end zone. Rosenfels, who was pretty accurate in that half, threw it over his head.

- Noticed Walter was lined up differently meaning they moved him around in this game. He lined up in the slot in the second half and easily got open.

- Bad throw by Rosenfels on a third quarter INT. The pass was intended for Owen Daniels and was thrown behind him.

- Cleveland’s defense looked tired and Texan receivers were running open all day.

- With Davis back, he adds the deep receiving element to their passing game which had been missing since he was injured.

- Another bad INT late in the game by Rosenfels. He had plenty of time to throw and just made a bad decision–something he does way too much and is the reason why he’s a backup QB.

Browns

- Jamal Lewis ran hard early and well on their first drive. He had a 13-yard gain called back due to a holding call. Unfortunately, he later fumbled on that drive.

- Most of Brady Quinn’s passes were of the shorter variety in the first half.

- Lewis ran quite well in the first half and gained positive yardage on almost every carry. That’s what we expected against this defense.

- Jerome Harrison is settling in to his change of pace role. This is the role that he was drafted for.

- Great job by Braylon Edwards of adjusting to the throw by Quinn for a deep catch down the right sideline. The ball hung in the air and was a little short so Edwards adjusted to the pass in the air and hauled it in.

- Quinn’s injured finger clearly had an effect on his throws which seemed to lack zip and accuracy.

- Quinn’s INT in the third quarter was terrible and he threw it right to DE Anthony Weaver.

- Quinn’s second INT actually may not have been his fault. Edwards didn’t make a strong enough effort on a quick slant inside the redzone and the CB stepped in front and easily picked it off.

- Derek Anderson replaced him on the next series. On Anderson’s second series, on a third down play, he threw a strike 25 yards down field which Edwards dropped.

- Later on that drive, Anderson lofted the ball in the left side of the endzone and Edwards bobbled it with a defender on him. Tough catch but one he should have made since he out-leaped the defensive player.

- A few plays later, Edwards was wide open at the two and the ball was way under thrown and he couldn’t get to it.

- Late in the game, Lewis had another fumbled which resulted in another turnover.

New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins

Patriots

- It was clear from the start that they weren’t going to try to run the ball in this game. They came out in shot gun and immediately started throwing with a spread look.

- From watching them in the first quarter, Kevin Faulk could continue to become a bigger part of what they’re doing on offense since they’ve decided to get back to being a throwing offense. Sammy Morris looks to handle the running plays.

- The INT in the first quarter wasn’t Matt Cassel’s fault. The pass was on time to Randy Moss who couldn’t quite pull it in so it stayed in the air long enough for CB Jason Allen to deflect it into Yeremiah Bell’s hands.

- Unbelievable one-handed catch down the right sidelines by Moss on their next series. It’s a must see.

- The offense is morphing now to what they did with Tom Brady last year. After mostly under center to start this season, they’re almost now exclusively in shotgun which tells you how much they now trust Cassel.

- Cassel is doing a nice job of stepping up in the pocket when any pressure comes his way. He’s also willing to stand in there and make throws under duress.

- Still, not a lot of down field passing.

- Cassel is also doing a nice job of scanning the field.

- On Wes Welker’s big play, the defender fell down so the short gain became a long one.

- Big-time throw by Cassel to Jabar Gaffney in the fourth quarter for a big first down on a third and 10. He fired the ball to Gaffney 20 yards down field with a defender on him. That shows you the confidence he has in what he’s seeing.

- Later on that drive, Cassel threw it up on the left side line and Moss went up and got it over the defender–reminiscent of Brady to Moss last year when he would just throw it to Moss down field and he would some how get it front of the defender for the score.

- BenJarvus Green-Ellis didn’t get a carry until the game was out of reach.

Miami

- Great play action fake by Chad Pennington on the Greg Camarillo TD catch.

- You can see how limited this offense is when the wildcat formation doesn’t work. They have few playmakers on offense who can consistently move the chains.

- For the nice plays that Ted Ginn made in this game, he had two really bad drops and he did a terrible job on a kick return when he tried to avoid getting hit. He actually looked like that on those two drops.

- The guess here is that they’ll address the receiver position high in next year’s draft and also possibly in free agency.

- Every once in a while they’ll send either Ronnie Brown or Ricky Williams down field to get one on one coverage against a LB and they did that on their early fourth quarter TD when Williams beat rookie LB Gary Guyton.

- Losing Camarillo will hurt because this offense was pretty much devoid of big plays from other than Ginn.

Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs

Bills

- There were huge holes to run through inside early on. Marshawn Lynch didn’t try to break everything outside for a change, he started to run more inside and well.

- Trent Edwards missed a wide open Robert Royal for a TD on a third and goal from the one. Play action fake, Royal fell but the ball was too far over his head anyway.

- Lynch ran it in for a TD on the next play. He ran with good vision and power on that first drive.

- Pretty shaky first half for Trent Edwards until late in the half when he hit Lee Evans on a bomb way down in the middle of the field.

- Edwards had esentially all day to throw the ball in the first half. He did start to get into a rhythm in the last four minutes.

- It’s amazing how bad KCs pass rush is. They literally let the QB scan the field and do what he wants.

Kansas City

- They continue to have Tyler Thigen play almost exclusively out of the shotgun formation. I would also say they have clearly become a passing team with him under center.

- If the early first quarter throw to Jamaal Charles down the right sideline was better, he would have walked in, he fell but got up and still scored.

- They are also running out of shotgun.

- Dwayne Bowe continues to have a problem with drops. He drops a lot of easy passes, yet will catch the very tough ones.

- On Larry Johnson’s early second quarter run, it was out of the shotgun and he had wide open spaces in the middle of the field. Because teams have to actually respect KC’s passing game, there will be voids in the defense to run the ball.

- Great play fake by Thigpen and he rolled out easily to find a wide open Tony Gonzalez for the easy TD catch.

- Later in the quarter, LJ had a 25-yard run called back due to a holding penalty.

- Bad throw by Thigpen for an INT that was returned for a TD. He tends to telegraph his passes a bit.

- Gonzalez was running pretty free in this game for whatever reason. And it has been very obvious for some time that he and Thigpen are on the same page. Because Thigpen is an intermediate passer, this favors the routes that Gonzalez usually runs.

- Another bad read by Thigpen late in the half as he threw it with poor touch to rookie CB Leodis McKelvin for the second time.

- In the third quarter, Thigpen hit a wide open Mark Bradley for a deep score after S George Wilson fell down. After watching the play again, Wilson had no idea where he was so the play may have been completed anyway.

- Thigpen is fun to watch. He’ll make his share of mistakes but he’s clearly a gunslinger and the coaches are willing to let him throw the ball.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Detroit Lions

Buccaneers

- On Carnell Williams’ first play, Jeff Garcia ran into him and the ball was fumbled. The Lions picked it off the turf and ran it back for a TD. Williams came in for a few plays late in the first quarter.

- Williams got a carry on a third and short and converted it for a first down.

- Warrick Dunn had a great TD run later on that drive. 13-yard run and spun his way through tackles and in for a score.

- On their next drive, Jeff Garcia found a wide open Ike Hilliard for the score in the middle of the defense. Hilliard clearly wasn’t the first option on the play, however.

- After an INT, Garcia threw it down the left seam to a wide open Jerramy Stevens for a TD. The Lion defense really is a joke. Guys are out of position all the time.

- Dunn broke off a huge run late in the third quarter. Mis-direction play and typcially the Lions ran the wrong way.

- Williams next carries didn’t come until the game was out of reach in the fourth quarter. He had no explosion at all on any of his runs.

Lions

- The deep pass for about 40 yards down field to Calvin Johnson in the first quarter might have been picked off. The ball hung in the air, but Johnson was able to shield off double coverage in order to catch the ball.

- Later on that drive, Daunte Culpepper got it again to Johnson with Ronde Barber covering him for the TD. The safety help was too late.

- Kevin Smith had a huge run late in the first quarter. There was a huge hole in the middle and he just ran in it and make a few defenders miss up field.

- Smith had another nice run late in the second quarter. FB Moran Norris made a great block and all Smith had to do is make one unblocked defensive player miss, which he did and he ran for about 12 yards. He had another nice run a few plays later. There have been surprisingly some big holes to run through in this game.

- Smith had a much tougher time running in the second half and the team got behind so he didn’t get a lot of work. He did break off one nice run.

- Culpepper’s timing was way off the entire game with his passing options. He held on to the ball way too long as well.

- Drew Stanton game in mid way through the third quarter. He was pretty much inaccurate. He later got hurt.

Philadelphia Eagles at Baltimore Ravens

Eagles

- Donovan McNabb’s first few throws were short and down. That’s been an ongoing issue for him all season. He also threw a pass too early before the pressure got to him.

- Late in the first quarter he threw a strike to Jason Avant in traffic over the middle. His best pass in several weeks.

- The drive moved down field pretty well, but McNabb had the ball stripped by DE/OLB Jarret Johnson and the Ravens recovered. Tra Thomas gave up well too much pressure in this game.

- McNabb’s first INT was thrown way too short to DeSean Jackson who couldn’t make an adjustment to the ball. I’m starting to wonder if McNabb is losing his ability to throw it deep.

- His second one in the first half clearly was his fault and he threw it right to Ed Reed. The ball didn’t come out of McNabb’s hand well.

- Once again, McNabb still holds on to the ball too long and he waits for his passing options to get open.

- Despite the game being close, the surprising decision was made to replace McNabb with Kevin Kolb. Then  again, McNabb hasn’t shown any consistency almost play to play.

- On their second play of the second half, Jackson lined up in the wildcat formation on a third and one play and easily got yardage. But it tells you that they have no faith in their short-yardage personnel.

- Kolb threw a few times accross his body for no reason, which is a bad trait.

- Brian Westbrook is unable to make the sharp cuts that we’re used to seeing him make. This was the issue we were concerned about before the Atlanta game–that happened to be the last good game he had.

- Kolb’s INT late in the third quarter was woefully short to Kevin Curtis. Something I’ve noticed with him in practice for some time is that he puts too much air under the ball on deeper passes causing them to hang too much.

- Westbrook nearly scored on a fourth quarter run. He got it inside the one-yardline then got tackled.

- Two plays later, once again, Kolb turned his body for no reason and he threw another INT, this time to Ed Reed who took it back for a score. Kolb must improve his decision making and mechanics.

Ravens

- Two drops on the first drive (Derrick Mason and Todd Heap). Neither one was easy, but both passes should have been caught.

- Interesting that they had a formation on the second series where Lorenzo Neal was at FB and Le’Ron McClain was at RB. McClain has fresh legs and ran right through the Eagle DL on his first carry.

- McClain continued to look good on that drive and did a nice job of cutting back. He has great feet for such a big man.

- He did get stopped on a third and one for the first time all season.

- Baltimore tried to establish the run in the first half but other than what McClain got done, they couldn’t move the ball down field consistently.

- While Joe Flacco was just average in this game, he did make a few great throws. The one late in the third quarter to Mark Clayton on what looked to be a deep comeback was right on time. He threw it while Clayton was in his route.

- Then on a drive in the fourth quarter, unreal timing throw on a quick slant to Clayton for a long TD. He threw the ball as Clayton was in his route again. That’s timing and anticpation right there.

New York Jets at Tennessee Titans

Jets

- The Jets clearly are shrinking the field with Brett Favre. They aren’t going to throw the ball deep like they did much earlier in the season. The reason for this is clear–to limit his mistakes.

- Favre made an unbelievable stick throw on their first drive to Laveranues Coles. A short pass that was thrown in traffic. Few QBs are willing to make that throw.

- Great call by OC Brian Schottenheimer on the middle screen to Thomas Jones for the TD catch and run. They anticipated the pressure from the Titans who ran up field.

- They did try a deep pass later in the quarter but it was covered well.

- Albert Haynesworth lined up at DE and destroyed D’Brickashaw Ferguson late in the first quarter. He caused a fumble.

- Favre missed Dustin Keller open on a third down play late in the second quarter for a score. He didn’t see him open until it was too late the defenders converged.

- They ran another quick slant to Jerricho Cotchery early in the second half. Favre can still make these stick throwns easily. Their passing game is pretty easy to see. Lots of high percentage, low risk throws. This way, they will reduce the risk of turnovers.

- Favre didn’t make many bad throws in this game, but inside the Titan redzone he missed Coles on a short pass where he threw it a little in front of him. It appears Favre tried to throw it to a spot and Coles never caught up to it.

- Favre made another great stick throw in back of the endzone to Coles for a TD. He’s excelling with their short passing game. The defense had a hard time reacting because he never tipped off where he was going with the throw until the very end. He threw it to the right where only Coles could get it.

- A few observations of note: Leon Washington really didn’t get involved in the offense until the fourth quarter. They still haven’t found a way to get him consistently involved. And with Dustin Keller’s emergence, it’s taken Chansi Stuckey almost completely out of the picture.

- On Washington’s long TD run, he had a surprisingly huge hole to run through. That almost never happens against the Titan front seven. It was noticeable that the Jet OL had their way for much of this game against the Titan D.

- Washington scored on a goal-line carry late in the game after Thomas Jones couldn’t punch it in on a bunch of tries.

Titans

- As much as we all like Chris Johnson, he needs to be in a two-man backfield. I’m not convinced he can handle 18-20 carries/game. It’s a matter of not wearing him down. Why LenDale White only got one carry is a mystery. It’s not about White running that well or not, it’s about Johnson not getting overworked.

- The Titans lack of talent at WR clearly showed in this game. When they are forced to throw against a good defense, they almost have no shot.

- Great run by Johnson late in the quarter. The one thing that he does so well and remarkably well for a rookie is run with great vision.

- Bad drop by Bo Scaife on a good throw by Kerry Collins. Scaife got matched up on DB David Barrett and he beat him over the middle for what would have been a big play but he tried to run without securing the ball.

- Too many drops in the first half by TEs/WRs (broadcasters said at least five).

- Johnson had a fumble during a nice third quarter run where he showed great patience and he looked to set up his blockers. It’s a shame that he lost the ball on that run as many will wind up forgetting about this play.

- Collins didn’t play badly in this game despite his numbers. There were too many drops.

Chicago Bears at St. Louis Rams

Bears

- Very poor tackling on Matt Forte’s early first quarter TD run. All he did is run up the middle.

- Devin Hester is basically now a full-time WR and is off kickoff returns (he’s still returning punts).

- Great fade to Hester down the right sidelines from Kyle Orton for a nice gain late in the first quarter.

- On the same drive, Hester lined up in the wildcat formation and ran it for a nice gain.

- Once again, Forte had another huge hole to run through on his next TD run in the second quarter. This time, he did have to make to unblocked defenders miss up field. Forte also lined up in the wildcat formation on this drive.

- Hester was very involved in the first half. It was clear they planned to get him involved this game.

- While he didn’t catch a pass, Greg Olsen drew a penalty on pass interference on a deep pass down the right sideline in the second quarter.

- Hester got thrown a ball in the endzone in the third quarter but it was over the middle down field in triple coverage.

- Orton was better in this game than he was in the first game back from injury, but he wasn’t exactly sharp either. He made a really bad pass out of his own endzone 20 yards down field right to a DB which was dropped.

Rams

- They had problems with protection in this game with LT Orlando Pace out.

- It’s very hard for them to move the ball without Steven Jackson. Without the threat of the running game, it’s making it easier to defend their WRs.

- Antonio Pittman actually looked quick on some of his first half runs.

- The QB situation is really dragging down Donnie Avery as is the lack of balance on offense.

- Adam Goldberg, who filled in for Pace, struggled mightily in this game.

Minnesota Vikings at Jacksonville Jaguars

Vikings

- Chester Taylor, who started, looked great on their first drive. He made a great spin move on his TD run.

- Bernard Berrian really struggles to be good CBs. It’s very apparent that he’s not skilled enough to win these battles. All he can do is occasionally run by them.

- One noticeable thing about Adrian Peterson this year is he’s much more patient. He’s not trying to break every run for a score.

Jaguars

- They turned it over on consectutive kickoffs and the Vikings scored on both TOs.

- It’s so apparent watching this team that lack of speed at WR is holding the offense back. Teams can just play the run and play the WRs with single coverage. They get no separation.

- Good to see Maurice Jones-Drew finally getting involved in the passing game. They should get him the ball since their WRs are so slow.

- Marcedes Lewis dropped a sure TD pass on a third and goal play in the second quarter.

- This team must rebuild their OL and must overhaul their WRs in order to get back to being a strong offense.

San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys

49ers

- They came right out of the box and attacked the Dallas secondary.

- Michael Robinson was in as a single back on the second play of the game.

- They tried to get it out of Shaun Hill’s hands quickly to WRs.

- The one seven step drop Hill took in the first quarter resulted in a lucky completion down field to Isaac Bruce. Hill got hit as he threw the ball and some how it dropped in between two defenders.

- Frank Gore hardly touched the ball on their first three offensive series.

- Robinson lined up in the wildcat formation on a second quarter drive.

- At times, Hill seems to have no idea where he’s going with the ball when he drops back.

- Hill hit Vernon Davis for a deep pass in the first half. Davis ran right by two defenders. He also missed Davis in the third quarter on a pass down the middle of the field where he beat coverage.

- It’s puzzling why they haven’t gotten Gore involved in the passing game this season.

- Hill has no arm at all. I can see why he was their #3 QB to start the season. He only can excel in a short passing game with short reads. His INT on a 20-yard pass in the red zone was terrible. He had no torque and power in that pass.

Cowboys

- Dallas couldn’t get it going on offense on their first two series. It was evident, though, they were trying to get Terrell Owens the ball, who was in single coverage at times.

- Jason Witten bobbled a 25-yard pass down the left sideline which resulted in an incompletion.

- On Owens’ long TD catch early in the second quarter, he had single coverage, the safety help was way too late. Owens ran right through overrated CB Nate Clements.

- On their next series, Owens dropped a wide open pass for a short gain. He bobbled it.

- Again, Owens had single coverage with Clements on him for a nice gain down the right sideline. The safety wasn’t within 10 yards of the pass.

- Tony Romo had plenty of time to pass in this game. The 49er defense did well against the run, but because they can’t rush the passer at all, WRs were running open after 4-5 seconds.

- Romo had Owens open on a slant that would have been for a nice gain early in the third quarter but the ball was thrown behind him.

- Later on that drive again, Owens got singled up against a CB for a big gain down the right sideline.

- Witten got popped hard on a 20-yard pass late in the third quarter which he dropped.

NY Giants at Arizona Cardinals

Giants

- They tried to go deep on the Cardinal secondary early in this game. Amani Toomer dropped a pass well down field for a big gain over the middle. Those plays are usually open against the weak Cardinal secondary. Rookie CB Domonique Rodgers-Cromartie did close on the ball late but Toomer should have pulled it in.

- Dominik Hixon almost scored late in the first half on a throw to the right corner of the end zone. Rodgers-Cromartie knocked it away at the last second.

- The Giants, even late in the half, were very patient on offense. They don’t change their approach.

- Hixon can really run, but he will need to bulk up a bit if he wants to seriously challenge for a starting job next season.

- Kevin Boss uses good leverage to get open, especially in the redzone area. He scored again there.

Cardinals

- They got a decent amout of time to throw on their second drive and moved the ball well. Great timing passes thrown by Kurt Warner. Drive did result only in a FG though.

- Warner has an uncanny sense of where oncoming defenders are. He just calmly steps away or takes an extra short step back against the blitz and gets rid of the ball cleanly. We didn’t see this when he was with the Giants.

- J.J. Arrington clearly is their hurry up back or passing down back. He’s in most of those situations no matter where it seems they are on the field.

- Larry Fitzgerald almost scored late in the first half. The pass was on the money in back of the end zone but S Kenny Phillips knocked it away at the last second.

- The Giants got a lot of pressure on Warner on their last drive in the half.

- Arizona went a lot of four-WR sets in this game with Jerheme Urban seeing a lot of PT.

- Warner did make a really bad throw early in the fourth quarter. Apparently he was throwing it to a spot where he thought the WR would be but none made it over there and it went right to the DB.

- Unbelievable adjustment by Steve Breaston on deep pass late in the fourth quarter. He looked right then left at the last second and made the catch.

Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos

Raiders

- For whatever reason, Justin Fargas isn’t running well this season. Last year, he was looking like a perfect fit for their zone blocking scheme. He seems to be just running without a sense of purpose.

- The offensive line gave JaMarcus Russell time to throw again. They did a good job last week in protection. Russell threw a laser ball to Ashley Lelie for a nice first quarter completion.

- Darren McFadden had a 10-yard catch where he lined up out wide as a WR called back by a penalty.

- McFadden and Ronald Curry lined up at QB for plays in the first quarter. Both players wound up running the ball.

- If Russell would have hit Zach Miller in stride on a second quarter pass, he would have probably scored instead of the play stopping at the 3-yardline. Russell threw it to the wrong shoulder.

- Russell connected on a 50-yard bomb to Ashley Lelie in the third quarter. The ball was a tad short but Lelie had great concentration and hauled it in with a DB on him. Lelie could always run so he could break off a few deep plays every now and then.

- It’s amazing how much more confortable Russell has looked in their last two games. He doesn’t look like a rookie any more. He looks like a seasoned veteran.

- On McFadden’s TD run in the third quarter. It was a misdirection  toss. Anyone could have scored. The Broncos played the run inside so they had no one outside to cover the play.

- Very ugly half back option throw with Michael Bush who is a lefty. He threw it short to Zach Miller for first down but it was more luck than anything else.

- A great illustration of Russell’s maturity was on the TD catch by Lelie in the fourth quarter. Russell waited for the last second to throw it to Lelie who was crossing in the endzone over the middle in double coverage. Great job of Russell scanning the field.

- Fargas had a big fourth quarter run through a huge hole. He started to pile on yards after they got a big lead.

Broncos

- FB Peyton Hillis has quick feet but no explosiveness. That’s why you won’t see him break off any big runs. He does have good hands.

- Quarterbacks on the run usually lose power in their throws, but not Jay Cutler. He gets a ton of torque into almost every throw.

- Cutler’s INT throw for TD was called back. CB Chris Johnson, who scored, held on the play.

- They got Brandon Marshall lined up on Johnson  on a deep pass but Johnson was able to break it up.

- Eddie Royal beat Johnson deep for a 40-yard plus pass but the ball was just out of his reach as he dove for it.

- They had Tony Scheffler lined up on Johnson out wide in the red zone but the throw was a little over Sheffler’s head.

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