COACHING TAPE – WEEK 13 (12/2/08)

COWBOYS OFFENSE VS. SEAHAWKS DEFENSE

  • Cowboys 447 total yards on 58 offensive plays
  • Cowboys only 2-9 on third down conversions, yet 4 trips inside the red zone and 4 TD
  • Cowboys play breakdown: 35 called passes / 23 called runs (including Romo kneel down)
  • Holland started at LG for the Cowboys (Kosier done for the season)
  • With Brady injured this season, Romo the best at pocket movement in the NFL; Romeo very intuitive with uncanny ability to maintain his downfield focus in a muddied pocket, and great vision
  • Witten was Cowboys matchup piece in this game, They aligned him all over the formation dictating matchups and coverages
  • Seahawks defense did not challenge the Cowboys pass game at all, No pressure on Romo and a lot of voids in the zone coverage concepts
  • Few QBs read blitz pressure before the snap as well as Romo, Knows where to go with the ball and gets it out quickly – Also Romo excellent at manipulating coverage with pump fakes and shoulder rolls
  • Witten 7 yard TD was a great throw by Romo across his body, Kind of like Favre’s TD to Coles last week – Very hard to do, and still throw with accuracy in a tight window
  • Cowboys first 3 drives all produced TD: 22 plays, 223 yards – 14 called passes / 8 called runs
  • Seahawks DL no pressure at all on Romo, One of the biggest disappointments of the season
  • Have to attack the interior 3 of the Cowboys OL with blitz schemes, Force them to react on the move; Lateral movement is not their strength – Also, if RB Choice gets significant snaps, you have to make him recognize and execute versus blitz; He showed some hesitation and confusion against the Seahawks
  • Choice a strong downhill runner with vision and decisiveness, A drive sustaining back; Does not have an explosive second gear but does have short area burst to get through cracks at the point of attack
  • Overall, Romo very sharp and very confident; Helped by a Seahawks defense that did not challenge him at all

 

 

EAGLES OFFENSE VS. CARDINALS DEFENSE

  • Eagles ran 80 offensive plays, and controlled the ball for almost 40 minutes – They had 437 total yards
  • Eagles 10-15 on third down conversions – They had 7 trips inside the red zone, 6 TD
  • Westbrook looked like a different back: He had quickness and burst, Showed the ability to plant and cut, Lateral agility and explosiveness
  • Eagles first drive of the game produced a TD: 6 called passes / 6 called runs, including 1 Jackson “Wildcat” formation run
  • Westbrook 16 and 17 yard runs on second TD drive came out of 3 WR personnel versus Cards nickel personnel
  • Eagles second TD drive was 4 consecutive runs: Westbrook 4-41
  • McNabb sacked on first Eagles attempt to take a downfield shot: Post / cross combination off play action out of straight “I”
  • Eagles a lot of success running out of 3 WR personnel versus Cards nickel package
  • Cards base defense versus Eagles base personnel was the 3-4
  • Eagles third TD drive featured 6 called runs and 4 called passes – So the tally on the Eagles 3 first half TD drives was 16 called runs / 10 called passes
  • Cards blew the coverage on Westbrook 2 yard TD catch, Great job by McNabb drifting away from the all out pressure
  • McNabb sharp throwing the ball, A high percentage of 3 and 5 step drops and quick throws
  • Cards did not blitz hardly at all in the first half; McNabb very comfortable in the pocket, Helped by the approach which featured a lot of quick drops and short passes, Ball came out fast
  • Cards did not challenge the Eagles WRs, They played a lot of zone coverage concepts
  • Cards picked up their blitz frequency in the second half, and the Eagles had some problems recognizing it and accounting for it – They can expect to see a lot of blitz versus the Giants
  • What stood out on film was McNabb’s accuracy, It was the best it had been all season – He made some stick throws into tight windows, which he normally does not do, much less attempt
  • Westbrook 9 yard TD in third quarter came out of 3 WR personnel versus Cards nickel package
  • Through 3 quarters, ending with Akers FG that made it 34-13, 15 of the Eagles 23 runs came out of 3 WR personnel – 15-91, 6.1 yds per rush, 2 TD, 8 out of 15 gained 4+ yards
  • For the most part, Cards defense was passive: Why against a struggling OL and a struggling QB? – It was a very poor defensive performance, They allowed the Eagles offense to find and develop some rhythm
  • Eagles had offensive balance with run and pass, plus the pass game was quick rhythm – 2 critical factors: Westbrook lateral explosiveness, and McNabb accuracy

 

REDSKINS OFFENSE VS. GIANTS DEFENSE

  • Redskins only had the ball for 24:16, They can’t win like that
  • Redskins only 4-13 on third down conversions
  • Portis only 11-22, Redskins can’t win like that either
  • Alford started at DT in place of the inactive Robbins, and Blackburn continued to start at WLB for the Giants
  • What stood out immediately was Giants use of S Johnson coming down late into the box as a run defender, He was not accounted for in the Redskins blocking scheme and he blew up a couple of Portis runs early in the game – Johnson set the tone
  • Once again, Redskins OL struggled in pass protection; It really hurt them when they tried to go play action with “max pro” and attack deeper down the field – C Rabach beaten by DT Cofield on second quarter sack, 4 man rush by Giants versus 6 man protection
  • Giants game planned to get an extra defender in the box versus run, More than willing to play a high percentage of single high safety with man coverage concepts on the outside
  • Giants excellent with their back side pursuit in the run game, A fast defense
  • If the Redskins cannot run the ball consistently, their offense does not work – Pass game too limited in scope to be the driving force of the offense
  • S Johnson a huge factor in the run game, A function of Giants willingness to single up Webster on Moss
  • Rookie Thomas the Giants nickel corner, He played inside over the slot – A versatile player, Used as a blitzer
  • Ross interception was a result of Campbell underthrowing Randle El on the post; Another designed big play opportunity off play action with “max pro”, Randle El beat Ross and S Butler was not in good position – A poor throw by Campbell
  • Must be aware of Phillips as a blitzer when you play the Giants, Predominantly comes when the Giants are in their dime package with 3 corners and 3 safeties – Phillips an explosive downhill player with speed and power
  • C Rabach and RT Jansen are weaknesses on the Redskins OL
  • Redskins lack explosiveness on offense, Moss can be a deep threat but he can be taken away because they lack any other viable receiving weapon – Cooley will catch a lot of balls because of the design of the pass game but he is not a TE that must be schemed for by the defense, He’s a short route runner with little explosion to his game

 

PATRIOTS OFFENSE VS. STEELERS DEFENSE

  • Patriots only 267 total yards on 64 offensive plays
  • Patriots only 1-13 on third down conversions
  • Patriots 4 trips inside the red zone, only 1 TD
  • First sack was on Cassel: He had Welker open on the curl route for a first down but did not pull the trigger, Instead he pulled the ball down and looked to run – Harrison strength driving LG Mankins back into Cassel, He was responsible for the sack even though Farrior and Smith split it
  • Bad drop by Moss on what would have been a big play for the Patriots in the first quarter, Patriots leading 7-3 at the time
  • Most overlooked thing about OLBs Harrison and Woodley is their pure strength, They have shown consistent ability to drive OTs back into the QB
  • Cassel struggled with his decision making at times, He left some open throws on the field to force some passes elsewhere, Tried to do too much
  • Steelers went “cover zero” behind an all out blitz on 3rd + 2 from their own 11 in the second quarter, Polamalu got in clean and drilled Cassel on his release
  • Polamalu may be the most explosive defensive player in the NFL, He plays so fast yet under control and with discipline
  • Patriots offense was solid in the first half, Made some plays both in the run game and throwing the ball, No sense that the Steelers defense was dictating the game
  • Moss dropped a TD at the end of the first half that could have changed the game – Then Gostkowski missed a chip shot FG
  • Moss has lost his explosiveness, He does not run by corners anymore
  • In the second half, 4 consecutive Patriots possessions ended with turnovers – Both Harrison sacks and forced fumbles came on 4 man rushes, He beat LT Light of the edge both times
  • Patriots had success running the ball out of the shotgun throughout the game
  • Polamalu interception was not really on Cassel, He needed to make a throw in the fourth quarter and tried to stick it in a tight window; The ball hit Watson in the hands, It would have been a tough catch, but I can’t fault Cassel for making the throw
  • Steelers made some dynamic individual plays (such as Harrison’s 2 sacks and forced fumbles), but they did not dominate the Patriots offense physically throughout the game – The individual plays made the outcome look much worse than it was

 

RAVENS OFFENSE VS. BENGALS DEFENSE

  • Ravens ran 75 offensive plays, and controlled the ball for almost 39 minutes
  • Ravens 451 total yards – They were 8-17 on third down conversions
  • Ravens started the game with McClain the “I” back and Neal the FB
  • One thing that continues to stand out is Flacco moves better and throws the ball better on the run than initially thought
  • McClain very strong downhill, A pile mover who always falls forward, His feet are a little quicker than you would think given his size and squat build, Showed some lateral agility with the ability to redirect – A churning runner
  • Clayton 45 yards on 3rd + 7 was a great throw by Flacco over the outside shoulder, Can’t throw it any better than that
  • Slaughter replaced an injured Gaither at LT in the first quarter; Gaither came back in the game
  • Too many free blitzers at Flacco, Ravens must tighten up their pass protection versus pressure
  • Rookie DT Sims flashed again, Quickness and leverage and burst – Has the ability to be a quality starting DT
  • Another thing that stands out about the Ravens offense is the way they attack the whole field with their pass game, both horizontally and vertically; They take their deep shots every game, Force defenses to defend the entire field (the old Sid Gillman approach to pass offense) – Anyone who says arm strength is overrated is not watching the NFL very closely
  • Ravens with McClain and Neal in the backfield have a physical run game
  • Ravens offense becoming more and more complete with each passing week: A diverse run game that can both line up and hit you in the mouth, and also be effective from the shotgun with Rice, plus a multi-dimensional pass game that attacks all areas of the field – Flacco better and better each week
  • Clayton 33 yards on second quarter TD drive came against “cover zero” behind an all out blitz; Flacco looked down the gun barrel and got the ball down the field to Clayton on the go route
  • DL Ngata played TE on Heap’s 4 yard TD, He moved unbelievably well running a route
  • Ravens used their version of the “Wildcat” formation with Troy Smith in the shotgun – It will be interesting to see this develop over the last month since Smith can actually throw the ball
  • Clayton 70 yard TD came out of “22” personnel with the McClain / Neal backfield, Play action “max pro”; Clayton beat Hall within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage and made a great one-handed catch on the go route
  • Ravens an efficient and explosive offensive performance

 

VIKINGS OFFENSE VS. BEARS DEFENSE

  • Vikings ran 66 offensive plays, and controlled the ball for almost 34 minutes
  • Vikings only 5-17 on third down conversions
  • Vikings play breakdown: 39 called runs / 27 called passes – Peterson 28-131
  • Cook started at RT for the Vikings, Hicks was inactive
  • Graham started at RCB for the Bears
  • Bears a lot of pre snap movement with their front, and that often includes S Brown, who will yoyo back and forth between the box and a deeper position – It’s difficult to identify who to block in the run game, and who’s coming in the pass game
  • Frerotte does not move well within the pocket; Does not show the ability to avoid, slide, reset and deliver – Because of this deficiency, Frerotte leaves plays on the field, either throwing the ball away or getting sacked
  • RG Herrera and RT Cooks are weak links on the Vikings OL – It’s an average OL, made significantly better by the ability of Peterson; They do not pass protect consistently
  • Frerotte struggled with consistent accuracy, Misses too many open receivers – Again, it’s why he’s been a career backup
  • Bears LB trio of Urlacher, Briggs and Roach played well versus the run; They jumped in and out of gaps and made it difficult for the Vikings OL to account for them
  • Frerotte a tendency to be a little slow with his processing of information, so the more the Bears did with pre snap movement, the more they created some indecision and hesitation in Frerotte after the snap – You can get Frerotte to play fast and frenetic
  • Peterson looks to me like a flash runner: When the opposing jersey color flashes in his vision, he cuts away from it, looking to find daylight – Tony Dorsett was a lot like that, but Peterson is a much more physical and violent runner; He looks like he’s running harder
  • Berrian 99 yard TD came out of balanced “12” personnel with Peterson the single back, Bears “cover 3” zone concept with single safety Payne cheating toward the field; CB Tillman was responsible for the vertical routes of both Shiancoe and Berrian, He saw Shiancoe break free down the seam and jumped the TE – Berrian ran the go route and Freroote made a perfect throw
  • RB Taylor very good out of the backfield as a receiver, particularly versus man coverage when he’s matched on a LB
  • Bears struggle in the secondary with coverage, They can’t match up man-to-man so they are forced to play predominantly zone schemes
  • WR Rice cannot run at all, He really struggles to separate from man coverage – Payne’s interception was a great example, Rice could not win vertically against nickel corner Manning
  • Bears front seven / eight (counting S Brown) was outstanding against the run in this game; Peterson had some unbelievable individual efforts and Taylor’s 21 yard TD was the only run in which they were beaten by scheme – They wore down a little in the fourth quarter, but overall it was a terrific effort by the Bears
  • Vikings offense remains inconsistent and week-to-week, especially when it comes to Frerotte

Category: Fantasy Guru Daily

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