You can’t ask for a much better start than what we received this past Sunday. Great running game, pretty solid defense and a nice win 34-21.
Here’s what I saw:
Running game: Turner (22/220, 2 TD), Norwood (14/93, 1 TD), Douglas (1/7) and Ryan (5/-2). Effective Runs (4 yards or more)-Turner, 13; Norwood, 9 and Douglas, 1.
Breakdown of passes:
Ryan: 9/13, 161 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT. Breakdown of incompletions: 1 Bad pass, 1 Dropped pass, 1 Throw away and 1 Defended pass.
Drops (1): Peele, 1.
YTD Drops (1):
Peele – 1
Run blocking: 318 rushing yards, need I say more? Outstanding job.
Pass blocking: Was very good for the most part. Blalock allowed a solo pressure, Blalock/McClure combined for 1 pressure; Norwood/McClure combined for another and Dahl/Clabo combined for 1 final pressure. Blalock was also penalized twice (false start and illegal block in the back).
Sack responsibility (1): The lone sack was on Blalock.
YTD Sacks (1):
Blalock – 1
Note: QB responsible sacks are those that he has at least 3 seconds and either chose to try to scramble or stayed in the pocket when the better decision would be to throw it away. Also includes those rushing attempts that go for 0 or negative yardage that for some reason are counted as a sack.
Run defense: Allowing only 62 yards rushing, fantastic effort overall.
Pass Defense: Coverage was a bit soft in the secondary. Houston had two huge penalties that directly resulted in 14 points. Milloy had a very nice athletic interception.
Sacks: Abraham credited with 3. I’ll note that Anderson had a hand in one of them and also Bierrman made an alert play on the bad exchange between Kitna and Smith that almost resulted in a fumble recovery and Davis was there to get the tackle.
Norwood had 2 kickoff returns and 1 touchback: 1. from the -5, 31 yards; 2. from the 4, 34 yards. Very good returns.
Wilkerson had 1 kickoff return: From the 24, 10 yards.
Jennings had 6 punt returns: 1. from the 10, 10 yards; 2. from the 31, 2 yards; 3. from the 9, fair catch; 4. from the 16, -4 yards; 5. from the 27, 5 yards; 6. from the 26, 2 yards. Not a lot there.
Koenen had 3 punts: 1-28 yards to the D 41, out of bounds. 2-36 yards to the D 31, fair catch. 3-51 yards to D 33, fair catch. 1 great punt, 2 bad ones. Not a good day.
Koenen had 7 kickoffs: 1. to the 2, 14 yard return; 2. to the 7, 16 yard return; 3. to the 3, 23 yard return; 4. to the endzone, 27 yard return (and penalty on Jennings); 5. Touchback; 6. to the 5, 20 yard return; 7. to the endzone, 23 yard return. Not a bad day kicking off but I’d like to see more touchbacks.
Field Goals: Elam was 2/2 from 50 and 25.
Special Teams coverage: Very nice job outside of the Jennings penalty which gave the Lions great field position.
Things that really need improvement:
1. Blalock primarily in pass protection and o-line can eliminate pressures by finding someone to hit.
2. Houston needs to look back for the ball and that should eliminate penalties.
3. Brooking struggled in pass coverage.
Offensive MVP: Michael Turner (Franchise single-game rushing record!)
Defensive MVP: John Abraham (4 tackles, 3 sacks, 3 hurries)
Special Teams MVP: Jerious Norwood (2 good returns and 2 tackles on special teams)
Goat of the Week: Justin Blalock and Chris Houston
Let me know your thoughts and questions otherwise:
Next up: AT Tampa Bay Buccaneers September 14th!