I knew I wanted to get this one done before Thanksgiving dinner to ensure that I still had my appetite. I may not have finished this one soon enough. Leftwich was off, the line couldn’t protect long enough for his long delivery, a couple of early horrible calls by the officials, negative plays in general, a defense getting worn down and one of the worst days I’ve ever seen by a single offensive lineman in my lifetime.
Here’s what I saw:
Running game: Dunn (15/32), Snelling (2/13) and Norwood (2/4). Effective Runs (4 yards or more)-Dunn, 5; Snelling, 2 and Norwood, 1. Dunn also had 8 catches for 40 yards and Norwood had 2 catches for 10 yards.
Breakdown of passes:
Leftwich: 15/27, 0 TD, 2 INT. Breakdown of incompletions: 4 Bad passes, 6 Drops, 3 passes defended. Byron could have helped the WR’s out by throwing better balls but at the same time, they could have done a lot more as well. The first INT came as a result of a miscue by Blalock and Dunn not picking up a rusher which resulted in Byron getting drilled as he was throwing. The second was due to Ojinnaka getting beat and the defender disrupting Byron’s throwing motion. He also had 3 fumbles all of which were a result of being in the motion of throwing.
Harrington: 16/20, 139 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT. Breakdown of incompletions: 2 Bad passes, 1 Drop and 1 throw away. Joey played his game and it’s tough to rate the performance since half of the attempts came on the Falcons’ last drive and not really in crunch time.
Drops (7): The crew came up with 8 but I just didn’t see another I could justify as a drop. White, 2; Jenkins, 1; Robinson, 1; Dunn, 3.
YTD Drops (30):
Run blocking: Not a lot of success to the edges nor was there success in short yardage situations again. It’s obvious that Petrino doesn’t have confidence calling short yardage plays up the middle and also that we’ve simply got to get more power along the line.
Pass blocking: Big regression this week but mostly from the two young tackles. I can understand Clabo missing since this is his first year’s worth of game experience playing the position but not Ojinnaka. Truly one of the worst efforts I’ve seen from a lineman.
Sack responsibility (4): First one is on Clabo and Blalock resulting in the fumble return for a TD. Second goes to Ojinnaka. Boselli said that it wasn’t a bad job and while Leftwich did get 3 seconds there was no way for him to get rid of the ball without another fumble occurring. Third is also on Ojinnaka which forced a fumble that we were fortunate to get back. Fourth is also on Ojinnaka.
YTD Sacks (32):
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: Was very solid early but with early injuries to Coleman and Lewis wore down in the 2nd half and wilted.
Pass Defense: While yardage was low, D-Hall bit on a play fake which resulted in a TD and Alex Smith was left wide open for another.
Sacks: Abraham got the lone sack.
Norwood had 5 official kickoff returns, 1 that resulted in a re-kick and no touchbacks: 1. from the 7, 19 yards; 2a. from the 11, 15 yards(Bucs offsides re-kick); 2b. from the 8, 21 yard return. 3. from the 11, 27 yards; 4. from the 9, 21 yards (negated by holding penalties on Mughelli and Nicholas); 5. from the 13, 87 yards and touchdown (negated by holding penalty on Nicholas). Solid and had the touchdown stood it certainly would have been excellent.
Babineaux had 1 kickoff return for 8 yards on a short kick.
Jennings had 4 official punt returns, 1 that resulted in a re-kick and 1 punt downed by Tampa: 1. from the ATL 43, 7 yards; 2. from the ATL 12, 4 yards (Holding on Tampa tacked on the end); 3. from the ATL 37, 1 yard; 4a. from the ATL 31, 16 yards (Tampa was offsides/should have declined it); 4b. from the ATL 13, 3 yards. Nothing special.
Koenen had 7 punts: 1-47 yards to the TB 8, 7 yard return. 2-30 yards to the TB 13, no return. 3-37 yards to end zone, touchback (chop block penalty added on and Harris could have had it down at the 1 or 2) . 4-46 yards to the TB 22, -3 yard return. 5-31 yards to the TB 15, no return. 6-42 yards to the TB 36, -1 yard return. 7-24 yards to the ATL 45, no return. Outside of the last punt a very good day.
Kickoffs: Koenen had 2 kickoffs: 1. to the -1, 21 yard return; 2. to the 27, -1 yard return. Good distance on the first and the last was more like a long squib quick.
Field Goals: None
Special Teams coverage: Except for the penalties was very good.
Things that really need improvement:
1. O-line needs to get more push, reach the second level and put defensive players on their backs.
2. Eliminate negative yardage plays (penalties, negative rushes, and sacks).
3. Get healthy.
Offensive MVP: Joey Harrington (16/20, 139 yards, 1 TD/0 INT and more importantly was very supportive of Leftwich when some would have pouted about being benched)
Defensive MVP: John Abraham (2 tackles, 1 sack, 1 hurry) and was held all day and it wasn’t called.
Special Teams MVP: David Irons (2 tackles).
Goat of the Week: Quinn Ojinnaka (3 sacks allowed and 3 penalties).
Let me know your thoughts and questions otherwise:
Next up: VS Indianapolis Colts, November 22nd!
Hope all have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!