Talk about a “get well” game! This one was both frustrating and satisfying at the same time. It’s great that we were finally able to put them away in the second half but it’s frustrating that we could have done that very same thing in the first half and didn’t. A very fixable issue but something to keep an eye on for sure.
Here’s what I saw:
Running game: Dunn (19/55), Vick (11/101), Norwood (6/106). The Cardinals did a very good job of containing Dunn but did a horrible job of containing Vick. Norwood came in the fourth quarter and slammed the door. I’m thinking Norwood’s nickname should be “F-15″ as in the Air Force jet that pulls it’s nose straight up and the next thing you know the little jet is gone in the clouds straight in the air. That’s Norwood in a nutshell, one cut and gone!
Breakdown of passes:
Vick: 13/22, 153 yards, 0 TD/1 INT. Breakdown of incompletions are: 2 bad throws, 4 pass defended and 3 drops. One really horrible decision (the interception obviously) but otherwise, Vick is putting it where he needs to. Bad throws were limited to 9% of attempts and that’s excellent. The drops are still present. The receivers MUST step it up. The other thing I charted this game was what Mora called “50/50″ plays. There were 4 of these. For those that missed it, Mora defined a “50/50″ by being a play that you don’t necessarily expect the receiver to make but a situation where a play could be made. Our receivers and backs simply aren’t making the “tough catches” and that needs to improve as well.
Drops (3): Crumpler 2 (4), Jenkins 1 (4). One was low to Crump but nobody touched him and the ball hit his hands. Another was to Jenkins in the endzone. It was thrown slightly behind him but again, with no defender there you have to make that play.
Sack responsibility (2): First sack was on the Vick for not throwing the ball away. Ojinnaka allowed pressure but Vick still had time to throw it away and didn’t. The second sack also goes on Vick. He stepped up in the pocket and the man Lehr was blocking simply had to turn around and grab Vick, which is what he did.
Pass blocking: Excellent job of blocking in this game by the o-line.
YTD Sacks (11):
Vick 6 (3 rushing attempts that went for negative yards)
Wayne Gandy 0.5
Justin Griffith 0.5
Run defense: All I can say is WOW to the job the defense did in bottling up James. Grady Jackson definitely makes a huge impact and D-mo was making a lot of plays hitting the gaps and sniffing out pitches around the end. Fantastic job.
Pass Defense: Not a lot of yards and a ton of pressure all day long. Although I’m still not a fan of the amount of zone defense we tend to play, it’s hard to argue with the results thus far.
4 sacks: Kerney had 3 sacks and Boley added another. Grady Jackson didn’t get credit for sacks but I’m going to add that Warner fell in the backfield and Jackson touched him “down”, that should be a sack as Jackson gets credited with a tackle. Jackson also hit Leinart 4 yards deep to cause a fumble and didn’t get credited with a sack either.
Rossum had 2 kickoff returns for 23 and 27 yards. McCrary had 1 for 10 yards. 1 punt return for 41 yards. After the punt return it was obvious that the Cards wanted no part of Rossum or Norwood.
Koenen had 2 punts. 1 for 59 inside the 20 and a net of 52 and the other for 34 yards and fair caught inside the 20. A very good job of punting.
Kickoffs: Koenen had 9 kickoffs: To the–10, 1(2), 5, 8, EZ(4) with 1 touchback. Best starting position for the Cards was the 24. Excellent coverage job.
Field Goals: Andersen hit all 5 of his attempts from 40 in and Koenen nailed a 51 yarder.
Special Teams leading tackler: Rossum had 2 with 1 assist, Reese and Lowe both had 2, Norwood, Jennings and Beck all had 1 each.
Things that really need improvement:
1. Taking advantage of scoring opportunities. We’ve got to score when we get the chance. This one stays from the previous three weeks
2. WR’s getting better separation and making plays.
3. Figure out what to do with Hartwell when he returns. How can you bench D-mo after the way he’s played??
Offensive MVP: Michael Vick/Jerious Norwood
Defensive MVP: Michael Boley and Patrick Kerney (although it really could be the entire defense)
Special Teams MVP: Morten Andersen
Goat of the Week: All pass catchers. Drops and not making plays.
Let me know your thoughts and questions otherwise:
Next up: The Bye Week