Not many games can live up to the excitement that this one delivered. The defense really held up well except for 2 drives. Fortunately, the offense did just enough to make up for it.
Here’s what I saw:
Running game: Turner (25/54), Norwood (3/31), Ryan (1/1), Douglas (1/-11). Effective Runs (4 yards or more or scores TD)-Turner, 4; Norwood, 3. The Bears really did a good job of bottling up Turner. With Norwood’s success, it’s hard not to wonder why he didn’t get more carries but there were only 8 real drives so opportunities were limited to start with.
Breakdown of passes:
Ryan: 22/30, 301 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT. Breakdown of incompletions: 2 Bad passes, 2 Dropped passes, 2 Thrown away and 2 Defended passes. Best outing of the year by far.
Drops (2): Jenkins, 1 and Finneran, 1.
YTD Drops (15):
White – 5
Douglas – 2
Jenkins – 3
Finneran – 2
Turner – 1
Peele – 1
Norwood – 1
Run blocking: With Turner getting shut down, the line didn’t adjust to what the Bears were bringing on defense
Pass blocking: Outstanding job keeping Ryan off the ground. Superb effort.
Sack responsibility (0): None
YTD Sacks (7):
Justin Blalock – 2.0
Todd Weiner – 1.5
Tyson Clabo – 1.0
Busted Play – 1.0
Matt Ryan – 1.0
Jason Snelling – 0.5
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: The trend continues, only 20 yards allowed in the first half but 56 allowed in the second half including a touchdown.
Pass Defense: Did it’s job except for two drives including the late touchdown drive.
Sacks: One sack and it goes to Jamaal Anderson, the first of his career. Congrats JA98!
Norwood had 4 kickoff returns: 1. from the 2, 39 yards; 2. from the -3, 30 yards; 3. from the 0, 24 yards; 4. from the -2, 85 yards. Great day for Norwood.
Douglas returned the short kick for 10 yards to help set up the last second field goal attempt.
Jennings had 3 punt return opportunities: 1. from the 21, fair catch; 2. from the 19, fair catch and aided by a interference penalty; 3. from the 15, 6 yards. Another poor return day and at this point, not sure why he hasn’t been replaced.
Koenen had 2 punts: 1-37 yards, touchback. 2-45 yards to the 46, fair catch. No big returns by Hester means a great day.
Koenen had 6 kickoffs: 1-to the 21, 9 yard return. 2-to the 11, 25 yard return. 3-to the 10, 21 yard return. 4-to the 4, 19 yard return (nullified by holding penalty). 5-to the 4, 14 yard return. 6-from the 17, 33 yard return. Seems the strategy was to kick fairly short at the beginning, changed it and went back to it late. Not a proponent of kicking it short and the last kickoff showed why. Koenen did what was asked of him.
Field Goals: Elam was 5/6 from 29, 48, 32, 41 and 48. Lone miss was the 33 yarder that almost cost us the game.
Special Teams coverage: Very good on punts, not as good on kickoffs as it has been.
Things that really need improvement:
1. Cover the middle of the field better in pass coverage (especially Tight Ends).
2. Eliminate 3rd and long conversions by opposition.
3. Defensive consistency in the second half.
Offensive MVP: Matt Ryan (Couldn’t ask for much more)
Defensive MVP: Jamaal Anderson (4 tackles, 1 sack, 2 tackles for losses, 1 hurry, 2 passes defended)
Special Teams MVP: Jason Elam (accounted for 16 of the 22 points).
Goat of the Week: I’d say the entire defense on the last touchdown drive but specifically Chris Houston for allowing the receiver to get behind him.
Let me know your thoughts and questions otherwise:
Next up: AT Philadelphia Eagles October 26th!