First, I again want to apologize for the tardiness of this blog. However, now that I have the game in hand and rewatched it, we move forward. Offensively, we took advantage of great field position and doing what needed to be done. Defensively, there were issues and it’s pretty much the same issues that has been around all season.
Here’s what I saw:
Running game: Dunn (26/69,1 TD), Vick (5/40), Norwood (8/64). For the second consecutive game, Warrick Dunn was held in check. However, Dunn did have some success in the 4th quarter and overtime but Norwood really stepped up and picked up the slack. Vick provided some very timely runs as well. Despite the total rushing yardage, the running game wasn’t as strong as it has been.
Breakdown of passes:
Vick: 18/30, 232 yards, 4 TD/2 INT. Breakdown of incompletions are: 4 bad throws, 3 pass defended, 2 throw away and 3 drops. The INTs were the result of a great play by Polamalu and a dropped pass by Dunn. With only 4 bad throws, Vick was well below the 20% mark and continues to show improvement there.
Drops (3): Dunn 1 (1), White 1 (4), and Lelie 1 (1). Simms said Vick threw the pass to Dunn too hard but watching the replay it doesn’t appear so. It looks to me that Dunn was turning up field before catching the pass and that caused the drop. White’s drop was early in the game and Lelie’s was in traffic but his own reaction told the story.
Sack responsibility (1): The only sack of the game came on a third and long where Vick scrambled around to try to make a play and would have been better off throwing it away.
Pass blocking: Very solid effort. Vick didn’t have tons and tons of time but had enough to be effective.
YTD Sacks (19):
Vick 9 (3 rushing attempts that went for negative yards)
Wayne Gandy 2.5
Justin Griffith 1.0
Warrick Dunn 1.0
Run defense: For most of the game, very stout and a great effort overall. Parker had a few good runs and there were several instances of us missing tackles that contributed to unnecessary gains but otherwise very good.
Pass Defense: Not very good at all. Way too soft and I also noticed that a lot of times there would be a DB behind the receiver but no one covering in front which pretty much guarantees a catch.
3 sacks: Mallard had 1, C. Davis had 1, and Babineaux had the last one which also resulted in a fumble recovery for the Falcons.
Rossum had 7 kickoff returns for 25, 45, 24, 51, 27, 20 and 23 yards. Norwood had 1 for 27 yards. 2 punt returns (7 and 9 yards each).
Koenen had 5 punts. 2 inside the 20 (1 into the endzone barely) and the other 3 were very close to the 20 with NO return yards. A very good job of punting.
Kickoffs: Koenen had 7 kickoffs: 5 went to the Endzone with 2 Touchback. 1 was an excellent onside kick and 1 poor kick out of bounds. The coverage lacked on a couple of the returns but also was responsible for a stripped punt and the onside kick recovery. Overall, a very good job.
Field Goals: Andersen made 2 of 3 attempts, the only miss being the 52 yarder at the end of the game.
Special Teams leading tackler: D. Williams, Koenen, Lowe and Beck all had 1. Lowe stripped Holmes on a punt return and Jennings recovered it.
Things that really need improvement:
1. Consistency from the WR’s.
2. Underneath part of the zone should be defended.
3. Defense must tackle better and not overpursue.
Offensive MVP: Michael Vick/Alge Crumpler
Defensive MVP: Jonathan Babineaux (4 tackles, 1 sack, 1 hurry, 1 fumble forced and recovered)
Special Teams MVP: Michael Koenen
Goat of the Week: None
Let me know your thoughts and questions otherwise:
Next up: at Cincinnati, October 29!