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Game #8 VS San Francisco 49ers Review

November 11th, 2007

It wasn’t pretty but a win is a win and we’ll take them any way we can get them!

Here’s what I saw:

Offense:

Running game: Dunn (27/100, 1 TD), Norwood (6/39), Mughelli (2/2, 1 TD) and Harrington (4/14). Effective Runs (4 yards or more)-Dunn, 11; Norwood, 5. No passes to either back. Dunn had his best day in quite a while. Norwood was hurt a couple of times where his ankle was turned awkardly.

Breakdown of passes:

Harrington: 14/25, 138 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT. Breakdown of incompletions: 6 Bad passes, 2 Passes defended and 3 Other. Very mediocre day. Harrington missed a few opportunities to extend drives with either bad choices or bad passes. The passes I put in “other”: Was an obvious miscommunication with White, White being screened by the official and not seeing the pass and Jenkins falling down.

Drops (0): None! We need more like this!

YTD Drops (22):

Jenkins 6
White 4
Crumpler 3
Horn 3
Dunn 3
Norwood 1
Blakley 1
Robinson 1

Run blocking: Was much, much better. If we could get this consistently we’d be in very good shape. Hopefully, this becomes the norm. The only exception is short yardage as we still aren’t getting push up the middle.

Pass blocking: While only 1 sack was registered, we still aren’t getting more than 3 seconds of protection. Sure, that’s enough to get the ball out of your hands but when you look at the top teams it seems their pocket always forms a nice “U” shape and the QB rarely gets pressured before the ball is away. Our “U” tends to cave in almost immediately and the QB is forced to throw instead of choosing to.

Sack responsibility (1): I’ll side with the announcers on this one that Harrington held it too long because it was right at 3 seconds. However, Blakley flat out blew his block to allow the initial pressure and I do believe without that pressure Harrington would have gotten rid of the ball before the sack took place.

YTD Sacks (26):

Scheme 2.0
Norwood 2.5
Gandy 1.0
Forney 2.0
Harrington 6.5
Weiner 1.5
Blalock 5.5
McClure 2.0
Dunn 1.0
Foster 1.0
Clabo 1.0

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.

Defense:

Run defense: Saw several plays where Brooking was blocked out by a lineman sometimes caused by Brooking getting into the LOS too quickly or a lineman getting free off a block. Also, it seems we have an overpursuit or misreading problem as our linebackers tend to react to first move and immediately crash down to the inside and get caught on misdirection to the outside. Could have been a lot better.

Pass Defense: Wasn’t bad at all. We still have those issues of covering backs and tight ends. 98 of Smith’s 149 yards went to tight ends and backs.

Sacks: Abe got 1 and Brooking got 1. Abe also forced an intentional grounding call which I look at as a sack itself.

Special Teams:

Norwood had 4 kickoff returns and no touchbacks: 1. from the 2, 18 yards; 2. from the goal line, 30 yards; 3. from the -3, 25 yards; 4. from the -5, 30 yards (negated by holding call on Harris). Solid day returning.

Jennings had 1 kickoff return from the -4, 28 yards. He seems a lot more confident returning now.

Jennings had 3 punt returns and 2 fair catches: 1. from the ATL 19, no return (invalid signal penalty) 2. from the ATL 12, 19 yards (negated by unnecessary roughness on Irons); 3. from the ATL 35, 23 yards. Very good return yardage overall.

Koenen had 6 punts: 1-50 yards to the SF 26, 15 yard return. 2-40 yards to the SF 24, no return. 3-53 yards to SF 8, 4 yard return. 4-38 yards to the SF 28, 4 yard return. 5-50 yards to the SF 17, 4 yard return return. 6-34 yards to the SF 11, no return. Very good day punting with only 1 subpar punt.

Kickoffs: Koenen had 5 kickoffs: 1. to the 1, 20 yard return (negated by holding penalty); 2. to the -2, 24 yard return; 3. to the 10, out of bounds; 4. to the 11, 12 yard return; 5. to the end zone, touchback. Outside of the out of bounds kick, very good day.

Field Goals: Andersen went 2/2. Good from 33 and 27.

Special Teams coverage: 15 yard return and the penalties aside, a good day.

Things that really need improvement:

1. Pass protection.
2. Get touchdowns and not field goals, make the most out of red zone opportunities.
3. Run defense.

Offensive MVP: Warrick Dunn (27 carries, 100 yards, 1 TD)
Defensive MVP: Lawyer Milloy (8 tackles, 1 INT, 1 pass defended and several key tackles stuffing the run)

Special Teams MVP: Michael Koenen.

Goat of the Week: Linebackers in run defense.

Let me know your thoughts and questions otherwise:

Next up: AT Carolina Panthers, November11th!

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