As with any preseason game, evaluation is more important than outcome and with that comes good and bad so even though we lost 31-16 there were some bright spots.
Here’s what I saw:
Running game: Norwood (8/29, 1 TD), Snelling (10/48), Harris (3/6), Redman (1/2), Shockley (1/1). 4 of Norwood’s carries went for 4 yards or more. The only negative I saw on Norwood was the short yardage play where he didn’t follow Mughelli. 5 of Snelling’s carries went for 4 yards or more. This guy is a bulldozer. I’m fully confident that he will be our short yardage back. Very straight ahead, bruising runner. Great to see. Harris didn’t impress in his short stint.
Breakdown of passes:
Harrington: 6/9, 88 yards, 0 TD/0 INT. Breakdown of incompletions: 3 bad throws. The bad throws number was a little above the 25% but not a huge concern because 2 were on taking shots downfield and those are low percentage plays to begin with. Harrington completed 67% of his passes and while not throwing for a TD, managed the game well.
Redman: 8/13, 61 yards, 0 TD/0 INT. Breakdown of incompletions: 2 bad throws, 2 defended and 1 drop. Tended to dance around in the pocket when he had protection, eyeballed Jenkins on one of the defenses. Still didn’t look bad and the mistakes made can easily be attributed to rust.
Shockley: 5/12, 77 yards, 0 TD/ 1 INT. Breakdown of incompletions: 4 bad throws, 2 dropped, 1 defended. The INT was the defended pass as it was tipped at the line. Shockley obviously did not have a good night. His worst problem seemed to be throwing it too hard causing his passes to either be uncatchable at times or making it harder than necessary to catch.
Drops (2): R. White (1), Elliott (1) and Milner (1). White seemed to have a lapse in concentration on what would have been a 1st down. Milner definitely should have caught his pass as well. Elliott is iffy because the ball was thrown way too hard for what was needed but still hit his hands.
Sack responsibility (0): NONE!!!
Pass blocking: Wow, night and day different from what we are used to seeing. Protection was outstanding. The entire first unit did really well and Foster (backup tackle) looked really, really good out there.
YTD Sacks (0): NONE
Note: QB 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: Decent. Sometimes it was really, really good and then others it was really, really bad. Jackson and Coleman being out really showed although I thought Shropshire and T. Lewis did well.
Pass Defense: Good pressure but coverage was horrible at times. Houston has to develop and Rossum just flat out stunk in coverage. A lot of the issues were youth mistakes.
2 sacks: Lewis and Shropshire combined for one and Carrington got the other.
Rossum had 1 kickoff returns for 26 yards. Jennings had 3 kickoff returns: 33 yards from the 4, 34 yards from the 7 (called back on penalty), 40 yards from the 3. Jennings clearly had the better day here.
Rossum also had 2 punt returns: 10 yards from the 19 and 9 yards from the 9. Not impressive.
Jennings had a punt return for 34 yards from the 41. Great return negated by penalties.
I think Jennings should have the upper hand at this point.
Koenen had 4 punts. 1: 54 yards, touchback. 2: 52 yards to the NY 30, returned -2 yards. 3: 51 yards, touchback. 4: 43 yards, to the NY45 out of bounds. Only negative was the 2 touchbacks but given our special teams play, maybe that was smart.
Anderson had 1 punt for 42 yards. Return negated by penalty.
Kickoffs: Cundiff had 4 kickoffs: 1: to the 6, returned 86 yards. 2: to the 9, returned 28 yards. 3: to the 3, returned 46 yards. 4: to the 1, returned for 24 yards. Coverage team stunk and the kicks weren’t deep enough. Koenen will handle this in the regular season.
Field Goals: Cundiff hit 3/3. Good from 45, 41, and 37. Excellent job.
Special Teams coverage: Darren Stone stood out but overall not very good.
Things that really need improvement:
1. Special Teams coverage.
2. Get healthy.
Offensive MVP: Laurent Robinson 5 catches. Really made some great catches. Honorable mention to Roddy White and Jason Snelling.
Defensive MVP: Trey Lewis (3 tackles, 0.5 sacks)
Special Teams MVP: Billy Cundiff/Adam Jennings
Goat of the Week: Special Teams coverage
Let me know your thoughts and questions otherwise:
Next up: AT Buffalo, August 17th!