Opening week was HIGHLY successful so this will be a very fun upbeat blog to write but there will be a dash of salt here and there to keep us objective about things.
So after the destruction of the Panthers, away we go–
Running game: With as many rushing yards as we had I thought we borrowed Georgia Southern’s offensive playbook. The offensive line did a GREAT job opening holes while Dunn (29 att, 132 yds) and Norwood (10 att, 66 yds) took advantage of them. Great job!
Breakdown of passes:
Vick: 10/22, 140 yards, 2 TD/0 INT, 7 rush for 48 yards. Breakdown of incompletions are: 8 bad throws, 1 pass defended, 2 throw aways, and 1 drop. There was really only 1 bad decision (the throw that Peppers should have INT’d and ran in for 6). This is what I would call a well-managed game. I’d like to see more accuracy and lower the number of overthrows, etc to a max of 5 in an average game.
Drops (1): Roddy White (1).
Sack responsibility: Only one and it goes on Matt Lehr (1). Damione Lewis abused him, McClure tried to help but was late getting there and Warrick Dunn failed to pick him up. In my opinion, this is a play that Alex Gibbs and Tom Cable will have a field day because while it’s easy to charge Lehr with the fact, someone could have and should have picked him up.
Pass blocking: Way too much pressure and Matt Lehr had a horrible 1st half. He was hands down the worst linemen of the day. I want to mention that Todd Weiner had to have done a great job because his name was never called and Julius Peppers was a virtual non-factor.
Run defense was drastically different than last year’s games against Carolina. Foster had 15 carries for 54 yards. He had some good gains but more often than not, didn’t get much. Carolina had 65 net rushing yards which was 5th best of the weekend league-wide. HUGE improvement (no pun intended Mr. Jackson). Demorrio Williams made several very good plays against the run. Very impressed.
The pass coverage was very solid. Even with the “bend don’t break” philosophy towards the end of the first half and a lot of the 4th quarter, Delhomme still had less than 200 yards passing and a net of 150 which was 10th best league-wide.
D-line got 4 sacks: Abraham had 2 and also caused 2 fumbles with those sacks. Shropshire and Coleman each had 1. I hope the rest of our defense notices the swiping the ball while tackling technique Abraham uses.
Rossum had 3 kickoff returns (38, 20, 29). Very nice job by Rossy and it seems that he is back to his old form. 3 punt returns (12, 13, 4). Pretty good on returns and their was one that bounced at the 11 or 12 that got downed on the 5 and you could see that Rossum knew he should have fair catched it.
Koenen missed 2 FGs pushing the first 50 yarder just wide right and then had one blocked because Austin King got trucked by Peppers. He had 5 kickoffs: 2, 6, 3 to the endzone with 2 TB’s. None of the returns resulted in getting past the 28 yard line of Carolina. Very good job.
Punting: Koenen had 4 punts (43,41,32, and 51). 2 of those were inside the 20. Only 13 return yards as well for a net average of 41.8. Very good job.
Special Teams leading tackler: K. Mathis, Norwood, Koenen, Leake, J. Williams all had 1 each.
Things that really need improvement:
1. Taking advantage of scoring opportunities. We’ve got to punch it in the endzone more.
2. Pass protection (wasn’t horrible but wasn’t perfect)
3. Closing the deal tackling
Offensive MVP: Warrick Dunn
Defensive MVP: John Abraham (5 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 pass defended)
Special Teams MVP: Michael Koenen.
Goat of the Week: Matt Lehr
Let me know your thoughts and questions otherwise:
Next up: vs. Tampa Bay this Sunday, September 17th!