Monday, November 01, 2004

D against Dallas

Here is one problem I have with our Defense yesterday - I don't think blitzing would have done anything for us. I went back and watched the game on TiVo, and what I saw was Vinny Testaverde throwing a lot of dump-off passes to RB's and TE's. The exact kind of passes that any QB is supposed to throw when there is a heavy rush - not that we really had one.

If you look at the stats, Vinny completed 15 of his 19 completions to RB's and TE's. Very few of those passes were downfield - 140 of his 235 total passing yards came on his 5 completions to his WR's, and there was a significant amount of YAC in those catches. This all means that Vinny was throwing a lot of short passes.

Our biggest problem was that our LB's had probbly their worst game. The SLB is primarily responsible for the TE in coverage. The MLB and WLB alternate coverage of the RB, depending on where he goes. With so many completed passes for fisrt downs to the RB's and TE's, it smacks of bad coverage and tackling by the LB's. And watching on TiVo, it was brutally visible. Even if we had blitzed more, the same check-downs and short passes would still have been there for Vinny.

This is just another example of the inconsistency of our young team. Dirty and Lehman were not playing well in coverage yesterday. Holmes looked like he was flying around the field, but he wasn't the greatest LB in coverage either. I think the prime reason they played badly was because they were a little too worried about Eddie George's running.

Actually, Lions fans, this is what we PRAY we will eventually get from KJ - a D that stacks 8 in the box because they fear KJ, and leave single coverage on R.O.Y and CRog (next year...). This game, more than any other game this year, shows us what a running game can do for a QB - even a running game that only averages 3.2 yards per carry, as EG did yesterday (betcha didn't realize that one - 31 carries for 99 yards).

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