Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Stache Report: Week 2

- Watching the game with Pat, he implored Ben to do “4th quarter Ben stuff.” In a nutshell, what it means is that we’ve become so accustomed to Ben doing spectacular things in the 4th quarter when the game is on the line. Well, Ben only passed the ball three times in the 4th quarter on Sunday, so we’ll extend it to the last quarter and a half. His stats during that time: 4/6, 95 yards, 109.7 QB rating. Highly efficient, and he made three huge throws: a 48-yard bomb to Holmes, a 31-yard strike to Ward that got us out of the shadow of our end zone, and then a 19-yard rope to Miller against his body that helped seal the game. That, my friends, is “4th quarter Ben stuff.”

- A little curious we did not see Rashard Mendenhall get any carries. Could it have been due to the wet weather and concerns about him handling the ball? On another note, Willie Parker had a grind it out type of game and a stat-line that would have made Jerome Bettis proud: 28 carries, 105 yards, 3.8 ypc. He showed he is fully capable of getting the tough yards between the tackles. He’s come a long way since he arrived in camp as an undrafted free agent in 2004.

- Let’s be clear, no one will confuse this offensive line with the Cowboys of the mid 90’s. That said, we don’t need them to be all-world. All we need is for them to be decent, and through two games, they have been. They’ve opened up some decent holes in the run game, and they’ve only allowed four sacks… more than a full sack per game less than last season. Let’s hope it continues.

- The big news from yesterday was that Brett Keisel will miss up to two months with a calf injury. It won’t be as bad as losing Aaron Smith at the end of last season, but it will still be a significant blow. I’ve liked what I’ve seen thus far from Nick Eason, but I question how he and Kirschke will hold up if they have to spot start. We’re also going to find out just how much Orpheus Roye really has left in the tank.

- Surprise, surprise. Larry Foote missed a few more open field tackles Sunday night. Timmons can’t start soon enough. As for the other linebackers, they had pretty nondescript games. Harrison generated some decent pressure but couldn’t close the deal, and Woodley was quiet all night. Farrior committed an uncharacteristic unsportsmanlike penalty, although I don’t know if it was bullshit or not because NBC never showed a replay.

- How nice was it to see Troy revert back to “old Troy.” He made his presence felt right away, blowing up the run in the backfield on the Browns first play from scrimmage. Troy is one of the few guys in this league that has the size, speed, and athletic ability to hang with the Antonio Gates’s and Kellen Winslow’s of the world, and he provided superb coverage against Winslow all night. And he absolutely baited Anderson into a terrible throw at the end of the first half, resulting in a momentum-changing pick. And he almost made a highlight reel stop in the backfield, timing his jump with the two-minute warning and leaping over the Browns offensive line. Player of the game, in my opinion.

- The other guy who had a big game in the secondary? Bryant McFadden. It’s going to be a shame if they don’t re-sign him. He’s a legit starting cornerback, and he’s the perfect replacement for Deshea. They invested a 2nd round pick in him, and I question why they would take all this time to develop him and then let him go right when he’s hitting his prime. He filled in admirably for Deshea, hauling in an INT and breaking up a huge pass to Braylon Edwards in the 4th quarter.

- Jeff Reed nailed a 48-yard field goal in the middle of a pseudo-Hurricane. At this point, I don’t think I’d trade him for any other kicker. He’s money in the bank.

- Summary of last night’s NBC telecast:

Madden: Shaun Rogers

Michaels: Unbalanced line

Madden: Shaun Rogers

Michaels: Unbalanced line

Madden: Unbalanced line

Michaels: Shaun Rogers

Madden: Shaun Rogers

Michaels: Unbalanced line

- Someone want to tell me how the hell Rogers wasn’t penalized for that late hit where he planted his helmet right into Ben’s shoulder?

- It seems this coaching staff learned their mistake. After playing not to lose at the end of the Jacksonville playoff game, they played to win and trusted Ben to put the ball in the air on the final drive. The result: that aforementioned 19-yard rope to Miller that pretty much put the game away.

- In response to Pat’s inquiry (Re: Favorite Romeo Crennel mishap from Sunday night), my vote goes to the horrible, horrible use of his final timeout at the end of the game. Let’s start from the top: The play prior to Crennel’s usage of his final timeout started at 2:57, according to NFL.com play-by-play. So let’s say the play ended at 2:51. At this point, you can call a timeout right away, try and stop the Steelers on 2nd down, and then make them have to snap the ball on 3rd down before the two-minute warning. Or, you can let the game-clock keep rolling, make a stop on 2nd down, then call a timeout at around 2:05 and again make them snap the ball on 3rd down before the two-minute warning. The WORST thing you can do is exactly what Crennel did: let the game-clock run a bit, then call a timeout at 2:42. Now, the 2nd down play will undoubtedly take the game-clock to the two minute warning, and the other team doesn’t have to take the 3rd down snap until after the two-minute warning. In essence, Crennel cost his team a valuable 40 seconds. These are simple time-management skills every NFL head coach should have, and you can rest-assured that if Mike Tomlin ever makes the same asinine decision Crennel made, you will hear me bitching.


Bears-Panthers: Things were looking bleak, and then Jonathan Stewart saved my teaser bet in the 2nd half.

Titans-Bengals: 0-7 for the Bengals? Their next five games: at New York Giants, vs. Cleveland, at Dallas, at New York Jets, vs. Pittsburgh

Packers-Lions: 6 catches, 129 yards, 2 TD’s for Calvin Johnson. He’s blowing up, people. Oh, and that Aaron Rodgers guy is pretty good, too.

Bills-Jaguars: The Jags are facing the very real prospect of going 0-3 with next week’s trip to Indy looming.

Raiders-Chiefs: This game may have set football back 100 years.

Colts-Vikings: It’s gonna take time for Tarvaris Jackson to find his way, time that the Vikings may not be able to afford.

Giants-Rams: 79 points allowed by the Rams defense in the first two games. Scott Linehan isn’t making it through this season if this keeps up.

Saints-Redskins: Saints have to play better than that. They have a legitimate contender in the NFC South in the form of the Carolina Panthers.

49ers-Seahawks: I think they were picking people out of the stands to play receiver for the Seahawks.

Falcons-Buccaneers: See what happens when you face a real defense, Matt Ryan? And Jeff Garcia is getting a raw deal down in Tampa.

Dolphins-Cardinals: Maybe, just maybe, this is the year for the Cardinals.

Chargers-Broncos: The Chargers got screwed. Absolutely, screwed. That said, what a gutsy, gutsy decision by Mike Shanahan to go for the win with a two-point conversion. I loved the call, and wish more coaches would consider it rather than placing their fates on a coin toss.

Patriots-Jets: I think the Patriots still win that division, even with Matt Cassel at the helm.

Eagles-Cowboys: Apparently, the Doubt About It crew missed quite a first half while attending the Pirates-Dodgers game.


Timothy Keller said...

Love the analysis on the chiefs raiders game...hahaha the west coast sucks wakin up at 10 some mornings to watch these games...keep it real

Pat said...

That play Troy made jumping over the line at the end of the first half exhibited better clock management in one play than the Browns did in the entire game. He timed his jump off the clock, knowing that it would be impossible for him to be offsides given that the Browns would either snap it at 2:01 when he jumped or the two minute warning would render the play meaningless.

Unknown said...

It'll be interesting to see how Kiesel's injury affects the D. I thin kyou are gonna see McNabb tear them up next week, unfortunately

Dave Wannstache said...

It'll be interesting to see how Kiesel's injury affects the D. I thin kyou are gonna see McNabb tear them up next week, unfortunately

The Eagles are going to spread us out, that's for sure. In terms of next week, I think we'll miss Keisel's ability to rush the passer from the D-end spot more than his run stopping ability.

And let's hope Deshea is ready to go this week. As I said, the Eagles are going to spread us out, so the top 3 CB's, whoever they are, are going to get a ton of work.

Unknown said...

Scott Linehan can't win with that team, you can't win with that team, I can't win with that team, Vince Lombardi can't win with that team. He shouldn't be canned.

Romeo, however...