Monday, October 26, 2009

Week 7 vs. Saints Recap

Everyone's said it already, but that game was definitely a tale of two halves. Let's just jump right into it:

  • First of all, this team may not be designed to take such a huge early lead (hence it being so surprising) but it sure as hell is built to ice the game away once a three touchdown lead has been established. Remember, "You run when you win, not win when you run." And that's because when you are three TDs ahead, the only thing you should be thinking about is sapping every second of clock time possible with each and every drive, and that means lots and lots of running. So where the hell did the running attack go in the second half? I realize Miami's lead had been cut to two touchdowns at that point, but the philosophy still holds. I think passing wins games in the NFL, but when you have a two TD lead (and a first-year starting QB and crappy receivers and Sedrick Ellis gone with an injury, etc etc) why are you passing more than running?
  • Also, Tony Sparano, why the hell did you take that timeout right before halftime which allowed Sean Payton to rethink kicking a field goal and instead make the right decision to go for the TD, which of course Brees converted? I don't care how good you think Miami's defense is, just give them the three points and go into halftime up three scores. You could literally sense the air being let out of Miami after that score. It was like a dark cloud just suddenly appeared right over them.
  • Two players whose play this game (and pretty much all season) was utterly unacceptable? Gibril Wilson and Ted Ginn. First Wilson. I knew Wilson was a lousy coverage safety, but I thought for sure he was at least a sure tackler. I guess I was wrong. Look, I know Jeremy Shockey is a big dude, but running side by side with him downfield for about 40 yards while you try to hold hands with him rather than tackle him was despicable. And of course, you followed that up by completely blowing a critical tackle on Reggie Bush on third down, letting him get free for the first. And Ted Ginn? Yeah, you drew a lot of oohs and ahhs with your nice TD against the Jets, but what else have you really done this year? Nothing. In fact, your numerous drops in key situations are killing this team. I've really criticized Ginn in the past, calling him out as not being a No. 1 WR, and still everyone wanted to stick up for him and said "Wait, wait, he's going to have that third year breakout season that every WR always has." Well, where are those people now? Ginn's first bobble resulted in the INT that was returned for six. And he followed that up by dropping several more routine balls. This guy shrinks under pressure.
  • Since we know our safeties are so bad in coverage, why aren't we using them on blitzes more?! At least we know they can do that well, and it seems to work pretty effectively.
  • Stop trying to paint Will Allen's season ending ACL injury as good news. There's a difference between a silver lining and good news.
  • There definitely were some good performances by the Dolphins in this game (Ricky Williams, Jason Taylor), but the team as a whole was just completely different in the second half. It played scared. It played like it knew the Saints were the better team. And most importantly, the team strayed from its strengths which of course played directly to the Saints' advantage.

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