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Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Upon Further Review......
by Mark Quarderer
I stayed home today and rewatched the game on tape, and some things really caught my eye, and some things make my blood boil, and somethings I just wonder about:
Football games are won in the trenches, and that's where this game was won. The offensive line just flat-ass dominated the Ram line, and the defensive line pretty much did the same to their counterparts. We didn't get a lot of sacks.....that's an ongoing problem as we all know....but they didn't give Bulger all day back there most of the time either.
Henderson is a really good blocker at the point of attack. I know that most of us know this already, but as I ran through the plays backwards and forwwards I was struck by the fact that Henderson just consistently takes his guy out of the play.
Bhawoh Jue is an improvement in coverage over Sharper, but he's gotta have the tiniest nuts I've ever seen on a football player. On kick coverage, rather than hitting and wrapping it looked like he was trying to bitch slap the ball carrier out of bounds. On a nice sliding catch by McDonald, Jue passed on the opportunity to take a good shot on this guy and just reached over and tagged him. I don't think Bhawoh Jue could play for me.....I like defenders who hit people, and that's not him, and it's not ever going to be him.
The Rams just went after Sharper at every opportunity. Clearly, they've seen the same thing on film that the Colts and Dave in TX and I have seen---he's a liability in coverage. I don't know where you play this guy other than maybe the dime coverage. You can't put him in one-on-one coverage and he doesn't provide good deep help. He's better in run support and playing the closer passing lanes....but teams have realized the weak point in our secondary isn't Harris, or Roman, or the rookie. It's our former Pro-Bowler
We should stop blitzing. On the Ram touchdown drive right before the half, we got burned on every blitz. When we went with a straight 4 man rush the result was usually an incompletion. Four guys are putting just as much pressure as the seven man deal is. We have more big plays against us when we send multiple blitzers than we make for us.
While I'm on the subject, I don't like us using the zone blitz. Again, you had our best pass rusher, KGB, downfield covering while a DB is trying to squeeze between two 300 lb linemen. I know that some teams are very successful with the zone blitz, but we clearly aren't one of them and I wish we'd stop doing it.
The people who think Kampman is a weak link are hallucinating. He's our second best defensive lineman behind Grady. This guy makes plays---stopping the shuttle pass, getting a sack, etc. I'll be really disappointed if we don't get this guy signed to an extension because this guy has winner written all over him. He may never be a star.......but he'll be a solid contributor to our defensive line for years.
Why can't our defensive line get their hands up when they rush the passer? Is that SO hard? Bulger is not the tallest QB in the league....he rarely gets outside the pocket......and he throws a lot of these little 3/4 overhand passes. If our 6'5" linemen would get their damn hands up I know we'd either get some tips or we'd force him to reload.
I'd really like to ask Jethro Franklin why our defensive linemen don't get their hands up. I just do not understand this.
Favre had a really good game. In fact, during this entire winning streak Favre has played really well (excepting the fourth quarter against Washington). In my opinion, it demonstrates what I have said for quite a while: Favre is not a great QB because he's willing to force the ball into places where it doesn't belong---he's a great QB when he shows the judgement not to do that.
In his 200 consecutive starts, he's had a 132 -68 record. He's 63-8 when he doesn't throw an interception. That is greatness. By contrast, he's 69-60 when he does throw an interception. That's pretty much average.
If Favre takes care of the ball.......I think the Packers can play with anybody in the league right now.
Although Patty and VOR have decried our special teams as being a "mess", I saw pretty good special teams play last night. They didn't miss any field goals; they didn't give up any big returns; they didn't fall for any trick plays. I would categorize our special teams play as average to slightly above average right now. Not great......but certainly not a mess.
And once again, we have evidence that the TOTAL YARDS stat doesn't mean very much. The Rams had more total yards and more first downs than the Packers. They had over 400 yards passing. And they scored 17 points. Field position, turnovers, and third down defense mean a lot more than how many yards you're moving the ball.
Anyway, that's what I saw while watching the tape. Oh yeah, one more thing.......
If I had the choice, right now today, of Mike McKenzie or Ahmad Carroll....straight up......I'd absolutely go with Carroll. I already think he's better than MM and is going to be a top corner in this league real soon.