What we need to take from this:
Our pass game looked crappy
Our playcalling looked crappy
We ran wild on a team with a winning record
We held Fitzgerald to a minimal game
We sacked the QB 7 times.
We are attacking the ball on defense. Once pick was called back for an offsides penalty.
Our Defense is a million times better than it was last year in every single way.
Our Special teams are special (in a good way)
We have 5 wins and a thursday home game vs. a very beatable opponent.
Some thoughts on the game:
+ Defense was, for the most part, solid. We shut down the pass and got some pressure on the QB
+ Kept Patrick Peterson in check on special teams, Percy had space on kick returns
+ Run blocking was good
+ A defensive touchdown, awesome
+ We're 5 and 2!
- Holy cow, Stephens-Howling is the greatest running back I've ever seen... Either that or our D absolutely could not tackle today.
- The pass blocking was really bad, especially in the second half
- Ponder, ouch.
- Too many costly penalties. Penalties and tackling were supposed to be our biggest improvement areas. Not today.
All in all a pretty good game. Most important fact we won. Ponder had a rough day ... and will probably have a few more. It's obvious he's still figuring it out. I am not down on him yet. He's a bright kid and I believe he will figure it out. Coaching was a little too conservative for my liking. I think Ponder would do better if we were more aggressive early in games. I'll take the win.
Relax, it's only football.
Well I'm not happy. Offense was just pathetic and I'm having doubts about Ponder as well. Also not sold on Musgrave as OC. Several head scratching calls and still not getting the ball to Harvin in key situations. Horrible on third down. Defense is good enough to keep us in games but against good teams the offense needs to get much better.
I'm not worried about Ponder. We saw a bit of regression toward the mean this game, both with Ponder and with the pass protection. That will happen. Simply put, he is a second year QB and he is going to have a bad game or two (or three or four). The good news is he is still progressing in other aspects, like down field accuracy and looking off defenders. Obviously he needs to make better decision when flushed out of the pocket. Ponder does NOT get a pass from me for today's performance.
With that being said...
I am much more concerned about our lack of a deep threat. Where was Simpson again today? He draws one deep PI call and then we never hear from him again. And even on that deep pass Simpson simply didn't gain any separation. I LOVE the short ball control offense that Musgrave has installed. I think it is the blueprint for future success. But teams have come to the realization that we have nobody who can get open deep and they are able to defend the short game better.
We are a young team, and I am not kidding myself with thoughts of a Super Bowl run. But I honestly think our WR corp will hold us back before Ponder ever does. We have done a pretty good job of shoring up our other positions - but WR is a glaring hole for us right now.
ugly win.. beautiful win... both are wins..
5-2 we're miles ahead of where we should be, so take each game with a grain of salt. We should NOT be a contender for at least another year, but that being said... we're much better then people believed, we're making mistakes that keep games closer then they should be.. and our production on O is really... concerning..
AP.. damn man.. that run where he carried 4 cardinal defenders and still got another 8 yards.. that is the AD that we all praised for the last 5 years!!
PH under utilizied lately, thanks in large part to being shadowed by 2 players. get used to this! the guy leads the NFL in total yards.. teams will no longer lt him slip away unnoticed.
TE's.. I saw some huge blocks by JCarlson that sprung AP.. but that's one expensive blocker.. Rudy? where was that verticle leap? thos over the head passes on him.. sure ponder has most blame.. but i've seen rudy jump higher then he did there.
OL run blocking = studly!! pass blocking.. except for that washington sac where he came right up the A gap, (and as the anal-ytest said.. the blocker is out of position behiend the qb) he got to ponder 2 quick. the rest of the sacks.. well.. ponder you have 3-5 seconds.. use them.
Ponder.. i won't bash him.. not yet.. i havn't praised him (not a lot). learn from this.. learn from your mistakes.. show us your a level above what we've seen. that second half was bad.. give some credit to a great D.. but it was bad..
WR's.. where o where have the receivers gone.. where o where could they be?????
Smith.. people said after the draft.. (what reach, why move up, there were 5 names i remember reading of who we shoulda taken..) damn i'm glad we got him.. SlickRick.. i tip the o'l hat to ya. i saw some points where he went for a big hit instead of a tackle.. that's a rookie thing, and i'm sure Winfield will be helping that one out!
CB's kept one of the best receivers AGAIN in check!!!! and winnie!! luv'd the hit on the qb scramble!!
Dline.. yeah baby... I think the best thing to be said is this.. Jared running down the QB who's sprinting for the sideline.. that was the motor in our Dline today.
our LB crew got kinda mismatched most of the game due to the soft undercoverage.. this is part of our team.. complain all you want but 14 points is all we allowed.. some issues sprang up in the RB control.. but i'll give them a bit that there was no film on this guy.. no previous knowledge of him (running style, moves, speed, eetc.) but that needs a bit of cleaning up.
shoulda been 28-14.. just shows that even the smallest of mistakes in dicipline can have a massive effect.
hangTimeK. man is he consistant.. even the announcers (afraid to talk about why kluwe is famous for his twitter tweets) did mention that you can't return a punt when the hang time allows for the coverage to get there as the ball arrives..
walsh.. just keeps doing what we need him too..
Coverage for what was speculated as a GREAT returner.. was spot on!
OC hmm... i agree with some comments that.. 3 n 5.. and you keep out AP and PH? ok move your personel around but why? 2 weeks in a row.. WHY??? rustymusty.. i was pulling for ya.. but your making grumble grumble sometimes...
clock management.. the end of the half.. ???? wtf? from 1:48. i'm one of the fans that liked the AP run on 4th. to end the game. USE this.. realize that well damn.. 3/short.. 4/short.. tell him.. get it to win it.. 95% of the time.. he'll get it!! that's smash mouth football!! sure walsh's fg woulda made it 9 point diff.. sure it MIGHT have been blocked.. run back for a td..
we won.. that's really all that matters.. use this short week to forget it and move on.. help Ponder improve.. help the team improve.. SKOL we're 1 game away from dbling our win total of last year!!