Three phases, 60 minutes, preparation and execution along with every other NFL cliche… throw them out the window. Sunday Night Football hosting the New Orleans Saints was just a solid ass-kicking. Won’t waste much time going into themes, so here’s a few notable details to take away:
- Demaryius has a fantastic decleat block and has grown into being an extremely patient runner behind blockers (*best on the team at this)
- Von’s grown SIGNIFICANTLY vs the run. Saw some great “stack & shed” work all night long.
- We saw some great blocking by Virgil Green. Certainly wasn’t expecting that.
- Chris Harris is growing on the outside. It’s hard to apply inside skills outside at the professional level, but he’s doing it exceedingly well.
- Reference back to my first post: Tony Carter continues to play like Tramon Williams. What a gem.
- Saints played a lot of cover 2 against the most cerebral QB of all time. Therefore they deserved to get annihilated in the seams.
- RE: Our new punt returner, “I’d say Holliday is looking like a dream vacation!” Don’t roll your eyes… you know you smirked.
- And to supply at least one negative: We struggled with YAC in the first quarter on BOTH sides of the ball.
One thing worth covering is the complaint of pressure vs Brees. First of all, pressure was there… it just doesn’t always manifest itself so cleanly on a stat sheet. Secondly, it’s a symbiotic game. Forget pressure and coverage and focus on how they work together in the course of a game. Lastly, it’s worth noting that the threat of pressure is often as (and can be MORE) important than actual pressure. Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil influenced the opposing game plan down to quick hits and short drops long before New Orleans even took the field.
AJ Green. We’ve been playing a LOT of cover 1 lately. This week we should expect to drop that back into a 2-deep man (we can afford the two deep safety look in consideration of their poor run game) base so we can give AJ adequate attention and ensure we do our best to schematically bottle up the big play.
Hawkins – This kid is special. If you haven’t seen him play yet, think of moves reminiscent of Dante Hall in his prime, only applied as a competent receiver.
Protect inside-out. I don’t feel like we can afford having a back pick-up a blitz from Rey with any regularity. Meanwhile, Clady has the athleticism to match-up with Johnson and Franklin has the power to stand up Dunlap. Inside they’ll be bringing Peko, Still and, worst of all, Geno Atkins. This is a big game for Beadles… he’s shown a lot of growth from 2011 to here, but to keep Peyton clean and drives alive, a lot will hinge on his execution.
They’re a hyper-talented defense that plays VERY aggressive… look for the Broncos to run screens, counter and other misdirection plays to take advantage of penetrating DL and LBs that fire gaps. Take the occasional stuffs and 2 yard losses in stride knowing you’ll break as many in a sprint to the sidelines as you’ll line up in 3rd and longs. Also, the opportunity for turnovers will be present. We need to capitalize on them to put away a solid team on the road.
All in all, this is an excellent test for the Denver Broncos within an AFC that’s still sorting itself out.
Around the League:
- The Chiefs look worse with every glimmer. By December the entire organization will have given up.
- Yes, I saw Peterson get beat up by Crabtree. But let’s be honest, Crabtree will never make a catch that solid in his life again, and got similarly lucky that P2 fell on his ass for the second TD. Regardless, a win is a win and it’s pretty amusing that Crabtree, of all people, gets the best of him this time.
- Philly is worse than I thought. I say this because I refuse to believe Atlanta is better than I think… overrated team and QB.
- What the hell happened to Phillip Rivers a year and a half ago? He’s gone from one of the next big things alongside Rodgers and co to a future “Where are they now?” NFLN special.