complete total team win (game #9)
The running game had a big game for the 3rd time in the last 4 games, helped by Hilton's 30 yds. Seems like most of the early games,there wasn't much success running the ball, but they were a few big runs, each game and that made the run total look better, lately , there hasn't been as many big runs (partly due to Brown not playing ) but also less 1-2 yd runs. Reggie was the man-again (8-96) there have been some really huge pass plays that the receivers haven't been able to make that would have padded the passing yardage, even more, the last few games. I have been hard on the O-line, all year, because I watch Luck take a beating, each game and being athletic enough to escape quite a few more hits, but he still takes some really big hits, every game, the run blocking has really come on, not sure if it is a coincidence,or..........but Shipley has really played well , filling in for Satele.
The defense only gave up 37 yds rushing, but they only attempted 12 rushes, playing catch up all game. The biggest stat, 1-10 on the 3rd downs, that's winning defense. The pass rush was back with Hughes, Bethea, Zbikowski and Gordy all getting sacks. Bethea and Vaughn-again, led the way with 7 tackles and Freemen? -again.... had 2? The story of the game..........Darius Butler, I always try to look up players history when we sign new players, somehow I missed him, didn't realize he was a 2nd round pick (originally) and for some reason, his name didn't really register- there are hundreds of "football" people who throw their opinions out, every day and the ones that I really pay attention to and give any merit to , I could count on one hand, one of the guys on or near the top of the list is Mike Mayock, he talked about Butler early in the game about how he had 1st round ability and maybe this was a chance to finally show what he is capable of, one game does not make for a hall of fame career, but he put on a show, 2 interceptions, including a pick-six and fumble recovery, I know it's hindsight, but really wasn't sold on the Vontae Davis pickup and looking back, seems like a move that shouldn't have been made, I really believe top level teams , build trough the draft (primarily) and not by trading away draft picks, on gambles and not paying (too much ) money for free agents.
The special team weren't great, but they were good enough.
A balance offense- a team playing from behind, all game, plays into the defenses' hand and a good effort on coverage units, equals a quality win!
I am really anxious to see how it goes vs the patriots, we have only played 2 elite teams so far, the Bears ( game #1) and the Packers, in the emotional-week-game, this will be a very good game to really see how this team stacks up vs a very good team, doesn't hurt to have the extra days off, to prepare.