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  1. So, I'm not gonna rewatch this face, so I'll just do grades now while it's fresh in mind. http://www.espn.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=400951589 Offense: QB: Several flaws in his approach to this game, most notably, his inability to understand when to get rid of the ball, when to tuck it and run, and when to throw it away. The protection was dreadful, but Brissett ran into pressure repeatedly throughout the game. There was one play where 3 of the Jags 4 rushers fell down at the LOS, and Brissett scrambled directly into the only rusher who was still alive. He was accurate enough when he threw it, besides the deep balls that were late and off target; he threaded a nice one to Rogers on a 3rd and long, but not much else to speak of. He took a beating, and stood in courageously to finish the game (there were questions whether Tolzien would come in as early as the third quarter), but his lack of familiarity with the offense and his lack of polish showed up big time. D, get rid of the ball, please OL / blocking: None to speak of. Everyone got beat across the line all game. There were spots with sufficient protection; I don't put all ten sacks on the OL, a lot of the pressure was due to the QB not being decisive with the ball. But they didn't do anything worthy of mention. The rushing "attack" got undermined right off the bat, falling behind 14-0 in the first quarter, and then the pass rush started coming in waves. Losing Kelly hurt, but he wasn't helping all the much before. No push in the short yardage run situations, but they did make some holes at times for Gore and Mack. Still too much penetration in the run game. F, end of the day, you gave up 10 sacks and 400 pressures Backs / receivers / tight ends: Felt like the opener, in that you can't blame the skill guys for disappearing when the QB is playing so poorly, but some oft his goes on the receivers in this one. There were a couple drops, and Aiken had a stupid penalty for which he was benched for a while. Doyle got back on track, somewhat; I think he's had a tough couple months in several aspects, and expect him to get back to his old reliable self moving forward. Hilton gave us the bad "Ghost" this week -- the invisible one. Moncrief didn't even get a legitimate target until the second half. Rogers had a big catch on third down, which was good since he's only just coming back. The backs churned out whatever they could, but often were asked to run straight up the middle where there was nowhere to go. Mack had a drop, and couldn't handle another pass that was too high. D+, your QB needs your help, you have to get open Defense: Defensive front: What had been at times a strength of this team was not today, which is disappointing given the fact that Fournette didn't play. The run fits were sloppy on the inside, the edges weren't contained, and the tackling was sloppy from start to finish. Yeldon made everyone forget about Fournette for three hours, and this was Yeldon's first action of the season. The front did their share of giving up big plays. Henry Anderson had a nice strip sack, and Grover Stewart had a nice run stop, and that's about all the positive I can say. There was very little pressure, they rushed Bortles a couple times, but for the most part he was unbothered. This was maybe the worst tackling performance of the season. D-, losing Simon is concerning because Basham doesn't really know what he's doing Pass defense: What pass defense? Another 6 pass plays of over 20 yards, including three over 40. Losing Melvin was a problem -- ironic I'm saying that, but he's been our best corner, obviously -- but these are the same problems. We're not good enough to play man coverage across the board, especially at LB, and we're not sound enough to play zone, which is just inexplicable. We can't cover anyone at any level, no matter the opposing skill guys or the QB. We repeatedly got beat on 3rd and long, sometimes with no one near the receiver (recurring theme all season), and this is with an almost unyielding refusal to blitz in the entire first half. Yes, we gave up 282 passing yards in the first half, to Blake Bortles, with mostly 7 man coverages. And then we lost Hooker (on another busted play up the sideline, due to missed tackles). F, the secondary at times looks like no one knows what they're supposed to be doing Special teams: INC Coaching: Just giving a collective F here (sorry McMahon). The gameplans on both sides of the ball got exploited, we couldn't stop the Jags on defense, and we couldn't move the ball on offense. We tried the same things over and over, but got burned in every way imaginable. The offense didn't do anything to stop the pressure or keep the QB clean. The defense got torched in the same ways they've been getting torched all season, plus we couldn't stop the run. And Chuck absolutely BLEW IT not challenging the Marquis Lee fumble out of bounds. That should have been a touchback to the Colts, easily. Next up: @ Bengals. Two weeks ago, there was optimism, as Luck was getting closer, Kelly was back, the team looked like it was getting some things going. Now, we're firmly in last place in one of the worst divisions in football, our backup QB who has played his heart out has slowed down dramatically, and we're losing more and more of our best players. Go Colts, I guess...
  2. Good result, thankfully they found a way to fight for the win. Wish it didn't have to be so difficult. Stats Snap counts Defense, C-: 70 plays, 402 yards, 23 first downs (19 passing, 3 rushing, 1 penalty), 4/14 on third down, 2/2 on fourth down, 2/3 red zone, 0 turnovers, 23 points; the passing defense is a real problem Defensive front: They got back to a tough, mostly physical performance against the run. There were some leaks up the middle, a couple of plays that probably would have gone for BIG yards if not for shoestring tackles -- no surprise that Breida was the guy that gave us trouble; besides Hyde being less than 100%, Breida is the speed guy that we typically struggle with. Also some bad edge play a few times. For the most part the run defense was strong, including some third down stops. The pass rush was less impressive, partly because Hoyer got on the move and used strong play action, but mostly because they had open receivers all over the place. The Niners also used some tempo changes to catch the defense off guard. Sheard had a nice game, used his hands well and got to the QB quite a bit. They lined him up on the LT more often this game, good because their RT has been good in pass pro so far. Sheard might have been our best defensive player this week. B-, only critique is the lack of pressure, but when Hoyer held the ball the rush got to him Pass defense: The good, Melvin had a decent game again, including a nice near pick coming under a throw to Garcon, who was eating us up. Melvin didn't have sticky coverage most of the game, but he's diagnosing and breaking on the ball a lot lately, and when a DB does that, he's going to cause turnovers (which we've already seen from him). He's also tackling better each week. The bad, well, lots of it. The ILBs can't cover, period, over the middle, up the seam, or in the flats. The safeties appeared to have some breakdowns, not getting deep enough on the long play to Goodwin, and not breaking strong on throws in front of them. And there's a gross lack of recognition in any zone coverage. By my count/judgment, Hoyer threw 26 uncontested passes with 4 incompletions, 3 of which were off target. We had 4 PDs, two of which were at the line, not due to good coverage. The pass defense was a sieve, and got shredded for 353 yards and 2 TDs by a QB who had a passer rating below 70, and an offense that went 22 possessions without scoring a TD. Gave up three more 20+ yard pass plays, and could not stop the bleeding in the 4th quarter. The PI in OT was bogus. D, this is scheme related and personnel related Offense, C+: 73 plays, 447 yards, 25 first downs (14 passing, 9 rushing, 2 penalties), 8/16 on third down, 1/4 red zone, 1 turnover, 26 points; dry spells -- caused by poor execution and frustrating penalties at every position -- led to another up and down performance QB: Pagano said Brissett has "it," and he's right about that. Hitting those third downs to Moncrief, and the big play to Hilton in OT, show what he can do. I wondered about his ability to throw the deep out to the left, but he nailed it to Moncrief. He also had a perfectly placed ball to Hilton for a big gain that was dropped. He found underneath receivers well, showed patience in the pocket and drove the ball to the second level with authority, even on the run... He also has some inconsistencies that pop up at the worst times -- elongated delivery, which I think led to the pick in OT, messy footwork and lack of balance, to name a few. Bounced back to make plays, including the aforementioned third down to Moncrief, which came after the pick. He also stayed tough when pressured, and there was plenty of pressure; for a stretch, his response was to tuck it and run, and that's fine when you can get yards. Not a perfect performance, almost cost us the game (again), but that playmaking ability and "it" factor are obvious multiple times every game. C+, 139 passing yards when pressured, 135 passing yards on throws 20+ yards Backs / receivers / TEs: Gore was tough and showed good vision, getting to the second level several times, but he got stopped in the backfield more than usual this week. Turbin did what he does in short yardage, finding the hole and finishing, but got stopped in the backfield on the goal line. This was the Marlon Mack show, though, and he made big play after big play, almost hitting 100 yards in just 10 total touches on 17 snaps. The ability to take a busted play for 16 yards on third and 15 is special. He'll get more reps and more opportunities moving forward. Receivers were hit and miss; Hilton led the way with a big game, but had two drops. Moncrief started the game with a nice catch, disappeared for about three hours, then came back with two big catches in OT. Need more slants to Aiken from the slot. The TEs were nondescript. Gore did a good job gaining yards on a screen pass, then got chopped down on another due to bad blocking. B-, mostly Hilton and Mack with big gains, but the others made plays also OL / blocking: Pass protection was overwhelmed on multiple occasions, unable to form a pocket or keep the QB upright. Bad matchups with Haeg on Dumervil and Vujnovic on Buckner, and those guys made big plays against us. The run blocking made some decent holes at times, some just big enough for Gore/Turbin to find and squeeze through. They were inconsistent getting the edge, but managed to seal it a few times. Too much penetration overall in both phases. The blocking in space was bad as well, especially the screen play where Vuj couldn't so much as redirect the DB so Gore could get upfield, and that play would have gone for big yardage. The TEs missed some blocks as well. Clark had a nice block as the 6th OL, continuing to do well in that limited role. Shout out to TY for a nice downfield block! C-, I'm thinking it might be time to go back to Haeg at guard, Clark at RT Special teams: Focusing on the good, AV was on fire, two 50 yarders, including another game winner. This man is 44 years old, ya'll. Sanchez was great also, really good punter, and when he pulls off on kickoffs, it's well placed directionally to keep the returner controlled. The return game isn't doing anything but nearly turning the ball over. I get the concept, but it's a little overly risky, IMO, and Bray had a good 20 yards open in front of him. Don't beat yourself... B Coaching / play calling / game management: Well called offensive game. I personally would like to see Chud string together some play action, go to it after decent run plays, etc. This is a nitpick, especially since Pagano says they script the first 15 plays (I never understood how that works, but whatever), but the first play is a 10 yard pass, then a 9 yard run, then they run it again for a one yard loss. Throw a play action right there, and you probably have the defense on its heels. The last series of play calls was overly predictable, but they went super safe after blowing the previous possession in the red zone. The QB keeper and the wildcat have potential; some might see them as overly cute, but you can see defenses reacting to them, and there are things we can do off of them. Just have to field the snap and protect the ball. Also have to clean up the penalties -- which are spreading from the OL to the skill guys. B- I'm not sure what the mix of man/zone is supposed to be, and I'm not sure why we can't play outside technique without completely vacating the space inside the numbers and giving receivers free reign. I know we're not good at ILB, but the pass defense is being stressed everywhere. Everything is vanilla against the run, and it's mostly working. D Pagano was again caught between strategies at the end of the 4th quarter. Decline the ten second runoff because the Niners are running out of downs, that means you want a chance to get into FG range at the end of regulation. Then 4th down comes up with over a minute left, and you don't call timeout? Then why decline the runoff? Then you burn a timeout after the Niners get lined up, and still give up the TD? Also got burned on kicker freeze timeout, but that's impossible to predict. D Missed Callin 'em Out last week, and Grades. Just a super rough week. Game ball: Marlon Mack, he's electric, made huge plays that woke the offense up in the second half, and was the key to setting up the game winning kick. I'm excited to see how we continue working him in. Next up: Titans on the road, as the divisional schedule gets started. If Mariota plays, this will be a big test. I'm not convinced the Colts are good enough to do anything this season, especially without Luck, but we could be in first place a week from now. GO COLTS!!!
  3. Welcome to the win column, Indy. And way to back up the talk, Mr. Hilton, aka The Ghost. Box score Snap counts Offense, B-: 63 plays, 335 yards, 16 first downs (7 passing, 6 rushing, 3 penalty), 8/17 on third down, 3/4 red zone, 1 turnover, 31 points; BREAK UP THE COLTS!! oh wait, there's a second half... QB: This was a good performance, nice and controlled, calm and composed, more evidence of that playmaking gene that helps him make things happen. He was almost perfect in the first half, I don't think he had any bad throws, he knew when to throw it away, and his pocket presence and escapability were on display multiple times. His ability to run with the ball is critical, and he's not the fastest open field guy, but he strides long and covers ground before you know what's happening. Accurate and on time, always seemed to find the open man. He also threw a pass that resulted in a 34 yard interference call, on his way to a 10/13, 214 yard performance, with one passing score and two rushing scores. Then they kind of took the ball away from him in the second half, and he went 4/11 for 45 yards the rest of the way. Most of his throws were on 2nd and long, 3rd and long, and he converted some, but the offense went into a funk, and I don't fault the QB at all. He was on point almost every snap. A-, I think he aced this one, the minus is me nitpicking for him holding the ball a couple times, but he basically did everything they asked him to Backs / receivers / TEs: Hilton also passed the test -- this is what a star effort looks like, and he kind of made it look easy. They had no answer for him, and rookie Peppers made some big mistakes that led to big gains, but Hilton was basically the answer to every question. Moncrief bounced back with a solid game, not spectacular on paper, but he made big catches and showed the heart that was lacking last week. Doyle actually played well, IMO, aside from the drop and the fumble, and the fumble was a tough play that can happen to anyone. Daniels and Williams did a good job in auxiliary roles, and Bray had a nice catch also. The backs had basically no room to run; when they did, they pulled off a couple nice runs, but it was tough sledding all game. The run blocking was again sloppy, and the Browns sold out to stop the run almost the entire second half. B-, good response by the receivers, the backs had a tough game, and Doyle had probably the two worst plays of the game for the offense (he'd still be running if he caught the screen pass) OL / blocking: The blocking was troubled all game long, in both phases. The Browns blitzed almost all game, and typical of a GW defense, they came from everywhere, and gave the blocking fits. There were some missed protections, which isn't surprising with a new QB and a new OL. I didn't think they got overpowered, just overwhelmed by varied rushes and pressures. The run blocking struggled to get a hat on a hat, they had some ineffective double teams and left defenders unblocked, and couldn't sustain blocks at other times. Turbin missed a protection once. I thought the backs, TEs and receivers did a good job blocking the edge, and even got some good downfield blocks (shout out Bray on Hilton's TD). AC had a good game, hopefully he's put the worst behind him. C-, the line also had 4 killer penalties, 3 unforced Defense, C: 69 plays, 346 yards, 25 first downs (13 passing, 7 rushing, 5 penalty), 5/13 on third down, 4/5 red zone, 3 turnovers, 28 points; leaky pass defense, including containing the QB, still decent against the run Defensive front: Some possessions were really good up front, and they mostly shut down the traditional rushing attack. It was only Duke's outside run that got out for 19. The real damage was from Kizer, who got out for 7, 8, 12 and 13 yards on 4 different carries. Some undisciplined edge play, with Sheard and others coming too far up field at times against a scrambler at QB; dangerous with Wilson on the schedule this week. I thought they mostly tackled well at all levels, including up front. The pressure was inconsistent, Simon's sack came unblocked, but he's motor city and had 3 other pressures. C+, have to contain better, especially this week Pass defense: Better game this week, held their passing attack to just 5.1 yards/attempt, and took it away three times. Still too many 20+ yarders, and there was some loose coverage that helped them get back in the game. Two PIs, including one on third and nine by Butler. Hairston was really good, and Desir had a strong game for being a recent add. And then there's Melvin -- another nice game by him, and the diving catch he made on the second pick was outstanding. Both were bad throws, but credit him for completing the play and taking away two scoring opportunities. If he settles down at the point and does a better job of reading the top of the route and anticipating the ball, he'll cut down on penalties and maybe even make more plays on the ball. The ILBs weren't very good in coverage, either across the middle or ending plays in the flat. Hooker got a gift on the last play, but once again read the QB and put himself in the right place at the right time. C, coverage needs to tighten up, and get rid of the penalties; Kizer stressing us makes me nervous Special teams: Basically a perfect game kicking, Sanchez eliminated their returners, and got good distance, the only somewhat mistake was the touchback. Not much in the return game, Bray made one guy miss. AV hit his kick. The hands team did a good job securing the onside kicks -- Doyle's hands didn't go anywhere. A- Coaching / play calling / game management: Monachino mixed his coverages well again, with mixed results due to penalties and some good catches. The issue was they weren't well prepared to contain on the outside. Pass rush was kind of sporadic. I think the issues all around were with execution, not scheme, though preparation could have been better. C+ Really good gameplan offensively, got the QB into an early rhythm and really authorized him to make things happen; the QB draw was an example of putting the game in the QB's hands and letting him make plays, and even though the play didn't work as designed, Brissett made it happen by bouncing outside. The game got way to conservative in the second half, IMO, and they missed chances to get drives started well or get in third and manageable. I put that more on the head coach than the OC, and I get the conservative approach given the personnel, but there should have been a little more flexibility in the second half to get the offense moving. B The only issue with game management was the ultra conservative offense in the second half, but that helped the Browns get back in the game. Bigger picture, they need to tighten up the run blocking, maybe simplify the scheme, and continue expanding the playbook for Brissett. C Callin 'em out Pass -- Hilton (with flying colors), Farley, Moncrief, Brissett (great first half), Chud Fail -- OL, run game, Anderson Push -- Pagano INC -- Basham Game ball: Rashaan Melvin. Taking away the ball near the end zone is a big deal, his two plays probably changed the complexion and outcome of the game. Next up, at Seattle. This should be interesting. Our OL had three false starts at home, wonder how that's going to work in the toughest road environment in the league... Wilson is a magician, and Kizer -- an inaccurate and raw rookie -- just ran his blueprint with moderate success. Gonna have to be very disciplined on both sides of the ball. GO COLTS!!!
  4. Winnable game, just a couple of plays changed the outcome. Still kind of a sloppy game all around. Box score Snap counts Offense, C: 70 plays, 266 yards, 18 first downs (11 passing, 6 rushing, 1 penalty), 8/18 on third down, 1/2 red zone, 1 turnover (ouch), 13 points; better overall performance, but left a lot of plays out there and couldn't sustain potential scoring drives down the stretch QB: Considering the circumstances, this was a strong performance. Brissett's arm talent is obvious, he has poise in the pocket, responds well to pressure, knows when to run and when to dump it off, and in general plays a game that gives his team a chance to win. He was gun shy at times, I thought he had some chances to go downfield throughout the game, but he mostly didn't; on the double play action fake that resulted in a sack, he even had a dumpoff that he didn't come down to in enough time. On the second sack he had open receivers short, but didn't check down before the pressure got there. He was betrayed by receivers on a few plays, including a bad drop by Moncrief. He needs more touch on short throws, and his footwork is sloppy at times, leading to some bad throws on crossing routes. If they continue to deploy him like they did Sunday, and if the receivers show up, and he just speeds up his processing in the pocket, he'll be more than good enough until Luck comes back. C+, the pick was awful, but this was a respectable game Backs / receivers / TEs: The backs were pretty well bottled up all game, Gore had a 13 yarder up the middle, but other than that it was pretty dry. Mack got met in the backfield or cut off at the corner on almost every carry, and finished with negative yardage. The receivers were inconsistent, giving plenty of reasons to question their effort, which is problematic. I'm giving Moncrief a pass on the long throw that he apparently lost in the lights, but he short armed the deep crossing pattern that he should have just run through and might have had a big YAC gain. The TEs, led by Doyle, had a good game; the chemistry between Doyle and Brissett is impressive. The WRs were really the disappointment here -- 9/23 on targets to wide outs. C, need sharper play from the receivers OL / blocking: The pass pro was decent, there were some blown assignments and AC got beat a couple times, but in general the pass blocking gave the QB enough time and a clean enough pocket to go through his progressions and find receivers. The run blocking was very sloppy, at times with unblocked linemen getting a free release to the ball carrier, too much penetration on outside runs, too much penetration on those early screen plays, etc. And the receivers -- Moncrief, Bray and Aiken -- did a poor job blocking the edge on outside runs. I'm again disappointed in the effort from the WR group. Let's hope AC is just going through early season jitters and gets it together. I'm not too worried about the 4 sacks, I think the QB held the ball too long. More damaging were the drive-killing penalties and the blown blocks in the run game. C, lack of consistent lineups is hard to overcome Defense, B-: 65 plays, 389 yards, 17 first downs (14 passing, 2 rushing, 1 penalty), 6/15 on third down, 0/1 on fourth down, 0/3 red zone, 1 turnover, 16 points; still promising work up front, struggles in pass coverage Defensive front: Really good game up front, in both phases. The run defense speaks for itself, the Cardinals couldn't do anything positive most of the game, the fits and edge play got sloppy on a couple of plays (one got called back due to a ticky tack hold), but mostly positive. They did a good job rushing the passer also. While there wasn't an overabundance of pressure, the Cardinals used a 6th OL on 23% of their plays. Blitzes were mostly ineffective, and they hurt the pass coverage -- Palmer was 78% against the blitz with a passer rating of 149. The edge play was good, Sheard and Simon had strong performances, and the inside backers did a good job supporting the run, especially Jeremiah George, who picked up where he left off in preseason. More penetration up the middle would help. B+, tough, physical, disciplined -- all important when you don't have explosive playmakers in the front seven Pass defense: For all the talk about how bad Palmer was, he threw for 332 yards and a 9.2 average. The long TD was the most painful play, but the 3rd and 20 just before was when the damage started. There were a good 8-10 pass plays where he had receivers wide open in the second level, and they had 12 pass plays of 10+ yards. Pretty much every time we went zone, Palmer diced it up, and pretty much every time we sacrificed the integrity of the coverage with a blitz, he killed it. Melvin had a nice game, but still got beat a few times, and I believe he had a blown coverage on a second level TE catch. Wilson and Hairston are exciting, but they need a lot of coaching when it comes to outside technique, handling stacked releases, etc. We were a step late or a foot behind on several plays. Bostic was lost in coverage all game, as was Kenny Moore. I get the feeling the pass coverage will get incrementally better as the season goes on, but we still haven't faced a really good QB or a very talented receiver group yet. No need for Green at corner, but I don't think they've given up on him yet. Hooker's pick was a gift, really bad decision and bad throw by Palmer. C-, too many open receivers throughout the game Special teams: Solid game, Sanchez had one bad punt, but they were strategic with kickoffs and covered well. Moore's penalty was dumb, but he must have missed the fair catch signal, which happens when you're gunning. AV bounced back with a typical performance. Bray seems shaky on returns, and even put the ball on the ground. I get the feeling an onside kick is on the way... B Coaching / play calling / game management: The defensive gameplan was basically 'bend, don't break,' and that worked most of the game, with the exception of the TD drive and the INT drive. There was an interesting mix of blitzes and 8 man coverages, man vs zone, which worked a lot of the time, but there was about a 20-25 play stretch where the Cardinals figured out the coverage. B Chud had his hands full on offense, and did a reasonably good job of deploying his backup QB and keeping the offense in favorable situations. The penalties and drops hurt more than anything, especially the second half penalties that seemed to stall out good drives. The wildcat snap was interesting; Gore could have pitched it out to Brissett for a good gain, so I wonder if they'll continue to build on that package. Same with the read option stuff. The play calling right before the 2 minute warning was bad. I still don't like Chud's 3rd down play calling, a lot of it doesn't target the chains well enough. And the offensive coaches have to figure out how to run screen plays. B- I didn't mind the first quarter challenge; the Colts wanted to sustain drives, and there was a chance that Hilton had crossed the marker before he was touched. End of the day, the challenge didn't hurt anything. I didn't mind the late timeout before the FG, and when you freeze the kicker and it works, it's a good thing. Gonna ding the entire staff here for the late 12 man penalties (one avoided with a timeout, the other resulted in a penalty directly after a timeout, both inexcusable). C+ Callin 'em out: Anthony Castonzo -- Fail Malik Hooker -- Pass John Simon -- Pass Marlon Mack -- INC TJ Green -- INC Rob Chudzinski -- Pass Chuck Pagano -- Push Ted Monachino -- Pass Donte Moncrief -- Fail Jon Bostic -- Fail Game ball: n/a Next up, the Cleveland Browns, unbelievably favored on the road for the first time in like three years. Hilton all but guaranteed a win this week, and that worked out last year. Let's see if he and his receiver compadres bring a little more heart to this one.
  5. This is gonna be ugly. Usually, even in a blowout, you can point to a handful of plays that could have gone differently and resulted in a much closer game. I don't really feel that way in this one. Even without the two INT returns, we got outscored by 21. Sad outcome after waiting 8 months for a real Colts game. Box score Snap counts Offense, D: 49 plays, 225 yards, 10 first downs (6 passing, 3 rushing, 1 from penalty), 0/10 on third down, 0/1 on fourth down, 1/2 red zone, 4 turnovers (including the safety), -7 points (gave up 16 points on turnovers and the safety); calling this offensive showing "pathetic" is too kind, the aggregate grade doesn't emphasize the putridness of this performance QB: Tolzien was awful. Inaccurate throws, late throws, no poise in the pocket, no calm under pressure, was rattled from jump, and just got worse. Didn't keep his eyes downfield when he felt pressure, he missed almost every down field throw he attempted, and just generally played one of the worst games of QB we've seen in a long time. We had 11 total completions, and didn't have any yards in the entire third quarter. Brissett showed that he's far more talented in just 9 snaps. The sooner he learns enough of a package to start, the better. F, Brissett saved the minus Backs / receivers / TEs: The backs ran well. Gore churned out yards, Mack needs to be a tad more patient but showed his defining trait, and they both caught the ball well and earned yardage after catch. Mack's fumble is disappointing, but when you get held up and a defender starts raking, you're in trouble. Hilton's fumble was bad, but he did his job as a receiver. Not a good game to judge pass catchers. C, ball security is the only negative OL / blocking: Leaky pass pro, jumbled run blocking. There were some good individual moments, and there's reason to believe the line can play well enough if the offense ever gets into a rhythm. They created some small holes in the run game, and Gore did a good job of finding them and getting through. AC got whipped at LT, Good was decent at RT, and everyone else had good and bad moments in both phases. Still struggled picking up stunts and delayed rushers, still not good in the screen game. I put 75% of the blame for sacks on the QB. C-, so sloppy you'd think 80% of the line is changed... Defense, D+: 64 plays, 373 yards, 19 first downs, 13 passing, 5 rushing, 1 from penalty), 5/14 on third down, 2/4 red zone, 0 turnovers, 30 points; good run defense, awful pass coverage, no pass rush, no playmaking Defensive front: The run defense was pretty good. The only times Gurley got out of the backfield were when the Rams held, and those plays came back. Missed some tackles, including on the TD, which was ridiculous. Overpursued on the couple of designed counters, but for the most part they held the edge and stayed strong up the middle. Al Woods was much better than I anticipated. Pass rush didn't get home pretty much at all, and that's because we don't have pass rushers. Mingo had a couple nice rushes, Ridgeway had a couple nice beats, and Hunt got home once, but the pressure wasn't anywhere near consistent, and that's problematic because we can't cover. The ILBs were hit and miss, had some nice stops and then some poor tackling efforts, some nice covers then got beat. Bostic was very active, but his hand limits him. Morrison started out well, then faded, and maybe that's because of the injury. George was active just like in preseason, he might get more and more time with Morrison and Walker hurt. I'm continually impressed by the way Hairston supports the run and tackles. C+, the front was by far the best unit of the day, and that's with zero pass rush Pass defense: Unsurprisingly, they struggled to cover at almost every level. Any misdirection -- play action, screens, whatever -- was successful for the Rams, and then they still were able to beat us deep on a couple plays. Second level coverage had blown plays also. Top to bottom, bad coverage. There were some decent plays, but they went 22/30 on us, so we didn't cover well. The TJ Green experiment continues to have mixed results; he was flat footed at the top of Kupp's TD route, which is a continual problem for him. Melvin is not a good player; he used to at least tackle well, but no more. Wilson struggled at the point, but was again in good position; he needs more reps. D-, I knew McVay would upgrade their passing attack, but we put up zero resistance Special teams: Sad that we couldn't even get this right. Got blown up on punt returns, gave up a 35 yard kick return, and missed two field goals. Recovered a muffed punt, but not really of our own doing. And then the missed kicks by AV... when it rains, it pours. I think Sanchez's holds were bad, the ball was leaning away from the kicker on both. They'll figure that out. D, mistake city Coaching / play calling / game management, D-: Monachino didn't dial anything up to manufacture a pass rush, but really didn't have the situations to do so. The Rams countered any pressure with quick hitters (imagine that!) and kept the QB out of trouble. I didn't have any problem with his approach or gameplan, but we have to cover better. If we had a pass rush, I'd suggest more Cover 3. C I have the usual issues with Chud's play calling -- some nonsense route combos on 3rd and short, etc. And again, the inability to run a screen is a coaching issue. But inept QB play and leaky protection are the bigger issues. C- Why not challenge the goal line play? We went hurry up like we thought there was a fumble or something... And then the general lack of execution points to a lack of preparation and ability to refine your gameplan into something the team can actually perform at a winning level. Awful coaching performance from the top. F Game ball: Yeah right... Callin 'em out: Later this week, I'm bringing back "Callin 'em out," which will be a thread where we post who needs to play well for the team to win, what adjustments have to be made, what you'll have your eye on, etc., and I'll reference that thread in the grades. Next, home opener vs the Cards. Still no Luck. Who will start at QB (we already know it will be Tolzien, but here's hoping it's not), will the offense convert a third down, will we give up less than 40 points, etc. Kind of a sad state of affairs right now, but it can't get much worse than Sunday's game. GO COLTS!
  6. @OffensivelyPC @twfish Any objections? There's lot of 2016 video of him on DB. http://draftbreakdown.com/players/budda-baker/#player-vids
  7. James Conner, a red shirt junior who played for Pittsburgh. Missed practically the entire 2015 season after tearing his MCL and after alot of therapy doctors took a look and discovered he had Hodkins lymphoma. He ended up beating the cancer and came back and played in 2016. He is known as a very strong vocal leader by his teammates and is awarded team captain. Size: He's a big bodied RB at 6'1 and 233 pounds. Has a very good powerful frame and he knows how too use it. He's a power back through and through. 4/5 Athletism: A bruiser who will run away from most linebackers. He keeps coming back at you again and again breaking you down because who really wants 230 pounds of muscle running towards you. His speed at 4.65 means he's not going too out run DB's. How ever he will punish who ever tries to tackle him and his stiff arm is definetly a thing of beauty. I do believe if he hadn't torn his mcl and got cancer or had at Least another year of recovery time we could have possibly seen him dip into a higher 4.5? I think he is still recovering and if he can regain his athletism from 2014 he could be a real steal. He knows his strengths as a power back and uses it and doesn't try to run away from contact. 6/10 Vision: In my eyes his vision at times can be questionable. If the hole is there then he will bust through the hole and bring whoever is trying to take him down with him. However the hole has to be relatively open since he runs relatively broad and doesn't get really "skinny" but he does get low when he has too. He follows the blocks well and knows how too follow a fullback. Pitt did run him in some zone schemes but I think he's best at a man blocking scheme. Doesn't really dance around he finds a hole and goes. 5/10 Third Down Ability: Wasn't asked to do alot of receiving at Pitt but when he did he wasn't awful. Did excell at the few shovel passes. He's a very willing pass blocker and will use his size against pass rushers to good effect and will lay his entire body out to stop a defender. I would have liked too see him receive a little bit more so that's a little incomplete but I'd want him for pass blocking. Receiving 2.5/5 Blocking 4.5/5 total 7/10 Balance: He's not the most agile back in this class but tends to always fall forward. He's not going to wow you with spins or sharp cuts because that's not his style and he looks a little stiff for that. He gets low when needed but a relatively up right runner. 3/10 Physicallityis: Good luck ever stopping him with an arm tackle. He will wear you out and get sick and tired of trying too tackle him. He doesn't shy away from contact and makes you pay for tackling him. His stiff arm is lethal but essentially his moves are too run over you or stiff arm you, but he does them well and generally fails if he tries to get cute and spin or juke. Has some very beast mode like runs. 8.5/10 Improvisation: Not one to dance around and find holes. If he makes something out of nothing it's not from his agility or finesse it's by forcing his way to something. 4/10 Ball Control: Seeing as for whatever reason college never really seems to keep track of fumbles I counted 3 or 4 fumbles from 2014 and 2016. So not terrible but sometimes it seems like he hold the ball a little reckless? But for getting a relatively high amount of touches and only losing it that many times isn't bad I believe it averages out around 1 fumble every 90 or so carries? But it could stand to be alot better. 5/10. Overall 42.5/75 56% Late third or 4th round pick but with the depth at RB across the board I can see him going in the 5th or later. He's a power back and possibly only a 2 down back. He's got good size too him and uses what was given too him and I think he could blossom into a good pro. I wish I could have seen him against better competition and that may have raised his stock some but if he can get his 2014 production and bring it to the pros then someone will have stole him in this draft. The kids seems to be a natural born leader and he's a fighter. I see him as a "horseshoe guy". As mentioned he can play both man and zone scheme but I believe he will do better in a man so I guess it will depend on if the colts continue the switch to zone, work back too man, or do a hybrid scheme. As the NFL stated "His lack of speed and quickness could limit him as a pro but his heart, work ethic and ability to move the chains could make him a red zone specialist" that screams what this organization wants. I believe it was the Iowa game from 2014 in the red zone he took it up the gut 3 times the first 2 they stopped him but on the 3rd attempt he could not be stopped. He has a nose for the end zone and was a touch down machine at Pitt totaling 52 touchdowns total and in 2014 he had 26 touchdowns. He ran for 1795 yard in 2014 and 1092 yards in 2016. I can see the colts taking him in the later rounds if they don't address the position sooner and can see him as a solid pro and a good fantasy pick up and he's used alot in the red zone. @Superman if you'd like to start a merge or however you'd like to do it.
  8. Sophomore RB who has had several off field issues. I think everyone knows about all of that. I'm giving my thoughts about his ability and pro projection. Good production this year, including as a kick returner. I wish he were working out at the Combine; I guess we'll have to wait for his pro day. In advance, TL;DR: He's really good. http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/joe-mixon-1.html http://draftbreakdown.com/players/joe-mixon/ Size: Listed at 6'1", 226, tightly built, good size and frame, lean through the middle, could probably work on his lower body more as a pro and play at a high level a few pounds heavier. Good size hands from what I can see, hope he gets fully measured. 4.5/5 Athleticism: Breakaway speed is obvious when he gets in the open field. Quickness and acceleration are high level, which helps him get out in the open. He has some suddenness, can change direction, can finish with power, bend the corner and run away from everyone. Shows leaping ability to hurdle defenders (not advised) and get over the goal line. Played basketball in high school, and not for nothing, it bugs the crap out of me that he only shot 57% from the free throw line. Between his size, speed and physicality, his athleticism is not in question. I would assume that he'd test at a high level in every respect. 8/10 Vision: Finds the hole when it's there, follows lead blockers well, runs from the I, shotgun, pistol, and singleback. Shows some patience and ability to cut back, sets up blocks well enough. Sometimes gets antsy and bounces outside before he needs to. When he commits to the design of the play he shows enough discipline to eek out positive yardage when the blocking breaks down. Hard to second guess his instincts when he has so many highlight runs making something out of nothing. 6.5/10 3rd down ability: Natural, soft hands to make good catches from several angles, over his head, behind him, one-handers, etc. Productive work as a receiver in 2016, including some deep ball catches. Runs good routes from multiple spots, not exactly Marshall Faulk but not deficient in any way. Concentration can lapse when the ball is on the way, leading to some drops. He can hold his own in pass pro, and shows good awareness to know where the pressure is coming from. Not always eager to protect, sometimes goes through the motions, prone to dive around recklessly rather than square up. More than capable in both phases. 3.5/5 receiving, 3.5/5 blocking -- 7/10 Balance: Makes hairpin turns without trouble, cuts laterally with speed and precision, turns the corner at incredible angles. Can shake off would-be tacklers while on the move, gets out of messes behind the line of scrimmage. Not prone to be arm tackled, and can run through undisciplined and lazy tacklers. Tends to run more upright than he should, and prone to lean forward too far and get out of control. 8/10 Physicality: Not a bruiser, more likely to dance/spin/jump cut away from contact than slam it into the pile. Likes to use the stiff arm to push defenders away and keep moving forward. Has the size to finish with power, and at times will deliver a blow, but would much rather slither away from contact and fall forward for more yardage. 5/10 Improvisation: Has myriad ways to get away from defenders and make them miss -- stop/start, jump cut, spin move, stiff arm, hesitation, stutter step, in/out, etc. Shifty and quick, can set up several moves, comes out of cuts at top speed. Can make something out of nothing in the backfield. 9/10 Ball control: Not particularly prone to fumble, but has a couple bad games, including a 3 fumble game against Texas. Holds the ball a little recklessly at times. Mentioned already some lapses as a receiver, but typically finishes the play. 7/10 Overall: 55/75, 73%, late first/early second rounder, every down / feature back potential He can do it all, well rounded prospect at RB, good size, good production, excellent traits, needs some coaching to stay patient, finish and protect the ball, but his natural ability should not be stifled. A fit for any run scheme, but probably best in a man scheme. I see some things on film that make me wonder about his professionalism, but everything I read from his coaches and teammates say he works tirelessly and is very coachable. Then there's the off field stuff. It will undoubtedly push him down draft boards, and some teams will cross him off entirely. It wouldn't surprise me if he goes undrafted, but being realistic, I think some team will take him on Day 2. He's too good, too talented. His major off field issue was three years ago, not to make light of it, but that will be a rationalization for some team to 'give him a second chance.' Oklahoma did, post-Ray Rice, and kept him on the field even after the video came out (just one game, but it was a bowl game on national TV, and they took a lot of heat for it). I think he'll be drafted, and if he stays out of trouble, he'll be a good pro. I highly doubt the Colts are the team to draft him.
  9. Junior corner for the Huskies, three year starter. This is pre-Combine, so some of my assumptions might be off; I'm going to project his workout numbers. http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/sidney-jones-1.html http://draftbreakdown.com/players/sidney-jones/ Size: Listed at 6'0", 181 pounds, decent arm length, slim, narrow build, not very muscular, has the frame to put on some muscle and get stronger. 3/5 Athleticism: Quick feet, good change of direction and movement ability, hips open and flip well, but a little deliberate, strides well, average long speed. I don't think much of his makeup speed if/when he gets beat, and he can be run away from on crossing routes. He can shift and come downhill quickly, closes well in short areas, both blitzing and in run support. I don't think he'll have an outstanding Combine, although I think he's definitely athletic enough to be a full time player, I'd project him to run a 4.6ish 40 with a good 10 yard split, decent vertical and broad jump. 7/10 Fluidity: Good hips, although his hip flip is mostly predetermined in bail coverage, good bend and change of direction. Stays balanced and mirrors well, but susceptible to double moves. Also susceptible to getting beat off the line by shifty receivers. Can get around blockers with quickness. Not sure he can play nickel every down. 7/10 Physicality: Lacking, especially at the point of attack. Will be outworked on screen plays, as he can't disengage from a good block. At the top of a route, can be separated from, especially against physical receivers who push off, even slightly. Willing to get his hands on receivers off the line, and when he does, he can stay balanced and redirect, especially at the boundary. Prone to being a little grabby. Breaks down well in space and in run support, but misses a lot of tackles because of lack of power and recklessness, sometimes comes in too high. 6/10 Technical ability: Good hand placement, using hands and feet in concert with each other, using opposite hand to bump and run. Good mirror ability, but can get lost on crossing routes and combo routes; hard to gauge due to being predominantly in zone, with a lot of off man coverage. Uses his body well to shield off receivers, especially in the red zone. Good awareness, can track the ball in the air and over his shoulder. Susceptible to being beat off the line by quick receivers, sometimes over aggressive at the snap. Always lines up at LCB, not sure about his technique from any other spot. 7/10 Run game/tackling: Willing, but not overly capable. Feisty and scrappy, but seems disinterested in plays going away from him. Does break down well, can take out the legs of a ball carrier, but his slightness of frame makes him only so capable. 3/5 Ball skills: Tracks well, average ability in the air, good balance, goes at the receivers hands when the ball arrives. Doesn't get a lot of opportunities to make plays on the ball, most of the completions he gives up are underneath, QBs seem to go away from him. 4/5 Consistency: Always engaged at the snap, times his jams well every play, can be beat deep when multiple receivers are in his area. Could be prone to lapses if he had to play man coverage every down. 3/5 Overall: 40/60, 60%, 2nd rounder, likely starter due to good coverage ability, what he lacks is mostly in size and physicality, which isn't going to hold him back as a starting corner. I think he'll probably be rated higher by most others; I haven't looked at any other scouting reports for him. Scheme fit: With coaching, he'll be a good man coverage corner. I assume he can play both sides, I wonder about his ability in the slot but I think he has the feet and awareness to shift inside.
  10. Junior RB, was Heisman runner-up in 2015 after setting an NCAA record for most all purpose yards in a season. He suffered an undisclosed injury in 2016, not sure what it was or whether it has any long term implications, but he still had plenty of highlight plays and went on a tear in the last five games -- 991 yards rushing, 10 rushing TDs and 2 receiving TDs. I'm assuming he's fine. http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/christian-mccaffrey-1.html# http://draftbreakdown.com/players/christian-mccaffrey/ Size: Listed at 6'0", 201, which is smallish for an NFL RB. He's slender through the middle, including hips and thighs. Built more like a solid receiver or even a safety, not like an every down, between the tackles back. Decent sized hands, not sure how he'll measure there in comparison to other backs. 2/5 Athleticism: Elite athleticism in every respect. Gets to top speed quickly, can blow through to the second level or turn the corner and run away from everyone. Quick and shifty, start/stop ability, change of direction, good balance and agility, can and does make WOW plays on a regular basis. Not Reggie Bush level suddenness, and not Chris Johnson level open field speed, but plenty sudden and plenty speedy. The son of a track athlete mom (who's father was an Olympic sprinter, btw) and an NFL receiver dad (who comes from a line of athletes himself), he's bred for speed and athleticism. 8.5/10 Vision: Good ability to find the hole, or the slight crease, and get to and through it. Patient when necessary, decisive when appropriate, high level decision maker. Cuts back to make room and gain yards, sometimes runs into defenders on the back side. Shows some LeVeon Bell type of patience at times. Does a good job of finding his way past the line of scrimmage for even moderate gains when the play breaks down. Can run behind a FB in man schemes, and does well as a single back in zone schemes. 8/10 3rd down ability: Natural hands, catches the ball on the run, away from his body, will snatch it out of the air. Tracks it well on swing routes and up the field. Good body control to secure position. Good productivity in college as a receiver, and can line up everywhere, runs routes from any spot. Nice stutter/juke on option routes to create separation. I think he would be a hybrid back/receiver in the NFL, not an every down back. Doesn't stack like a refined receiver. Good awareness in pass pro, willing blocker, not a good blocker, though he does have some big sticks on tape. Because of his size he won't hold up as a frequent blocker in the NFL, and should be out in the open field in passing situations anyways. Gets into good position for cut blocks, not just diving around recklessly. Intelligent player, makes good decisions in both phases 4.5/5 receiving, 2.5/5 blocking -- 7/10 Balance: Great balance in the open, can make defenders miss with great moves, good stop/start ability, turns and changes well. Despite his size he won't always go down with an arm tackle, but typically doesn't require multiple defenders to be brought down. Can slip through traffic to avoid contact and get positive yardage, but once he's hit he's probably going down. Has some plays where he slips multiple would-be tacklers who don't approach with good technique. Keeps a low center of gravity once he gets moving forward. 7/10 Physicality: Plays with aggressiveness and willingness to charge right into the middle of the defense. Blocks the same way. His size limits his effectiveness, but not his mentality. Finishes well, but not carrying defenders on his back or blowing through arm tackles. 6/10 Improvisation: Shiftiness and quicks on display regularly, can turn a loss into a gain with his cutbacks and change of direction. Usually makes defenders miss in the open field, then gets back to top speed in a heartbeat. Has spin moves, stutter steps, and other jukes that make him a problem for single defenders at every level. 8.5/10 Ball control: College stats are unreliable for fumbles, but I only remember seeing two, and one was a botched QB exchange. No notable drops, typically sure handed. Holds the ball high and tight as a ball carrier. 9/10 Overall: 54/75, 72%, late 1st/2nd rounder, hybrid position player Should be used as a scatback / receiver, not as a straight ahead ball carrier. Has Darren Sproles potential, but bigger, will probably have similar workout numbers. Would need touches manufactured, but could handle 15-20 touches a game, as long as they mostly aren't between the tackles touches. Reggie Bush is a lofty comparison as a prospect, but that's what I see, just not quite as fast. For some reason I think he could have a pedestrian Combine (though he's probably receiving the very best coaching and training, in which case a pedestrian Combine would be a bad Combine, for him), which could push him down into the 40-50ish range. I haven't watched enough players to say whether he's a top 20 player, but I've watched enough of him over the past two years to know that he's one of my favorite college players of all time, and that I think any team that can't get production out of him isn't well coached on offense.
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