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BeerBaron
01-23-2012, 10:51 AM
Well, it's depressing to think that we're down to our last meaningful football game of the season. I swear it comes and goes far too fast...but let's not dwell on that now, we have a lot to discuss. (Or, as yanksknicks puts it, my "long winded drivel." A charmer, that one.)


Work has me in a depressed mood, so I've got depressing music for today.

GqmRDV0a_70
WEQnzs8wl6E
Esj9VuAqZio

And then this one is for fun:

3VL-PtV_44Q


1.) Ravens/Pats

It may not have been by two scores, but the Patriots managed to eek this one out.

The Ravens seemed to do most things right on the day. As predicted, the Pats threw out the kitchen sink to stop the run game and were fairly successful (Rice and Williams avereaged 3.2 and 3.7 YPC respectively.) The Pats dared Flacco to beat them and he very nearly did, outplaying Brady by quite a large margin.

The Ravens won the TOP battle, the turnover battle, and kept their pass/run ratio somewhat reasonable. It wasn't even Flacco or Cam Cameron's fault that they lost, as I predicted.

But as I'll be the first to tell you, the ugliest win is better than the grandest of losses, and the Pats are riding this ugly win into the Superbowl. Brady was off, badly, for most of the game. He, like Aaron Rodgers last week, missed on throws he made all season (see the early missed TD pass to Gronk.)

The Pats run game really helped out though. BGE averaged 4.5 YPC and came up with some crucial runs in key spots. Gronk came up big again even on a bad ankle.

And then there's the defense. Their goal was to shut down the run and make Joe Flacco beat them. They succeeded in this goal, if just barely. Wilfork was a monster and showed why he is a top 3 DT in football. He moves so well for such a big guy that I can't help but watch in amazement at what he does. The secondary was pretty much gashed at every turn, which was to be expected I guess.

But the biggest plays of the day were two of the last ones. Sterling Moore broke up the Lee Evans would-be TD catch at the last possible nanosecond and then Cundiff made one of the worst 3 playoff FG mistakes ever. (Right up there with Norwood and Gary Anderson.) He just badly shanked what I would consider an easily makeable FG.

It was ugly...FUGLY even, but the Pats are going to the Superbowl and the Ravens are not.

2.) Giants/49ers

This was some classic, awesome defensive football for most of the game. Two teams slugging it out in the elements...beautiful...just beautiful. An overtime game to decide who moves onto the Superbowl? Can you really ask for more as a fan?

I think the Giants even beat the 49ers at their own game a little in this one. The Giants dominated the TOP battle (39 minutes to 29) and controlled the ball well. (90 offensive plays for the Giants vs. 57 for the 49ers.)

Eli was also the better, more perseverant QB on the field. Smith's accuracy was below 50% and at some points, appeared to have McNabb-esque accuracy, throwing passes in the dirt.

The 49ers WRs didn't help Smith much either. Crabtree was the only 49er receiver to catch a ball, and he caught exactly one. The 49ers had no outside passing game to spread out the Giants defense.

The 49ers also got away from the run game a little too much for my liking, as they were averaging 5.4 YPC on the day. (A little of that was Smith scrambling, but they still would have been over 5 even if you don't count that.) On a rainy day where your receivers didn't show up, running the ball should have been your best friend.

Now the Giants head to the Superbowl in a matchup they have to LOVE. Their defense is peaking at the right time and I think it matches up well with the Pats offense. The pass rush should terrorize Brady and having an athletic LB like Boley will lend itself well to keeping the Pats TEs in check.

The Giants offense should also have a field day against the Patriots defensive backfield. If Joe Flacco can pick them apart, Eli throwing to Cruz, Nicks and Manningham should have a great day.

I like the Giants by a TD in the Superbowl.

3.) Treat Overtime like the Start of a New Game

This is something that seems to affect all teams and always bothers me. Typically, in a game that reaches overtime, one or both teams just spent the 4th quarter trying desperately to score and/or killing the clock depending on the situation.

Then, once overtime comes, they stay in that "mode." The 49ers in particular seemed to stick with that same sense of urgency, and on their only OT possession went incomplete pass, run for a loss, pass short of the first down. And they wouldn't touch the ball again.

I think that once a game goes to OT, the coaches need to take a deep breath and treat it as if they're going into a whole new ball game. Wipe away the mindset you were in to end the 4th quarter and get back to the basics. The 49ers still seemed to have a sense of urgency about them and got away from what they did all year that made them such a great team.

4.) Special Teams Really is a Third of the Game

So what is one thing we learned this weekend? We watched two games between evenly matched teams go right down to the wire, or even into OT.

And in both games, the losing team's killer mistake came on special teams.

A lot of people brush off special teams as an afterthought. A lot of teams use their scrubby bench players while settling for fair catches and touchbacks.

But, in just about every game, something happens on special teams that affects the outcome. Sometimes it's not always so drastic as a fumbled punt or missed FG at the end of the game. Sometimes it's simply a good return or a punt that pins a team deep. But it always has an outcome in games.

Even beyond this week's extreme examples, you can look back at the Chargers of last year. First in offense, first in defense...horrible special teams and no playoffs. Before that, for years, the Colts special teams were typically miserable. Vanderjagt cost them games, they allowed big returns and very rarely ever made good returns of their own.

Of course, everyone will point to the Cundiff missed FG and Williams fumbled punt as the causes of the losses in these games, and those were definitely the final daggers. But the rest of the team allowed the game to come down to those situations.

5.) "Lucky" Teams

A lot of people (read: morons) have been spouting off about how the Pats and Giants are soooo "lucky" to get to where they are. They get all of the lucky matchups and lucky bounces and opponents do things against them like miss FGs and fumble punts...

STOP IT. Just ******* shut your god damn mouth.

Now, luck plays a huge part in football. More so than any other major sport because there are just so many more variables. A fumbled ball could bounce a thousand different directions...sometimes it goes to the other team and sometimes it bounces straight back into the gut of the offensive player. It could be a huge momentum swing either way.

But no team, anywhere, EVER, has EVER, played in or won a Superbowl based on luck alone. It has never, ever, ever, ever happened.

No matter how "lucky" one team might get, you absolutely must have the skill to take advantage of it.

Last week, the Texans and Saints both handed their opponents multiple turnovers yet were still in the game until the final possession. The Patriots this week LOST the turnover battle with the Ravens, yet held on to win.

Luck will always play a part in football, and maybe you can even stumble your way into a win here or there with it. But to beat two or three straight opponents of your conference's best teams to get to the Superbowl, you need FAR more than simple luck.

6.) Illegal Contact should NOT be an Automatic First Down

The 49ers got an automatic first down on 3rd and 19 because of illegal contact this week. **** that noise.

Revamp the rule to make it more like an offsides. 5 yards and a free play. We went the first..what...80 years? of NFL history without this rule being a problem and because of Bill ******* Polian, this rule exists.

I hope he dies in horrific fashion and that the rule gets adjusted so it's not so crippling to defenses.

7.) Hairtrigger Whistles on Forward Progress

Speaking of rules, this is another annoying one. Refs are so freaking quick to blow the whistle when they believe forward progress has been stopped.

For whatever reason, it seems like as long as the runner is churning, the refs let the play keep going. UNLESS he fumbles. Then it's immediate whistle and claims that the runner's forward progress was stopped.

I've seen plenty of instances where a runner keeps chugging, breaks the tackle and then runs for some more yardage. Why aren't those blown dead as quickly as they are if the ball is fumbled?

I think it's just more bias towards the offense from the NFL. If you want to make it fair, blow the whistle the moment the runner stops going forward if he's in an opponent's grasp.

8.) Rushing Three NEVER Works

Perhaps second only to the prevent defense in my mind in terms of hatred, is the three man rush by the defense.

My eye starts to twitch and the rage inside me builds whenever I see it...IT NEVER WORKS. It seems like so many teams are guilty of this...the Ravens and Patriots both had plenty of instances on Sunday where they simply allowed the QB to take all the time in the world as they rushed only 3. And the Giants for the first 14 or so weeks of the season seemed to just LOVE rushing three. It's no surprise to me, then, that they've gotten immensely better since adopting a more aggressive style of defense since then.

With the possible exception of Tim Tebow and maybe Blaine Gabbert, if you let ANY QB currently on a roster in the NFL have all the time he wants in the pocket, HE WILL BEAT YOU. I don't care that you've dropped 8 guys into coverage, even an average QB with plenty of time to throw will find an open guy eventually.

It never works, but I know why defensive coordinators call it. If they call for a big blitz and get burned, well that looks bad on them. But if they call a 3 man rush and drop everyone, he can put that blame on his team. He put them in a great position to cover everyone and the players failed.

Regardless, this is the worst tactic in football. In today's game with so many great QBs, you have to pressure them. I don't are if you have 4 clones of Darrelle Revis back there, they are only going to be able to cover for so long if the QB is allowed extended time in the pocket to find a receiver.

That's all I have right this second.

Nalej
01-23-2012, 11:02 AM
I want to be at your DC HOF induction

cmarq83
01-23-2012, 11:09 AM
I hate rushing 3. Especially for the Patriots because their secondary has no conception on how to cover an opponent no matter how many players they have on the field. When you send 3 guys it essentially guarantees a clean pocket for the QB because they can force the ends to the outside and can prevent any semblance of interior pressure by doubling or triple teaming the nose.

If you give any decent QB time and a clean pocket to step up in there will be a pinpoint accuracy throw to an area of the field where only the receiver will have a shot to get it. It's entirely the reason why teams convert on the Pats every 3rd in long situation because the WR can shield himself from the defensive back and the QB puts it right along the sideline for a clear completion. The defensive backs have to play looser coverage because they know with a 3 man rush there will be time for deep routes to develop, so in areas where they would suspect the ball would be going (by the sticks) they can't play as instinctively.

When you blitz, there is always the potential for a big play, but I'd rather have that than giving the offense time to develop any play to any spot they want.

gpngc
01-23-2012, 11:10 AM
Rushing three does work sometimes. It worked for the Pats early and often yesterday.

Generally, the defenses this postseason have not been aggressive. In today's NFL, receivers 1-on-1 with DBs is easy money for QBs, so DCs aren't blitzing much. There's just too much risk giving up huge plays if the OL/backs pick up the blitz...

I don't think it's as simple as 'NEVER rush three' or 'ALWAYS blitz'. The key is to mix things up and keep the offense guessing and off-balance so rushing three is sometimes a good move - ESPECIALLY against statue QBs like Brady/Flacco/Eli. On a play-by-play basis, an overly aggressive defense will leave you with too many 1-on-1 matchups - all of which give a HUGE advantage to the O. The upside for the defense is a sack (maybe turnover), or incompletion. The risk is giving up a touchdown. And the latter is more likely because all good offenses are solid with protections and hots - especially those with veteran QBs like the ones we've seen in these playoffs.

Prowler
01-23-2012, 11:14 AM
It was ugly...FUGLY even
That's my favorite line of the day.

I pretty much agree completely with what you had said. I agree with the not blowing the whistle unless the receiver/running back fumbles. The Pats/Ravens had a couple ridiculous plays where I was screaming, "Blow the Whistle!"

I do disagree on Cam Cameron not losing the game. I completely hate his play calling late in the 4th quarter. 3rd down delayed draw into the pass rush? Terrible. Worst possible play call. The team was so bewildered that it failed to show up on 4th down, which was another horrible call. Streaking your outside receivers to clear out Boldin and TEs for out routes? Terrible idea. Your slowest guys are now counted on getting separation on such obvious routes. No kidding they weren't open.

Fully agree on "rushing 3" never working. I thought Manning proved that years ago against Jacksonville and such. QBs are like 70% with insane Ratings vs that non-existent pass rushing front. DBs can't cover all day. That defense only works against terrible QBs, and those are the ones that should be pressured anyway. The only way to beat good QBs is to disrupt the receiver's routes and throw off the timing. I thought Belichick showed everyone that years ago. Play 1 deep, press man underneath, and blitz overload or stunt or anything besides just 3 man rush.

BeerBaron
01-23-2012, 11:15 AM
http://isportsweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/molk.jpg

Generally, the defenses this postseason have not been aggressive. In today's NFL, receivers 1-on-1 with DBs is easy money for QBs, so DCs aren't blitzing much. There's just too much risk giving up huge plays if the OL/backs pick up the blitz...

I don't think it's as simple as 'NEVER rush three' or 'ALWAYS blitz'. The key is to mix things up and keep the offense guessing and off-balance so rushing three is sometimes a good move - ESPECIALLY against statue QBs like Brady/Flacco/Eli. On a play-by-play basis, an overly aggressive defense will leave you with too many 1-on-1 matchups - all of which give a HUGE advantage to the O. The upside for the defense is a sack (maybe turnover), or incompletion. The risk is giving up a touchdown. And the latter is more likely because all good offenses are solid with protections and hots - especially those with veteran QBs like the ones we've seen in these playoffs.

What the hell are you talking about?

First, it absolutely did NOT work for the Pats yesterday, hardly at all. Flacco gashed the everloving bejeesus out of their secondary. The times where they got the best pressure were when Wilfork simply won against his blocker and drove straight into the backfield.

I don't even...the 2nd part...what the hell league are you watching? Apparently not the offensively skewed one with QBs setting records every one week that I am.

I don't even...what...I...what? What?

gpngc
01-23-2012, 11:25 AM
I'm talking about how I've noticed DCs aren't blitzing much during these playoffs.

And the reason for that is that it's very risky to blitz against these prolific offensive attacks.

And I think rushing three and having eight back in coverage is a useful defensive look that can be successful. I've noticed it work a lot this postseason but it's only brought up when it DOESN'T WORK because no one remembers incompletions and 2-yard rushes by QBs. People remember big offensive plays.

BeerBaron
01-23-2012, 11:29 AM
It's risky to blitz, I'm not in favor of sending 8 guys every other play.

But you rush more than 3. I would go through my DC's playbook and remove all of the plays that have him sending fewer than 4 rushers.

The Giants, all season long, much to my and Giant's fans frustration, went with 3 man rushes on defense on 90% of the plays and had a 7-7 mark to show for it.

Then Fewell got more aggressive, rarely sending fewer than 4, and the Giants have won every game since with some great defensive performances along the way.

You cannot give an NFL QB the kind of time a 3 man rush affords him. He will pick you apart, as Flacco did the Patriots yesterday.

Sloopy
01-23-2012, 12:26 PM
Posted this on the team forum but I'll post it here too

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/rumors/post/Ravens8217-Ray-Lewis-not-retiring?urn=nfl,wp1351

Is this my last game as a Raven? Absolutely not

BeerBaron
01-23-2012, 12:29 PM
Posted this on the team forum but I'll post it here too

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/rumors/post/Ravens8217-Ray-Lewis-not-retiring?urn=nfl,wp1351

I didn't even touch upon that. Outside of Lewis and Reed, it's not like anyone else on the team is getting old or anything.

If they find a more competent coordinator that Cameron and maybe upgrade a few spots (a better LB to partner with/replace Ray, another pass rusher besides Suggs) they'll be in good shape to make another run next year.

Year 2 of Torrey Smith, still have Ray Rice, hopefully the new OC will use those TEs more intelligently, etc.

Cudders
01-23-2012, 12:53 PM
The three-man rush has its place among defensive strategies. The problem is itís used far too much at this point. It should never be a core belief or be featured in a defensive game plan though. Passing and protection schemes have become too advanced for that nonsense. And one mistake in zone depth or spacing blows it. But variation is an integral part of smart defensive football. When defenses fall into a pattern, offenses figure them out and counter with calls that are designed to capitalize on recognized tendencies. So whether teams rush three or send blitzes on a snap-to-snap basis, quarterbacks will adjust and audible into one of their pre-set calls for beating said concept. In that regard, dialing up three-man rushes serves its purpose in remaining unpredictable.

Now, I often disagree with how the three-man rush is incorporated into the game plan. Itís not creative. Thereís no effort invested in disguising it. Too often, itís just a four-man front with an athletic defensive end dropping into a short zone. Thatís not enough. Show an exotic blitz look pre-snap and then rush three. Give offenses a specific indicator (from a frequent pressure formation) and then rush three. Bring a pair of linebackers and leave two linemen to cover underneath. Throw in a line slant or stunt. Just be multiple. Belichick utilized the three-man rush with success in the middle part of the last decade. But it was predicated on feigning something else and then rushing three. It was never the base shell.

As for the Patriotsí use of the three-man rush against the Ravens, itís borne out of need more than desire, Iím sure. Belichick knows he has a back end that he canít trust between the twenties, so he oversees a bend-but-donít-break defense. This approach is exemplified in their red zone defense. When the field gets shorter, the zones cover more area and leave quarterbacks with tight windows that require stick throws. Eight defenders in coverage behind a two-gap line can be effective on a short field.

Overall though, itís far too plain and prevalent in the modern NFL.

A Perfect Score
01-23-2012, 12:54 PM
I didn't even touch upon that. Outside of Lewis and Reed, it's not like anyone else on the team is getting old or anything.

If they find a more competent coordinator that Cameron and maybe upgrade a few spots (a better LB to partner with/replace Ray, another pass rusher besides Suggs) they'll be in good shape to make another run next year.

Year 2 of Torrey Smith, still have Ray Rice, hopefully the new OC will use those TEs more intelligently, etc.

It's sad when outside fans have more faith then some of the actual fans.

I really felt like this was our year. I was supremely disappointed in the way the 4th quarter went yesterday. As well as Flacco played at times, he had 3 opportunities to win that game. Yes the Lee Evans drop was pathetic, the Billy Cundiff miss should cost him his job (it won't, btw), but if Flacco doesn't throw that painfully terrible INT to Brandon Spikes with 6 odd minutes left, it's a moot point anyways. Three times the Patriots gave our offense the chance to tie/win that game, and three times we put up exactly zero points. I don't know where to head from here, but I'm honestly dejected after yesterday's loss. I feel like if we were going to the show, it was this season. Another year on Ray and Ed's career isn't doing our team any favors and with no immediate fixes to the huge issues we have at numerous positions (OL, WR, ILB, OLB, CB, S), I question whether we'll have the same sort of run next year. Pretty disheartening.

scottyboy
01-23-2012, 01:00 PM
i just wanted to point out that on returns the giants played it safer at the end of the 49er game sending the more sure handed, yet much less explosive, Aaron Ross back to field punts, along with sending Rolle back there just in case. Hell, Ross would run forward 5 yards and fall down/dive and I was perfectly content with that

BeerBaron
01-23-2012, 01:04 PM
The three-man rush has its place among defensive strategies. The problem is itís used far too much at this point. It should never be a core belief or be featured in a defensive game plan though. Passing and protection schemes have become too advanced for that nonsense. And one mistake in zone depth or spacing blows it. But variation is an integral part of smart defensive football. When defenses fall into a pattern, offenses figure them out and counter with calls that are designed to capitalize on recognized tendencies. So whether teams rush three or send blitzes on a snap-to-snap basis, quarterbacks will adjust and audible into one of their pre-set calls for beating said concept. In that regard, dialing up three-man rushes serves its purpose in remaining unpredictable.

Now, I often disagree with how the three-man rush is incorporated into the game plan. Itís not creative. Thereís no effort invested in disguising it. Too often, itís just a four-man front with an athletic defensive end dropping into a short zone. Thatís not enough. Show an exotic blitz look pre-snap and then rush three. Give offenses a specific indicator (from a frequent pressure formation) and then rush three. Bring a pair of linebackers and leave two linemen to cover underneath. Throw in a line slant or stunt. Just be multiple. Belichick utilized the three-man rush with success in the middle part of the last decade. But it was predicated on feigning something else and then rushing three. It was never the base shell.

As for the Patriotsí use of the three-man rush against the Ravens, itís borne out of need more than desire, Iím sure. Belichick knows he has a back end that he canít trust between the twenties, so he oversees a bend-but-donít-break defense. This approach is exemplified in their red zone defense. When the field gets shorter, the zones cover more area and leave quarterbacks with tight windows that require stick throws. Eight defenders in coverage behind a two-gap line can be effective on a short field.

Overall though, itís far too plain and prevalent in the modern NFL.

Alright I guess, I can buy that.

But it's still as you say, grossly overused and with very little deception. If you at least fake like you're going to bring 5 or 6 guys, the opposing team may adjust it's protection and keep a TE or back in to block, removing one of their receiving threats.

I would still draw the line at 4 pass rushers. One NT type who requires two blockers and then, everyone else gets a one on one matchup unless the offense keeps guys in to block (which, again, would mean one less guy to cover.)

It's sad when outside fans have more faith then some of the actual fans.

I really felt like this was our year. I was supremely disappointed in the way the 4th quarter went yesterday. As well as Flacco played at times, he had 3 opportunities to win that game. Yes the Lee Evans drop was pathetic, the Billy Cundiff miss should cost him his job (it won't, btw), but if Flacco doesn't throw that painfully terrible INT to Brandon Spikes with 6 odd minutes left, it's a moot point anyways. Three times the Patriots gave our offense the chance to tie/win that game, and three times we put up exactly zero points. I don't know where to head from here, but I'm honestly dejected after yesterday's loss. I feel like if we were going to the show, it was this season. Another year on Ray and Ed's career isn't doing our team any favors and with no immediate fixes to the huge issues we have at numerous positions (OL, WR, ILB, OLB, CB, S), I question whether we'll have the same sort of run next year. Pretty disheartening.

You're more pessimistic after the loss. Would you rather be in the Steelers position? I've read that they're going be something like $25 million over the cap and mainstays like Aaron Smith, Casey Hampton, James Farrior, Larry Foote, etc. May all be cut.

The AFC as a whole seems to be sloping downwards overall. The Pats made the Superbowl, but this might be the weakest team they've made any of their Superbowls with. The Steelers are going to be at least partly rebuilding needing a new OC and will be entering a youth movement on defense. The Colts hit rock bottom and aren't likely to have a fast recovery. The AFC West is a mess.

Teams on the rise? Texans and Bengals?

The Ravens aren't in a bad position really. Enter the Mario Williams sweepstakes, or at least go after Robert Mathis. Another pass rusher to help Suggs would be nice.

And draft a Burfict or Kuechly high. Get a running mate for Ray Lewis who can double as his eventual replacement.

I don't think the Ravens are in as bad of shape as you make them out to be.

Plus, for ***** sake, Cam Cameron is going to be gone! Rejoice!

bigbluedefense
01-23-2012, 02:03 PM
That Giants/49ers game was probably the most physical Giants game I've seen since the 1990 NFCCG for my Giants. It really was a bloodbath like Canty predicted.

Fewell has turned our defense around by 1 simple adjustment. He's running man coverage for the majority of the game. He's still not blitzing at all, we probably blitzed Smith 3 maybe 4 times all night. But simply adjusting to man coverage has made all the difference in the world.

It's really sad when you think about it. Why did it take so damn long to realize this can be a dominant defense when it's allowed to play man coverage? Can you imagine how much better it could be if we threw in some blitzes to go with it?

So frustrating.

BeerBaron
01-23-2012, 02:05 PM
That Giants/49ers game was probably the most physical Giants game I've seen since the 1990 NFCCG for my Giants. It really was a bloodbath like Canty predicted.

Fewell has turned our defense around by 1 simple adjustment. He's running man coverage for the majority of the game. He's still not blitzing at all, we probably blitzed Smith 3 maybe 4 times all night. But simply adjusting to man coverage has made all the difference in the world.

It's really sad when you think about it. Why did it take so damn long to realize this can be a dominant defense when it's allowed to play man coverage? Can you imagine how much better it could be if we threw in some blitzes to go with it?

So frustrating.

Again, I'm not advocating big blitzing. It was the rushing 3 and playing zone that killed you. Now, it appears that you rarely rush fewer than 4 with man coverage.

Rarely does a mere scheme change lead to such automatic success, but god damn, if you did this all year you would have given the Packers and 49ers a run for the playoff bye week.

Not that you've needed it.

Giantsfan1080
01-23-2012, 02:37 PM
Fewell was just teasing us all year. He didn't want these teams to get tape on the real scheme he was waiting to use.

cmarq83
01-23-2012, 02:41 PM
Fewell was just teasing us all year. He didn't want these teams to get tape on the real scheme he was waiting to use.

It's ok, your new defense will do nothing against our secret weapon we've been hiding all year.... Ocho! His breakout game is coming... SIGH

BeerBaron
01-23-2012, 02:42 PM
It's ok, your new defense will do nothing against our secret weapon we've been hiding all year.... Ocho! His breakout game is coming... SIGH

I think the better thing to hope for is that Gronk actually comes back stronger from injury, to almost superhuman levels. His ankle will now have the strength of 10 men.

Rosebud
01-23-2012, 02:44 PM
Fewell was just teasing us all year. He didn't want these teams to get tape on the real scheme he was waiting to use.

What's sad is this actually makes sense for explaining what we've seen.

BeerBaron
01-23-2012, 02:45 PM
What's sad is this actually makes sense for explaining what we've seen.

He waited too long. I mean...taking a page out of yanksknicks insane troll playbook...had Romo only hit Miles Austin...o_O

Rosebud
01-23-2012, 02:49 PM
He waited too long. I mean...taking a page out of yanksknicks insane troll playbook...had Romo only hit Miles Austin...o_O

Well it is a ****** plan, regardless of if it works or not.

Vox Populi
01-23-2012, 04:12 PM
Fewell not blitzing much still is a misconception by blitz happy fans. Boley has been rushing the passer a lot in the past two games. More than any linebacker the Giants have had since Kawika Mitchell for sure.

keylime_5
01-23-2012, 04:34 PM
just an observation I had about the games:

If Ted Ginn Jr. was healthy, the Niners wouldn't have lost the way they did. Who would've thought a backup return man would've been the x-factor in that game? The Ravens go to OT if Cundiff makes a chipshot field goal. I think special teams is still a very underrated aspect of the game and when people analyze who will win football games, they often overlook the third, oft forgotten part of football.

DraftSavant
01-23-2012, 04:35 PM
Again, I'm not advocating big blitzing. It was the rushing 3 and playing zone that killed you. Now, it appears that you rarely rush fewer than 4 with man coverage.

Rarely does a mere scheme change lead to such automatic success, but god damn, if you did this all year you would have given the Packers and 49ers a run for the playoff bye week.

Not that you've needed it.

If you can run press-man behind that D-line, there's really no reason to send anything more than a 1-man pop.

cmarq83
01-23-2012, 05:31 PM
I think the better thing to hope for is that Gronk actually comes back stronger from injury, to almost superhuman levels. His ankle will now have the strength of 10 men.

As opposed to now? He's already there.

J-Mike88
01-23-2012, 05:32 PM
BeerBaron, I give you a pie-chart, with the 3 choices for BIGGEST GOAT of Sunday, and it's Kyle Williams, Billy Cundiff, and Leah Evans, how do you divvy it up?
http://www.mathworks.com/help/techdoc/creating_plots/special_plots42b.gif

http://cdn.abclocal.go.com/images/kgo/cms_exf_2007/news/sports/8515023_600x338.jpg
http://www.cbc.ca/sports/football/opinion/assets_c/2012/01/sp-620cundiff-thumb-620xauto-166886.jpg
http://baltimoresportsreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/evans-drop.jpg

The reason I ask is because I, for some reason, am much more mad at Lee Evans than the kicker.

I'd probably go:
Evans 45% -(because if he catches it like a man, they go to the SB, simple)
Williams 45% -(not more because he didn't have the chance to win the game, but just as much because his gafs pretty much DID cost them the game)
Cundiff 10% -I hate kickers, and it was a short one, should make that kick in his sleep. But he choked. Still, it wouldn't have won the game. But it ended their season. I wish I had 35 more % to give him too.

DraftSavant
01-23-2012, 05:34 PM
YO SOY FIESTA! sdf

hockey619
01-23-2012, 05:41 PM
i just wanted to point out that on returns the giants played it safer at the end of the 49er game sending the more sure handed, yet much less explosive, Aaron Ross back to field punts, along with sending Rolle back there just in case. Hell, Ross would run forward 5 yards and fall down/dive and I was perfectly content with that


i dont get why teams handle special teams the way they do.

big plays on special teams rarely win you the game. They can help, but critical mistakes on special teams seem far more frequent and are almost always killers and cause huge momentum swings.

im not a fan of being particularly conservative but in the ST game id be extremely conservative. preparing a return is so hard because it basically comes down to everyone blocking someone and the returner getting to space.

Its very hard to practice this and prepare for it, you can either do it and be a good return guy or you just cant. unless i had a special guy, id want them to do just what you were describing, catch, run a ways with two hands on the ball and make sure not to fumble. if youre not sure you can get it, run RUN THE **** AWAY LIKE ITS A ******* BOMB!!! so many guys just hang around by the ball or jog after it or hop after it or whatever and i have absolutely no idea why these dumbasses do that, it can cost you big time and has no real benefit as you never really see a guy pick that up and turn it into something minus hester back in the day. (the punt that took a funny hop and glanced off williams is a perfect example of get the hell away from the ball if it hops)

they teach guy to yell poison if the ball bounces but they need to start kicking peoples' ***es when they dont get away from the ball as fast as possible. huge pet peeve of mine as many guys just hang around it when nothing but bad things can happen if you do.

Ness
01-23-2012, 06:34 PM
49ers are not a good TOP team. Not sure where this perception comes from. Maybe because our passing attack isn't that great and we have a couple of decent running backs. Maybe it's the misleading stat on NFL.com. Regardless, we were second to last in third down converting this year. 49ers defense takes the ball, but they (49ers offense) usually doesn't keep it very long. If anything it says more about the 49ers defense getting so many turnovers and stopping offenses over and over again.

BeerBaron
01-24-2012, 07:54 AM
just an observation I had about the games:

If Ted Ginn Jr. was healthy, the Niners wouldn't have lost the way they did. Who would've thought a backup return man would've been the x-factor in that game? The Ravens go to OT if Cundiff makes a chipshot field goal. I think special teams is still a very underrated aspect of the game and when people analyze who will win football games, they often overlook the third, oft forgotten part of football.

They wouldn't have lost the way they did, but I'm not going to guarantee that they would win or anything. Certainly wouldn't have hurt.

As opposed to now? He's already there.

Well yeah, but maybe he's like a Saiyan. They recover even stronger from serious injury.

Gronk can go all Super Gronk and the Giants won't stand a chance.

BeerBaron, I give you a pie-chart, with the 3 choices for BIGGEST GOAT of Sunday, and it's Kyle Williams, Billy Cundiff, and Leah Evans, how do you divvy it up?


Yes, those plays sucked and were certainly the dagger in the back of both of those teams.

However, to place all the blame on any one of them is just false. If the rest of the team plays well, it doesn't come down to those plays.

Alex Smith had a ****** day for the 49ers, completing less than 50% of his passes. If he has a better day, it might not have gone down to OT. If the 49ers defense keeps Victor Cruz from having so many catches, it might not have got down to OT.

Same for the Ravens. They failed several times in the 4th quarter even before that final drive. If Flacco doesn't throw a pick to Spikes, maybe the Ravens come away with at least a FG on that drive.

So while those plays were the final nail in the coffin of the losing teams, the entire blame should not go there.

i dont get why teams handle special teams the way they do.

big plays on special teams rarely win you the game. They can help, but critical mistakes on special teams seem far more frequent and are almost always killers and cause huge momentum swings.

im not a fan of being particularly conservative but in the ST game id be extremely conservative. preparing a return is so hard because it basically comes down to everyone blocking someone and the returner getting to space.

Its very hard to practice this and prepare for it, you can either do it and be a good return guy or you just cant. unless i had a special guy, id want them to do just what you were describing, catch, run a ways with two hands on the ball and make sure not to fumble. if youre not sure you can get it, run RUN THE **** AWAY LIKE ITS A ******* BOMB!!! so many guys just hang around by the ball or jog after it or hop after it or whatever and i have absolutely no idea why these dumbasses do that, it can cost you big time and has no real benefit as you never really see a guy pick that up and turn it into something minus hester back in the day. (the punt that took a funny hop and glanced off williams is a perfect example of get the hell away from the ball if it hops)

they teach guy to yell poison if the ball bounces but they need to start kicking peoples' ***es when they dont get away from the ball as fast as possible. huge pet peeve of mine as many guys just hang around it when nothing but bad things can happen if you do.

Since my team has Hester, I want him to return the punt in all but the most extreme of circumstances, because he can be a game changer with one return.

However, 99% of other returners in the league except for maybe Peterson and Cribbs should not. Unless you've got at least a clean 10 yard radius, just fair catch the ball.

Your average return man is far more likely to hurt than the team than help.

Also, another thing that pisses me off, are guys who field punts inside the 10. What ever happened to the old rule you always heard about punter returners putting their heels on the 10 yard line and letting it go if it goes over them? Are coaches too afraid of the other team downing it and pinning them deep? I'd MUCH rather my return man just gtfo of the way and start at the 2 than risk him pulling a Jacoby Jones from a few weeks back and setting the other team up with a free "and goal" situation.

abaddon41_80
01-24-2012, 08:23 AM
i just wanted to point out that on returns the giants played it safer at the end of the 49er game sending the more sure handed, yet much less explosive, Aaron Ross back to field punts, along with sending Rolle back there just in case. Hell, Ross would run forward 5 yards and fall down/dive and I was perfectly content with that

The 49ers thought they were playing it safe with Williams back there. He was a great returner in college and had more experience returning punts than anyone else on the roster.

BeerBaron
01-24-2012, 08:25 AM
The 49ers thought they were playing it safe with Williams back there. He was a great returner in college and had more experience returning punts than anyone else on the roster.

Muffed punts will happen but kids on the playground know better than to carry the ball so loosely away from his body like he did in overtime.

That was the real killer.

abaddon41_80
01-24-2012, 08:32 AM
Muffed punts will happen but kids on the playground know better than to carry the ball so loosely away from his body like he did in overtime.

That was the real killer.

I can almost forgive the one in OT as fumbles do happen. But for him to forget the first rule of punt returning; get out of the way if you aren't going to catch it; was just stupid. I blame him more for the first than the second, especially considering the game probably never even gets to OT without the first one.

BeerBaron
01-24-2012, 08:34 AM
He was asking for a fumble with the way he was carrying the ball. As a coach, I'd go to Tiki Barber levels when teaching ball handling to my players. I don't care if you look like a ****** carrying a loaf of bread, you hang onto the damn ball.

abaddon41_80
01-24-2012, 08:37 AM
He was asking for a fumble with the way he was carrying the ball. As a coach, I'd go to Tiki Barber levels when teaching ball handling to my players. I don't care if you look like a ****** carrying a loaf of bread, you hang onto the damn ball.

I agree but he is a young player, only his second season and he was injured for most of his first. He probably was able to get away with holding the ball like that a lot in college because of his speed. But he has been returning punts since probably pee-wee football and they always tell you to get the hell out of the way if you aren't going to catch it.