A thread for comments on week 2 games.
I’m happy the Seahawks won, but as of right now, the impression I have, based on the first two games, is that the coordinators–offensive and defensive–are bad. I really dislike Shane Waldron as an OC. I’m probably being overly critical, but I feel like he’s one of the worst OCs in the league. The guy seems to either be ignorant or indifferent to the run game–particularly in terms of trying to use it in a complementary fashion with the passing game. It’s all about passing.
They started off with Geno under center (and had him there quite a bit–versus last game, when I think he wasn’t under center even once). And they ran the ball. But by the second half, they just seemed to play action most of the team. You could see the defense not respecting it at times. Terrible.
Clint Hurtt doesn’t seem all that better. Maybe the roster isn’t as good as fans thought, but a good DC will help the defense out, with a good scheme at the right moment. I don’t feel like that happens all that much. And if he is helping them, then the roster is much worse than I thought.The thing I don’t like: it looks way too easy for offenses to move the ball down the field. (If it weren’t for turnovers, especially a pick 6, the defense would have looked way worse.)
I really like Mike Vrabel–as a coach and the style he’s using now, which is basically a physical run-based style with a tough defense. The Titans are going to come after you, and I wouldn’t want to play them in the playoffs. I mentioned bad playcalling and play design by the Seahawk coordinators. The OC and DC for the Titans are much better, and that’s noticeable.
On the other side of the ball, the Chargers are disappointing. I do think Kellen Moore has changed his style–he’s way more balanced, which I think is a good thing.
I didn’t watch any of the Seattle, Lions game, but from your comments, I take it you still have a lot of concerns or question marks on the Lion’s offense?
Cowboys, Jets – The Cowboys dominated this game. But here are some thoughts on the Jets: 1) Zach Wilson isn’t great, but he does look much improved from the little I saw him last year. 2) Not sure why Breece Hall didn’t get to run the ball much. They could have really used his big play ability. 3) The Jets o-line held up pretty well until the end. Dallas couldn’t get to the QB rushing four for good parts of the game. I will add though, Dallas had to keep the rush a little tight because of Wilson’s ability to run the ball. 4) I’m hoping the Jets d-line is as good as advertised, because Dallas struggled moving them consistently. Dallas even had to take out Chuma Edoga (back-up o-lineman) because he wasn’t doing much.
Ooops, I heard Edoga got injured. They didn’t say that during the broadcast, unless I missed it. On a somewhat side note, the Cowboys biggest acquisitions this offseason were one undrafted o-lineman in TJ Bass and their fourth round draft pick o-lineman in Asim Richards (His name is pronounced awesome by the way.). Both guys made the team over some veteran o-linemen and had high praise during training camp and preseason. If both are future starters, that would be Asim.
The Cowboys pass rush looks like the best in the league so far–better than what I’ve seen from the Eagles, 49ers, Browns, Steelers (although the Steelers rush looked really good, once Chubb left the game tonight).
Some other observations:
1. Pollard and #23 don’t look like RBs that are good enough. I don’t get the sense that this is just due to the Jets having a really good defense. To wit, the Cowboys RBs didn’t really impress me against the Giants, either. Pollard is not bad, but he’s not elite. To say it another way, the Cowboys offense are going to have to rely on Prescott and the passing game–at least that’s my impression right now.
2. This leads to the second concern. Prescott seems shaky at times–as in, I don’t fully trust him–to make the key throw or to protect the football. In a strange way, at times, he seems like a broken down QB near the end of his career.
I would like the Cowboys chances a lot more if they had one really good RB.
Your two observations are almost the opposite of what I saw. I thought the times the RBs had any room to run, they were both impressive (23 is Dowdle). They hit holes hard, and they finished their runs. I’m pretty optimistic about those two guys carrying the load. I also thought Dak looked really good sans the ball that should have been intercepted by Sauce in this game. I think McCarthy’s offense is good for Dak. He sets his feet faster and then gets rid of the ball quickly. Dak’s downfall is holding the ball in the pocket. He is not great in a crowded pocket and yet he’s willing to stand in there. In this offense, Dak hasn’t been holding the ball as long as he has in the past.
The biggest concern thus far in two games is their lack of productivity in the red zone. Part of that is the offensive line and maybe that’s where the RBs haven’t been good as well. But Kellen Moore ran great stuff for the TEs in the red zone last year. McCarthy has to review the tape.
It’ll be interesting to watch the season, but my sense right now is that the quality of the RBs could cost the Cowboys a Super Bowl. And to be a little more precise, I’m thinking of RBs that can really elevate the run game–not just in terms of making something out of noting, but doing more with just OK blocking. I think of some of the runs from Bjian, Kenneth Walker, or Chubb. Last night, there was a noticeable difference when Chubb left the game–and Ford (?) seemed like a decent RB.)
My uncertainty in Prescott leads me to believe the Cowboys are going to need this type of RB. Pollard is by no means bad. I could see him being productive, especially with good blocking, but not one who can really take the run game to the next level. An RB would allow the offense to rely on Prescott a lot less. It also should help control the ball, which fits with the great defense they have.
I never got the sense that Prescott’s biggest problem was holding the ball too long. Right now, the quality of throws and maybe his decision making seem like bigger issues.
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