In this post I'll be tackling more than Joe Mays did yesterday, so follow me on down.
If the DT fumble doesn't happen, the McGahee fumble doesn't happen and Willis catches that 4th down pass I believe we win this game. Those right there are at least three FGs. Drive-killers.
Mralleycat: The Game Thread is for fans. Mile High Report is for Denver Broncos fans. If you want to hate on the Broncos, I hear the Raiders have a middling website. Otherwise, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQwjojvRNI4
Lance Ball: I've said it before, I'll say it again. Why is this guy on the team? One carry for one yard on a HUGE 3rd and 4 3rd quarter drive? First, why is he in there on third down? Second, his "speed" and "agility" and "quickness" are generally surpassed by the offensive lineman. I'd rather have Jeremiah Johnson off the practice squad or ANY of the Patriots RBs than him.
Speaking of whom, the Patriots RB corps: Stevan Ridley, Danny Woodhead, Brandon Bolden, Shane Vereen. Combined for 50 carries, 253 yards and 2 TDs on the ground (one fumble lost) and 2 catches for 25 yards. These guys are good. These guys made us look bad. I'd take any one of them over Lance Ball. They absolutely destroyed us. Brady targeted Joe Mays all day long.
Speaking of whom, Joe Mays: Believe it or not, I actually think he is a solid player. If he never touched the field except for Special Teams. Totaled 9 tackles, 2 solo and became Brady's favorite target. That really hurt us. And way to stand up while Brady scores on your hole. Brooking's got 9 years on you and he was diving for the pile.
I know everyone will be saying this, but hand in your uniform. I want to see maybe Nate Irving, maybe Trevathan, maybe Steven Johnson in short ANYONE but Joe Mays right now. Especially with Brooking injured, this could be a disaster.
Mike McCoy playcalling: The playcalling was just bad. Lance Ball up the middle on 3rd and 5 with PFM? Nope.
Phil Simms in the broadcast booth: Believe it or not, Simms called Joe Mays an "excellent" linebacker. What game was he watching?
Demaryius Thomas: Kid, you've got to hold onto those balls. It's going to cost you. 3 in 3 games? And don't confuse 188 yards with having a great game. If he doesn't fumble in that situation, we don't need to throw that much.
Von Miller and Wesley Woodyard: Woody impressed, 11 tackles, 5 solo and half a sack. Von DOMINATED. Stat line of 7 tackles, 1 assist, 2 sacks, 1 FF, one pass defended, 2 QB hits, 2 TFL. That might have been a career game from Von right there folks. If only Elvis would come over...
Elvis Dumervil: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5QGkOGZubQ&feature=player_detailpage#t=3s That was underwhelming. Step it up Doom. You're getting destroyed on run plays. No TFL and only .5 out of this elite pass rusher.
O-line and Rob Ninkovich: Did you see that? Oh, that was Ninkovich with 2 tackles, 2 assists, a sack, a QB hit and 2 FF. Our O-line was down to two first-stringers: Clady and Beadles. Walton was out, Koppen in; Kuper out, ManRam in and finally Franklin out, Chris Clark in. Our O-line depth was down to a player (C.J. Davis) who has played in a grand total of 7 career games.
Omar Bolden: Kid. Don't return the ball from the goal-line and then just make it to the 10. Don't. Thanks.
Peyton Manning: Keep it up. We'll need it.
Rahim Moore and Mike Adams: *sigh* Anytime your safeties combine for 24 tackles it is going to be a loooooooong day.
Grading it out:
Offensive Run Game: C-
We got a grand total of 70 yards rushing. 1 fumble lost. Zero production out of our second- and third-string backs. Inexcusable.
Offensive Pass Game: A-
Wow. PFM. The freaking. This guy can throw the ball, huh? DT doesn't put that on the ground, this is a flat A.
Offensive defending the pass rush: B-
2 sacks, 5 QB hits. All with three replacements. Threw for 345. Not bad.
Defensive Run Game: F
251 rush yards says it right there. That was putrid. Running for 19 yards on a 3rd and 17? Reminiscent of old Josh McDaniels defensive days.
Defensive Pass Game: C+
Brady only threw for 223, but receivers were always open it seemed. Couldn't stop the hurry-up.
Defensive pass Rush: A-
It's hard to rush the passer and get results when the ball comes out so quickly but we did well here. 4 sacks, 5 QB hits and a huge FF on 4th down.
Special Teams: B
Meh. We downed a punt deep on a nice kick by Colquitt (averaged 45.7) but he also put one through the back of the endzone and Bolden also took an ill-advised one out.
We can improve. And we need to. Somebody (mmhmm Joe Mays cough cough) has to go and we can improve.
Final route: Win the Turnover battle. That's what's always done us in. That will be key in the future games.