Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tmq reviews the game

Gregg Easterbrook had the following to say about the phins-saints clash on espn:

If Miami's receiving corps had not dropped five perfectly thrown passes in the second half against New Orleans, the Wildcat would have triumphed over the conventional offense of the league's highest-scoring team (bearing in mind that a shotgun formation with three wide receivers now counts as "conventional"). Two of the drops were by super-highly-paid high draft pick wide receiver Ted Ginn, who, considering he is super-highly-paid to be an NFL wide receiver, really at some point should learn how to catch a football. On the Marine Mammals' only Wildcat throw, Anthony Fasano dropped a perfectly delivered deep pass from Ronnie Brown, which would have put the home team in Saints territory in the fourth quarter. Instead, Miami punted. The New Orleans offense performed well at Miami, but bear in mind that two of the visitor's five second-half touchdowns came on interception returns. Both were passes intercepted when Miami was in a conventional offense; one hit Ginn squarely on the hands for what should have been a long gain, and instead caromed into the air for an interception and six New Orleans points. Indeed, if the super-highly-paid Ginn would simply catch the passes that hit his hands, Miami might be 4-2, rather than 2-4.

Though everyone's talking about the New Orleans offense, the New Orleans defense not only scored twice, but shut down Miami at the end of the game -- something the New York Jets' defense failed to do. The tastefully named Gregg Williams, New Orleans' defensive coordinator, had been calling a lot of blitzes, some of which Miami converted into big plays. With New Orleans leading 40-34 with 2:11 remaining, and Miami facing third-and-long, Williams had his defense show big-blitz, then rush only three. Novice quarterback Chad Henne was so confused, he basically threw the ball away, though under no pressure. Then on fourth-and-13, Williams again didn't call a blitz -- Henne again seemed confused, and threw the pick-six that ended the contest. New Orleans' red-hot offense, combined with any kind of decent defense, is a formula for success.

Tactics note: With five seconds remaining in the first half, the officials signaled that Marques Colston of New Orleans had scored a touchdown. But a booth review was called, and it was clear the touchdown would be nullified and the ball spotted at the 1-yard line. New Orleans had no timeouts; the moment the overturn was announced, the clock would start. Boy Scouts coach Sean Payton had sent his kicking team onto the field and told it to be lined up, awaiting the decision. (That is, New Orleans effectively announced to the referee that it knew the touchdown should be overturned.) Could New Orleans have launched a field goal with just five seconds remaining after the ready-for-play signal? We'll never know, because Miami coach Tony Sparano then called a timeout! That meant the clock was stopped when the review decision was announced. And, while the replay official was reviewing the play, Saints quarterback Drew Brees lobbied Payton to let the offense go for the touchdown -- and convinced him. So New Orleans sent its offense back onto the field and scored a touchdown on the final snap of the half; essentially, Sparano gifted the visitors with an extra four points. When New Orleans had a clock problem, why did Miami call timeout?
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Dolphins Ranter DeleteReply

Ginn must go!