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GTripp0012 10-17-2008 04:52 PM

Rams Game Defensive GT Review, Dominance everywhere but the scoreboard
This loss can not be put at the feet of the defense. When you consider all the talent the Rams' have: Stephen Jackson, Marc Bulger, Torry Holt, Orlando Pace, and now Donnie Avery, you may wonder why they don't score more points.

The answer is two part. Number one, the Rams have played some very tough defenses in their first four games. The Eagles, the Giants, the Seahawks, the Bills, and now the Redskins. Any team would struggle against those defenses. However, it's important to remark that out of the 5 players I listed above, 3 of them are not playing good football at all. Orlando Pace, once an elite tackle, is done. Andre Carter embarrassed him. Torry Holt, once an elite receiver, is not really any better than average these days. Carlos Rogers embarrassed him. Marc Bulger, once a top five QB in the NFL, is not capable of handling top defenses anymore. He embarrassed himself. And when given all the above, Stephen Jackson just has very little to work with, and the Redskins have defensed the run very well ever since Demetric Evans replaced Jason Taylor at LE.

Of course, it's the fifth guy who was the thorn in the Redskins' side on Sunday. Donnie Avery was the first receiver taken in the 2008 NFL Draft, the only WR taken before Devin Thomas, and it was a bit of a surprise to most draftniks. However, that's not to say it was a bad pick. With Avery's college resume, he may have been the only WR taken in the second round that teams could be sure he would make it at this level. He's not as physically talented as either Thomas or Kelly, but I would have taken Avery before either of them. The Rams did.

When I go through and show you the defensive statisics, you'll wonder how a game that featured this dominant of a performance could not turn out just as lopsided on the scoreboard. Thanks to the special teams, the third down offense, and a freak play involving a reception by a lineman, that was not only made possible, but made a reality. Still a dominant as the defense was, they had at least 5 chances to save the rest of the team from themselves, and we're unable to do so.

Missed tackles and dropped interceptions were an issue. LaRon Landry and London Fletcher were the major culprits. Landry missed three tackles and dropped an INT. Fletcher missed a critical tackle and dropped an INT. Both had, otherwise, great days statistically, but those mistakes kept the Rams from getting blown out, which lead to the final 40+ yard completion, which I will explain in the pass defense section.

[B]Greg Blache[/B]

Defensive personnel (53 plays):

Base 4-3 = 28 (53%)
Nickel = 15 (28%)
Cobra (3 safeties) = 6 (11%)
Dime = 3 (6%)

With Reed Doughty headed to IR, have we seen the last of the Cobra formation? Kareem Moore did an alright job in in this week, but Doughty was a great blitzer. Chris Horton is not quite the blitzer that Doughty is, and it's been 5 years since I saw Mike Green play. If Smoot or Springs misses this game, it's possible we'll see some Mike Green Cobra action, but he's been out of football for two years, so I'm not expecting anything positive from that.

Blitzes (29 total passes):

5+ blitzes = 11
6+ blitzes = 6
7+ blitzes = 1

If it looked like the Redskins were blitzing on every play of the fourth quarter...it's because they were.

Blitzing Personnel:

Chris Horton x7 (1 hit, 1 pressure)
Rocky McIntosh x4 (1 pressure)
Marcus Washington x3
Shawn Springs x2 (1 sack)
London Fletcher
LaRon Landry

For all the blitzing the Redskins did, you'd like to see more pressure on the QB. As I'll show below, the Redskins were getting to Bulger with a 4 man rush all of the first half. Horton is not good on the rush, and though having him in the box is a benefit (his run stop stats are ridick), he shouldn't be coming at the QB 7 times in a game. Without Doughty, we're not a blitzing team. Landry is our best defensive back at attacking the QB, but we need him deep way too badly to let him up at the line (see the Torrence play). The all out blitz where Springs got the sack was a beautiful call by Blache.
Pass Defense[/B]

Vital Statistics:
Total Adj Pass Yds = 112
Yards per pass = 3.86
Successful Plays = 7 (24%) (!!)

Told ya.


(# Times Targeted, Completions against, Successful plays against, yards against)
Carlos Rogers <strong>8</strong>, <strong>5</strong>, 3, <strong>22</strong>
Shawn Springs 1, 1, 1, 15
Fred Smoot 4, 3, <strong>1</strong>, 22
Leigh Torrence 1, 1, 1, 43
LaRon Landry 2, 0, 0, 0
Kareem Moore 1, 0, 0, 0
Chris Wilson 1, 1, 1, 15
London Fletcher 2, 1, 0, -3
Rocky McIntosh 2, 1, 1, 12

Notables: Smoot had his best day of the season before leaving with an injury. Rogers allowed two first down conversions, which is his most since Week One.

On the long past play to Avery that essentially won the ball game: two guys not named Leigh Torrence screwed up. One, something that Greg Blache touched on in a post game press conference, Kareem Moore was supposed to rush Bulger and keep him inside the pocket if Stephen Jackson stayed in to block, which he did. Moore was confused and stayed about 4 yards behind the line of scrimmage. That was the big one. Number two, as has happened on all of our big pass plays this season, Landry bit a route that the ball did not go to. It's a cover one scheme, and normally, for as long as the ball was in the air, Landry should have plenty of time to get over. Unfortunately, he was stuck helping cover Eddie Kennison down the seam. Springs had him pretty much out of the play, so Landry didn't even need to be there. Meanwhile, Torrence was running step for step with Donnie Avery. Torrence had the play blanketed, but the ball was underthrown, and all of a sudden, Avery was in position to make the game clinching catch. It's a route that Landry should have knocked him out cold on, but the Redskins simply did not execute properly. Either way, Torrence did everything asked of a corner except locate the football, but that probably wouldn't have made a difference anyway. You'll see pass interference on that play more times than not, and good job by Torrence for at least making Avery come back and catch the football, and not just giving him a penalty.
Pass Rush[/B]

This unit did a much, much better job than it just did against Philadelphia.

Sacks = 2
Shawn Springs
Anthony Montgomery

QB Hits = 2
Andre Carter
Chris Horton

Pressures = 8 (!)
Andre Carter x4
Rocky McIntosh
Anthony Montgomery
Demetric Evans
Chris Horton

Monty is really bringing the pass rush up the gut these last two games. I now think he's deserving of more playing time. Andre Carter has to be one of the best DEs in the league right now, and the Skins have resurrected his career in the same way they did with Shawn Springs before him. Jason Taylor played about 1/3 of the snaps and had no impact.

[B]Rush Defense[/B]

Vital Statistics
Total Adj Rush Yds = 80
Rush yds per play = 3.3
Successful plays = 7 (29%)

After they got over some early game jitters, the Redskins gave Stephen Jackson nowhere to run. Kedric Golston and Corneilius Griffin were the main contributors. When they were playing well we gave up nothing on the ground. When they weren't, Jackson found a few holes and extended some drives.

Tackle Chart

(Tackles, Yards per)
Chris Horton, 5 for -8
London Fletcher, 5 for 26
Kedric Golston, 3 for 14
Jason Taylor, 3 for 16
Fred Smoot, 3 for 18
Rocky McIntosh, 2 for 6
Anthony Montgomery, 2 for 7
Marcus Washington, 2 for 11
Andre Carter, 1 for -2
LaRon Landry, 1 for 1
Corneilius Griffin, 1 for 1
Demetric Evans, 1 for 3
HB Blades, 1 for 4

[B]Overall Defense[/B] (53 plays)

Vital Statistics
Total Adj Yds = 192
Yards per Play = 3.62
Successful Plays = 15 (28%)

By far the most dominant performance of the year unfortunately comes in a losing effort. Again, the Redskins could have done so much more in this game, but they'll just have to take out their frustration on Cleveland this weekend. The defense needs Jason Taylor to make an impact as it's secondary might be thinner than usual this week and the pass rush might have to make up the difference.

53Fan 10-17-2008 06:07 PM

Re: Rams Game Defensive GT Review, Dominance everywhere but the scoreboard
Good job Tripp. Blache vs Williams. What do you think? Any drop-off?

GTripp0012 10-17-2008 06:29 PM

Re: Rams Game Defensive GT Review, Dominance everywhere but the scoreboard
[quote=53Fan;490970]Good job Tripp. Blache vs Williams. What do you think? Any drop-off?[/quote]Any dropoff between the two would be not seen for a few years. Williams was a phenominal evaluator of talent: Rogers, Springs, Carter, Sean Taylor, Landry, Griffin, Golston, Montgomery, Fletcher, McIntosh, Blades, even Doughty to an extent. We'll probably never see that again.

Blache is way more predictable than Williams was, but he doesn't follow set rules in his package selection. If he can lay off the safety blitz more now, we'll be every bit as good with Blache in the near future as we would have been with Grilliams.

I think you have to watch for the diminishing returns with Blache, as his problem in Chicago is that he started out strong, and then ended up just playing with "his guys" when there were more talented, youthful options available. Thus, they changed to the Lovie Smith defense, and those players got into the mix and created the current era Bears defense. Those guys were all Blache-era finds.

DIRTEE 10-17-2008 06:56 PM

Re: Rams Game Defensive GT Review, Dominance everywhere but the scoreboard
Great job brotha!!!

johnerotten 10-17-2008 07:58 PM

Re: Rams Game Defensive GT Review, Dominance everywhere but the scoreboard
unfortuanetly the only fact from the game that means anything is the final score!

GTripp0012 10-18-2008 05:21 PM

Re: Rams Game Defensive GT Review, Dominance everywhere but the scoreboard
Forgot to do the game valuation rankings. Here they are:

1) Horton
2) Carter
3) Rogers
4) Smoot
5) Washington
6) Golston
7) Griffin
8) Fletcher
9) Landry
10) McIntosh
11) Evans
12) Montgomery
13) Springs
14) Washington
15) Torrence
16) Blades
17) Kareem Moore
18) Alexander
19) Chris Wilson

53Fan 10-18-2008 10:23 PM

Re: Rams Game Defensive GT Review, Dominance everywhere but the scoreboard
I'm glad that Marcus Washington is playing well Tripp. I'm one of the guys that does'nt think he's lost anything. He's just been injured. But putting him at #5 AND #14 might be giving him TOO MUCH credit. :)

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