This game must have me really geeked-up because when I read JJT’s gameday analysis over at the DMN, I felt compelled to write about it, and not in praise. Now that’s just a bad attitude for me to have, especially on the precipice of the big battle, I should be channeling positive energy. But really, what am I supposed to do when the gameday analysis centers on Wade Phillips choice of strategy; mainly, that he not fail in this game by trying to stop the run like he did against the Patriots. I know, wtf is the only appropriate response.
Now, it's time for the Phillips 3-4 defense to prove its worth against Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy's passing game.
Phillips flunked a test earlier this season, when he tried to slow down New England's running game and watched Tom Brady pass for more than 300 yards and five touchdowns in a 21-point win by the Patriots.
Surely Phillips is smart enough not to make the same mistake twice. Just in case, maybe, this will help. Memo to Phillips: The Packers have ZERO interest in running the ball.
Where to start? How tired is that surface level "red herring" analysis of the Patriots game. I’m not even going to go into the silliness of the Tim Cowlishaw theory of that game, that the Cowboys blew it becasue they were focused on stopping the run, the theory that JJT is adopting here. That whole tall-tale was built on one quote from Wade in a press conference that was badly mangled and interpreted by Cowlishaw. The facts of the game simply don’t back that up. But even if you maybe gave the slightest credence to that theory, aren’t you ignoring the enormous friggin’ elephant in the room? Let’s see. Tom Brady shredded a secondary that didn’t have Anthony Henry, a still not in top-form Terence Newman and an inexperienced Jacques Reeves. Oh yeah, let’s remember who killed us in that game, Wes Welker from the slot. Who covered Welker? Nate Jones. I wonder if any of that actually occurred to JJT?
Contrast that sloppy analysis with Albert ‘the Breerman’ Breer’s anlaysis.
Going on numbers alone, the Dallas Cowboys' pass defense isn't the same one that was torched by the Giants and Patriots earlier in the season.
Just once in the last five games has Dallas yielded more than 250 yards through the air. And it took the Redskins 55 attempts and soft coverage designed to bleed the clock to collect their 361 yards 10 days ago.
Breerman sees the obvious, with Newman all the way back, with Henry at least playing in the nickel, and the experienced gained by Reeves have definitely changed things.
Terence Newman and Anthony Henry have battled injuries. Others have been thrown in the fire. Of late, it all seems to have come together as the defense has continued to improve and evolve in Wade Phillips' system.
So, which was the more likely culprit in the Patriots game, JJT’s boogeyman or Breerman’s prime suspect? Eh, it’s not even close. Having said all that, I will say there's no guarantee that Brett Favre won't carve up our secondary, it could very well happen. But I guarantee you Dallas won't be shredded becasue they were concentrating on the run.
And yes, I have no idea why I’m talking about this today, but like I said, somehow I felt compelled to do it when I read JJT’s article.
And while I’m being cranky and ripping the media, what’s up with this explanation of chip blocks from Calvin Watkins?
Offenses use chipping as a means to help tackles. A running back or tight end will block a rushing defensive end, for about three to five seconds, to slow him down.
Holy Toledo! Three to five seconds? Chip blocks are considered chip blocks because the RB or TE will ‘chip’ the defender, meaning a quick pop and then get out into the pattern. If you can block for 3-5 seconds and still get out in the pattern, then your QB has the time to do his taxes back there. I would love to have that kind of protection. If you’re ‘chipping’ a pass rusher for three to five seconds, really, you’re just double-teaming them.
OK, here’s some other gameday analysis for your reading pleasure.