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Film Review: Offense, Cowboys @ Chargers

 

Finally, the film review as promised. Here’s the review of the offense. Not as detailed as a regular season game, but it did give me a better view of what was good, bad and indifferent in the Chargers game. Defense to come later tonight.

Starters

QB – Tony Romo. All he had to do was stand in a clean pocket and throw to open receivers or handoff the ball to Marion Barber.

RB – Marion Barber. Running very hard, made a nice blitz pickup, was able to cutback or bounce outside when he needed. Quality start.

WR – Terrell Owens. He was open one time but Romo threw to Witten. Patrick Crayton. He ran a nice route for a catch on the first scoring drive and caught another one from Brad Johnson after motioning out of the backfield.

TE - Jason Witten. Two catches on the first scoring drive. Cash money.

FB – Deon Anderson. Scored a TD on his only carry and had a good tackle on special teams.

OL – Flozell Adams, Kyle Kosier, Andre Gurode, Leonard Davis, Marc Colombo. As a unit they had a very good game. On a couple of runs early they collapsed the San Diego line. Adams and Kosier buried the defense on MB3’s cutback run. Koiser had a nice combo-block on Anderson’s TD run. On one of Felix’s runs, Colombo and Davis pulled to their side and made blocks while Gurode also got a nice block. Once Gurode got pushed back into the backfield and Colombo had a false start penalty but they were pretty clean for the day.

Backups

QB – Brad Johnson. Eh, not the best of starts but once I watched the tape, it wasn’t as bad as I initially thought. On four different occasions, his blocking failed him. Once on an INT, the other three killed drives. He also had to deal with a Bennett drop. But, he looked awfully slow, he had to fall on the ball after a busted play, and he’s pretty quick to throw the ball away. The tempo seemed slow with him. Richard Bartel. He seems to have a better tempo with the offense and his arm is stronger, but he makes bad read and throws into coverage too much. He was lucky a couple weren’t picked off. He had at least three passes to guys who were totally covered.

RB – Felix Jones. A sparkling debut. He broke off a big run around the edge then cutback across the middle, and did the same thing with a swing pass. Speed and vision, all in a smooth package. He had a beautiful blitz pickup on one play but he had some confusion on picking another that led to trouble. Tashard Choice. Another big debut. He had a couple of tough runs, then when given a nice hole be burst through for a TD. He, like Felix, had a great blitz pickup, but on another screen pass to him, he got caught between trying to block and trying to get in position for the pass and did neither. He also picked up a penalty on special teams. Rookies will learn these things. Alonzo Coleman muffed a kickoff return, had a couple of runs and made a great blitz pickup.

WR – Sam Hurd. Not a good game at all. His work as a gunner on special teams was subpar, he missed a key block that got Felix flattened, he had only one catch although it was a nice catch. Miles Austin. Huge game. He was really attacking the football, coming back to grab it from the defensive backs and leaping high to bring down a first down. He helped himself big-time. Isaiah Stanback. Didn’t show much. Had one catch that converted a third down and also saved a badly set-up end around by managing to get some yards. Was a little shaky on kickoff returns. Danny Amendola. Fumbled a punt return that was later turned into a TD. No catches, not the debut he wanted, although his first punt return was pretty good. Mike Jefferson, Mark Bradford, Daniel Polk and Todd Lowber were unnoticed.

TE – Tony Curtis. Had an OK game catching the ball, but had a lot of problems elsewhere. He and Flozell were blocking two guys and Curtis let one man through to force Brad on his INT pass. He struggled blocking on kickoff returns from the wedge, letting guys go right around him to the ball. He also had a whiff where he then reached out and grabbed the defender, but the play was wiped-out by a different penalty. Good in the pass game, he needs to tighten up on the blocking. Martellus Bennett. Tough debut. He dropped a pass and then missed on a block that killed a play, thus killing a drive. He later had a pretty good catch and got downfield blocks on a couple of runs, so it was mixed. Rodney Hannah had a short catch and Drew Atchison didn’t do much.

FB – Ronnie Cruz. Missed the block that messed up Stanback’s end around, but he got a good block on a Choice run. Julius Crosslin. Saw him mostly on special teams were he was pretty active, showing up around the ball a couple of times. 

OL – Doug Free had one play were he got beat badly on a spin move, otherwise he looked OK to me. Joe Berger. Once he got pushed a couple of yards in the backfield to mess up the timing of a play, but he also had a nice block downfield for Felix and threw a good trap block on Choice’s TD run. Cory Proctor. He, Berger and Marten had trouble opening up the middle for the running game on a lot of downs. Proctor didn’t check the middle on the blown screen and let a guy right through that forced Choice out of position. But he had a good block on Choice’s TD run and got downfield on a Felix run after catch. James Marten. Not very good, besides having a lot of problems in run blocking, he totally missed a stunt that led to a sack. Pat McQuistan. Similar to Marten, he struggled on a few blocks and got beat on an up-and-in move that led to a sack. Didn’t see Cory Lekkerkerker, Adam Stenavich or Ryan Gibbons.

Special teams

While I’m here let me talk a little about the special teams. Nick Folk had a kickoff that was inches from going out of bounds. The gunners on the right-side of the punt coverage teams were awful. Guys didn’t come close to staying in their lanes. Amendola fumbled, Coleman bobbled and Orlando Scandrick let a kickoff hit the ground before returning it. The wedge on the kickoff got too tight and let guys right around the edge. It was terrible. Bobby Carpenter and Justin Rogers took bad angles, but at least Carpenter made a shoestring tackle on one return and ran a guy out of bounds after missing him at first on another. Scandrick had one good tackle on a kickoff coverage as did Deon Anderson. Just tons of work to be done in this area.