Reading and Thinking Football

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Upon Further Review: TEN@HOU Offense

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UPDATE (8/6/08 2119 CT): Whole game now up.

I did this off NFL Replay. Because of the number of plays in the game, not all were shown, so there are a few plays I didn’t get to chart. I’ll try to fill those in at some point.

LINE DOWN DIST FORM TYPE YARDS PLAYER BRIEF
T31 1 10 Strong I Pass 18 Roydell Timing
Heck of a play to start the game-playfake, then Collins takes his dropback and shows off his arm strength by throwing a bullet to Roydell, who turns around and snags it. (DO) may be inflated, but (i) this is a hard play to stop and (ii) I’m feeling generous.
T39 1 10 4-WR Pass 13 Davis Waggle
Yes, the Titans ran waggle with Collins out of a 4-WR set. Ok, maybe it’s not a true waggle because there’s no pulling guard, but it was a boot with waggle-type patterns. Davis ran the drag across the field about 10 yards downfield and Collins hits him. For the record, Gage, who’d lined up in the TE offset position next to Stweart (boot side) was the shallow receiver. Awesome CBS graphic shows “V. Young, 2/2, 31 yds” after the play is over. (CA)
H38 1 10 I-Form, 3-WR Run 2 White Iso
Short run right side.
H36 2 8 3-WR Run 2 White Counter
Short run right tackle. White’s not fast enough to get outside on this kind of play.
H36 3 6 Shotgun Base Pass Inc Scaife Dumpoff
Protection problem here-DE Kalu stunts, coming off his RDE spot to loop toward the middle. Mawae gets caught in up trash (good rush by DT Maddox on Olson) and Collins has to get the ball away before he wants to. Not that he shouldn’t have gotten rid of it earlier, but not that he shouldn’t have either. (PR)
Drive Notes: FG, 3-0, 1Q 12:35. Fisher elects not to wimp out, somewhat surprisingly.
LINE DOWN DIST FORM TYPE YARDS PLAYER BRIEF
H23 1 10 Weak I Run 3 White Iso
Short run middle. If White had vision and ability, he could get 5 more yards by going through one of the gaps on this play. But, he’s LenDale.
H20 2 7 Trips Right Pass Inc Hartsock Out
Collins puts it a little too far for Hartsock coming out of the trips to haul in about 10 yards downfield. I can’t figure out why Hartsock didn’t catch this pass. Then again, Dick Enberg tells us Bo Scaife was the intended receiver. (.5 CA, .5 IN)
H20 3 7 4-WR Pass 6-Fumble Scaife Dumpoff
Part of the reason I’ve been putting this off for so long is I sometimes just hate so much watching the Titans play offense. This play is 4-WR, the Texans rush a couple. Scaife stays in to block. The pocket collapses, so Collins moves around a little, before just dumping it off to Scaife. No downfield look, so who knows if any of the 4 WRs was actually open at some point. Scaife then tries to split two defenders to pick up the first down (note to Bo: bad decision), and loses the ball as he’s going down. (CA), I guess.
Drive Notes: Fumble, 3-0, 1Q 10:50. Beneficiary of a turnover? Can’t stand good fortune? Just give the ball right back to the other team!
LINE DOWN DIST FORM TYPE YARDS PLAYER BRIEF
T39 1 10 4-WR Pass -6-Fumble Collins Sack
Apparently protection problems and failure to recognize the blitz are not the sole and exclusive purview of Vince Young. DeMeco Ryans comes through absolutely unblocked, crushes Collins, then picks up the loose ball and goes for a touchdown. Way, way, WAY too easy. How to fix this? If you recognize the blitz, Mawae had to quickly pick up the DT and Olson flares to get Ryans. Workable, especially for a quick pass like Collins seems to be readying. (PR)
Drive Notes: Fumble returned for TD, 3-7, 1Q 9:43. Turnovers are bad, mmkay?
LINE DOWN DIST FORM TYPE YARDS PLAYER BRIEF
T24 1 10 Run -1 White
NOT SHOWN ON NFL REPLAY
T23 2 11 Run 2 White
NOT SHOWN ON NFL REPLAY
T25 3 9 Pass Inc Hartsock
NOT SHOWN ON NFL REPLAY
Drive Notes: Punt, 3-7, 1Q 8:13. I do have this game on VCR, but I’m doing this charting on NFL Replay. 3 and outs deep in your own territory are a good way to not get shown.
LINE DOWN DIST FORM TYPE YARDS PLAYER BRIEF
H38 1 10 Weak I Run 5 White Iso
Decent run middle.
H33 2 5 Run -1 White
NOT SHOWN ON NFL REPLAY
H34 3 6 Pass 8 Gage
NOT SHOWN ON NFL REPLAY
H26 1 10 Penalty -5 Mawae False Start
H31 1 15 Run 6 White
NOT SHOWN ON NFL REPLAY
H25 2 9 Run 5 White
NOT SHOWN ON NFL REPLAY
H20 3 4 Trips Left Pass 6 Hartsock Stop
Hartsock is the TE opposite from the trips, gets a free release off the line, runs 5 yards downfield, catches the ball, and dives forward. Simple play, good execution. (CA)
H14 1 10 Pass Inc Scaife
NOT SHOWN ON NFL REPLAY
H14 2 10 Shotgun Base Pass 7 Scaife Flat
Hey, it’s the stupid short side rollout with Collins. Short pass to Scaife. (CA)
H7 3 3 4-WR Close Pass Inc R.Williams Cross
Roydell gets flattened by Greenwood before the pass is there at about the first down marker, but he would’ve had to have been about 5 feet taller to be able to catch the pass. Maybe it should’ve been a penalty, but the pass isn’t close enough to force it. (IN)
Drive Notes: FG, 6-7, 1Q :55. Bironas sets the NFL record for field goals today because the Titans sucked in the red zone. The thing worse than watching bad football is breaking down bad football.
LINE DOWN DIST FORM TYPE YARDS PLAYER BRIEF
H49 1 10 3-WR Pass 39 R.Williams Post
Houston fans will tell you Faggins sucks. This play is a good example of that. Cross points out a “nice, nice throw” by Collins; I prefer to see it as awful coverage creating a gargantuan (for the NFL) passing window. The closest defender is Robinson, who came off Gage (slot guy) after he saw the throw; naturally, he’s misidentified as “a safety.” (CA)
H10 1 10 Pass 4 Gage
NOT SHOWN ON NFL REPLAY
H6 2 6 Run 2 White
NOT SHOWN ON NFL REPLAY
H4 3 4 Pass Inc R.Williams
NOT SHOWN ON NFL REPLAY
Drive Notes: FG, 9-7, 2Q 11:49. The ability to throw the ball down the field successfully is such a powerful force in the NFL. It was the key to the Patriots offense this past year, and the Titans recognize it at times, too.
LINE DOWN DIST FORM TYPE YARDS PLAYER BRIEF
T23 1 10 I-Formation Pass Inc Hartsock Bootleg
Or, at least I think this is supposed to be a bootleg pass of some sort. The problem is, S C.C. Brown makes his semiannual good play and comes on a corner blitz, forcing Collins to get rid of the ball well before he wanted to. (PR)
T23 2 10 Weak I Run 5 Henry Off Tackle
Decent run off Stewart.
T28 3 5 Shotgun Strong Pass 24 Gage Post
Have I mentioned Faggins is bad? He is. He really is. (CA)
H48 1 10 Strong I, 2-WR Weak Pass 15 Scaife Out
Scaife runs an ok route, but Collins shows off his arm strength again, putting the 15 yard out right on the money. Decent coverage for a change by C.C. Brown, but it didn’t matter. (DO)
H33 1 10 I Formation Run 3 Henry Off tackle
Decent run right tackle. Greenwood filled the hole he needed to.
H30 2 7 3-WR Pass 10 Henry Screen
Henry gets a chance to show off what he can do, viz. run in the open field when people don’t have much opportunity to make contact with him. (CA)
H20 1 10 Trips Left Pass Inc Scaife Circle
Travis Johnson battles Mawae and is able to gets his hands up. Not sure whose fault this is, so I’ll equivocate. (.5 CA, .5 IN)
H20 2 10 Pass 2 Henry
NOT SHOWN ON NFL REPLAY
H18 3 8 Shotgun Base Pass Inc Gage Flag
H18 3 8 Penalty 17 HOU-Faggins Pass Interference
See above re Faggins. If he doesn’t keep holding onto Gage and bothers to look back, this probably isn’t a penalty. (CA)
H1 1 G Goalline Run 1-TD White Dive
Short run straight ahead.
Drive Notes: TD, 16-7, 2Q 5:36. Yay, pass plays moving the ball downfield. One thing I see about Collins is he’s more asynchronous than VY was this year-a couple excellent passes, but a couple lousy ones. Is this better than the sustained mediocrity that generally was VY? I’m not sure.
LINE DOWN DIST FORM TYPE YARDS PLAYER BRIEF
T49 1 10 Run 2 White
NOT SHOWN ON NFL REPLAY
H49 2 8 Run 6 White
NOT SHOWN ON NFL REPLAY
H43 3 2 Pass 10 Scaife
NOT SHOWN ON NFL REPLAY
H33 1 10 Run 8 White
NOT SHOWN ON NFL REPLAY
H25 2 2 Weak I Run 4 White Iso
Good power run blocking.
H21 1 10 Ace Run 4 White Cutback
Nice cutback play, but White hesitates a little and isn’t quick enough to take much advantage of lots of green stuff. Still, a successful play.
H17 2 6 I-Formation Run 4 White Screen
Officially this is a run, but the play is set up to be a screen pass (Collins’ throw goes straight lateral or slightly ahead. White does a good job to avoid the tackle of Mario Williams, who should have the play stopped dead to rights in the backfield, and stumble forward for a couple yards. (CA)
H13 3 2 Shotgun 2-TE Pass Inc R.Williams In
Roydell lines up and runs a little 5 yard in route, just past the first down marker. Collins tries to use his great arm strength to throw the ball through Travis Johnson, which doesn’t work so well. (BR), as Collins should have seen Johnson standing there with his arm out trying to do exactly what he ended up doing.
Drive Notes: FG, 19-7, 2Q 1:09. Mediocre punt, plus a holding penalty on the Texans, a couple decent plays, and the Titans get to stall out in field goal range again!
LINE DOWN DIST FORM TYPE YARDS PLAYER BRIEF
H32 1 10 Shotgun 4-WR Pass 9 White Dumpoff
Fisher decides, for no particularly apparent reason, he wants to ensure the Texans don’t get the ball back. Thus, White runs a simple pattern, easy to complete, and :23 of the :45 burns off. Yes, this is part of the reason the Titans don’t score more touchdowns-they don’t always want to score a touchdown. (CA)
H23 2 1 Shotgun 4-WR Pass 4 Gage Out
Gage from the right slot runs a little out to pick up the first down, then gets out of bounds. The Texans pretty much concede this one. (CA)
H19 1 10 3-WR Pass 5 White Screen
See above re not really trying to score. Seriously, a screen on 1&10 from the opponents’ 19 with :20 left? I know you have all 3 TOs left, but give me a break. (CA)
H14 2 5 Shotgun Base Pass 4 R.Williams Sitdown
See above re not trying to score, except Roydell does, kind of. He does so a little stupidly, trying to break 4 tackles to get the 9 yards to the end zone, giving up the first down and burning off enough time to prevent the Titans from running another play. Just dive forward and stop things, unless Fisher’s already said that’s the last play.
Drive Notes: FG, 22-7, end 1H. Yay, not scoring!
LINE DOWN DIST FORM TYPE YARDS PLAYER BRIEF
H30 1 10 I-Formation Pass 4 White Dumpoff
Hooray for not scoring continue, as Collins takes a quick look downfield, then chooses to throw the ball to White, who slipped out after the Texans only rushed 4. (CA), but -17 points for being depressingly boring. The amusing part is how NFLN just showed Fisher at the post-game presser talking about spending all halftime talking about how they wanted to blow the game open. Actions and words, Jeff, actions and words.
H26 2 6 Weak I Run 4 White Iso
Short run left side. I think the Texans played in part to control the cutback.
H22 3 2 I-Formation Run 3 White Iso
Short run up the middle. A Texans defender took a bad angle, it looked like.
H19 1 10 Ace Run 0 White Iso
Stewart cuts Okoye, but doesn’t do a very good job, and Amobi is left standing in the hole to tackle White for nada.
H19 2 10 2-TE Strong Run -6 R.Williams End Around
Fake to White running strong side, and the give to Roydell, who runs smack into Dunta Robinson coming around the corner. For some reason, I’m not surprised, maybe because that’s the way it always works when I try running an end around in Madden, Which Is Not Real Football ™.
H25 3 16 Shotgun Strong Pass Inc White Dumpoff
Collins takes a reasonably quick look downfield, then dumps off to White, who’d slipped out. White drops the ball, or maybe alligator arms it with Dunta Robinson coming. No biggie, it was about 2 yards downfield and Bironas makes the figgie.
Drive Notes: FG, 25-7, 3Q 10:58. Winning’s not the only thing, trying not to lose it. Yes, Fisher frustrates me at times. Yes, I recognize he’s not the OC, but he is the guy who sets the tone for the organization, the organization that believes in defense, the running game, and trying not to lose games.
LINE DOWN DIST FORM TYPE YARDS PLAYER BRIEF
T27 1 10 Weak I Pass 6 Hartsock Flat
Hartsock gets a free release out into the flat, Collins hits him with the ball, he catches it, then Dunta Robinson pops him with a big hit that propels him 3 yards forward. (CA)
T33 2 4 3-WR Pass 7 Scaife Out
Hey, it’s the same play, only to the other side. This time Scaife is a little more open, so he gets 4 and then is able to dive forward for a couple more. (CA)
T40 1 10 3-WR Run 6 White Off Tackle
A real zone-looking running play, with White finding a lane off Stewart and getting some running space.
T46 2 4 3-WR Pass 4 Scaife Out
Our tight ends only know one pattern! Well, ok, this is more of a flatter route than the previous two TE passes, but it’s the same thing. Scaife only gets the 1D because he stretches forward for it, which is kind of dangerous and not the best thing to see from a guy who’s already turned the ball over once. FYI, the slot WR on a few of these plays lately seems to have been Troupe. (CA)
H50 1 10 Weak I Run 2 White Iso
Short run right side.
H48 2 8 4-WR Pass 8 Gage Flat
Gage lines up in an offset TE position, and runs the same pattern Scaife just ran. Same sort of result, Gage gets knocked but is able to fall forward OOB at the first down marker. (CA)
H40 1 10 I-Formation Pass Inc Roydell Go?
Collins throws what looks like a go-type pattern near the sidelines. Roydell is further upfield, skinny post-like. I don’t know what this was supposed to be, but considering nobody could’ve caught it, I’m calling it (IN).
H40 2 10 I-Form, 3-WR Run 24 Henry Zone Read
The run goes right side-there’s supposed to be a run right guard, but a hole develops to the left side-not a true cutback, but a cut-and-go play. Hall spots it, gets the necessary seal block, and Henry follows him through the hole. Faggins is able to trip him up by the ankle, else Henry probably goes for 6.
H16 1 10 3-WR Run 7 Henry Zone Read
Same basic play, but a smaller hole more central than the previous play. Still, a hole and Henry gets good yardage. Watching a back I couldn’t outrun, I feel like I have more of an idea as to what the Titans might be trying to do. Maybe.
H9 2 3 I-Form, 2-WR Weak Run 4 Henry Counter
Moulds is on the weak side here, in a TE offset position, and screws up. Hall picks up the OLB, but Moulds stays to assist on him, partially blocking the hole and letting Hutchins come up and make the tackle. If Moulds gets him, this is probably a TD. Still, a successful play.
H5 1 G I-Form, 2-WR Weak Run 1 Henry Zone Read
Short run middle.
H4 2 G I-Form, 2-WR Weak Run 4-TD Henry Zone Read
Credit where credit is due: Moulds just screwed up, but gets the key block here. Mario Williams follows a slanting Roos right, and Moulds gets the seal, opening up the lane for Henry to go into the EZ fairly unopposed.
Drive Notes: TD, 32-7, 3Q 3:01. A touchdown! A real, actual touchdown! A real, actual running back who’s not ridiculously slow! It’s so nice to be reminded these things actually do exist, at least every once in a while. Shh, don’t tell Fisher.
LINE DOWN DIST FORM TYPE YARDS PLAYER BRIEF
T20 1 10 Run 28 White
NOT SHOWN ON NFL REPLAY
T48 1 10 Run 3 Henry
NOT SHOWN ON NFL REPLAY
H49 2 7 Pass Inc R.Williams
NOT SHOWN ON NFL REPLAY
H49 3 7 Pass Inc R.Williams
NOT SHOWN ON NFL REPLAY
Drive Notes: Punt, 32-15, 4Q 12:18. Too many plays to show everything.
LINE DOWN DIST FORM TYPE YARDS PLAYER BRIEF
T24 1 10 I-Formation Run 3 Henry Off Tackle
Run right side, but Travis Johnson is able to come over from his DT spot and make the play.
T27 2 7 Weak I Run 3 White Iso
It doesn’t matter if this short run right side is zone read or not, because by the time White gets there, there’s not more than one hole, and he’s not really able to take the one-cut-and-go hole.
T30 3 4 Shotgun Base Pass Inc Gage Sitdown
HOU corner (note: Bennett, who’s good, not Faggins, who isn’t) plays pass defense. Play fails thanks to unexpected opposition. (CA), I guess.
Drive Notes: Punt, 32-22, 4Q 6:52. White sucks. Having a crappy offense sucks. The Titans blow this lead because they can’t do better. But, they’re bailed out by Anderson, who muffs the punt.
LINE DOWN DIST FORM TYPE YARDS PLAYER BRIEF
H33 1 10 Weak I Run -1 White Zone Read
It’s hard to run against 8 in the box, when there’s a guy to fill every gap.
H34 2 11 I-Formation Run 0 Henry Stretch
8 in the box again. Can’t run the stretch play with White too well, but it makes an appearance here. Unfortunately, fast as Henry is, RDE Cochran is able to sprint down the line and beat Henry to the hole. Great play by him. Incidentally, this is part of what makes Peyton so valuable-remember in practice a couple years ago the Titans were trying to simulate the Colts but they didn’t have a QB who could run the stretch handoff as fast as Peyton did? Yeah.
H34 3 11 Penalty -5 [Collins] Delay of Game
H39 3 16 Shotgun Strong Pass Inc Moulds Eek
Eek is “Kerry Collins feels the rush, so he chucks the ball out of bounds 10 feet over Moulds’ head rather than try to make a play, even though a sack isn’t too bad a play because the penalty takes you out of field goal range.” (BR) is the necessary grade to cover Collins’ panicky response.
Drive Notes: Punt, 32-22, 4Q 4:41. The Titans have a golden opportunity to finally put the game away after getting an absolute gift after a punt muff, and do NOTHING with it. Just frustrating to watch.
LINE DOWN DIST FORM TYPE YARDS PLAYER BRIEF
H17 1 10 I-Formation Run 1 White Iso
Short run right side.
H16 2 9 Ace Run 2 White Iso
Short run left side. It’s boring and time-consuming to say a lot about these.
H14 3 7 Ace Run -3 Henry Stretch
Looks like another stretch, or almost a sweep play. S Brown had lined up outside the play-side TE and is able to string the play out, which is why a lot of times you see this out of the I-formation.
Drive Notes: FG, 35-22, 4Q 3:49. Trying not to win continues, but at least the FG here sets them up for the game-winning FG after allowing a couple more scores.
LINE DOWN DIST FORM TYPE YARDS PLAYER BRIEF
T20 1 10 Shotgun Base Pass 17 R.Williams Comeback(?)
No clue what the route is, maybe a comeback or stop. Anyway, Collins uses his arm strength to hit Roydell, who avoids Robinson’s tackle and gets 5 extra yards and OOB. (CA)
T37 1 10 Shotgun Base Pass Inc White Dumpoff
What’s really clear from doing this game and the Indy game is that Collins doesn’t respond well to having to move his feet. Here, the pocket collapses, and, rather than move, re-set, and find somebody to throw the ball to, he moves enough to get the ball off and tries to force it to White between two defenders. The ball goes past everybody, but this is a potentially dangerous play, and not the wisest decision. The Titans do have 3 TOs left, so it’s not the time issue, it’s what could have happened. (BR) may be harsh, but I don’t care.
T37 2 10 Shotgun Base Pass Inc Gage Deep Out
Frickin’ Gage. He beats Faggins, Collins hits him with a good throw, and he can’t make the catch until he’s out of bounds. I may have been harsh last grade, so I’ll give Collins a (DO) here.
T37 3 10 Shotgun Base Pass 46 R.Williams Go
Great thing about NFL Replay: the elusive coaches’ tape puts in an appearance, giving you a great view of how this play unfolds. Roydell’s in man against Hutchins, and Collins put the ball in a place where he could make the play and he did. The one thing I wonder, though, is how much of this play is precision timing and planning, and how much is extemporaneous play-making. I suspected the latter watching this play, and Collins’ comments also point in this direction, so (CA).
T17 1 10 3-WR Run 6 White Iso
Run the clock down so Bironas gets the last play of the game. Ho hum.
Drive Notes: FG, 38-36, end 2H. The offense, unchained finally, makes the plays it needs to at the time it matters most. Thank goodness.

Next up, the second JAX game and San Diego. I’ll also be doing the first preseason game after it airs on NFL Network on Sunday afternoon, though that probably won’t happen until Monday night.

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Written by Tom Gower

August 6, 2008 at 02:36

Posted in Uncategorized

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