Sunday, August 21, 2011

Observations from the Charger Game

The defense was attacking from the start. Even without both of their starting cornerbacks Rob Ryan was attacking. They blitzed on 2nd and 3rd down on the opening series and forced a 3 and out. On the second series Abe Elam made a great tackle behind the line on a run blitz.

The defense is definitely boom or bust because any time Rivers got time he could find an open receiver against man coverage. Barry Church made a great play to knock down a pass and force a field goal on the second series.

It does seem like the starting defense is missing the two starting cornerbacks but it doesn't seem to be as big of a deal as it would have been in the Wade Phillips defense thanks to all of the pressure on the quarterback in the Rob Ryan defense.

On a couple of plays no one covered the back coming out of the backfield on passing plays. I don't know if it was a hole in the coverage or a missed assignment. There was also a blown coverage on a Rivers to McMichael touchdown in the 2nd quarter.

Patrick Crayton dropped a pass on the first play of the game. Anyone still want him back?

Dan Bailey got a chance to handle all of the kicking duties with David Buehler out with hip soreness.

Akwasi Owusu-Ansah looked better on his only punt return. He got up the field this time instead of dancing around.

Felix Jones looked good running the ball again. Martellus Bennett and Tyron Smith both made some great blocks. On one play he threw down the safety at the end of the play with a Marion Barber-like stiff arm. I am really impressed by Felix Jones so far this offseason. He looks like a different player this year.

The starting offensive line did a very good job while they were in there. They opened up big running lanes and they gave Romo time to survey the field on passing plays.

Dez Bryant dropped an easy ball that would have been a first down. But he made a couple of nice runs after the catch on a wide receiver screen and a quick hitch.

Romo started strong but threw a bad interception on a play action pass. Overall he looked comfortable in the pocket and was on target with his throws. His only bad play was the interception. He made a great improve throw to Witten to get the starting offenses first preseason touchdown.

Martellus Bennett dropped a ball from Romo that was right in his hands and probably would have been a touchdown. Put that in your memory banks for later in the season. There is a reason that Romo doesn't trust Bennett and play like that don't help. John Phillips just seems to have a better feel for the passing game than Bennett.

Kevin Ogletree made a nice run after the catch on a quick hitch. He made another short catch at the end of the half but couldn't do anything with it after the catch. He needs to pick it up before the coaches start looking at other options for the #3 receiver. Ogletree also made some plays in the 2nd half but he needs to show it against the top players

Sean Lee didn't do anything overly impressive but he also didn't make a glaring errors. It will be interesting to see if Brooking is able to get his job back once he is healthy.

The defense is so much better at tackling this season it is hard to believe these are the same players.

Stephen McGee still needs work. He always starts out slow and won't step into his throws all the time. When he does he is pretty good.

I'm still not really impressed by Lonyae Miller. He does ok when there is a lot of space but he doesn't make anyone miss and he can't get yards unless there is good blocking. When he bails out he is terrible. And fumbling isn't going to help his cause. Phillip Tanner just looks much better than Lonyae Miller. I wouldn't be surprised if Tanner makes the final roster.

David Arkin is looking better every week. I don't know if he will start but he looks like a keeper.

Looking at wide receiver depth I was expecting to see more of Dwayne Harris. But it was Manny Johnson's turn this week to make big plays.

Overall, the first team offense looked pretty good outside of the Romo interception and the couple of drops. The offensive line did an excellent job. On defense, there were still some missed assignments but there were some signs that they will be making a lot of big plays this year. But the defense still needs a lot of work. Unfortunately we didn't learn anything in the kicker battle since Bailey didn't get any attempts. The next preseason game is the dress rehearsal so hopefully we'll learn a lot more next week.

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