Originally posted by oldman9er:
Thanks oldman9er. I reviewed the "pressure plays" myself to determine the collective fails as well (Alex, play-calling, OL not sustaining blocks/whiffed, etc.). I added your analysis to mine as well (didn't read yours initially to remain objective)
I'll just highlight the 1st series of pass plays
Just have to say... the body-slam was more the fault of Alex than the OL. Sure, AD should have done more than just stand and shove the rusher out and away... BUT... how was he to know that Alex would foolishly drift to the right before throwing the sideline pass? Alex stated that he wasn't supposed to there... I guess I have to believe that.. coupled with what AD did. My feeling is that Alex believed he would be able to put more heat on his pass if he were on the move to his right.. and he paid a nasty price for this.
There were three pass plays where I wanted Alex to do better than he did... and the other two were under some duress.. and one of them could have been a good outcome had an OL had eyes in the back of his head and sustained a particular block.
(No shot gun). Hit/pressure & throw under 3 seconds - Designed roll out to the R to Crabtree for 4. Only 2 WR's split R. AD shoves his man to the right, right into Alex's roll out; two other DL (in the middle) are already in the backfield had Alex not thrown R instantly. Body slammed on this 1st play of the game. Looks like the Texans overloaded that side. Alex went to only option for a positive gain. Good job by Crabtree coming back.
oldman9er: 1st and 10 at SF 24A.Smith pass short right to M.Crabtree to SF 28 for 4 yards (J.Joseph) [C.Barwin].
Alex got body slammed by Barwin (easily should have been a personal foul), AD stands his ground, but punches out.. basically giving Barwin an even better angle to run beyond him and right into Alex. Now here is the only thing, and it's important. It looks clear to me that the play was designed for Alex to take the snap and slide to his right... not a full rollout, but somewhat partial. Now if this is true? Then AD really screwed up here. If this was Alex not dropping back in a straight line? No worries for the other blocks.
(No shot gun). Combo sacked under 4 seconds - Only 2 WR's on the R, 2 back set (both release), VD/Miller covered right away. No time to even look R where the 2 WR's ran their routes. all 4 DL 2 yards already past the LOS at the snap. Smith pulls down as the pocket collapses to the R. No chance. Had the line sustained the block one more second, Crabtree was just getting open in the middle of the field. AD/Boone could not sustain the LDE who forced Alex to pull down and run and Goodwin played patty-cake as his man sacked Alex up the middle. Total confusion. Smith may have had VD up the sideline but I couldn't see if the S was covering over the top; either way, had no place or time to step up.
oldman9er: 1st and 10 at SF 42A.Smith sacked at SF 42 for 0 yards (sack split by T.Jamison and C.Barwin).
Overall, the OL did their jobs here. Alex just didn't like any of his options. I see two short options he had a moment of fairly safe shots to take (both backs), but he isn't wanting to. The deeper routes, as pointed out by Tim Ryan, were well covered when Alex wanted to throw. Looks also like Crabtree broke free on an inside slant. I would have liked to see Alex stop running and hit him at the 50.. gotta keep your eyes downfield more, Alex.
(No shot gun). Pass to Moss for 5 well under 3 seconds. Only 2 WR's, max protect. They brought 5. Miller pushed back into Alex, L side of the line collapses instantly. R side held well. Best option was to Moss. Alex may have had VD right down the middle if he had another second and Crabtree was open on the R (same exact route).
oldman9er: 2nd and 10 at SF 42A.Smith pass short left to R.Moss to SF 47 for 5 yards (K.Jackson).
Good quick throw here from Alex. The left side.. particularly Iupati and even more so of Goodwin.. was getting shoved back towards Alex quickly
(Shot gun!). Designed roll out to the R on 3rd and 5 for 20 to Ginn (30 yard pass). This time Alex starts in the shot gun and rolls way back and out to buy more time. 3 WR's. Crabtree was double covered instantly on the shorter route but Ginn is so fast that he was waiting for the pass a second before the pass arrived at the same time as Crabtree broke to his mark; but Ginn was 10 yards DEEPER. Speed kills. R side of the line held for 4 seconds but two guys broke through just as Alex threw and was hit hard again.
oldman9er: 3rd and 5 at SF 47 (Shotgun) A.Smith pass deep right to T.Ginn pushed ob at HST 29 for 24 yards (B.McCain) [A.Smith].
Alex showing the athleticism, toughness, and accuracy while throwing on the move. Hunter was blocking passionately here on OLB.. The LDT broke quickly left to chase after the rolling Alex and Boone couldn't get past AD to stay in front.. Alex hit by LDT after throw.. a hit Alex had to know was coming.
(Shot gun! - see a trend here?). Pass under 3 seconds to middle screen Hunter for 3. Entire DL in the backfield (past the LOS) and trips Hunter up; Hunter couldn't break free clean. AD didn't block/sustain his man otherwise, this would have been a huge gain. Boone's man made the tackle but AD's man made the play. Only a 4 man rush. Hunter (chip and go) and Staley's edge guys were on Alex as he threw.
oldman9er: 1st and 10 at HOU 29 (Shotgun) A.Smith pass short middle to K.Hunter to HST 26 for 3 yards (B.Cushing).
Quick dumpoff.. Ryan says screen, but didn't see any OL blocks being set up. Alex hits Hunter just after Hunter blocks and releases from OLB. AD is too late in turning to get a LB block.. so LB makes tackle. Boone let DT disengage and nearly make the tackle. Not seeing this "new and improved footwork" for AD... he looks as plodding as ever.
(No shot gun). Best protection on this drive. Held 4 seconds and VD dropped the crossing pass on single coverage; catchable but not the best pass (VD jumps as always to catch). Great p/u by Hunter in the middle. 2 WR set. Reuland, Moss & Crabtree were all open but given the previous pressure, you go with VD in single coverage on a LB on a 3 step drop (shot gun here may have given Alex more vision). If VD makes that catch he beats the LB and is in the end zone or close to it. Nice play design. Lots of options and time.
oldman9er: 2nd and 7 at HOU 26. A.Smith pass incomplete short middle to V.Davis.
OkAy, so this is a heavily talked about pass play... the "wide open" Moss play. If you have the preseason package for nfl.com, pause this play at exactly 19:14. (or 6:34 on your NFLN replay) There, you will see that as the ball is dropped by VD, the CB is tightly on Moss' back on the slant. The LB #53 however, is a few steps behind VD on the drag route and there is room to run towards sideline for another 10+ yards.. depending on when Moss' CB would see to break off his coverage and chase VD down... and then there's the question of whether the CB could bring VD to the ground. Moss being fairly well covered on a lower % pass? Or VD having steps on an ILB for a sure 1st down and potential TD? I don't think this is a play worthy of the criticisms I have read. Really think Alex made the wiser choice here, and not many QBs under pressure would look for a second read after seeing his favorite target open vs a slower LB.
(Shot gun!). Moved ball from own 25 to 27 of the Texans. 3rd and 7. 4 WR's, delayed middle blitz with 5 (sacked back at the 34). Smith pulls down to run at 2 seconds to the R hole (nobody open). Outside T's did well but 3 defenders right up the middle 7 yards deep in the pocket. Smith looks L and 4 defenders on 1 WR & VD. May have had a shot at James but he motions out L and then comes back inside around his defender. Only real option I saw here but it would not have been for a 1st down (2nd defender came over as well). Boone's man slips through and Hunter is late picking him up and hit by 4 defenders (half decapitated) high/low.
oldman9er: 3rd and 7 at HOU 26 (Shotgun) A.Smith sacked at HST 32 for -6 yards (sack split by T.Jamison and A.Smith).
Staley and AD did a fair job of keeping the edge rushers away... Hunter was losing containment of his guy right up the middle on Alex, which caused Alex to go into flee-mode. Boone was doing his zone block... but in hindsight, was more ideal to take on the blitz LB instead of helping Goodwin. Hunter really blew his block quickly on Cushing... BUT... Smith really should have gotten the ball to the bottom WR (Mario on a curl route) or even better.. Crabtree over the middle on a slant. Alex actually had room to run where he was headed, but Boone didn't know what was happening behind him and didn't sustain the block that would have given Alex the lane he wanted to run through. I do see what Alex was admitting to the other day though. I think the Texans D had him playing a bit scared with the happy feet. Maybe it is the lack of the preseason impact? and not wanting to stand in and take more nasty hits for a meaningless game? That would be my guess.
All in all, we drove from the 25 to their 27 and lost 7 yards but ended up with a 50 yard FG. I'd be happy with 3 under these circumstances. Very happy.
So again, I see huge issues with the OL protecting and especially with sustaining blocks for more than 3 seconds all across the OL.
I thought Roman had a couple plays where we were set up for fail but I also saw him call a few deep shot guns and deep shot gun roll outs and quick outs and screens to buy more time for positive yards. Roman could clearly see that Alex was under heavy durress.
Alex's pre-snap reads were spot on especially given the constant pressure/hits/sacks and pre-snap confusing looks the Texans were giving (who's blitzing, who's not, movement, fakes, side overload, etc.). I saw some slow routes by receivers and not getting separation but also some good reads and coming back to the QB as well. Ginn/VD was again, Alex's main guy on 3rd down.
I did not see a single play where we could have even considered a deep ball (other than the one completed). It was a one (hot) read series, no doubt with the Texans D feeding in our backfield and playing relentless. Most pressures were with just a 4 man simple rush even with extra offensive guys in to block. The Texans did overload one side once; nice job on delayed blitzes too esp. in the middle. Most pressure was right up the gut with several guys and the outside pressure often times forced Alex to pull down and run into the blitz/middle pressure. The Texans were swarming and our OL couldn't sustain them at all over 3 seconds save for one play. They lived in our backfield. It would have been worse with Watts out there.
This was a microcasm of our offensive woes from last year...we just have more weapons now. But will we ever get to use them? Until this line can consistently sustain blocks for more than 3 seconds across the board, you will rarely see Alex look beyond the break-off routes under 10 yards. He just doesn't have the confidence in them, nor should he.
I would say pass protection would be my #1 concern going into the season, followed by separation by the WR's (drops), Roman's game plans/in-game adjustments and then Alex's execution being the 4th concern (if any at all).
[ Edited by NCommand on Aug 21, 2012 at 09:49:19 ]