Originally posted by scopur49er:
Ok so we lost to the Vikes at home. Time to move on and learn from our mistakes.
IMO, the Favre miracle pass had nothing to do with it but rather this key statistic did.
Third down conversions:
If you all recall, one of our biggest problems the last couple years is that our defense couldn't get off the field on 3rd downs. Allowing 50% conversion on third downs pretty much sealed the defenses fate if you ask me. Our guys are tougher this year and they can hang with any offense in the league but not if you keep letting them move the ball down field and control the clock. Preventing 3rd down conversions is a crucial part of that.
On the flip side, we didn't convert ANY third downs which, quite honestly, is just pathetic. The root of this became apparent during the game. At one point towards the end of the game they flashed a stat which showed our average yards needed on third down and it was (if I recall) around 9.2 yards. It should be no wonder we had such a hard time converting.
So why were we so often in 3rd and long situations?
Well if you watched the game you know exactly why. Jimmy Raye was challenging the Vikings d-line by trying to push the ball up the gut and let's be honest, we lost that battle far more often than we won it. When you run up the middle on first down and fail, then run up the middle on second down and fail hey guess what? It's 3rd and long now. This happened quite often, far more often than it should have.
Let's be honest. Jimmy Raye is no offensive genius. If you know you're going up against a defense that tops the league in run stoppage, why do you continue to try and run up the gut long after it's already proven to be ineffective? We won't win games with offensive playcalling like that and it shows that Jimmy Raye either:
a) Failed to gameplan properly against the Vikes
b) Stubbornly refused to adapt the gameplan when it was evident things weren't working.
I think it's time Sing pulled his pants down and had a chat with our OC about his offensive strategy.
See bold. And I don't want to hear this "he doesn't trust Shaun Hill" crap. He TRUSTED Shaun Hill to convert on 4th and 1 by calling a 25 yard pass play to Morgan. If Sing/Raye truly felt that keeping the ball on the ground was our best bet, then why deviate there?
Answer: Because as much as I like Sing, he's full of it here.
He knew damn well like anyone else with two eyes that we were getting stuffed on nearly every run play. Why he thought the result would be different towards the end is beyond me. On those last two series, he just chumped out. At the worst possible time they caved into their fear of Hill POSSIBLY throwing pick, or fumbling, and it cost us the game.
End of story.
The thing that hurts my head the most is for all the "Hill just isn't that good" excuses on why we won't open the playbook, no one is LOOKING AT THE NUMBERS. So far this season, we are by far a better passing team than a running team. Hill is currently ranked 11th in the league in completion percentage.
That's AHEAD of such names as Romo, Warner, Roethlisberger, Brady, Rivers etc etc:
Coming into the game, Shaun Hill I believe was around 3rd in the league in 3rd down completions (heard one of the sportscasters say it). He has SHOWN the first two games that we don't have to just pass when necessary. He has proved he's more than capable than shouldering the load.
All we needed was ONE first down. Just ONE. Yet we ran plays directly into the strength of the defense. Only a fool would try to argue that making sense. We gave the Vikings a gift chance they should have never had. And they made fools of us for it.
I sincerely hope that beyond the feel good speeches Sing & Raye realizes this, and will correct it.
[ Edited by baltien on Sep 28, 2009 at 10:03 AM ]