Sunday, August 17, 2008

Upon Further Review: JAX@TEN

As with the Houston game I just did, I did the UFR off NFL Replay. While helpful a couple times, this game also featured some plays that were excluded to meet NFL Replay's running time. I'll try to go back and fill these in at some point.

I also need to do both of the preseason games so far (I'll only be doing them with VY at offense, though I'll expand that to Chris Johnson's TD run the first game); St. Louis should be up Sunday, with Oakland to follow in the next couple days. Given how I am with blogging deadlines, though, those dates could easily slip. At least track is boring, so I won't be distracted by any of the Olympics.

No cutback lane and there's a hole in place, so White plows ahead for a couple yards.
Stretch run left. The key play is Ingram, I believe, coming up the middle on a blitz, preventing Mawae from coming out and sealing the LBs. Peterson is unblocked and simply beats White to the hole.
T2535Shotgun BasePass5GageIn
Gage comes out of the stack left and finds a place in the defense, and VY hits him. (CA), in part because VY was looking left the entire way.
VY fakes left and boots right. Looking for a receiver, but doesn't see one. He eventually takes off, but the lane he thinks he sees isn't quite there. Better to have waited and tossed it to Jones coming on the drag all the way across the field-avoiding the hit and picking up the same yardage. (SCR, .5 BR) because it's my grading system, it doesn't make sense to have half a scramble, and VY's screwup should be reflected.
See the difference from the first game? Titans for 4-wide, and Jags still have 8 relatively close to the box. I don't know what's supposed to happen here, but Roos blocks down, leaving the RDE with a free go at VY, who tries to boot that direction. VY throws up a prayer and Jones hauls it in in space and gets some YAC. (PR), I guess.
Looks like a read option-type handoff, and VY does run left, trying to draw Spicer with him, while White goes right. Kind of off Stewart behind a pulling Bell, but, man, White has no burst at all.
T4628I-Form, 3-WRRun-4WhiteStretch
Stretch right, and Spicer gets a good inside rush on Stewart, stopping White for a loss. Of course, if White's faster or this is a faster stretch handoff, Spicer's good play doesn't matter.
T42312Penalty-5JonesFalse Start
T37317Shotgun StrongPass13YoungScramble
VY apparently doesn't see much he likes downfield and goes scrambling. A good effort, trying to use White to shield off a couple defenders, but 17 yards is a long way to try to run the ball against an NFL defense. (SCR)
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 1Q 9:41. Penalties, blown up plays, no big plays.
T13110Shotgun 4-WRRun2WhiteRead Option
Same as the previous read play, only White runs right guard instead of off right tackle. Not much of a crease, ergo not much of a gain.
T1736Shotgun StrongPassIncGageOut(?)
The pattern is a guess-it's not easy to see. VY's pass gets deflected by Hayward at the line of scrimmage, and ends up far short of Gage. (PR), as I don't have a Batted category like MGoBlog does.
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-7, 1Q :30. When the defense is missing its key player, the offense has a special need to play well. They, well, didn't.
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-7, 2Q 12:27. 3&outs are a good way to get drives not shown on Replay.
Hartsock runs a little quick out a couple yards downfield, VY hits him, then Ben carries Mathis for about 5 extra yards. (CA)
T3332Shotgun BasePassIncRoydellComeback
Rollout to the far side a little. VY stops and puts it for Roydell, coming back for the ball. It looks like Brian Williams gives him a shove before the ball gets there, but no flag. Timing also may be just a little off, but still (CA), I guess.
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-14, 2Q 3:49. Watching this offensive performance was depressing the first time, the second time, and now again the third time as well.
Not quite the conventional WR slipscreen, but a similar concept. Not the blocking you expect from a screen, as Cousin(?) and Peterson are on Roydell quickly to take him down for about nothing. (CA)
T2529Shotgun BasePass6HenryDumpoff
Not much downfield, I guess, so VY takes the swing to Henry. He makes Cousin miss, but can't avoid the next couple tacklers. Still, a decent play. (CA)
T3133Shotgun 4-WRPass4YoungScramble
Looks a bit like a college play-make your primary and secondary reads fairly quickly, then if you don't see anything, just take off, which VY does and in a reasonably efficient manner. When he's making good decisions, he's a very smart scrambler. (SCR)
T35110Shotgun 4-WRPassIncMouldsGo
The Titans go deep, about 45 yards downfield. Alas, it's to Moulds, not exactly the guy I would have picked. The pass is right there, but so is Mathis to bat it away. Good pass by VY, but I can't give him perfect marks because this is a pass I have a hard time seeing be completed. (CA), I guess.
T35210Shotgun 4-WRPass11ScaifeIn
Surprising to see the Jags mostly concede this play-Scaife just sits in front of the zone defenders past the first down marker, and VY hits him. Scaife almost gives up the 1D trying to make a play, but recovers and gets it. (CA)
T46210Shotgun 4-WRPass18MouldsDeep In
T46210PenaltyDecl.JAX-KnightIllegal Contact
VY moves up in the pocket and fires a good completion downfield to Moulds. I can't tell exactly how big the window is, so (.5 DO, .5 CA).
J36110Shotgun BasePassIncGagePost/Flag
Gage runs post, VY throws flag. If they get this right, it's 6. Impossible to tell who's at fault here. (.5 CA, .5 IN)
J36210Shotgun BasePassIncJonesIn/Out
Jones and VY not on the same page, VY throws in, Jones runs out. Frustrating to see these two keep doing this. (.5 CA, .5 IN)
J36310Shotgun BasePass17GageIn
The Jags rush 7, the Titans have 6 blockers. VY does well to stand in the pocket, then find Gage on the in. A couple extra yards, and there you go. (CA)
Drive Notes: FG, 3-14, end 2Q. A frustrating end to a decent two-minute drill-the miscommunications are killers. The analyst, Gannon/Beuerlein (I forget), blames VY, but that's what he always does. The Titans then blow :10 somehow, and don't try to run another play to get to the end zone. Down 14 points, I'm not sure that's the best strategy.
T43110Shotgun BasePass-5YoungSack
Fake to White, like it's a read option play, then the boot. VY sees Hayward coming for him, then fails to take the checkdown and eats the ball. (BR) for the indecision.
T38215Shotgun 4-WRPass5WhiteDumpoff
In a lot of these 4-WR sets, Scaife and maybe Troupe are lined up as WRs. If they're lined up as a WR, rather than an inline or offset TE, they're scored as a WR. VY takes the checkdown, and White gets a couple. (CA), though this game and a lot of the 2007 action shows how limiting that is. It doesn't penalize VY for missing a guy open 15 yards downfield. It rewards the checkdown. It's really bothering me, because this kind of game where the running game is mediocre and the other team is good is where a good QB needs to shine, and VY isn't doing that.
T43310Shotgun BasePass9YoungScramble
Not much of a read, but a look, another look, White has stayed into block, and VY takes off. He dives for the first down, but NFL defenses are good. (SCR)
J48412-TE, 2-WR LeftRunFumbleMawaeBad Snap
A generous spot leaves the Titans about 3 inches from a first down rather than 2 feet, so Fish decides to go for it. I know, it seems at odds with his general conservatism, but Fisher is a smart dumb coach. Awful snap by Mawae, and the sneak never has a chance.
Drive Notes: Fumble, 3-14, 3Q 11:54. And TMQ writes "Game Over" in his notebook, or would if he didn't have it pre-printed in all his notebooks.
White looks stopped after about 1, but does well to break out of the tackle and pick up some good yards on first down.
T3224I-Form, 3-WRRun0HenryCutback
Henry sees Peterson ready to fill the hole on the left side, so he cuts it back right. What he doesn't see behind the o-linemen, though, is Knight ready to take away that hole, too. Best to have just stuck the nose up and taken it left, though I'm not sure if there's any way to really recognize that without X-ray vision.
T3234Shotgun 4-WRPassINTRoydellSlant
I took a gander at my contemporaneous take before seeing this play, and I think I got it right. Roydell lines up outside left. For the slant to work, Gage slot left has to clear out his defender, then there's a very narrow window in which to make this play. VY throws it late, toward Williams, and the pass is tipped and intercepted. A difficult play to have success with, more so than you'd like to see in 3&relatively short. (IN)
Drive Notes: Interception, 3-14, 3Q 8:32. Well, the offense is actively bad instead of passively so like it had been most of the game.
T14110Shotgun StrongPass28GageGo
VY fakes and rolls right, then tosses the ball up for Gage. One thing I didn't pay enough attention to is that they've been working to play Gage against the slot WR, which means he's generally drawing the other team's nickel corner. Against Houston, that was Faggins, who really sucks. Against JAX, it's been Cousin, who's only clearly worse than Mathis and Williams. (CA)
T42110Shotgun 4-WRPass16ScaifeIn
Same play as the completion to Scaife during the 2-minute drill-an 11 yard or so in, then Scaife gets some YAC. (CA)
J42110Shotgun BasePass10GageDrag
A little shallow drag route, but Gage has some running room and gets decent YAC, avoiding Mathis until he can pick up the 1D. Not a great play, but a useful one. (CA)
J32110Shotgun BaseRun-3HenryOption
Another read option-type handoff, but it doesn't look like VY has any chance of keeping it. Landri gets good penetration between Olson and Mawae, then Smith comes up and finishes him off. This play never had a chance.
J35213Shotgun 4-WRPassIncScaifeDrag
A deeper drag out of the right slot, just across the first down line. Knight, though, is able to make a good play on the ball and break up the pass. The analyst gets it right here-a perfect pass results in a completion, but it wasn't a bad pass. (CA)
J35313Shotgun BasePass4YoungScramble
Young feels some pressure, goes outside, dances around for a while, and decides to take off. And get crunched about 4 yards downfield by defenders who weren't blocked because Henry and Scaife were potential targets and didn't know what the hell to do. (BR) is the grade here.
Drive Notes: FG, 6-21, 3Q 4:49. With a bigger gain by VY, maybe Fisher goes for it here. Then again, down 18, you need 3 scores in any event, so he probably doesn't.
It's nice to see the Titans run a screen successfully. The D-line all gets sucked in, and Henry gets good yardage. (CA)
T4221Shotgun 4-WRPass4GageDrag
Gage lines up left slot and just runs across the middle. Simple pattern, simple throw, simple catch. An ideal pass would be a little farther ahead of Gage/a little early, but I'm not sure if the window was there. (CA)
T46110Shotgun 4-WRPass11ScaifeOut
Having recently watched the second preseason game of 2008 and the dreadful passing therein (Collins+VY: 8 for 28), it's nice to see the Titans throw the ball efficiently like this. Scaife lined up in the right slot, ran about 9 yards downfield and turned out, caught the ball, then slipped the first defender and dove upfield for a couple more. (CA)
J43110Shotgun 4-WRPassIncRoydellGo/Stop?
Roydell lines up outside left, runs straight downfield. VY tries to hit him, but the ball is throw for more of a stop route pattern, whereas Roydell is still running down the field. CB Williams is able to bat the ball away. This is an ok stop route throw, not a good go route throw. I'll equivocate with (.5 IN, .5 CA).
J43210Shotgun BasePass6GageDrag
Jags blitz, VY hits Gage over the middle like he should. If Nelson misses the tackle, this is probably a bigger play. Mason was great on this kind of play, because of his speed. Alas, with Gage, the Titans have to opt for reliability over speed. The right choice, but you'd rather have both. (CA)
J3734Shotgun EmptyPassIncScaifeDeep Out
"Look right here, you can see the pressure." Thanks, SteveRich, for highlighting the guy showing blitz who's not rushing. VY has time and Scaife is open, but the pass sails out of bounds. You HAVE to convert these throws. (IN)
J3744Shotgun 4-WRPass16JonesCurl
I admit it-I have a soft spot for Brandon Jones. I think he should be the Titans' best wideout. This is apparently (we don't get to see it, either live or on replay) a good curl route against Brian Williams, where Jones just separates and makes himself a target for VY, who delivers a decent ball. (CA)
J21110Shotgun StrongPassIncJonesGo
The throw for Jones, who lined up as the single wideout left. I'm not sure quite route VY was trying to throw, but the play this should look like is the Troy Smith to Ted Ginn Texas 2006 game throw (video here), though of course Jones isn't nearly that wide open. (IN)
Great play here by DT Landri-he stands up Bell at the snap and eats up Henry when he tries to find a hole.
J2039Shotgun Split BacksPass20-TDGagePost
VY with a great play here-looks off the safety, then delivers a perfect pass to Gage in the end zone. Naturally, Gage can't haul the pass in and it goes off his chest. Thankfully, he's able to maintain his conversation and gets a fortunate bounce that lets him haul in the pass for the touchdown. Better to be good than lucky, but I'll take it. (DO)
Drive Notes: TD, 13-21, 4Q 14:54. The Titans absolutely had to get points here, and the passing game is able to deliver. See, Jeff, throwing the ball isn't always wrong.
T19110I-Form, 3-WRPass-7+FumbleYoungSack
This is the key play of the game. The Titan defense stops the Jags, giving the offense a chance to go down the field and tie the game with a TD+2. But, after this play, that chance is virtually extinguished. So, what happened? The most direct answer is David Stewart's ankle injury-Reggie Hayward is able to handfight with him and get around to the outside. VY is looking left side and doesn't see Hayward coming. Reggie uses his hands to force the ball out of VY's, and it's all Young can do to fall on the ball back at the 4. (PR)
T4225Shotgun 4-WRPass9JonesIn?
Jones lines up outside left, runs about 12 yards downfield, and dives back to make the catch. (IN), because the catch was about twice as hard as it needed to be because of the throw, plus I suspect there was a better place to throw the ball.
T13316Shotgun StrongPassIncScaifeDrag
A little pressure, VY throws for Scaife a couple yards short of the first down market, and the play is broken up by Cousin. Ugly looking play all around. (.5 PR, .5 IN)
Drive Notes: Punt, 13-21, 4Q 10:33. Game over, man, game over!
T27110Shotgun 4-WRPass11JonesCurl
Curl is a guess, but seems reasonable. A decent little pass play. (CA)
T38110Shotgun 4-WRPass8YoungScramble
VY feels pressure coming around from his backside and, not seeing anything, takes off. Henry gets a good support block on Peterson, then VY just goes to the ground rather than take a hit. Good decision. Can't say this was a bad decision to run. (SCR)
T4622Shotgun 4-WRPass9YoungScramble
T4622Penalty15JAX-PetersonUnnec Rough
As a reminder, formations are based on where people line up, and not who lines up. Example here: Troupe is the guy in the right slot. VY takes off, another reasonable-looking decision, but tries to cut up into not much space for not much more additional yardage rather than just scoot out of bounds after getting the first down. That is a dumb decision, but not nearly as dumb as Peterson coming in with the stupid, unnecessary hit. (SCR)
J30110Shotgun 4-WRPass6JonesDrag
Jones lines up slot left, runs across the formation. VY hits him right hash, then Cousin hits Jones. Can't say this is a bad decision (please, give us coaches' tape), but you like to avoid these if possible. (CA)
J2424Shotgun 4-WR, 3-WR LeftPassIncHenryDumpoff
VY doesn't see anything he likes, and tries to dump this one off to Henry slipping out of the backfield. But, DE Mincey gets his hand up on it, meaning the pass falls incomplete. Since I eliminated MGoBlog's Batted category, let's call this a (PR).
J2434Shotgun 4-WRPass-7YoungSack
Another play that proves important. And another play where Stewart's ankle injury comes into play. Mincey is able to get around him, and that would never happen where Big Country is fully healthy. VY is trying to roll to his left, and has his eyes downfield, so he doesn't see to get rid of the ball. This is a big deal, as 4&4 v 4&11 is a big difference. (.5 PR, .5 BR) for VY's lack of field awareness.
J31411Shotgun StrongPassIncScaifeSeam
I hate grading plays like this one. VY moves around in the pocket, then ends up throwing for a double covered Scaife in the end zone. Scaife nearly duplicates Gage's effort (minus the drop), but can't quite haul the pass in. CBS thankfully shows us a replay, from which you can see that Troupe(?) is wide open in the far corner of the end zone. Tough to see for VY. Instead of Scaife in the end zone, Jones(?) underneath may have been a better shot at the first down, since keeping the drive alive is the more immediate concern than 6 points. (.5 CA, .5 BR) well-represents the conflicted nature of my analysis.
Drive Notes: Downs, 13-28, 4Q 2:38. Not much more to say about this drive-the Titans are trying to come back throwing the ball, and that's not something they're well-constructed to do.
J15110Trips LeftPass11RoydellSmoke
Fun wrinkle from the Titans-Roydell is part of the trips, VY throws him the ball immediately, and the other guy in the trips block. The interesting part of this is the trips are well on the other side of the field from the offensive line-this creates more space and easier/better blocking decisions by the other two pass catchers. (CA)
J41GPenalty-5RooseFalse Start
J91GShotgun BasePassIncMouldsIn and Out
Moulds gets some separation from Mathis, and VY, going to the far sid eof the field, puts it just a little too far for the veteran to haul in. Not an easy throw, but if you want to win games, you have to make this throw. (IN)
J92GShotgun StrongPass9-TDRoydellJump
No clue what the original pattern was, but the completion was a VY scramble to the far (Roydell) side, followed by VY chucking the ball up in a pass that's likely either a jump grab by your tall WR or an incompletion. (CA) for that, but as VY tries to break the pocket, Stewart loses contain on Hayward and has to grab him. Jersey tug, and that means no TD. Stupid freakin' ankle.
J202GShotgun StrongPass17RoydellDrag
Really good play by VY-the Jags rush and he escapes the pocket. Stewart thankfully doesn't hold this time. As VY's avoiding the pressure and nearing the sideline, he sees Roydell coming on the deep drag clear from the starting out wide left and gives him a good pass. (DO) may be inflated, but this was a really nice play.
J33G2-TE, 2-WR RightPassINTScaifeFlat
Scaife lines up on the heavy side and runs a simple flat. VY's rolling right throw and appears to throw late, though, and Williams is able to dive for the ball and pick it off. (IN), I guess, though Bad Read might be more accurate.
Drive Notes: INT, 13-28, 4Q 1:14. Sigh. A game that felt over for a while finally came to an end, with the expected result.

I also need to update the passing chart, which will happen sooner or later. I still have both the Charger games to do-the regular season game off NFL Replay, and the playoff game off the CBS broadcast.

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