Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Redskins vs. Chiefs, 4th quarter review

Democracy works. Rather than move straight on to the Eagles, here's the 4th quarter of the Chiefs game to finally wrap it up.

1st quarter review
2nd quarter
3rd quarter

Redskins third possession of the second half

1-10-W40 – A perfect pocket. Collins looks at Cooley on an out pattern, but overthrows him. Cooley was double covered but had them beaten by a step or two; a QB with a stronger arm who didn’t feel the need to lead him so much may have completed that pass.

3-11-W39 – Both tackles hold the pocket but allow themselves to be pushed in enough to create some pressure on Collins. The DE going against Mike Williams ends up going to the ground, but it forces Collins to step up. This constricts his throwing space because Heyer has been pushed inside as well. Collins tries to make an easy dumpoff to Betts, but because Heyer is in his face he has to hop to try and get it over him, and the ball sails high.

Chiefs third possession

2-7-K18 – The Redskins continue to feast on the Chiefs’ poor offensive line. The most significant pressure is brought by Cornelius Griffin, who first drives the LG into the backfield, then works his way aroung the guard’s outside shoulder to threaten Cassel’s feet and force him to step up. When he does so, he is walled off by Haynesworth and Andre Carter, who has stunted inside from RDE, and he is brought down from behind by Philip Daniels (LDE) and Orakpo, who blitzed from the defensive right.

3-10-K14 – Haynesworth is line up at LDE, and the poor, lonely RT gets no help from the TE, who goes straight into his route. Haynesworth, who shows the moves of a DE when lined up there, beats the tackle to the outside and swipes Cassel’s arm as he tries to throw.

Redskins fourth possession

1-10-W45 – A reverse (yes, a real reverse, not an end around that announcers inexplicably call a reverse) to Devin Thomas. Collins initially hands off to Portis who heads to the right, following the blocking in the same direction. The Chiefs bite on the fake completely, the problem is that the Redskins fail to block even the fake run. The Chiefs achieve penetration (most notably against Derrick Dockery), and by the time Thomas gets the ball headed in the other direction he has to run even deeper into the backfield to get around the linemen and to the corner. When he finally gets to the line of scrimmage the Chiefs LBs and DBs have recovered from the fake and are swarming towards Thomas with Todd Collins as his only blocker. Collins is about as effective at this as you would expect. Thomas is stopped after a 2 yard gain.

3-7-W48 – Mike Vrabel blitzes from the left edge, where Mike Sellers happens to be lined up at TE. Stephon Heyers initially blocks in, doubling Dockery’s man, and Sellers is left on his own. Vrabel gets under Sellers with a swim move to the inside (Sellers’ bulk and strength are largely neutralized when back-pedaling in pass pro) and blindsides Collins. The ball pops out, and just happens to fall into the hands of Sellers, who is directly behind the pass rusher – generally a bad place for a blocker to be, but fortuitous in this case. He turns upfield but is taken down for a 3 yard loss, which isn’t great but this play could have turned out much worse.

The ensuing punt is blocked. I watched it about 12 times trying to figure out who was responsible for allowing the pressure, but it was a hopeless cause (in standard def, at least). But you probably remember how it worked out: the the blocked punt bounced past the line of scrimmage, so it was illegal for the Redskins to touch it first. So as soon as Rock Cartwright scooped it up at the 50 to run it in for an apparent touchdown, the ball was dead and the Chiefs retained possession. My question: The ref called this “illegal touching.” But my understanding is that the ball was simply downed, just like when the kicking team is the first to touch a regular, unblocked punt. And the ball was placed at the 50, just where Rock touched it (as opposed to 5 yards downfield). The end result was correct, but can someone out there explain to me how was this a penalty?

Chiefs fourth possession

2-6-W46 – Chiefs run up the middle. Haynesworth engages with the LG, and the leading FB runs right past him and looks for a LB to block. But as soon as the ballcarrier shows up Haynesworth shoves the guard to the inside while using his right arm to take down the RB.

2-8-W46 – Lorenzo Alexander, in at DT and taking advantage of the double team on Kedric Golston, walks the RG right back into Cassel’s face and gets his hand up to deflect the pass into the air.

3-8-W46 – Hayneworth rushes from RDE, and Orakpo from DT. They both win their matchups, and Griffin and Carter stunt on the other side and generate more pressure. Cassel show good awareness under pretty intense pressure and slips out of the imploding pocket. He keeps looking downfield and keeps the ball cocked, but apparently doesn’t notice he’s 2 yards over the line scrimmage before completing a pass to the TE, which is called back, obviously.

Chiefs down the punt at the 3 yard line.

Redskins fifth possession

2-8-W5 – A DT gets underneath Casey Rabach and the pressure doesn’t allow Collins the space to make his throw on the quick slant to Santana. He turns the other direction, where he is hit head on by a LB who came clean on a delayed blitz, and the throw bounces to the ground.

3-8-W5 – Stephon Heyer collapses under a bull rush, and Mike Williams’ total lack of agility is again exploited as Mike Vrable just destroys him with a spin move to the inside. Vrabel buries Collins in the end zone, but Collins spots Betts and dumps it off in the nick of time. Betts cuts inside on the first closing DB and causes him to flop to the turf, but he is chased down just short of the first down.

Chiefs fifth possession

1-10-W36 – Cornelius Griffin holds up the RG, then beats him to the outside shoulder and stuffs the RB for no gain.

2-10-W36 – Philip Daniels, who is going against the RG because the tackle is occupied with Orakpo rushing from the outside, overpowers his man and is right in Cassel’s face with his hand in the air, but he just misses the ball and the pass is completed to the TE, who has beaten Reed Doughty on an out pattern for a first down.

1-10-W25 – The interior of the pocket quickly collapses under Griffin and Haynesworth. Reed Doughty is blitzing from the offensive left. Even though he is blocked, his presence there leaves Cassel with no escape route so he’s forced to throw it away.

3-10-W25 – Chiefs hand off for a run to the left. They attempt to double team Haynesworth with the C and LG, but Haynesworth gets a quick first move and hits the LG’s outside shoulder, rendering the C useless. Despite being blatantly held (as usual) he gets his right arm free and and with it totally halts the RBs forward momentum in the backfield, allowing Orakpo to make the tackle for a 3 yard loss. The stats will only give credit to Orakpo – but it’s clear who made this play.

Succop makes the kick – 9-6 Chiefs

Redskins sixth possession

1-10-W28 – Collins maybe holds onto the ball too long – you can see him go through multiple progressions. The pocket doesn’t collapse but it certainly degrades quickly enough that by the time he throws he has a DT in his face who had gotten past Casey Rabach. Collins is trying to get the ball to Cooley 15 yards down field. He is bracketed by two defenders butthere is enough space a strong throw could get to him, but Collins doesn’t have nearly Campbell’s arm strength, making this a dangerous throw. It’s irrelevant though, because the pressure in Collins’ face causes him to not see a LB lurking underneath. The LB leaps just a little too late, so it is deflected instead of picked, but there were two good chance of an interception on this play.

2-10-W28 – Stephon Heyer is badly beaten to the inside. Fortunately Collins senses the blind side pressure and dumps the ball off to Portis just before getting drilled in the back, but Portis is unable to shake the first tackler and only gains 2.

3-8-W30 – Collins in shotgun. The snap is a little off center but definitely catchable, and a close-up replay shows he wasn’t looking for the ball when it arrived. Betts recovers the resulting fumble.

Chiefs sixth possession

1-10-W38 (1:50 remaining) – In a clock-killing, power-running situation the Chiefs’ interior line is totally focused on Haynesworth and forgets to block Kedric Golston at all, so he comes in untouched and takes down the RB for a 3 yard loss.

2-13-W41 – Cassel hits Dwayne Bowe on a slant, and the smaller Carlos Rogers just slides down Bowe’s back trying to make tackle. Bowe gets running room, and instead of going down as soon as he hit the first down marker to kill clock, he tries to score and ends up going out of bounds at the 9. I imagine Todd Haley had some gentle corrective words with Bowe over that move.

Redskins stuff the next 3 plays but burn the last of the timeouts doing so; Chiefs kick a field goal to make it 12-6.

Redskins seventh possession

1-10-W6 (0:31 remaining, backed up due to a penalty on the kickoff) – Chiefs rush three guys. Heyer is beaten badly to the inside. Betts, the only back, initially stays in to protect but apparently misreads the side to which Heyer will be beat, so he drifts too far to the outside to be useful. Too late he attempts to become a dumpoff option, but the rusher is in Collins’ face so no throw in that direction is possible. As usual the downfield routes are not visible, but during the time they are in frame all receivers are headed straight down the field, so it looks like Collins only has long-developing routes and has no opportunity to get the ball out before the DE takes him down for the safety. He displays a lack of pocket presence by not realizing he should take one step forward to get out of the end zone, but with no timeouts left the sack probably would have ended the game anyway.

Chiefs take the free kick an kneel to end the game.

I have to revise a couple of my semi-concluding thoughts from before:

First, through three quarters I felt the line performed decently, albeit against a weak opponent. In the 4th quarter, the line made the Chiefs look like the '85 Bears. Stephon Heyer was the most conspicuously atrocious.

Second, Todd Collins looked much shakier as well. The forced pass to Cooley that got tipped was pretty disconcerting, and he did not handle the constant pressure well.

In short, everything about the 4th quarter showed that the Redskins played even worse than I already thought, which just makes me want to go to bed.

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