It's time that of the week again where we look at plays from our last game and decide if we can figure out what was going on out on the field. I will say that it's much nicer to rewatch games in which we did a lot more things well than we had in the first three games.
I try and mix it up and find some of the plays that we'll all remember, along with some things happening away from the ball that many probably didn't notice. This isn't always a highlight-reel set of clips, but there were some great things happening away from the ball this week that you might have missed.
A few observations before we look at some of the clips. It's hard to decide which plays to breakdown while watching the game when you have a player like Derrick Johnson dominate like he did this past week. Johnson wasn't just all over place and consistently around the ball, he was playing like a guy with a chip on his shoulder. He was fantastic at getting off blocks and making plays. By far his best game of the year.
Here are 13 clips of plays from last weeks' victory against the Vikings. Again a thanks to Bfett for cutting up these clips and making this post interactive.
First play. Jackie Battle made an appearance this week as a running back at a meaningful time in the game. It's been a while since that's happened. Many AP'ers are constantly questioning as to why Battle is on the team and whenever presented with a "good ST'ers" line, it's often replied to with some kind of dismissal. This play is an example of what Jackie Battle brings to ST's. You'll notice him pop in the screen on about the 40 yard line when Arenas is bringing it through the hole. There were several good blocks on the play but Battle's stuck out to me.
Second play. Dumbest move of the game. Why the hell do you celebrate a sack when it's obvious that you pulled a guy down by his facemask?
Third play. If you like watching offensive lineman and run-blocking, then this play is for you. This play could not have been blocked much better across the board. Branden Albert moves Jared Allen out of the way, Casey Wiegmann takes care of his guy while Ryan Lilja gets to the 2nd level and seals the lane. Not to mention Le'Ron McClain (who's an awesome guy to watch individually) delivering a pop in the hole. Best run of Jones' season.
Fourth play. You know I couldn't go a whole 'play-breakdowns post' without an example of our nickel/dime defense on the field on 2nd or 3rd and short. Allen Bailey and Wallace Gilberry in as DT's on 3rd and 2. Ugh. What I notice on this play is Kyle Rudolph coming back in motion and Donald Washington following him. You'll see Rudolph come to the backside of the play when the ball is snapped. DWash follows him and vacates the alley that AP then ran through. Hard to tell if he would have made the play but he was in much better position before Rudolph went the other way.
Fifth play. This is an example of DJ being a beast and Amon Gordon doing his job. From left to right on the line you have TJax, Gordon and Dorsey. Gordon locks up with the center and impedes the RG from getting to the next level. This allows DJ to stuff AP in the hole. It's amazing how a split second makes the difference from DJ running free and the RG being in his grill on that play.
Sixth play. DJ being a freaking manimal right here. He has no issues with shucking his blocker out of the way. This is the kind of fire I like seeing from DJ.
Eighth play. Gilberry showing his quickness by getting into the backfield and rushing McNabb's throw. Although getting tackled by the Qb right there has to be frustrating.
Ninth play. This is what I want to see from Matt Cassel. As impressive as it is to watch him throw crossing routes almost every play before the Vikings game. I've noticed that almost every other QB in the NFL can make those throws. This throw right here takes a few off the list. An accurate throw down the field with a guy in his face. Nice Matt, Nice.
Tenth play. This was a fanshot by Bfett a few days ago and was met with mixed reviews. It's the play that Pope was open in the endzone and the ball was incomplete to McClain in the flat. My question is what is his read on this play? Depending on when you pause this play it looks like McClain could be open, but the DB crashes to the flat quickly. If Cassel has time to read the DB then throwing it to Pope is a no-brainer. Wouldn't bother me if I didn't see him miss guys that were open on several occasions. I can buy missing them on a play or two, but not for as many as we've seen.
Eleventh play. Bowe gets plenty of love from this replay but let's give a little credit to the OL for picking up the blitz and giving Cassel enough time to pump-fake, wait, and still deliver the ball without a guy in his face. Maybe we won't have people still saying that the OL has been poor this year......
Tweltfh play. DJ beasting it again. What can you say? The guy is good.
Thirteenth play. So much hate for this guy for good reason. But he's in position on this play and it's as close as I can come to finding a positive for 'Jersey Shore'. When it mattered in this game, he was there to make a play.
So in an effort to maximize the number of plays you see and lessen the length of the post, because I know the long ones are tough to get through, I'm not writing as much about each play. So we can use the comment thread to talk about the plays more in depth. Does anyone notice anything else on thse plays, or seeing something different that I am?