Sometimes I watch these games wondering it its just me that is seeing things so here is this week's edition of "Was it just me?"
1. Was it just me or did the defense change their general schematic attack in the seond half? They've been soft all year with those lousy zones that nobody seems have a clue how to run. To me, it looked like the scheme changed with the back 7 going with a full-on bump-and-run mano-y-mano scheme. No more softie zone with Abe Elam 20 yards off the ball letting Julio Jones take 15 yard pitch-and-catches in front of him. Gotta say, loved loved loved how the team defended the pass in the back 7 at the end of the game. Where has that been the whole season??!!
2. Was it just me or did it look like Daboll called 4 plays in the 4th quarter and overtime? They were:
- J Charles pitch right.
- J Charles pitch left.
- Playaction to Charles, Throw to Bowe running the 10 yard square-in route on the right.
- 3rd and 8 or more, everyone run to the sticks, turn around, and watch Cassel dump it off on the check down hoping the receiver can make it to the first down. (That's officially what the play is called in the huddle. It's why Cassel takes so long to break the huddle sometimes.)
3. Was it just me or did DJ finally look normal again? From the first play where he shot the gap and took down the runner to the blitzes he was in on that were effective...he looked totally different then week 1 when he couldn't keep up with Gonzalezaurus.
4. Was it just me or was this the game that we finally realized, and hopefully Pioli realizes, that no matter how many good players you put around Cassel, he will never be effective, let alone good? I mean, c'mon, McCluster is wide open in the flat and you make him dive for the ball and come up injured with the turnover??!! The Saints defense is terrible, our guys were running wide open all day, protection was pretty good, and yet Cassel can not, can not, consistently hit the open man down field. For Cassel to succeed the receiver has to be the first option, has to be running an in-route, and has to be seen in a clear line-of-sight for Cassel to consistently deliver the ball on time and on the money. That go-route he missed on Bowe was egregious...easy TD. He missed Baldwin breaking free into the endzone when he threw to Moeaki triple covered in the end zone...the list goes on and on. It's not the arm strength, its not the feet; it's the accuracy and the terrible decision-making. These issues should be solved by now. The fact they aren't means he needs to be playing somewhere else next year, no matter what happens this year.