Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Preseason Week 3- NFC West Recap

WON v. Vikings 30-13
The Hawks were set up with sweet field position twice in the first quarter (the Vikings 19, and 35 yard lines) and could come away with only 2 field goals. They had a lot more success in the second quarter, with Matt Hasselbeck spreading the ball evenly between Deion Branch, Bobby Engram, and Marcus Pollard, who each had 3 catches. Shaun Alexander had 30 yards on 8 carries and punched one in from a yard out to put Seattle up 16-7.

How do you feel about having Bobby Wade hang 5 catches for 85 yards in one half on your first team defense? Ick. That's a bad sign for a team that plays in a division with some potent offenses.

LOST at Bears 28-31
Last week I saw a big circle jerk article in ESPN the Magazine about the 49ers, with a big pictorial spread of them playing grabass with each other, heralding them as the up and coming team of 2007. Well, they're going to have to be a lot better than this or else I don't want to hear it. This game was nowhere near as close as the score indicated, the Bears absolutely destroyed the Niners in the first half. Except for a TD drive that started on the Bears' 6 yard line after a muffed punt, the Niners went 3 and out every single time they had the ball, except for one drive where they turned it over on the first play. Alex Smith completed 2 passes on 3 attempts in the first half. I realize that the Niners were without Frank Gore in this game, but 2 completions in one half is not the stuff ESPN Magazine centerfolds are made of.

The Niners defense looked even worse than their 26th against the pass ranking in 2006 would suggest. Rex Grossman threw for 211 yards and 2 TDs against them in the first half. The only things the Niners have to hang their hat on from this game was a Walt Harris pick 6 on a Sexy Rexy uh-oh, and a pretty good 7 tackle performance by first round LB Patrick Willis.

LOST at Raiders 10-20
Take away Torry Holt and Steven Jackson for the Rams, and what you get is a team that gets housed by the Raiders. Without his 2 best weapons, Marc Bulger was 8 of 21. Neither Travis Minor or Brian Leonard were at all effective in splitting Jackson's carries. Isaac Bruce had 77 receiving yards in the first half. Honestly, until my 2 fantasy drafts, I had absolutely no idea Bruce had a 1000 yard season last year. It's interesting that lately wide receivers in the NFL can be productive into their late 30's, while the lifespan of running backs is so drastically short.

If my defense is giving up 17 first half points to the Raiders' offense, I am very very worried. The pass defense gave up too many big plays, and couldn't stop the Raiders in short yardage situations (six rushing first downs for the Raiders in the first half). The Rams really have nothing positive to take away from this regular season dress rehearsal.

LOST v. Chargers 31-33
Matt Leinart had success throwing the ball deep, completing a bomb to Bryant Johnson that set up a Marcel Shipp TD, and an 80 yard bomb to a wide open Anquan Boldin for a TD. What isn't encouraging is that the Cardinals still show no sign that they can run the ball any better than last year. Edgerrin James sat this one out, and Shipp and JJ Arrington combined for 27 yards on 10 carries in the first half.

For the third game in a row, the Cardinals defense was terrible. In its three preseason games (all losses), the Cards gave up 27 to the Raiders, 33 to the Texans, and now 33 to the Chargers. The Cardinals didn't force a punt until there was 2:08 left in the first half.


Patrick N said...

You think the coaching change in Arizona is going to make the diff then? I mean i always thought Green was an okay coach but the Cardinals were a cursed franchise.

Nick Pomazak said...

The Cardinals have a pretty nice fantasy football team...they will put up a lot of points and throw the ball a lot...

unfortunately i still dont think they will be able to run the ball...i think edge is finished...and that defense looks horrible...

on the other hand..i think seattle is in serious decline, and the niners and rams have the same problems the cardinals do..so who knows....that division could seriously end up in any imaginable order