One thing that really stood out to me defensively against the Kansas City Chiefs was the lack of pressure on Matt Cassel at times throughout the game. We’ve been bombarding other teams with the blitz (successfully in the first half at least), but we seemed to be content with rushing four most of the afternoon sometimes successfully, seemingly often not. There was a stat that we did not blitz until the 3rd quarter. It seemed to me that the front four was not getting as much pressure as we have seen at other points this season, and blitzing a crappy QB seems to be a smart idea. I think you can say legimately that blitzing has exposed the short plays, which has also at times exposed bad tackling. Is this the reason we stopped blitzing so much?
The other thing that was readily apparent is the Kansas City Chiefs had one goal, stop Adrian Peterson. I’ve heard it said before that every play action pass we tried, everybody bit on. This was a reason why the reverses to Percy were so successful, they were biting at Peterson, and that half second was enough for Percy to gain the edge. The Chiefs really dared us to beat them through the air, and with Bernard Berrian constantly being open (his words not mine), we failed. Donovan McNabb looked better than his has all season, but to me it truly felt like he managed the game and nothing more. His 34 yard strike to Devin Aromashodu was a thing of beauty, it really was. It had touch, accuracy, and was in bounds. That last part has not always been true. However, as has been the case, when we needed him to step up and shoulder the team for a bit, he fell short. 4 straight incompletions is not how you win in the 4th quarter.
I truly think the Christian Ponder era should begin this week, however, it will not happen according to Leslie Frazier. Ponder is not going to rescue our season, I think we all can agree to that. However, He now has had 8 weeks in the system, with action throughout the pre-season. He has watched McNabb for 4 game days, has watched tape of how not to throw a pass. The reports of throwing the rookie in with no training camp or off-season should now be null and void. He has had time in the system, has been in practice, and clearly knows how to use our tight ends. I fully support keeping McNabb on the team as a backup, if we could talk him into it.
On top of starting Ponder, we also should seriously change the depth chart at WR. Devin Aromashodu needs to be moved into Bernard’s spot. This year he has been targeted 6 times with 2 receptions, so we’re not looking at a large sample size by any means. However, Berrian has been targeted 16 times with 2 receptions as well. Aromashodu has the speed, he’s younger, and let’s face it….he’s NOT Bernard Berrian. Vindicated or not, Berrian and his trash talking need to be either demoted, or straight cut.
If this really is a lost season as we are all starting to see, we could go and do a crazy QB experiment to see what we have in Ponder and/or Webb. Start Ponder for 5 games, which should give the coaches a sufficient sample size. Is he improving week to week, is he adjusting to mistakes, calling the right audibles, accurate? If he bombs after 5 games sit him with some bi-lateral leg weakness injury and/or pneumonia….let’s give the last 6 games to Joe Webb. Analyze the same data. I would totally do this, but this is why I’m a writer and not a coach.
We need to find out what we have with these 2 young QB’s with Andrew Luck being a very real possibility for us next year.
Follow @ TomSimano on Twitter .. (unless you are B_Twice)