Some quick thoughts on last nights 47-12 drubbing of Jacksonville
- Taylor Price: The second year receiver went a long way to securing a roster spot last night. He had 5 catches for 105 yards and a ridiculous TD Catch. Price looked fast on some catch and runs down sideline, and showed ability to go over the middle. Some poor decisions on punt returns, and alligator arming a would be pick (negated by an unnecessary roughness penalty) we minor blemishes on an otherwise impressive night.
- Stevan Ridley: Racked up 64 yards on 16 carries, including two touchdown runs, while leading the team with seven receptions for 47 yards and another TD . He needs a little work on pass blocking, but looked agile and powerful, displaying the ability to make defenders miss as well as run through them.
- QB's: Both Hoyer (15-of-21 passing for 171 yards and one TD) and Mallett (12-of-19 passing for 164 yards and one TD) looked sharp. Mallett's renowned arm strength was on full display on a few throws. Both were solid in their decison making and made accurate throws. Their performances were aided by:
- Solid pass protection: LT Nate Solder, LG Thomas Austin, C Rich Ohrnberger, RG Mark LeVoir and RT Steve Maneri composed the offensive line for the first half, and did an excellent job in pass protection (as well as run blocking) - save for the one big shot Hoyer took on the second possession incompletion to Edelman.
- Solder: 1st round draft pick looked impressive in his debut. A few missed blocks, but kept his QB's clean and led the way for a rushing attack that piled up 141 yards.
- Dane Fletcher: With both Mayo and Spikes not playing, Fletcher led the D at MLB taking control of the huddle and tying for the team high in tackles. Made the team as a rookie free agent last year and has been impressive in his limited opportunities
- Defensive Backs: Yesterday I mentioned how Butler and Wilhite are fighting for the 5th CB spot on the roster. Butler seems to have mastered the art of covering the 10 yard hitch....when the receiver is running a 7 yarder. He tied for the team high in tackles; which is not a good thing if you're a corner. Wilhite continued to display his amazing ability to play one step behind the receiver he is covering and not look for the ball when it is thrown. He also had a bonehead block in the back to negate a nice Taylor Price punt return. Belichick summed it up best: "We've got a receiver [Andover, MA native Buddy Farnham] leading the team in interceptions. It will be a point of embarrassment for the defensive backs, but it's alright; they deserve it."
- Ball security: Aaron Hernandez managed to spoil a nice game (6 catches, 68 yards) with 2 fumbles (1 lost). Danny Woodhead also fumbled, but managed to recover. This is sure to be a point of emphasis in practice.
- Early game run D: The starting D gave up some longs runs, with players being easily blocked and out of position. Gary Guyton continued to prove he is one of the worst run defenders in the NFL, and makes me very thankful for Mayo & Spikes.
- New Rules: The new Touchdown replay rules slowed the game way down. This coupled with the excruciating TD-Commercial-Kickoff-Commercial sequence should cause games to take anywhere between 3-20 hours to complete. Also, the new kickoff rules (kick from the 35 instead of the 30 and players can only line up 5 yards off the ball) have basically negated that aspect of the game. Hopefully they fix it for next year, because it sucks.
- Ed Hochuli: Pregame speculation about shrunken guns proved to be true. Get back on the juice and back in the gym Ed, the regular season is only 3 weeks away.
- Matt Turk: 43 year old Jacksonville punter makes a strong case for retirement after 14 yard punt late in the First Quarter.