I had a dream last night I was interviewing Sean McDermott before the Redskins game. (And I mean right before. They had to call timeout on the first play because he was late getting onto the field.)
I specifically remember asking him why they were so passive against Brees and the Saints. I don't remember his answer. I also asked him who would be starting at free safety that week and he shouted: "The Big MV!"
Anyway, based on how the last dream worked out, Sean Jones should be starting for awhile.
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No rewind this week for a variety of factors, including other sport and social obligations, but mostly because I just wasn't feeling it. I've still got that game on the DVR, and will likely get back to it by the second game, but this week I was a lot more interested in looking at the Cowboys.
When they struggled early, I kind of wrote them off as one of those dangerous teams that won't be a contender in the end because they're on year three of the bad coaching disintegration. (It took Switzer a fourth year, but he was starting with one of the most talented teams ever.)
Now, however, they're 5-2 and tied for first in the division. They haven't played the strongest schedule, but really, who in this division has? And even as the bustiest bust of all time continues to whine and moan and drop passes, they've got a couple other guys on the team stepping up and making big plays. All of a sudden, this is an intriguing match-up.
I DVR the DirecTV short cuts each week for the Eagles' upcoming opponents. Usually I just watch them once to get a better handle on the other team's roster, although sometimes I do try to draw conclusions.
This week, I watched the Cowboys game a few times. They're an interesting team, with a mix of good and bad things. Here's what I saw:
The problem with Roy Williams is Roy Williams. It's not Tony Romo. Sure, a couple bad throws were on the quarterback, but watch what happened on this play:
That's a guy not being where he's supposed to be. My guess? Williams was supposed to run the fade, but saw the CB was trying to take that away and decided to break it underneath. In some offenses, with some QB/WR combos, that's totally fine. Didn't look great here. And that wry look on Romo's face after the play is something that popped up a couple times on the afternoon.
Here's another one. Williams is actually supposed to be running a slant on this play. It totally looks like a "get the ball to Roy" call. And yet he does such a terrible job on the route that when Romo tries to back shoulder him -- because he sees where the corner is -- the defender still gets a hand on it:
Romo didn't have a great game against the Seahawks, missing on more open looks than he usually does, but if a QB is hitting most of his receivers in stride, and then wildly missing the biggest one of all, it suggests the problem isn't with the QB.
Romo took TO's crap for years because he needed him. He doesn't need Roy Williams.
Speaking of Romo, the Seahawks blitzed him all day and he didn't seem fazed. Romo has a good clock in his head. If the blitz is coming, he unloads pretty quickly, but if he has time he'll be patient and take his shots. Compare the numbers here to his overall passer rating, and it's pretty clear he's been fine either way.
With that said, I'd still blitz the hell out of him, because he does have a tendency to loft balls to spots when the pressure's coming and because a four-man front -- if it gets stretched out -- gives bigger lanes for him to scramble out of the pocket when nothing else is there.
The Seahawks had some success running right up the gut. They couldn't do too much of it because they fell behind early, but the interior of Dallas' defensive line looked like it was attackable.
This matches what FO says in their defensive line stats. Don't even think about running outside at DeMarcus Ware (1.14 yds/carry to left end, that's almost comical), but the middle is there for the taking, especially over right tackle.
Dallas seemed to be playing more 4-3 than usual, although with the short cuts feature it's often hard to identify personnel, so it may just have been a lot of nickel. Still, I wonder if that's opening up a bit more room in the middle.
As for DeMarcus Ware's "side" -- that will probably be a flexible concept this weekend. He moved around some against the Seahawks, but I imagine he'll do so even more against us, in an effort to get matched up on Winston Justice.
Of course, the guy I can't figure out is Anthony Spencer. He looked like he was giving the Seattle right tackle fits all game, but he was kept off the stat sheet, except for two passes defensed.
His speed is a little scary to watch. I hope WJ is ready for that. On the other hand, the fact that he's flying upfield every play might help explain those RT rushing numbers in the previous bullet.
Dallas has a jacked kicker. Seems worth mentioning that the guy's almost 230 pounds. Akers is not going to like being the nerdy one this week.
The one guy who's really scary? This won't surprise you. It's Felix Jones.
I knew the guy was fast, but I was shocked to be reminded of just how big he is. That's really what makes him deadly, at least for the first 10-15 yards. Then once he's run through a couple arm tackles, no one's catching him in the secondary.
One of his runs, and you can call it bad tackling, but it looks more like a video game:
If Asante tries to tackle him one-on-one, it's going to look like one of those exploding golf balls.
Barber's still effective as a short-yardage guy, but he's not going to kill you for big gains because he just doesn't have the speed to run away from people. Felix has to be the number one priority this weekend.
Our biggest advantage? This is still a Wade Phillips coached team. Which means you're going to see plays like this (again, watch the Romo frustration as 10 guys go right and his back goes left):
Hope we see a lot of those on Sunday night.
Bonus Seahawks note: Edge looked like he was running in sand all game. They cut him on Tuesday, he's probably still somewhere short of the front door as he makes his way out of their practice complex.