View Full Version : New Orleans is better than Buffalo:

10-28-2013, 03:17 PM
1. Here's the thing about the Read Option. I may have mentioned it before. OK, I have. Buffalo loses the ball on the first play from scrimmage when a LB smacks the snot out of him afgter he gained five yards untouched, following an untouched Fred Jackson through the hole. Jackson would have gotten at least twenty yards on the play. At least. That hole was bigger than the one I would have allowed had I been playing RDE for the Saints. In an effort to be tricky, you increase the odds of failure because most QBs do not have the experience and physical skill required to effectively run between the hash marks in any but a broken play or draw (and that one no more than five or six times a year, please) scenario. They lose the ball and/or get hurt too often. Risk-Reward doesn't add up. So if you're gonna run it with the QB, make sure the QB is running OUTSIDE, if at all. Better yet, let other people run it and drill their QB every time he steps out that way.
2. Nickell Robey looked good EXCEPT for the three perfectly thrown balls on which New Orleans scored touchdowns. Ahem. If it helps, they were PERFECTLY thrown, and his coverage was very good on each play. One of the differences between Brees and Buffalo, I guess. On the catcgh by Moore, Robey missed the ball by fewer than three inches. Perfectly thrown (Dierdorf chided him for making an all or nothing dive for the ball - he had no alternative beyond hoping dude drops the ball - it was caught in the end zone.) And any illegal contact penalty called after the job Chris Carr did on Chandler in the second qurter, getting into his shirt twelve yards downfield and staying there, needed a facemask tug and cat o' nine tails to deserve a flag.
3. Kyle Williams is still awesome and looked to be better than he had the previous couple weeks.
4. M. Williams, not so much. He appeared to get absorbed by the NO gameplan or something.
4a. Marcell Dareus still can't put it together week in and week out.
5. I am going to diagnose the reason, and it is really one reason, that Buffalo's OL looks like crap this year, after three years of excellence. OK, there are three reasons. First, Fitz, for all his faults, was very very good at evading the first rusher in time enough to at least get rid of the ball. Second, Levitre really was excellent, and his replacements have been below average. The biggest single reason is Hackett's scheme. With one exception, these are the same players, mind you, that have been excellent for three years. THE SAME players. And Colin Brown suggested competence under the previous coaching staff. Here it is:
Hackett likes to bunch the formations tight to the line. He does this because it can confuse the defensive players and create coverage breakdowns. The problem is that it also confuses the offensive linemen, creating more opportunities for defensive pressure. Under Gailey, for all his faults, the offense used the entire field and the defensive rush was unable, by virtue of the logistical reality of having to assign players to spots or guys across the whole field rather than just within ten yards of the Center, to effectively game the offensive line very often. It made blocking a very straightforward affair. It created predictable rush lanes and angles. The current scheme allows almost every defensive player to get into the rush or to clog passing lanes. It turns out that most DCs they face are competent enough at their jobs to take advantage of this,as evidenced by every team since the end of week 2 regularly getting into the grill and gut of whoever is playing QB for Buffalo. At least half of Buffalo's pass plays begin with no more than one receiver more than five yards from the OT. That is just foolish. Bonus: Spreading the field makes life good for your RBs. They have proven that in the years before you got here, kid.
6. Hackett is a terribly predictable playcaller, whether Buffalo has the lead or is losing it. Fire him, please.
7. Morrone is clueless on challenges. He challenged a play that resulted in 3rd and 3 INCHES! A little confidence in your guys to get 3 INCHES in two tries, please. The other one I haven't seen yet, as this is a combination of stream of consciusness combined with a little bit of having seen highlights and the occasional go back to fill in more data.
8. Marquise Goodwin is open eighty percent of the time he runs a fly route. I am curious why they don't try that more.
9. Why did Jimmy Graham play? They were gonna win with or without him.
10. I rather enjoyed the Fiat beach commercial.
11. Buffalo's kick return games are nonexistent. I blame the coach, although Leodis looks EXTREMELY disinterested in returning any punts. I blame the coach.
12. 12 men in the huddle after a kickoff? Your offensive coaches suck, Buffalo. Also, stop trying to use the fullback as a weapon. Changeup yes; weapon, no.
13. To the extent that Buffalo punted rather than gave the ball away, Moorman completely neutralized Darren Sproles. Told you so.
14. Brees is insanely, repetitively accurate. Almost to the point of being boring.
15. Da'Norris Searcy, while improved, is emblematic of this team. Inconsistent. For every two good plays, he is blown out of another.
16. Jamaal Westerman took three steps and hit Brees with his helmet. Can we cut him now?
17. Schematically, Buffalo tends to give opposing teams the chance to get a lot of yards on shallow flares, relying on Alonso and Searcy to sprint into coverage after faking a blitz by alignment. I will offer the following suggestion: Don't even bother when you are playing against a team having one of the two best passing games in the league. The odds do not favor your success.
18. Buffalo doesn't run too much play action outside of the read-option stupidity.
19. Terry Macaulay generally looks pissed when he has to annoounce a penalty. I am entertained by that.
20. What the hell happened that Hackett forgot that you are allowed to throw screen passes against a team getting a good pass rush against you? Or draw plays? They did it early against Miami. I guess he isn't very good.
21. The New Orleans defense isn't much at tackling, if this game is any indication.
22. Seriously, it was playcalling that let the game get away from the Bills.
23. Jerry Hughes actually played pretty well, except for getting beat on a 69 yard touchdown pass to a really fast WR. I put that under the category of you're damn right you should apologize to him, Morrone. He's a DE in a LB body.
24. Yeah, Buffalo is mediocre and New Orleans is very good. This wasn't any kind of a surprise. For all that Buffalo hung in there, again, they just don't have what it takes to be excellent all day.

10-28-2013, 03:23 PM
Oh, and Sean Payton knows how to use a clock. He never taught that to Morrone, apparently.

10-29-2013, 07:30 AM
22. Seriously, it was playcalling that let the game get away from the Bills.

And Drew Brees.

The announcers were slurping Marrone during the game something crazy. My thoughts on games tend to be on a more basic level:

1) That opening play was quite the omen.

2) Dareus needs to watch Kyle Williams more closely.

3) I too was bewailing the lack of screens.

4) The Saints won easily which allowed me to turn to the Lions-Cowboys game. Some consolation.

Moving forward, I'd like to see a bit more fire and competence from the coach. Seeing a stone faced HC on the Bills sideline reminds me of all those hopeless Sundays watching Dick Jauron.

And call me nutty, but I can see this defense making Alex Smith's life miserable this sunday. Smelling an upset.

10-29-2013, 11:11 AM
The press conferences are eerily similar:

Gotta get better.
Gotta go back to work.
Look at the film and figure it out.
Gonna keep working.
We're not good enough to give the ball away and beat a team like that.
It's a play here or a play there.
We've got to be more consistent at the good things.

Fire 'em all.

And I agree, the man looks numbly stupefied on the sidelines. At first he went with the Gregg Williams ****-eating grin when things went well followed by the knowing scowl when things went badly. Now he is just going gray at a presidential pace.

I also agree they should beat KC this week. They have more talent and a competent DC. So long as they don't give up ST touchdowns they will probably win by four.

Fire 'em all. Except maybe Pettine.

10-29-2013, 11:58 AM
Fire 'em all. Except maybe Pettine.

Other than Special Teams, this team is about where I hoped it would be back in August. And while part of me thinks you've got to give Marrone a bit more time. But those who have watched the Bills closely over the post-Phillips years know that a bad coach does not improve over time. At least not in Western New York. So I don't think anything would be lost by giving him bus fare back to Syracuse.

But I would definitely keep Pettine.

10-29-2013, 04:36 PM

Your analysis is always high quality. But not much point saying "fire them all" in year one of a staff - just not gonna happen. Marrone has some flaws, but I also think the players play hard for him. There's a belief in this squad. You need more, but this is a positive. Would I love to have Gailey as OC with Marrone and Pettine.

I found that loss more satisfying than many in years. They were well-beaten by a better team on the road, but appeared to be only somewhat outclassed, not totally. And they sure never quit.

A win over KC puts them in the wild card mix. That's good enough for me! I'm hoping EJ's learning on the sidelines. After starting 5 games, watching Thad can be put to very good use if the will is there. I think it may be. No way they win the Super Bowl in 2013 season, but they could truly contend next year with a good draft.

Must have had too much wine at lunch!

10-30-2013, 09:57 AM
Perhaps it was just excellent wine?

Thank you, and I know that it isn't gonna happen. I have just grown impatient with the same old song and dance. If I thought Morrone was blowing platitudes at the reporters I wouldn't mind at all. The trouble for me is that he really seems to believe it. That leaves two possibilities - first that he think he's on the right track with this stuff, and second that he is putting way too much energy into his performance during the press conferences. Either way, I foresee a dark time ahead.

I appreciate that he is sounding less like he did in spring and summer, when he was giving the impression he thought he had revolutionized the game. I do not appreciate that he is making consistent, significant errors in personnel, strategy, and tactics. The biggest failing Wade Phillips had as HC was Ronnie Jones and his need to keep the guy employed at a high salary. Morrone has that with Crossman and Hackett, two guys who aren't quite ready for the big time. I believe that these guys do not improve much - Belichick improved his organizational and people management skills between Cleveland and Boston, not his game management skills, while Morrone seems to have very good people and organizational skills once guys are in the building - and that they either get it or they don't on the football side. Crossman had some early success in Carolina, but time told the tale there. His coverage units are as good as his kickers, and his return units aren't very good. And in Detroit? That's right, worst in the league. Hackett is limited, predictable, predictable, predictable, and he isn't doing much to give his players an advantage based on their strengths and weaknesses, although Morrone insists that he is as adaptive as Pettine. I do not see what he thinks he is seeing. When Hackett does mix things up, he does it only in the tight moments at the end of a game, when everybody in the viewing audience, much less on the other team knows he is going to go against form. His over-compensations have also been predictable within games. I support pulling the plug and letting him learn on someone else's team.

And I really really believe that this team is as talented, QB aside, as any team in the league. I really do for real in all seriousness. The only positions where they have a starter with a below average level of talent are QB, LG, Justin Rogers, Duke Williams, and Jonathan Meeks. The rest are average to excellent, with more very good and excellent than most would believe. I ***** about the FB, but he is looking OK - I am just frustrated when they run him on the same play twice in a row. No offense to T. Lewis, but he is not in the top twenty of QBs, league-wide. Legursky! better not be the long term answer (and I get frustrated when I recall that they had the long term answer and let him go with plenty of cap room to spare.) The secondary? I *****, but only because they didn't bring in as much new blood at CB as they could have and are trying too hard to prove that they were right with D. Williams and Meeks. Rogers was playing because of injuries to 3 better players. That's fine. They would have been better served bringing in another couple of CBs in the spring and summer is all. Or possibly hiring a competent veteran in week 2 or 3. Ahem.

These are things I lay on the HC is all.

10-30-2013, 02:19 PM
I think you are right about the coordinators. Plus, as much talent as we have, this is a cheapo organization. No way they'll spend to take advantage of a window of opportunity. Now I'm depressed.

10-30-2013, 02:35 PM
I think you are right about the coordinators. Plus, as much talent as we have, this is a cheapo organization. No way they'll spend to take advantage of a window of opportunity. Now I'm depressed.

Sorry 'bout that. The future is murky, given the terrible inevitable that lies around the corner. Best not to think too hard about it, for me.