• Of Note (Week 13, 2012)

    Every Tuesday, we’ll recap the previous week with a few things of note. Sometimes the obvious is the most interesting, while we’ll try and mix in a surprise or two along the way…

    Colts’ rookie QB Andrew Luck has been far from a one-man show during Indianapolis’ incredible season. In fact, the team’s entire 2012 draft class has not only had a big impact all over but most have managed to find the end zone this season. Of the 7 offensive picks made by the team in April, 6 have scored at least 1 touchdown, with WR T.Y. Hilton (6), Luck (5), TE Dwayne Allen (2), RB Vick Ballard (2), TE Coby Fleener (1) and WR LaVon Brazil (1) combining for 17 of the team’s 29 total touchdowns. The lone exception is seventh-round pick QB Chandler Harnish, who is currently on the team’s practice squad…

    With 4 weeks to play, the number of 300-yard passing performances in 2012 stands at 104, tied for the second-most in an NFL season (2009). The record was set just a year ago, when there were 121 300-yard passing games by quarterback, but that appears to be getting ready to go by the wayside…

    Talk about rookies sticking together? Both Buccaneers’ RB Doug Martin and Redskins’ RB Alfred Morris have rushed for 1,106 yards this season, tied for third in the league in 2012. Even more impressive is the fact that in the previous 3 seasons (2009-11), Buccaneers’ RB LeGarrette Blount was the lone rookie to rush for at least 1,000 yards. And keep an eye on Browns’ rookie RB Trent Richardson (827) and Redskins’ rookie QB Robert Griffin III (714), both within range of 1,000 yards rushing as well. And it’s worth noting that there have never been 4 rookies rush for 1,000-plus yards in the same season…

    Speaking of the Redskins, Mike Shanahan’s team has now won 3 straight games (all over NFC East rivals) and at 6-6 are just one game behind the N.Y. Giants in the NFC East. Quarterback Robert Griffin III has excelled at many things in his debut campaign and one big aspect has been ball security. Only the Buccaneers (40) and Eagles (38) committed more turnovers than the Redskins (35) in 2011. This season, Shanahan’s club has given up the ball only 11 times, 6 of those by Griffin. Last season, QBs Rex Grossman (25) and John Beck (5) combined for 30 of the team’s 35 miscues…

    More congratulations for the playoff-bound Houston Texans, who set a franchise record with their 11th win on Sunday after winning at Tennessee, 24-10. The franchise is now 21-7 in last 28 regular-season games dating back to ’11 after compiling a 55-89 mark during the team’s first 9 seasons from 2002-10. Also worth noting that Gary Kubiak’s club is the league’s lone unbeaten club on the road this season (6-0), something to keep in mind as the Texans head to Foxborough to face the Patriots on Monday night…

    Comments 2 Comments
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Speaking of rushing the ball and Washington... I see a lot of similarities between what the 'Skins are doing and what the Falcons did in 2004.

      Using the same Alex Gibbs zone blocking and having a RGIII clone in Michael Vick, the Falcons led the league in rushing. The mobile QB was key back then and I think he's key this season. The defense doesn't know who to focus on. Take Vick or III out of the equation in those particular seasons and the running game is immediately less effective.

      Personally, I love the zone blocking scheme. It seems to produce a lot of great runners without the need for physically dominant offensive linemen. This is what leads to me to say Shanahan's success is more system than running back talent.

      Man, you have to give the Colts credit for getting things right in a time of extreme crisis. That scoring stat for rookies is really impressive.
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      The zone blocking greatest effectiveness is in the fact that fake runs look the same as real runs. Combine that with a QB like RG3 who can both run and pass (much scarier as a passer than Vick was), and the combination becomes even scarier.

      The Pistol wrinkle Shanny Jr added is the extra icing on the cake. Zone blocking, with an elite dual threat, plus the 4 yards closer to the OL RG3 is standing help explain why he is so remarkable. The other great zone blocking team, the Texans, do their thing because they have excelled at selling play action passes. Not because Schaub could ever be confused for mobile.
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