Upon Further Review: Volume 3, No 5

(Any views or opinions represented are personal and do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in professional or personal capacity, unless explicitly stated. Any views or opinions are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual unless it’s the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants or Washington Redskins in which case they deserve it)

Comment

OK, where to start after the loss to the LA Rams? Let’s go with the offense…

I like it when we play offense like we did in the first half. Moving down the field, going 75+ yards, eating up the clock, mixing the run and the pass, getting some big chunks of yardage when we can and keeping the opposing offense off the field. That’s the type of offense that’s going to get you 24 points in the first half. If I wanted to be critical I could maybe point to the opening drive only producing a field goal, but 24 points, in 4 drives, in 30 minutes of football is not bad at all. It was the sort of football we were playing last season.

A safety first start to the second half produced no points and very little yardage. Some missed assignments, poor decisions and conservative play calling brought the defense back onto the field too often. The offense clicked back into gear after going behind and produced a good drive that resulted in a TD for Hanna.

A Dak Prescott interception stopped a drive that looked to have some potential. However, there was to be no late TD drive heroics to win the game for the Cowboys. I guess the biggest disappointment was that when the offense absolutely needed to produce a score in the 3rd quarter they couldn’t and found themselves playing catch up from what was a relatively commanding position.

Special teams had a horrible first half. A 66-yard kick-off return and a Ryan Switzer fumbled punt helped the Rams put up 10 of their 16 first half points. I’m guessing that Switzer is encouraged to run kick off’s out of the end zone and get something from punts by the coaches, it can energise an offense and get the crowd on their feet when it comes off but the flip side is poor field position and fumbles.

Defensively it wasn’t great day either. The Rams scored on 4 possessions, 1 TD & 3 FG’s, in the first half. Yes, poor special teams play did put the Rams in good field position however, the D still has to keep points to a minimum and create the opportunities for turnovers. I was particularly disappointed with the last drive of the half, giving the Rams the opportunity to kick a field goal with 4 seconds remaining, reducing the Cowboys lead from 11 to 8 points and with LA getting the ball to start the second half, it’s the downside of having a defense that looks to stop a long TD by willingly giving up 8 to 12 yards over the middle.

I’m not liking this poor tackling defense we’ve started playing this year, last year no one could run on us, this year everyone can run on us. We’ve been finding it hard to stop a 3rd down when Sean Lee is playing so with ‘the General’ out for the game we had no chance stopping anything on the ground in the second half. Gurley’s TD catch run put the Rams in the lead and after that it was just field goals. The Rams had 9 scoring drives in the game…that’s NINE SCORING DRIVES!

It was a disappointing defeat for many reasons but it was all their own making.

Just a quick mention of the Saints/Dolphins game at Wembley. Man, that was probably the worst game I have ever seen. You know it’s bad when the biggest cheer is for the guy in the inflatable dolphin suit making it bounce on its head!

Although I like the NFL coming to the UK (but please no London based team), I don’t like the build up to these things. It’s just the same tired old thing on Regent Street, Nike fobbing off last season’s t-shirts onto fans who will buy almost anything. The sight of football fans queuing for goodness know how long at a makeshift tent at the ‘Fan Zone’ before the game, just for the opportunity to buy a souvenir ‘10 years Pin’ must make the NFL very happy. There seemed to be a lot of German fans around and I’ve always wondered why the NFL haven’t played a game over there. I’d certainly go even if it was for a Saints/Dolphins rematch…well, at least I’d get to see the inflatable dolphin again!

Week 5 Preview

This has the potential to be a shoot-out and that’s not what the Cowboys want. Keeping Rodgers and the Green Bay offense off the field is a must and so the Cowboys need to keep possession, work the clock, mix up the run and the pass and score TD’s instead of FG’s. The Packers D can give up yardage but the Cowboys need to be patient, this could be the game where Cole Beasley has an impact. Green Bay have given up, on average, over 100 yards per game on the ground so there should be some opportunity for Zeke and Alfred Morris to gain yards.

The Packer O-Line has had its fair share of injuries and Dallas need to make the most of their chances to get to Rodgers. Tank Lawrence is playing lights out and the return of David Irving will give the pass rush an extra boost. Lewis and Woods are looking to be great additions to the secondary although Heath seems to be struggling with his positioning and, surprisingly, his tackling. Ex Cowboys TE Bennett has been poor in Green Bay’s first 4 games but he’ll relish the chance to score against his old team. This could be a nail biter that comes down to the last kick of the game, with the bye week coming up it would be great to go into it at 3 & 2 but my head says that we’ll fall short.

Prediction: Packers 27 Cowboys 24

The House Dallas warriors are still wondering how Gerod Joffrey went back to the realm of California with a victory. The General was missing from the action after taking a blow in the victory over House Arizona and was sorely missed by all.

There is no time to rest as House Green Bay are marching towards the realm of Texas to do battle with House Dallas. Led by Rodgers of Aaron, House Green Bay come from the land of snow and ice. They reside at Castle Lambeau and once had a famous field general who defeated House Dallas, before Emperor Jerry came to power, his name was Bart Starrk, King of the North, and was known for his finishing move, the Sneak.

Witten is finally here.

You can follow me on Twitter @whitey500

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