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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Sparks, MD
    Posts
    608

    Looking at the big questions for the next 9 games



    The profootball outsiders week 9 rankings just came out -- which give IMHO a better view of rankings than the traditional NFL stats.

    http://www.footballoutsiders.com/200...rankings/4480/

    Our defense is # 1, our special teams is # 6 and our offense is # 24 making us overall in the top 5. Suspect the Aikman ratings will have us near the same level. If we can beat Cincinnati this week we will be at the halfway mark with 6-2 ; In short a far better performance than any of us could have hoped for at the beginning of the season.

    So would like to have a discussion on the big issues that we think the team needs to address for the remainder of the season. Here's my list.

    Defense -- high risk, high reward. I don't think we're as good as 2000 but its probably more fun to watch this crew. Key question -- Can we cut down on the number of big plays we give up while maintaining the high number of turnovers?

    Offense -- I personally think that our new offensive coordinator is going to make a HUGE difference. While I said last week that he would increase point production by 25%, I now think its going to be more like 30-40%. Key question -- Can we figure out a way to bolster up the running game and get more than 4 yards / carry (team is currently averaging 3.5) -- name your favorite way of doing it. I think if that happens, the passing game will follow and we will get our offense in the top half of the league.

    Special Teams -- Koch and the new players have worked better than expected. Key question -- can we cut down on the yards given up on the kickoff?


    Here's hoping we solve all of those issues -- its great to be in contention -- looking forward to a classic game this Sunday




  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Glen Burnie
    Posts
    350

    Re: Looking at the big questions for the next 9 games

    Defense Ė I think this Defense is quicker than the 2000 squad, but not quite as tough mentally. When that 2000 squad decided to shut the door Ė IT WAS SHUT !! Right now, most of the big-play problems seem to be communication oriented Ė which can only improve. On several of Rolleís blown coverages, it appeared as if he was expecting help on the deep ball from Ed Reed. I think Ed needs to make Samari his Primary Concern in coverage since its obvious now that teams are going to constantly try to pick on him. The only other thing I would tinker with on the Defense, is to rush at least 5 men every play. Mix it up, so they never know which 5 are coming, but we definitely need a little more pressure on the Quarterback.


    Offense Ė I agree with you on the new OC. I was also encouraged by his comment about leaving a significant amount of rushing yards on the field, saying we should have had about 160. Hopefully, this was a direct challenge to Jamal. I still think we need to run Anderson between the 20ís, with Musa as the third down back, although both of them together on third down could prove interesting. Save Jamal for inside the 20ís and short yardage much the same way as the Squeelers used Bettis last year. I donít think he has the vision to be truly effective in this offense, only adequate. His whole career heís always followed the fullback to the hole and made his cut off of the fullbackís block, even going back to his days at Tennessee. I just donít think he sees the field very well and canít find the holes the way Mike Anderson can. Without someone to lead him to the hole he just canít find it! The Ravens just need to let Mike Anderson have a chance to be the feature back with Musa giving him breathers and playing more on third down, where I would like to see them both out there together.


    Special Teams Ė This is also my primary concern about the Special Teams. We just canít continually let teams start at their own 30 at the worst. It just seems like, most times, they donít even get hit until they reach the 30! The rest of the special teams look great, itís just the kickoff coverage that looks pathetic! Iím not really sure what to do about it other than bring in another leg that can consistently put the ball in the end zone. Billick did say, however, that Koch might be able to assume the kickoff duties, but that right now he has a small quadriceps problem that he doesnít want to further aggravate since heís doing such a fabulous job punting the ball.
    ... They shall mount up with wings as Eagles;




  3. #3

    Re: Looking at the big questions for the next 9 games

    I think our run defense is outstanding, but the pass defense has been iffy. It will be very interesting to see how they do against the Bengals passing game.

    On offense, I liked the dedication to the running game that Billick brought against the Saints, but I continue to wonder why Mike Anderson doesn't get more playing time. It's not as if Jamal was tearing it up against the Saints. He was okay but not great. Anderson is too good to just sit on the bench all the time.

    Regarding the passing game, this is the best group of receivers we've had in a long time, maybe ever, so I feel pretty good regardless of whether it's McNair or Boller at QB. The problem, as has been the case for several years, is the pass protection, but I think we've discussed that enough.

    On special teams, I'm impressed with Koch, and Stover has been great, but our kickoff coverage sucks.




  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Eastern Shore
    Posts
    1,779

    Re: Looking at the big questions for the next 9 games

    DEFENSE: This unit is very good, but definitely a notch below the 2000, giving up too much in the run game (remember how well the Chargers ran on them) as well as too many long passes. still an elite unit.
    OFFENSE: has a chance to be pretty good. has more weapons now (Heap, Jamal), esp at WR (Mason, Clayton & Demetrius much better than Qadry, Patrick J, Stokely, KJohnson, etc the last few years). The line looks much, much better, recently.
    SPEC TEAMS: Koch has a chance to be special, and they do well at the inside - the - 10 punts, but coverage is average.
    PREDIC: If the O continues to improve, they could/should go deep in the playoffs.




  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Sparks, MD
    Posts
    608

    Re: Looking at the big questions for the next 9 games

    By the way, the Aikman efficiency ratings came out today and have us as # 3 in the league

    #1 defense, #23 offense

    We are better than we give ourselves credit for

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/9770079




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