Decent game yesterday but unfortunately came out on the short end of the stick this week. Here are my general thoughts/comments:
1. Squandered opportunities. I am thinking less and less of Kareem Moore. He takes poor angles when tackling and has missed a few INTs that he could have gotten. Last night, he had one right in his hands/chest that he dropped and another one that would have been much tougher but could have been made. If he makes the first one, it kills that drive. Indy ended up scoring a TD on that drive. If he makes the second one, it would have saved a FG. That's 10 points we could have prevented.
2. Run the ball. Torain was effective running the ball although there were a few times he didn't hit the right hole but all in all he did a decent job. The Indy defense is bad at the run game and I just felt that we didn't run as much as we should have.
3. Defense could not keep up with Manning's pace. Manning would run a play and then immediately get his team to the line and run the next play. He did a great job of keeping our defense out of sync and also snapping the ball quickly before the crowd could get loud enough to be a factor. It was the mark of a true veteran that understands the game better than almost every other QB.
4. Haynesworth/Dockery: Not sure what is going on with these two. I like Shanny and there is a tremendous difference b/t this year's team compared to last year's team and Shanny deserves much of that credit. However, I am a little confused as to why Haynesworth and/or Dock are not playing. Haynesworth wanted to play and we could have used his emotion of losing his brother in last night's game. We also could have used his abilities to get a push up the middle but he was made inactive. The reason was that Shanny said that the game plan was already in place before Haynesworth returned to practice on Thursday. Okay. It's not like we totally revamp the defense in one week. There is no question Haynesworth could have played if the coaches wanted him to. We certainly could've used him. Also, Dock. He was made inactive. What is that about? I am not a big fan of Lichtensteiger (although I like to yell his name in a German accent). Dock has started like 112 games. The guy knows what he is doing. Sure, he may not be as athletic as Lichtensteiger but I have to believe he is the better overall blocker and to make him inactive? Again, what is that about?
5. Clock management. On our last TD drive, I was a little confused as to why we didn't show more urgency. In the end, it was fine because we scored with 2:45 left and had all of our timeouts and the 2 minute warning but still seemed like we should have been in a hurry up.
6. Special teams were good. The coverages are excellent. Banks looks like Devin Hester lite. The guy looks like he is going to break one any time he touches it. I will say that I didn't like his effort on the deep ball thrown to him. Seems like he could have made a better effort to go after that ball and possibly make a play. Hunter the Punter is a tremendous improvement over Bidwell. Gano is falling out of favor with me. Bad game from him last night. He missed the 48 yd FG. Sure, it was a longer FG but he has missed a couple other long ones and while I don't expect him to make all of those, I would like to see a better percentage of makes from that range. Also, his kickoffs weren't as deep as they have been. He needs to start stepping up.
7. Defense was okay. Again, gave up a ton of yards but only gave up 7 points in the second half. We also knocked out a key player with another big hit. Seems like every week, we knock someone from the opposition out. Osakpo made a big play in stripping the ball from Manning for a turnover but in general we needed more pressure (again, points back to the need for Haynesworth). We blitzed a little more in the second half but Manning is too good in reading defenses and is able to release the ball quickly. We also need to hang on to those INT possibilities. Those are difference making plays and we let them literally slip through our fingers.
All in all, a decent game. We hung tough and we certainly don't seem like the pushover we have been in recent years. Unfortunately, both the Eagles and Giants won so we find ourselves one game behind those teams in the East but still to be 3-3 at this point in the season, I'll take it.