Hello fellow Rumblers, here are some things of note:
1. I never realized how big Westerman and Manny Lawson are. Those guys look like DE's, not LBs.
2. It is really hard to see both Freddie and CJ struggle the way they are. They'd go in for one play, and have to come out due to pain. Very hard to see. The sack Fred gave up was totally on his knee not being able to adjust on that play. I can't wait for the bye week so they can get healthy. And CJ is almost useless without his speed. At least Fred has his power.
3. I thought the skill guys on O played well, but, man that O line was brutal.
4. I didn't like our ST coach when he was hired, and man, every week there seems to be a break down. I know Carpenter kicked it short, but, really??
5. Coach Marrone has a really tough call next year with Carpenter and the kicker on IR. I am glad he has to make that call and I don't. Carpenter has been very good for us, bad kick at the end notwithstanding.
6. Passing game was a solid B. Thad had one mistake, and that was when his arm was hit. I thought he hung in there and made some really tough throws and the skill guys made some really tough contested catches. That is how winning football is played. If Thad plays well, I think Marrone has a tough call (say they are 4-5 what do u do?) and again, Thad could be a surprise player for us, or perhaps lead to a draft pick for us.
7. I am loving the pushing and little scrums they are getting in. I think Marron's motto has been we might not win, but, by the end of the game, you will know you were in a war with the Buffalo Bills. The guys look mentally tougher then they have looked in years.
8. Running game was a C+. Miami has a good D, and they stacked the box. They didn't generate a lot, but, they picked up tough first downs. Miami was tough, but, I thought our guys, even with the injuries were tougher. I hope for the game here that they are healthier.
9 Passing D was a pretty solid B+. I thought even with the 3 TD's that the QB had, they also caused 2 INT (one took off points for them, the other was a pick 6), and got a few very important sacks. I am a bit troubled that they continue to start off okay for the first, then go to sleep for the 2 and 3rd quarters (both O and D seem to do this) before waking back up for the 4th. If they ever put a full game together, look out. That isn't conditioning (b/c they get better in the 4th), but, there is something wrong there.
10. Running D was a C-. Early in the game, they were pretty bad. This was a running game that was supposed to be a weak point for them. Instead, they ran it down our throats. Luckily, their coach decided to beat his own team by calling so many passing plays. I'd say our MVP was their coach, but, that's kinda tacky. True, but tacky.
11. Our Division is second in the league with 15 victories. We might end up with the toughest division in the league, which can be a good thing. The divide between the Pats and the rest isn't 4+ games anymore, Brady looks only very good, but, the Brady I remember doesn't throw pick 6's like that. The tide might be changing.
12. lastly, and this is a pet peeve of mine, but, all this talk about 13 years and counting is silly. Yes, we most likely won't make the playoffs again. So what? If you can't see a change in how they play. Moral victories don't count in the standings, but, they do matter. Much like the preseason doesn't count, but, it does matter. First year HC. First year OC. First year QB, First year WR. First year MLB. Terrible injuries to our best offensive players and our defensive secondary. Starters on IR.
they have been in every game including the Jets game that they should have been blown out in.
They have been mentally tough week in and out. As I said, Marron's mantra seems to be we might not win, but, you won't forget this game b/c we will smash you in the mouth, and you will like it. They are fighting back. That allowed them to almost steal the Cinci game.
This team looks nothing like the teams of the past 12. There is real talent on both sides of the ball. Talent takes time to mix together. Teams need to grow together. The core of the team is set to be here for years. They are all growing up together. You want to know why every year a team goes from last to first is b/c of seasons like this. There isn't a fire yet, but, there is definitely smoke. Next year, I expect to see fire.