The Film Says...

“The Film Says… Week 5” – 2017

Coaching matters. Too many coaches think they are the smartest guy in the room, end up out-smarting themselves. If it is working, stick with it. Exploit the opposition’s weaknesses. You know what I’m talking about. “The Film Says…”

New England Patriots at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • This was an ugly one on Thursday Night. Short week for both teams. And both coaching staffs were hell bent on throwing the football despite both offensive lines struggling to hold up in pass protection.
  • Jameis Winston = Eli Manning. I love their “Big Game” pedigree but you have to temper the amount of pass attempts they have game-to-game because of their respective propensity for committing turnovers.
  • Dirk Koetter failed his team… abandoned the run. Doug Martin (13/74/1) was very effective and had too few carries.
  • Tom Brady = 5 Rings but probably shouldn’t have thrown 40 passes particularly without Gronk in the lineup (injury) as Mike Gillislee (12/52) and Dion Lewis (7/53) had it going on ground.
  • No matter, Nick Folk kicked himself out of a job for all intents and purposes and the Patriots got the “W”.
  • Chris Hogan had 1/8 receiving line on five targets in Week 1. Since then Hogan has a 22/280/5 receiving line. I would take a shot at the Buffalo Bills’ receiving corps but Hogan is more than a full year removed.
  • Vernon Hargreaves… fish out of water. Guppy in a blender.

Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans

  • It was all K.C. in the 1st half of the Sunday Night Matchup but Deshaun Watson on the strength of five touchdown passes made it interesting in the 2nd half.
  • I said it last week and I will say it again. The Alex Smith (29 for 37, 324 yards and 3 TDs) led Chiefs will be the #1 seed in the AFC come playoff time and… one & done.
  • The Alex Smith renaissance continues to be a sight to behold, however, “The Film Says…” keep him in the tackle box, force him to beat you from the pocket on a consistent basis. Smith has been razor sharp when he gets outside the pocket, particularly when extending the play by rolling right.
  • Kareem Hunt (29/107) is a man.
  • Am I the only who thinks the Chiefs put a concussed Travis Kelce (8/98) back in the game? The NFL cares about safety my ass….
  • I’ve been very critical of Will Fuller (2/57/2) throughout his collegiate and young professional career. But if he keeps it up and maintains his concentration he is the quintessential running mate to pair with lead dog DeAndre Hopkins (4/52/3).
  • J.J. Watt and more importantly Whitney Mercilus’ respective seasons are over (injuries).

Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears

  • Surprised Mike Zimmer didn’t pull Sam Bradford sooner; he was ineffective and couldn’t defend himself. Had the Vikings been playing against a competent offense they would have got boat raced. Case Keenum (17 for 21, 140 yards and a TD) was solid in relief.
  • Mitchell Trubisky (12 for 25, 128 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT and 1 fumble lost) got his first start and it wasn’t good. His lone TD could have been an INT. Obviously the Bears don’t have the supporting cast in place particularly at receiver but there are a few reasons for optimism in Chicago. Trubisky is accurate, he is athletic, and the ball simply looks better leaving his hand compared to Mike Glennon. Unfortunately, there were a ton of waggles, half-field reads and all of the symptoms of a spread system quarterback with limited playing experience. Ryan Pace is going to have to do yeoman’s work to improve the supporting cast and Trubisky is going to need a ton of coaching and patience to reap returns on the investment.
  • Jerick McKinnon (146 total yards and a TD) did a great job filling in for Dalvin Cook but I don’t think he is remotely consistent enough nor will he be able to hold up over the balance of the season.
  • I like defensive coordinator Vic Fangio’s defense and I love Leonard Floyd (6 tackles, 2 sacks, 4 TFLs and 3 QB hits) a budding superstar and Akiem Hicks (4 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 TFLs, and 3 QB hits).
  • Xavier Rhodes and Harrison Smith are the stars in the Vikings secondary, receive all the accolades and deservingly so. But Trae Waynes’ confidence is growing, Mackensie Alexander is playing as well as any nickel corner in the NFL, and Andy Sendejo is the glue, the last line of defense.

Quick Hits

  • The Bills were ripe for a let down and they dropped one in Cincy. To add injury to insult Charles Clay will be out of the lineup for a few weeks. Receiving options are currently hard to come by and Zay Jones has only caught five, I repeat, FIVE of his 23 targets on the season. The bye week could not have come at a better time.
  • As a Dallas Cowboys fan I lament every time Jordan Willis (1 sack, 1 QB Hit) and Carl Lawson (1 sack, 2 QB Hits) affect the passer… sigh
  • Welcome back Vontaze! 13 tackles, 4 TFLs, and a sack.
  • The Browns nearly doubled the Jets output in total yards, accounted for eight more first downs than the Jets, controlled the time of possession (57.1% of game clock), and still found a way to lose.
  • #HueIsNotFit
  • What has gotten into Cam Newton recently?!? 26 for 33, 335 yards and 3 TDs. He seems to have his confidence back and if he continues to use his athleticism to extend plays and remain a passer rather than becoming a battering ram he could be in-line for a Comeback Player of the Year award if not better.
  • Cardiac Stafford took a beating against Carolina (6 sacks) but as always his team was right within striking distance scoring 14 unanswered points in the 4th quarter; however, the Lions came up just short two weeks in a row.
  • Kyle Shanahan and the 0-5 49ers already have that Kirk Cousins contract printed out.
  • I love Frankie but it’s high past time to #FreeMarlonMack
  • Win or Lose. #NeverCutler
  • I’m trying to wrap my head around why in a game that was tied in the 4th quarter Matt Cassel attempted 32 passes (sacked six times) and DeMarco Murray (14) and Derrick Henry (4) only had 18 carries combined…
  • Feed Melvin Gordon (26 touhces, 163 total yards and 2 TDs).
  • The Giants fall to 0-5, a bunch of receivers including Odell Beckham Jr. on injured reserve, the locker room/head coach dynamic is tearing apart at the seams. CPGM Drew said it’s time for a “Fire Sale”. I’d have to agree.
  • Too many things working against the Arizona Cardinals right now: 1.) No David Johnson 2.) Bruce Arians is stubborn 3.) Offensive line personnel 4.) Haven’t figured out the cornerback position opposite Patrick Peterson. I don’t think the recent acquisition of Adrian Peterson remedies any of it.
  • Carson Wentz (21 for 30, 304 yards, 4 TDs, and an INT) continues to look really impressive (in a vacuum); the astronomical 3rd conversion rate will regress without a doubt. Coaching, a quality offensive line, an improved collection of weapons in the running and passing games, and a favorable schedule, has played a role in his success. There hasn’t been much adversity through the first 5 weeks so I am cautiously optimistic about his year-long outlook but if he can continue to keep his turnovers to a minimum Philly could run away and hide with the NFC East despite shaky play in the secondary (cornerback).
  • Two-time Super Bowl Champion Ben Roethlisberger threw a total of 55 passes (43 threw 3 quarters) which resulted in a total of 5 INTs (2 pick sixes) and an embarrassing home loss. Meanwhile, Blake Bortles who completed a grand total of 8!!! passes on 14 attempts, including an interception is your winning quarterback. SLAP Ben!
  • So what if 90 of Leonard Fournette’s 181 yards came at the end of the game on a poor run fit when the Steelers were trying to sell out to stop the run. He’s scored at least 1 TD (two in this contest) in every game this year.
  • It’s fun watching the Jaguars on defense particularly when the defensive line led by Calais Campbell can pin their ears back, Telvin Smith and Myles Jack are flying sideline-to-sideline at the second level, and A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey are suffocating receivers on the back end.
  • Joe Flacco (19 for 26, 222 yards, zero touchdowns and turnovers) wasn’t utterly inept and the Ravens got a win albeit against a disappointing Raiders team thus far sans Derek Carr.
  • I certainly hope Amari Cooper snaps out of it. He’s got FOUR catches for 24 yards over the last three weeks; 13/118/1 thru 5 weeks. HURT.
  • TWO Mike Wallace (3/133 on 3 targets) sightings in back-to-back weeks. WOW! In all seriousness Mike Wallace is still a legitimate deep threat and could be a quality #2 if it weren’t for Flacco.
  • Sean McVay had been pushing all the right buttons prior to the Rams’ matchup against Seattle. Too many pass attempts from Jared Goff, 47 to be exact (2 INTs); entirely too much Tavon Austin (six carries for 27 yards with a long of 27 YARDS!) and five targets in the passing game. Meanwhile Todd Gurley, the lynchpin of the offense only had 14 carries and four targets in a game the Rams never trailed by more than six points…
  • McVay knows more about offense and play design than I ever will and I’m a year older than he is but you have to find a way to get Sammy Watkins (one reception on six targets in two weeks) involved in the offense. It’s not his release at the line of scrimmage or route-running that makes him special; it’s his ability to track the football in the air and open field prowess once he becomes a ball-carrier. So whether the pass travels behind, at, or beyond the line of scrimmage you have to give him more opportunities to be the difference-maker he can be.
  • Tavon Austin has more targets (7) than Sammy Watkins the last two weeks… HURT.
  • Tavon Austin sucks by the way… pulled from punt return duty, basically an over-priced, diminutive speedster best suited for gadget plays.
  • If you didn’t see the Packers at Cowboys, shoot-out, Aaron Rodgers pulls the beating heart out of the Dallas faithful’s chest game script written on the wall then you must have been boycotting the NFL for years. I firmly maintain, “Dallas cannot year after year try to hide their defense and hope to be successful on a consistent basis.”
  • Good news is Sean Lee will be back in Week 7. Bad news is Ezekiel Elliott is an idiot. Innocent or guilty… he’s an idiot.

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