Every week, Senior Producer of NFL Matchup and NFL Films, Greg Cosell, stops by the show to take the audience inside the Herd Film Room to break down the tape from the most talked about performances from the past week.
Today, he’s breaking down the film from NFL Week 15.
Roll the tape.
The New England defense is highly rated, but doesn’t pass Colin’s eyeball test. Does the film show they’re a top tier defense, or just middle of the pack?
New England’s defense is a week to week defense, which is part of Belichick’s genius. Their decision to play man or zone in a given week is opponent specific. From a personnel standpoint, they don’t have any impact players that opponents need to game plan around.
They’ve become more multiple with their fronts, which compensates for their lack of a great pass rusher. They move people around and use different alignments to make up for a lack of impact players. They’ve become more versatile with their utilization and deployment of personnel.
— FanDuel (@FanDuel) December 13, 2016
Brock Osweiler was finally benched in Houston in favor of Tom Savage. Savage played well in his established a connection with DeAndre Hopkins. He looked a lot better than Osweiler has at any point this season, but that’s not saying much. What does the film say on Savage? Can he play? Or is he just better than below average Osweiler?
There’s always an overreaction when the back-up replaces the starter and plays well. Putting that aside, from a physical standpoint there’s no comparison between Savage and Osweiler. Savage has far better physical attributes, and he’s a naturally comfortable, polished and refined player in the pocket. He’s more of a prototype NFL quarterback.
In the Jacksonville game, the wide receiver/corner matchup between DeAndre Hopkins and Jalen Ramsey was one of the better one’s of the year. Savage had no trouble turning it loose to Hopkins against Ramsey because he has the mindset of a prototypical quarterback. He throws to the one on one matchup. Troy Aikman once said if the receiver is one on one, you have to throw the ball. If the receivers don’t make plays, get better wide receivers.
It’s likely that one of the reasons Osweiler was benched was because he played poorly with people around him. Savage is much more comfortable with people around him in a “noisy”, or “muddy” pocket, He didn’t break down his footwork or technique, and made some nice throws in a crowded pocket.
Tom Savage is in.
— NFL (@NFL) December 18, 2016
Tennessee is the most run-heavy team in the NFL. Is their reliance on the running game because the coaching staff believes that Mariota is best as a play action passer, or because they don’t think he would be as successful in a pass heavy offense? What does the film say about Mariota’s potential to be successful throwing more?
Tennessee’s run oriented offense is head coach is more a product of Mike Mularkey’s philosophy, not a product of catering to Mariota. It’s Cosell’s opinion that a quarterback better develops when he works through a multi-dimensional offense. People laughed at their smash-mouth approach early in the year because they didn’t think a team could win like that in today’s NFL.
They line up in 2 tight ends, 3 tight ends, they use a fullback. They want to play physical, power football and have the pass game work off the run game. It’s a throwback mindset, but it’s been effective. Within the offense, Mariota has improved almost every week. He’s an efficient player, and there’s a calmness and poise to his game. He’s very disciplined. He’s not a “high-level thrower”, but he’s improved his accuracy and ball placement since the season has progressed.
— Pick 6 – News DE (@pick6deutsch) November 20, 2016
Colin, and pretty much everyone else, missed on Dak Prescott. Dak has every quality Colin loves in a quarterback. His precision, accuracy, maturity, and reliability are all off the charts. He also limits mistakes. If he’s this good, how did everyone miss on Dak?
Dak has been far more accurate in the NFL than he was in college, which is incredibly rare. That’s one big reason people missed on him coming out in the draft. The Bucs were the perfect opponent for him to get back on track after several difficult weeks.
The Giants defense gave him problems because they’re multiple, detailed, and nuanced with their fronts and their pressure schemes. Tampa had been playing well, but they run a Base 4-3, they don’t blitz, and predominantly play zone. This makes the reads more straightforward, but Dak made the throws. Prescott was able to mentally process quickly and threw the ball with great accuracy. It was a strong game for Dak.
— Chat Sports (@ChatSports) December 19, 2016
Wide receiver Michael Floyd was released by the Cardinals and claimed by the Patriots after a DUI. Set aside the personal baggage, what does the film say about Floyd the player?
Floyd is a talented player. He’s a big target. Coming out in the draft, he was viewed as a prototypical X receiver, or the single receiver to the boundary that could win one on one matchups. He has size and speed, but has struggled to catch the ball. He’s had a down year from a production standpoint this season.
Some receivers, like Chris Hogan, come into New England, pick up the system and play well. Others, like Chad Johnson, fail to pick up the system and wash out. There’s no telling which Floyd will be.
Patriots WR Michael Floyd goes through the gauntlet during a ball-security drill in practice. pic.twitter.com/Qt2W8HosXh
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) December 21, 2016