Greg Cosell stopped by The Herd for his weekly appearance to take Colin and the audience inside the film room to breakdown performances from the past NFL week. No hype, no narratives, just unbiased evaluation to make you a smarter student of the game.
Colin asked Cosell what the film tells him about the Week 7 performances from around the NFL.
Roll the film.
The Seahawks and Cardinals limped to a 6-6 overtime tie. Was it just remarkable defense? Bad offense? What does the film say?
Contrary to the 6-6 final score, the Cardinals moved the ball very effectively on Sunday night. They ran over 90 plays and were good on 3rd down. On the flip side, the Seahawks offense was effectively shut down. Their o-line deficiencies were exposed again, and Russell Wilson didn’t play well. He started to play better in overtime and developed some rhythm, but through four quarters Wilson was playing fast, frenetic, and uncomfortably.
Are injuries the problem with Wilson?
He hasn’t been running, and that’s a major part of his game. Last year when he put together an impressive stretch to close out the season, he didn’t run a lot, and was efficient and effective from the pocket. He certainly wasn’t in this game.
“That is impossible!” pic.twitter.com/f7arM5uuXW
— #OnlyInTheNFL (@NFLUK) October 24, 2016
Andrew Luck is playing well. Possibly the best in his career. Last week he threw for 353 yards and 3 touchdowns in a win against the Titans. What does the film say about Luck’s recent play?
He’s played well. It’s hard to understand the fascination with criticizing Luck. He was injured last year and admitted that he didn’t play well. Prior to that, he’d been ascending at a normal rate and improved each year, winning in the playoffs. This year, the offensive approach under new coordinator Rob Chudzinski has helped. The tape shows they’re using creative route concepts to get wide receivers open, and Luck’s been more disciplined and efficient in the pocket. He’s not running as much as he has in the past.
— Indy SportsOne™ (@IndySportsOne) October 23, 2016
Cosell on Philip Rivers.
Philip Rivers may never get to a Super Bowl, but at 34 he’s still a big-time player. If you evaluate just the individual position play of Rivers, he’s playing at an extremely high level. There are a variety of reasons why teams win and lose, and San Diego’s 3-4 record isn’t attributable to Rivers’ play. Critics who draw that connection are wrong. He’s playing exceptionally.
— Bria Janelle (@iamBriaJanelle) October 24, 2016
Colin has said Derek Carr is his MVP to this point in the season. He doesn’t think he’s the best quarterback in the NFL, but he’s won several games by making clutch throws and has been impressive in elevating a young team and a historically losing franchise. What does the tape say about Carr?
He’s still a work in progress. He’s a solid player at this point in his career, but he tends to play a little fast and needs to be more consistent with his footwork. He has terrific throwing ability.
Ravens manda apenas 3 atrás de Derek Carr e posiciona 8 em zona na cobertura. O jovem QB castiga achando Crabtree na rota seam livre! pic.twitter.com/uXsCMGEqcG
— Tiago Araruna (@tiagoararuna) October 27, 2016
On one big play completion to Michael Crabtree last week, he made a poor play by scrambling and throwing on the run when there was no pressure forcing him to do so. Even though the result was a big gain, it showed he still has room to improve.
Colin wants to know what happened to the once vaunted “Blitzburgh” defense. What does the tape say about the Steelers’ performance and their personnel?
The Steelers don’t have elite personnel and have a completely different scheme from the Dick LeBeau days. It’s a zone based team with reduced talent due to injury. They have significant flaws, especially in the secondary. If Roethlisberger can come back, they can put up enough points to win games, but they won’t score enough in his absence.
Last week, Colin predicted the Eagles defensive front would dominate a banged-up Minnesota offensive line. They did, and handed the Vikings their first loss of the season. Is the offensive line going to be an ongoing issue for the Vikings? What does the film say?
NFL teams can’t win without effective offensive line play, and although Minnesota was missing their two starting tackles due to injury, they weren’t playing that well before they went out. The only NFL quarterback capable of overcoming poor offensive line play is Tom Brady. Sam Bradford is not Tom Brady. Looking at the tape, you could see last week coming. The signs were there. The Eagles also blitzed more than any previous game this year. They introduced new blitz concepts that weren’t on film from previous weeks and confused the Minnesota line.
— Fran Duffy (@fduffy3) October 24, 2016
Sunday night, Eagles/Cowboys. Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott. What does the film say each young quarterback does best, and how will the teams game plan to get them going?
This week, Doug Pederson needs to get Wentz back to passing in rhythm with the quick game and 3 and 5 step drops. Philly has been effective this season when they go with quick, rhythm passing early. They also need to take some shots down the field so the Cowboys can’t over commit defenders to stopping the short passing game.
Shot 10 – How many times have we seen this? Many QBs just fall on this. Wentz stays poised, gets eyes up and gets ball out for a 1st down pic.twitter.com/kssDVD6PTD
— Fran Duffy (@fduffy3) October 25, 2016
Dallas’ defensive strength is in the secondary. Byron Jones is on his way to being one of the best safeties in the NFL. He’s a multi-dimensional player. Former 6th overall pick Mo Claiborne is having his best year as a pro corner. Dallas’ biggest defensive liability is their inability to rush the quarterback consistently.
— Fran Duffy (@fduffy3) October 28, 2016
Offensively, Dallas will show boot action to play off the zone run game with Prescott, who throws exceptionally well going to his left. The boot and roll out game is so effective because opposing defenses are forced to commit defenders to account for Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas rushing attack.
Shot 7 – Great job by Prescott here in an empty set. First target taken away by zone dropping DT, comes backside with a dime to Dez on dig pic.twitter.com/GSGjlMwesT
— Fran Duffy (@fduffy3) October 27, 2016
Stop by next week and see what the film says about the NFL performances everyone is talking about after Week 8.