Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Disturbing Trends

Well, here we are a little over a week later, and you're probably not feeling all that good anymore. Another tough loss. In fact, this one is probably tougher than the Texans because this was a game we all scratched in a W next to when we first looked at the schedule. What worries me the most is that after three weeks you can see the team settling into some disturbing trends.

Firstly, there were at least a couple of situations in that game that demanded some aggressive offense. The early fourth and one inside the opponent's 40 stands out, as does the decision not to go to the air to pick up a crucial first down late in the game. Now, I'm not one of those people who was too upset when they ran into position against the Eagles to set up a pretty lengthy FG attempt late, but I get it if you were. The thing is that at least there if you miss you're headed into OT, with a 50/50 shot at winning the game regardless. In this, game, where our defense was giving up huge chunks of yardage all day long, it felt like the odds were worse and it became imperitave to keep the ball out of the home team's hands at the end. Especially considering the corner who gave up the winning TD only has about a handful of career NFL snaps on his resume.

That defense is a problem. It almost seems like the playbook actually accounts for opponent mistakes, because it feels like that is the only way we stop anyone at this point. Eric Weddle has completely disappeared, which I blame on his ridiculous mohawk's return. And that INT at the end has to be caught by Gilchrist. Has to be. No excuses. All in all, this defense needs to find a way to manufacture mayhem. I don't know how they do that, but they need to figure something out. Pagano needs to get up to that drawing board and come up with some ideas that will make the other team think rather than try to keep his resume healthy by doing the "right thing" in the right situation. I thought we were done with that Football for Dummies approach around these parts. Manti Teo is not gonna fix it. This unit needs direction and innovation. They don't have to be great, but they have to be something better than awful.

All of that being said, all hope is not lost after 3 weeks. There's some other 1-2 teams out there that have high aspirations for this year who've looked a lot worse than we have, and there's a ton of football left. We still have a pretty manageable schedule, so it's a little early to be jumping ship. Rivers continues to look like the Rivers of old (even though it seems like the refs chose Sunday to draw a line in the sand on Rivers antics when arguing calls) and the line held up awfully well, despite bleeding out players like crazy on Sunday. We travelled an awful lot in two weeks and split the road series, and that's no small feat. 1-2 is not where you want to be, especially when you're looking up at a couple of 3-0s in the division, but we still feel like a team on the rise to me. These guys play hard and they don't seem to be okay with losing like they have in the recent past, and that means a lot. The young guys are going to get better and the veterans look hungry again. There're 13 more games. Let's go win 'em all! Go Bolts!!!

1 comment:

CJ said...

For the first time in a long time, well six years, I can find positives in our losses. This team is going to be good. It will be adventurous. And you know what, I don't care if we go 0-16 or 1-15 or whatever. The culture is new and not the old awful we suffered with. That's almost enough for me.