The Good- We had a chance to win this game in spite of shooting ourselves in the foot over and over. We can run the ball heavy. DThomas used his jumping ability a couple of times to make clutch plays. (finally) Stokely is worth the signing. The defense gave a good account of itself for the most part. I especially like the run defense so far. The corners did a decent job tonight, especially Champ. Peyton brought us back into the game after a bad first quarter.
The Bad- The LBers in coverage. Anyone with a tight end is going to kill us. The safeties in coverage. I think they can get better, but I still think alot of the confusion out there on certain plays stems from the safety position more often than not. Fumbling......someone ought to kick McGahee and Knowshon in the nads as hard as possible every time they carry the ball away from their bodies. Knowshon makes stupid mistakes in critical times....still. Ball is more explosive and so is Hillman, we need a more potent threat from the backfield in the passing game. Neither of those is McGahee nor Knowshon. They should make a rule: Fumble, youre out of the next game, period. Peytons first quarter. I think two things were the cause of this: one, a great scheme to confuse Peyton by Nolan....two, Peyton seemed real nervous to me, a little jittery early on. Im actually glad it happened and that he found out he could still recover from it. Pass rush could have been better, but I get the feeling DelRio wants them honoring the run on the way to the QB, not losing containment. Playing from behind we never really had a shot at pinning our ears back much. Yards after contact.....sucked. If we stopped people where we initially hit them, the outcome is different.
The Ugly- The Replacement Refs. Holy cow it was bad. The guy signaling the ball to Atlanta and shouting 'Reds ball!" before the pile was even lifted was an idiot. The league ought to fire him. You could tell he realized he spoke too soon. His hand signal was idiotic and unsure, and Franklin clearly came out with the ball. The TIME spent figuring out the rules.....I wanted to shoot the TV. Pass interference on Carter. No control of the players or coaches. At the same time, the league needs to be training these guys each week coming off every game. Period. Get the deal done so this no longer muddles the games.
Overall- Im not happy about us losing, but I feel we have a lot to be optimistic about. Im good with Mannings INTs. There are very few games where Peyton is confused by the defense, and this was one of them. Hats off to Atlanta.
You can believe if we see Atlanta down the road, it wont happen again. We did it too him once ourselves back in the Plummer/Al Wilson days. These games dont come often, and he still had a chance to win it.
Defense got us some good stops but one shy of what we needed. Take away the INTs, we win, and we will win if we meet Atlanta again. Peyton and the WRs will get better and better as the year goes on, and I liked what I saw when Peyton stepped into his throws. He put some zip on the ball and I was happy to see it. Von Miller needs to save his dances for when we are winning. I wanted to walk on the field from my chair and slap him in the back of the helmet. Read 'Current Affairs' before you dance.
Next week we'll really find out about our run defense. I actually like our chances against the Tejans.