The Monday night loss to the Cowboys hurt, there's no doubt, but there's been a massive over-reaction to one defeat. Going into this season, who'd have honestly thought we'd have been in a position to go 3-0? But the effect of a defeat to the Cowboys when we all had high hopes bring all the negatives out of the game. I've seen all sorts of negatives about Grossman, Hall, Hightower, Rocca, play-calling etc. Most people look at the 3rd and 21 play, and Rocca failing to get the ball down on the blocked FG as the two plays that lost it for us. While either one could have potentially won us the game had they gone our way, the fact of the matter is we got into scoring positions several times and didn't put the ball in the end-zone.
But enough of that, I want to have a look as some positives, while being fair about them, that we can take out of this game. So lets start with a look at Trent Williams.
Here's our first pass play of the game. It's a play-action. Trent is probably a little bit on edge on his first attempt to block the best pass-rusher in the game, and understandably so. What you'll see here is that he gets too far outside DeMarcus Ware anticipating the normal pass-rushing angle.
Ware is much too good to let that go unpunished. He reads it perfectly and plants his foot and goes back inside. Luckily we have Chris Cooley to help block while Williams recovers before continuing on his route.
Later in the same drive, we have the same situation. Another play-action pass, Williams gets too far outside Ware again and gets a helping hand from Hightower.
Williams actually didn't do too bad a job of pushing Ware off his track whilst trying to recover, but he needs to learn not to get over-excited and get too far outside of the pass-rushers outside shoulder, otherwise he'll leave a big hole on the inside which the best guys will take advantage of.
But once Williams settled into the game, he appeared to cope with Ware fine (apart from the spin move late on, another inside move). This next play is the Grossman INT, but lets focus on Williams block.
Helu motions out of the backfield, showing the Cowboys that it has to be a pass play. Williams is one-on-one with Ware again, with Fred Davis the main target of the play.
Ware gets an amazing jump off the snap, he's already making his second step before most of the other players on the field have moved.
Williams has no trouble keeping up with the speed rush from Ware, he gets his hands on him solidly which slows him down.
Williams manages to get the upper hand and uses Ware's momentum against him, pushing him well past Grossman. Pretty much all outside rushes were handled by Williams. So for the last play on Williams, I'll look at another inside rush.
Yet another play-action pass. Williams, learning from his earlier mistakes, doesn't go too far over Ware's outside shoulder. This time he reads what Ware is doing, and comes back inside.
He manages to step back inside and make contact before Ware has a foot past him. Then it's all about having the strength to stop Ware bull-rushing into Grossman.
I don't like the fact he lets Ware get under him here and get the better angle on him. Ware does manage to drive him back a bit, but Williams does well enough to allow Rex a clean throw for a completion.
Another positive from the game is that LaRon Landry is back! Lets have a look at his forced fumble.
It's the famous all-out blitz, or 0 safety blitz or whatever you want to call it blitz play. This time we managed to get something from it. Landry blitzes from the right side, but can't block the throw.
He doesn't give up on the play there, he shows great effort to get back and make the tackle and save a first down.
As you can see here, he's improved his wrapping up skills from years gone by. He does a great job of knocking the ball loose and getting a pretty big hit on Ogletree in the process. In the end, we recover the fumble after a review, but miss a huge chance to put a our first TD on the board and have to settle for a FG.
Final note, as I feel this is dragging on slightly. Lets have a look at THAT hit from Landry. He shows amazing closing speed, reads the play well, and then just lays the poor WR out. No further commentary needed from me at this point, over to you LaRon.
(Ok, I know I said no more commentary needed, but this just look BAD for the receiver!)