Monday, November 17, 2008
By Ron Jaworski
November 15, 2008
There are a couple of matchups that I'm really looking forward to, but the Atlanta-Denver game is definitely one to keep your eye on. This one features elite young quarterbacks in Matt Ryan and Jay Cutler. I don't like to harp on any particular player, but Ryan is getting better every week. He is excelling at anticipating the play and what his receiver is going to do. He's not afraid to throw without knowing where the receiver is because he trusts himself and his receiver.
Let's take a look at what I saw in the film room:
• Miami's Ted Ginn Jr. is having a major impact on the Dolphins' passing attack. His ability to make the big play is opening up the intermediate area, and that's why we're seeing more explosive play from Chad Pennington. All of a sudden opposing defenses have to cover all over the field, and he's able to take advantage of the openings that present themselves.
• The Philadelphia Eagles' defensive ends have really struggled against opposing teams' power running game. The Eagles rely on speed, and they struggle getting off the blocks because they are undersized. The Giants handled them on the edges last week.
• Tyler Thigpen is impressing me every week. The past three games he's thrived against good defenses, completing 65 percent of his passes for 710 yards and six touchdowns for a 102.9 QB rating. The Chiefs have found their quarterback.
• Don't blitz Kurt Warner. He made the San Francisco 49ers pay the price last week when they blitzed, and this season when teams have blitzed him, he's completed 70 percent of his passes for 10 touchdowns and only one interception.
• The Panthers' speed on defense is awesome. Jon Beason flashes to the ball and plays with great speed.
• Madison Hedgecock is a large part of the Giants' success this season. Through 10 weeks, he's been on the field for 41 percent of the plays, which is phenomenal for a fullback. Of those plays, 169 have been called runs, which have gained 811 yards. That's an amazing 4.8 yards per touch, and it's directly attributable to his ability as a lead blocker.
• Over the past three weeks, the Titans' offense has called more passing plays than runs. The rushing attack is only gaining 3.1 yards per rush over the past three games, but Kerry Collins has completed 63 percent of his passes. He has really stepped up his game and is proving to be a threat to defenses.