I am told Chad gets "double-teamed" every play. I can't really verify this as watching the games on TV you don't get a shot of what goes on in the secondary or on the outside of the play. He got 7 out of what looks to be 36 possible targets last night. TO got 14. Here are some stats from other teams that have at least two marquee pass catchers (at least one of which is an alleged clear number WR1). The figures are targets and total passes for the year:
- Arizona: Fitzgerald (86/257), Breaston (38/257)
- Atlanta: White (88/288), Gonzalez (59/288)
- New York Giants: Nicks (84/271), Smith (72/271)
- Indianapolis: Wayne (93/351), Clark (53/351 - would be around 70 if you add Tamme's stats from last week)
- Cincinnati: Owens (100/318), Johnson (75/318)
I see no reason why Larry Fitzgerald, Hakeem Nicks, Reggie Wayne, or Roddy White (who just last week against the Bengals caught 13/33 for 201 yards) wouldn't receive the same types of coverage that Chad does yet they seem to get the most targets. Lots of things can explain this but it's not like, outside of Arizona, these are bad quarterbacks forcing the ball to one WR even if that WR gets more defensive attention.
Something doesn't add up with this double coverage excuse. I think it's a couple of things: 1) Chad really has taken a step back from the elite level and 2) Carson just seems to be forcing it to TO whenever he can. I would love if it someone who watches film can even tell me if either TO or Chad receives more attention at this point. You have to wonder why teams would worry more about one of these guys than the other. In fact, TO certainly seems more dangerous. If these receivers really do get equal attention at this point, it seems like this strange over-targeting of a WR2 would be on Carson.
Next topic: Play Calling on Last Drive
After a 3 hour exchange between the Bengals and Steelers where each team insisted the other team win the game ("no really, I INSIST") it seemed like the Steelers trumped all prior efforts of politeness and handed the Bengals the game after Jeff Reed hooked a field goal wide. The Bengals started their final drive to win the game at their own 36 yard line with 3:59 on the clock and 3 timeouts.
First, we had all 3 timeouts. This is nothing short of a miracle. Second, 4 minutes and 64 yards is a fucking ETERNITY - you really don't even need the timeouts. Third, this is play-calling heaven. It's late in the game and you need a TD, so it sorta feels like a 2-minute type drill situation, and the defense will shade towards the pass as if it is a 2-minute drill even though you don't need to pass at all. The defense is also likely more tired than the offense. It's a perfect drive to call both runs and passes as well as use the entire field and let the clock bleed away so you don't leave them an opportunity to retaliate.
Jesus Christ. Bratkowski, you are fucking fired. 8 of those 14 dropbacks resulted in an incompletion or sack. You think the Steelers might have been expecting passes? Eat shit and die you brainless asshole.
This is not me second guessing after the fact. I was bitching about the whole drive (which almost succeeded in spite of itself due to some fluky shit like Benson's tipped dump off) at the bar while others at the table uneasily pretended not to notice my tantrum.
Don't expect any of this to get fixed. Neither Marvin nor Brat nor Carson have any incentive to fix this beyond pride. And that's not something you can rely on under the Mike Brown autocracy. Thus ends my on-field nitpicking for the day. I needed to change things up after some big picture ranting yesterday.