I started out today planning to expand on last week's evaluation of Sullivan. After all, last week's post was so persuasive and influential that the Vikings went out and extended Sully's contract. Just think what could happen this week.
I was feeling ambitious, thinking I'd grade the whole line on the same scale. But after watching the first play 4 or 5 times, I realized that was too much. By the time the third quarter was over, I decided that even writing up Sullivan was going to be boring too. Instead, I'm going to raise the various things that made me scratch my head today.
But first, Sullivan. I scored him at -2 today, with three -1 plays (all involving allowing pressure up the middle in the passing game) and one +1 (good push on the point for a 9 yard AP run). So, like last week (see that post for the methodology), Sullivan was decent today. A slight minus overall, but keep in mind that it's pretty darn hard for a lineman to get plus plays.
The head scratchers are after the jump.
For Musgrave (a few of the many)
- Screens and short throws to Toby Gerhart out of the backfield worked great today in the fourth quarter. Where have these been?
- Speaking of Toby, I know we were basically giving up at the end of the half, but when it's third and 17, why would you give it to him instead of Adrian Peterson? Has he ever gained 17 yards on a running play in his career (that's a rhetorical question, people)? At least AP has a shot to convert, even if you're only real goal for the play is not turning it over.
- Why set up in a passing formation and run a draw to Gerhart? He's got talents, but making reads and cuts and making guys miss, you know, the things required for a back in this kind of draw play, are not among them.
- Did you really think having Webb run the option would fool New Orleans so badly that it would make up for having Ponder as one of your available blockers?
- Did you think having Gerhart split wide on that very same play was going to make New Orleans expect a pass?
- What possible reason is there ever to run a screen pass for Jim Kleinsasser? He's blocker.
- There's a roughing the passer call off-screen, but you don't have a replay? Huh?
- Is it too much to ask for an announcer who understands that an illegal formation call that names a tackle as having been uncovered is not a penalty on the tackle? There's nothing he could do to have that penalty not happen. It was on Joe Webb who failed to get up to the line. Loadholt earns enough of his own flags, he doesn't need your help.
- What more than the owner saying, "Frazier is a head coach for next year" (paraphrase) do you need for there to be "official word" on whether the head coach will be back?
For Sean Payton
- On side kick? When you can basically score at will? Yeah, that's a dick move, buddy.
- How is there no roughing call when Ponder slides feet-first and gets hit in the head from behind? You made the call the second time, although that time it didn't look like there was any contact, but you missed it in the first quarter (2nd & 10 at 9:22 in the first to be precise).
- Doesn't a call for late hit out of bounds kind of require that the runner to have actually been out of bounds?
For Christian Ponder
- How long do you think you can hold the ball behind this line? You've got to get rid of it or take off running, son. The unblocked guy on the backside of a bootleg cannot be allowed to chase you down all the way across the field. That's squarely on you.
- Are you trying to make me look bad? Last week I was comparing you favorably Joe Webb by noting your solid fundamentals, in particular setting your feet before you throw. And you repay me by going out and throwing without setting you feet? For shame, sir, for shame.
Why did I torture myself by watching this whole game?