Sunday, December 28, 2008

Cloud Freakin' 9

What a day. This is as good as it gets in the regular season.

The Raiders went to Tampa and won 31-24. Houston beat Chicao, also 31-24. That set us up and you're in. We controlled our own fate last week and blew it. Would that happen again?


We got an early FG and led 3-0. Dallas adjusted to our blitzing by playing small-ball and went on a FG drive themselves. 3-3.

That was basically the end of the game. We scored the next 41 points to go up 44-3. We got big plays on offense, defense, and special teams. The coaches did a good job on both sides of the ball and the players were even better.

* Buck delivered a 59-yd catch and run. He also caught a TD pass.

* Celek caught a TD.

* DeSean had a big catch on 3rd down.

* Green Akers nailed a 50-yd FG.

* Q Demps forced a fumble on a KOR that led to the long FG.

* Dawk had a pair of FFs. Both balls were run back for TDs.

* Clemons had a sack, FF, and a FR that he ran back for a TD. He also got good pressure that led to poor throws.

* Sheldon came up with his first pick of the year.

* MmmBop Hanson ran back a fumble 96 yds for a TD.

* Akeem led the team with 11 TFLs and a 2 TFLs.

* Darren Howard got his 10th sack of the season.

I left Trent Cole, Brian Westbrook, and Donovan McNabb out of the list. They all came up big, but not necessarily with one play.

McNabb made a few terrific throws. He had 2 TD passes. He helped us to go 6 of 9 on 3rd downs in the 1st half. He executed very well late in the half when the clock was an issue. He sneaked for the other TD. It wasn't a great game, but he gave us what we needed. He led us to 1st downs and touchdowns. Well done, Donnie Mac.

Westy had 13 carries for 50 yards. He caught 2 passes for 12 yards. Those numbers are far from impressive, but he did have a big part in the win. Westy lined up out wide on 2 key plays. One was a long pass to DeSean and the other was the TD pass to Buck. His presence impacted those plays just by alignment. He also set up the QB sneak by running for 5 yards and getting us inside the 1.

Cole didn't have a sack. Or even a tackle. But he came off the left side like a bat out of hell the whole game. He hit Romo a few times. He drew double-teams on multiple plays. He was disruptive even though he didn't actually make any plays. I was really hoping he'd get his 10th sack of the year, but that didn't happen.


Our D has been sensational in December. They have allowed 2 TDs. Washington got one after McNabb fumbled and gave them the ball inside the 20. The Giants got a TD when they scored on our prevent defense with less than a minute left in the game. That's it for the whole month.

The D scored 2 TDs in December and allowed 2. How's that for balance?

We allowed the fewest points in the NFC. And that includes several non-offensive TDs that were scored against us.

I have to give special mention to Brian Dawkins. His energy and emotion were clearly infectious today. He made plays as well. His 2 FFs were huge. Both were run back for scores. You could see the other players reacting to Dawk today. It felt as if they couldn't lose for his sake as much as their own.

Great day.


Carol said...

Brian Motherfucking Dawkins, that man is truly magnificient when December comes around. Are you kidding me with that forced fumble on Marion Barber? He attacked Barber like a savage beast, what a play.

This game reminds me a bit of that monster game against NY a couple years ago with playoff implications, where he forced 2 fumbles and picked off a pass.

Honestly is there really much more you can say about him that hasn't been said? Coming up huge in a clutch situation like this just seems so appropriate.

Tommy Lawlor said...

I'm greedy. I want Dawk to go on some kind of tear and make big plays for the next month. This defense is good enough to win us a few games.

T_S_O_P said...

Brian Dawkins and the defensive performance aside (and they should have had 3 TDs, just ask Stew), I thought the games outstanding contributor was Correll Buckhalter. Outstanding! Not counting the 5, I see him as one of the top 4 offensive skill players on this team, behind Westy and Peanut, but alongside Curtis. This isn't the same player that headed into the '06 playoffs. You are clearly never too old to learn and he is just so so so much more comfortable in the passing game. Light years in difference from '03. He looked tremendous on both of his 59 yard catch and 33 yard scamper. His under use from here on in should be seen as a crime and punished accordingly.

I thought Tra looked good too, one time I saw him pounding on 94. 94, is he a good player for them?