I didn't see a general next day thoughts thread, and i have a bunch so...
10 thoughts on the game.
1. The defense is VERY good. Good enough to carry the team, and that is good because they are having to right now.
There's NOTHING wrong with this.
In the last 4 games, they have beaten Aaron rodgers, cam Newton and their biggest rivals coming off their biggest win of the year. They have lost to Drew Brees.
They're getting better.
They are not just stuffing the run, they are STOMPING on it. Zeke went nowhere. McCaffrey and Cam, nowhere. Next up, Saquon.
I ain't scared. Are you?
2. Outside pressure finally showed up. Kerrigan had a great game, Smith had a great game. Prescott's pocket was crushed all day. That Cowboys OL? Whipped.
3. Pass defense.. i like that we have such confidence in our young corners.. but we need to get Stroman some help on the outside. He bit so hard on the double move he probably needs to get his teeth checked today. He's a rookie and a raw one at that.. getting him some playing time is good, but he needs to have some help. Any QB seeing him single up on the outside is going to feast.
Norman had a second strong game. DJ is a BEAST.
But they do like to play man up with a lot of confidence,, i like it, but it's feast or famine. If you CAN, great,, if not, it's gets exposed quickly and beaten badly.
they did sell out on quite a few blitzes yesterday, so the ability to bump and run with receivers is great, but needs consistency and a recognition of who needs help..
4. Shawn Lauvao.. well, what a difference he makes, huh? everyone hates him, but he's back and the Cowboys vaunted DL doesn't get nearly the pressure they would have if he had not been there. Smith had time. Smith had throwing lanes. AP had another big game.
The entire OL's game was up, and it's no coincidence that our 5 starters were all on the field and healthy.
5. TEs.. honestly, whoever is their coach needs to really work with them on their blocking. I get they are more pass catchers, but the damn job requires blocking on the line as well, and while i can forgive some,, Davis is just a liability in run blocking. He literally tackled AP in the backfield on a play that had a chance to get a first down in a key spot.. and their overall ineptitude in this area of their game is a glaring problem.
5. Alex Smith: Definitely needs to improve his accuracy. Totally missed Sprinkle for a TD, all on him. Just a bad throw. Had a couple of shots on that mystery drive to end the half that he missed Doctson deep when he was open.
I will give leeway in that is he still new to the offense, and has not had really any time to develop much continuity with any receivers.. yesterday, 3 of his wide receivers were out, replaced by guys who have been on the squad for only a couple of weeks total. His main target (Doctson) has been in and out of practices with injuries.
So, some understanding,, BUT, that patience is about up.
He ran out of bounds knowing he would not get the first down with a minute 40 to go and saved Dallas the TE they needed to get in position to tie the game.
OK, so some passing rust or some OL issues are one thing, flat out stupidity like that is not excused. He's supposed to be extremely smart,, well, that doesn't help his cause.
6. AP is a monster. Makes so much out of so little. Knows where holes are coming, sees EVERYTHING at ALL TIMES.
I sure hope Guice is in his hip pocket and taking notes.
7. Josh Doctson had one of his best games to date. He only had a few catches but he made some tough plays over the middle and took some hits. Showed me some toughness, and i was glad to see it. Small contribution, but a lot to see from it.
Smith overthrew him deep a couple of times when he was open... which brings me to
8. WTF was that garbage to close the half? No plan to get points, like watching a kid play Madden. A PRIME opportunity.. we deferred the kick, so we get it first in the second half. We HAVE the ball with a chance to score and then take the ball after the half,, which KILLED US SO MANY TIMES last year when others did it to us.
I get taking a couple of shots.. fact is Doctson was open at the 10 and Smith missed him deep.
But after a shot, take th yards.. get those next ten yards to get into FG position, then check the time and if you can take another shot. BUT GET INTO POSITION TO SCORE.
9. Special teams had an OK day.. but i really would like to see them stop playing scared in the punt return game. Stroman is young, sure, but he's got huge spaces when he's fair catching punts. They let him return the final one and he did alright considering it was the best job of closing on him to Cowboys did. But wow,, they had shots at some decent yardage on returns if he's given some green lights. (And it's not just him. We're afraid to fumble, seem to fair catch everything going back to last year.)
10. 4-2 and a game and a half lead in the east after a very difficult portion of the schedule. I hear people complaining about the offense (and i did some above,) but overall, the positive is we have a solid defense and can run the ball. Teams have gone far with that.