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Halftime thoughts against the Raiders.


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The defense certainly came to play today, doing well against the run and playing superior coverage. Taylor is the best coverage safety in the league. No one else in football would be as trusted at his position to essentially be in man coverage in the deep part of the field. It will take a great throw and great play for anything to happen against him. His value should be quite obvious to us as his tremendous range limits what teams can do against us in the passing game. We didn't have him last week and a lot slipped in there behind us -- though, to be fair, they were man matchups the Bucs did well identifying and exploiting with nice passes and good catches.

The Raiders are playing well defensively taking away anything easy in the passing game and doing a nice job with getting negative plays in the running game to put us in a bad spot. The Brunell pass to Jacobs will ultimately help to open things up some, but, Brunell is slightly off today and the Raiders are doing a nice job in coverage.

We still aren't getting any real pressure on defense with a pass rush but it's not hurting us now because Taylor is the safety net. They aren't really hurting us with pressure -- though a couple of speed edge rushes may make you hold your breath a little.

Chris Cooley is largely the one matchup every week that no one can really handle. He's smooth, sly, strong, fast enough and physical. We're really using him as a nice blanket here and it's nice to have him there as with him we have matchups other teams really can't do anything about without allowing other matchups to get exploited.

A 10-point lead feels good because they haven't really done anything to seriously threaten us or seriously limit us. But, their big-strike capability can be a problem if they slip one by us. With Thrash hurting we are going to have a hard time spreading the field if we have to, so we need to chew the clock and get another early score to really give us the distance we need to win.

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Cooley is doing well overall, I just hope they can move it down field more with other options. Moss has been relatively quiet.

Im liking what Portis and our o-line is doing overall, getting some good runs in.

Our receivers could play better, as our pass blocking. Oh well, we scrape the win, Ill be happy! HTTR!!!

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Good analysis.

I'm a little concerned with our offense. I'd like to see us stretch the field a little more (especially after hearing that they're using a KO return man in the secondary).

All in all, for that offensive performance, I'll take a 10-point lead.

We will need to improve though since I don't see Collins continually missing his talented WRs with as much time as we're giving him.

One random observation: Collins scares me everytime he throws a longball because he just looks so confident doing it...it's tough to describe, but everytime he loads up and lofts one of those, I assume the WR he's aiming for is running all alone...

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We still aren't getting any real pressure on defense with a pass rush but it's not hurting us now because Taylor is the safety net. They aren't really hurting us with pressure -- though a couple of speed edge rushes may make you hold your breath a little.

Actually, we are getting some decent pressure here and there. Certainly on the interception. Wynn just missed a sack. I think the important thing is to make him feel pressured, even if you don't get there.

We are pretty sloppy today on offense. Lots of holding penalties, tho it looks like it is TEs and WRs are getting overmatched.

Jason

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Sean Taylor is the most important player on the Defense. Without him, this game is ugly right now. Moss would have had a TD already, possibly two. Portis is having a solid game and should get about 110 today, provided we keep the lead. Those who were praising Jacobs need to just realize that this offense goes through Portis, Moss and cooley. Patten, Jacobs, and Thrash are just going to have to be good role players.

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I was thinking the exact same thing about Sean Taylor.

It just shows you how important he is to this team, and this defense.

And how about Lemar Marshall? We need to get this guy a contract this offseason! I'm pretty sure he only has 2 years left, so next year will be his last year under this contract.

I think Mark Brunell isn't playing as well as he'd like, but he isn't giving them any turnovers, so I am happy.

:)

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i agree the offense isnt really doing much but is very able to put up a big play and we are giving up big plays this year , hope to avoid that in the 2nd half , portis is balling tho i think some of the plays are iffy , we cant get the passing game going for some reason and thrash being hurt is gonna kill us on STs and ot our 3rd WR spot , not a good thing at all =( hope its nothing serious betts not playing shows as well i dont really trust rock that much carrying the ball tho hes a beast on STs im still nervous as i always am i like to see all the downfield shots at taylor it should be a matter of time for he snags one .......heres to a dominant 2nd half !

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Still waiting for both units to play excellent at the same time. Still not taking anythig away from our D. I think the analysis of Brunell being slightly off today is true. That can be improved in the second half.

I think we have to find a way to get Moss in this a bit more. Also, some unnecessary penalties have slowed us down.

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And how about Lemar Marshall? We need to get this guy a contract this offseason! I'm pretty sure he only has 2 years left, so next year will be his last year under this contract.

Actually, we had just signed him to a new contract in the offseason, so I don't think he will be going anywhere anytime soon...

Jason

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And there you go. Porter in man coverage against Marshall and a score. Marshall did a nice job keeping with him, but, that's a lot to ask of the middle backer. My guess is someone blew deep coverage behind Marshall there.

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