Seahawks could also be for actual; Buccaneers offense is damaged: NFL notes and evaluation

Published:Mar 9, 202417:39
Seahawks could also be for actual; Buccaneers offense is damaged: NFL notes and evaluation

By Bucky Brooks
FOX Sports activities NFL Analyst

The NFL has change into a week-to-week league. The ups and downs of the season make it almost inconceivable predict which groups are able to making a title run. Whereas Week 7 provided loads of surprises, we lastly noticed a handful of groups separate from the pack with their efficiency in opposition to high squads. 

After spending the morning watching tape and looking out by means of metrics, listed below are some ideas and observations from a former NFL scout.

Three issues appreciated

Seahawks return to their roots

Say what you'll concerning the Seahawks' resolution to maneuver on from Russell Wilson, however the workforce seems to be like a authentic playoff contender regardless of a group of castoffs and misfits enjoying distinguished roles. 

Pete Carroll has the 2022 ‘Hawks enjoying just like the group that laid the muse for the workforce's championship runs within the early 2010s. 

Geno Smith, specifically, has exceeded all expectations, together with his environment friendly passing and playmaking expertise complementing a dominant rush assault. The journeyman has not solely stunned the soccer world; he has rewritten the prevailing narrative about his sport with constant efficiency and manufacturing over the previous few weeks. 

Smith has accomplished over 73% of his passes whereas posting an 11:3 touchdown-to-interception ratio and 107.7 passer ranking. Based mostly on what we have seen this yr, it seems he's far more than only a sport supervisor. He has not solely made good selections with the ball, however he has made big-time performs when the Seattle offense has wanted him to tackle an even bigger position throughout the sport. 

With Kenneth Walker steadying the bottom assault as a hard-nosed workhorse runner with explosive velocity and quickness, the Seahawks have been capable of lean right into a balanced offensive method that that's eerily just like the ground-and-pound sport plans that helped the franchise change into a perennial contender a decade in the past. 

Seahawks' Kenneth Walker III runs throughout Chargers protection

Seahawks' Kenneth Walker III runs all over Chargers defense

Kenneth Walker III rushed for 168 yards and two touchdowns because the Seattle Seahawks cruised to a snug 37-23 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers.

Tua makes a distinction

After watching the Dolphins' offense battle with the backups on the helm, naysayers ought to have a better appreciation for Tua Tagovailoa because the workforce's QB1. The third-year professional is the right pass-first level guard to direct a fast-break offense anchored by a pair of speedsters (Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill) on the perimeter. 

With Tagovailoa wheeling and dealing from the pocket, Waddle and Hill mixed for 160 receiving yards on 11 catches (18 targets) on an assortment of brief and intermediate routes that showcased their velocity, quickness, burst and open-field operating video games. The younger gunslinger took benefit of his go catchers' superior expertise by repeatedly hitting them on the transfer to permit them to create in house in opposition to defenders who had been unable to trace them down within the open area. 

The mixture of pinpoint throws and explosive runs after the catch enabled the Dolphins' offense to remain on schedule, using an environment friendly passing sport that has the capability to assault with vertical or horizontal throws. Tagovailoa's means to make fast selections and ship correct throws makes it onerous for defensive coordinators to craft an efficient technique to decelerate the Dolphins' high-powered assault. 

Raiders talent gamers stand out 

When the Raiders added Davante Adams to a lineup that already featured Professional Bowlers Josh Jacobs, Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller, it was a fantasy footballer's dream situation. How might any protection presumably match up with a lineup with a lot firepower on the perimeter? 

After watching the Raiders tear up the Texans protection, it's obvious few opponents could have solutions for coping with the Oakland offense going ahead. Regardless of lacking Waller in Week 7, the Raiders' aforementioned talent gamers mixed for 305 scrimmage yards on 31 whole touches. 

Josh McDaniels directs the offense like a Madden participant intent on getting the ball to his stars again and again. The straightforward, but efficient, technique helped the Raiders put up 400 yards of offense in opposition to a protection that has stymied loads of opponents this season. Furthermore, the "feed the pigs" technique locations the burden on the protection to match up successfully with a lineup that's loaded with expertise. 

After reviewing the sport tape, it appears to me that Jacobs is actually the centerpiece of the offensive plan. The fourth-year professional not solely successfully runs between the tackles and on the perimeter, however he's a reliable pass-catcher out of the backfield with big-play potential within the display sport. McDaniels takes benefit of his expertise by getting the ball to his RB1 early and infrequently to set the desk for the passing sport by dictating protection. If the protection positions an additional defender close to the field, the passing sport opens up with Adams and Renfrow feasting on one-on-one protection. 

If the protection refuses to make the most of a "plus-one" technique (with yet one more defender within the field than the offense has blockers), McDaniels will run Jacobs time and again till the operating again ultimately splits a crease on the way in which to the tip zone. 

Whereas McDaniels is lauded for his offensive wizardry as a play designer, he deserves kudos for serving to the Raiders get again on monitor by using a easy technique that any teenage gamer might make use of. The Raiders are 2-4, however extra wins are coming. 

Three issues I didn't like

The Colts' pass-first technique falters 

Towards the Jaguars in Week 6, the Colts had been capable of sneak into the win column behind a pass-first sport plan that enabled Matt Ryan to throw the ball everywhere in the yard in opposition to a protection loaded as much as cease the run. Frank Reich's try to duplicate that sport plan in opposition to the Titans produced an offensive dud that saved the Colts from seizing management of the AFC South. 

Regardless of finishing 33 of 44 passes for 243 yards, Ryan tossed a pair of interceptions, together with a pick-six, that put the Colts behind the eight-ball. As well as, the pass-first method minimized Jonathan Taylor's alternative to affect the sport. Taylor was nonetheless efficient yesterday (10 carries for 55 yards), however the Colts didn't give the previous NFL speeding champ sufficient makes an attempt to take over the sport. This morning, we additionally realized that Ryan sprained his shoulder and Sam Ehlinger will begin for the rest of the season.

The dearth of carries not solely let the Titans off the hook from defending a dynamic runner with big-play means, however pressured Ryan to depend on a group of unheralded receivers who are usually not able to constantly profitable one-on-one matchups. In a sport that's usually determined by the perfect gamers making extra affect performs than their opponent, the Colts didn't play to their strengths — a ground-and-pound assault. 

The Buccaneers offense is damaged 

I do know what's going on in Tampa, however the Buccaneers offense seems to be nothing just like the explosive unit that was anticipated to guide a title run. Tom Brady and Co. haven't proven the chemistry and continuity that's anticipated of a veteran-laden squad. 

Towards the Panthers, the Buccaneers made numerous execution errors that prevented them from placing six factors on the board. From Mike Evans' early-game drop to the offensive line's lack of ability to dam the Panthers' entrance on operating performs, the shortage of execution reveals a scarcity of focus from a unit that was considered because the power of the workforce. 

Tom Brady's Bucs embarrassed 21-6 by Panthers in Week 7

Tom Brady's Bucs embarrassed 21-6 by Panthers in Week 7

Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had been handed one other loss, this time by the Carolina Panthers. Skip Bayless discusses what share of the blame TB12 deserves for the Bucs' Week 7 loss.

Whereas Brady is actually not enjoying at his traditional gold-jacket degree, the seven-time champ is sweet sufficient for the Buccaneers to win if everybody else brings their A-game. The supporting forged must play higher or the Buccaneers will discover themselves on the skin trying in when it's time for the postseason. 

The Packers wideouts are usually not adequate

It takes some time for younger gamers to learn to play within the NFL, however the Packers want a handful of younger wideouts to develop in a rush. Perhaps the event will occur rapidly over the subsequent few weeks, with their classes realized from errors and miscues resulting in extra success down the street. However Aaron Rodgers can't single-handedly lead the Packers into the playoffs with out dependable pass-catchers on the perimeter. 

Towards the Commanders, the Packers couldn't win on the skin in opposition to primary protection. Romeo Doubs, specifically, couldn't escape the clutches of Commanders defenders in a series of one-on-one matchups in key moments. The rookie was stymied on the line of scrimmage or blanketed down the sector with Rodgers relying on him to win his matchup. The suffocation on the skin eradicated the four-time MVP's major goal on a couple of performs and compelled him to go elsewhere with the ball. 

Furthermore, the rookie's lack of success positioned a highlight on the Packers' must discover a reliable No.1 receiver within the passing sport. Whether or not it's Allen Lazard stepping as much as tackle extra accountability or signing a free agent (Odell Beckham, Jr.?) off the streets, the Packers must discover a premier playmaker at wideout to assist Rodgers and this offense discover their groove. 

After Week 7, this is my tackle the league's high 10 groups.

1. Philadelphia Eagles (6-0)

The NFL's lone unbeaten workforce returns to motion subsequent week in opposition to the Steelers after having fun with the bye week. 

2. Buffalo Payments (5-1)

The Packers are subsequent up for the present AFC No. 1 seed. The showdown in opposition to Aaron Rodgers and Co. is one other alternative to showcase their skills because the NFL's most full workforce. 

3. Kansas Metropolis Chiefs (5-2)

After a powerful win on the street in opposition to the 49ers, the Chiefs are rounding into kind as one of many heavyweights within the AFC. 

4. Minnesota Vikings (5-1) 

With their division rivals falling aside, the Vikings are usually not solely within the combine to grab a division crown however are creeping into competition for the No. 1 seed within the NFC.  

5. New York Giants (6-1)

The G-Males have change into the masters of profitable ugly video games. With Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley rising as a formidable speeding tandem, the Giants have utilized a inventive operating sport to bludgeon their opponents between the tackles. 

6. Dallas Cowboys (5-2)

Dak Prescott's return didn't change the Cowboys' profitable method. The large-money quarterback embraced his position as a sport supervisor this week whereas complementing a dominant operating sport and dynamic defensive effort to chalk up a win in opposition to the Lions.  

7. New York Jets (5-2)

Gang Inexperienced continues to win behind an opportunistic protection loaded with blue-chip expertise. The Jets are nonetheless a piece in progress, however this workforce is rounding into kind as a playoff contender. 

8. Tennessee Titans (4-2)

The tough and rugged Titans are quietly evolving right into a dark-horse contender within the AFC behind a disruptive protection and dominant operating sport. 

9. Cincinnati Bengals (4-3)

Joe Burrow has adjusted to defensive ways that slowed down the Bengals' high-powered offense early within the season. The ultra-cool quarterback is again in assault mode, using the deep ball and an assortment of RPOs to carve up opponents over the previous few weeks. 

10. Baltimore Ravens (4-3)

Regardless of a series of up-and-down performances, the Ravens are starting to play to their identification as a blue-collar squad. With the protection making gradual enhancements, the Ravens' old-school method (robust operating + stable protection = wins) might make them a tricky out down the stretch.   

Bucky Brooks is an NFL analyst for FOX Sports activities. He commonly seems on "Converse For Your self" and in addition breaks down the sport for NFL Community and as a cohost of the "Shifting the Sticks" podcast. Observe him on Twitter @BuckyBrooks.

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Publish date: 2022-10-25 00:23:08
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