A few things that jumped out from Week 13
Scouts Inc. shares its key observations from Week 13.
Sometimes, it just jumps off the screen. Other times, it takes a second or third look. Scouts Inc. watched all the Week 13 games and learned a few things about each team.
Eagles 48, Cardinals 20
• This game was won early in the contest with a physical ground assault on basic running plays, as well as a mixture of three-step drops and high-percentage passes (screens, slants and option patterns). Few passes were over 10 yards and when the ground attack was effective, it set up play-action bootleg passes well for Donovan McNabb to get on the edge. There was no question that Andy Reid was making a concerted effort to get his franchise signal-caller on track with easy throws and fewer reads.
Scouts Inc. gives you more observations from Week 13. Insider
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• The Cardinals were forced to bring a safety up in the box and keep a linebacker in (instead of adjusting out against specific spread sets) to stop the Eagles' ground assault. Clearly the Eagles were the more physical group in the trenches. Defensively, the Cardinals didn't get off blocks quickly enough to slow down an impressive Philadelphia running game.
Cowboys 34, Seahawks 9
• TE Jason Witten showed excellent awareness in the passing game. He has very good reactions to coverage. His ability to settle quickly in zones and make adjustments when the QB was flushed was a key to their success in attacking the interior of the defense. Witten was impressive, especially considering he is still dealing with a rib injury.
• Seattle's offensive line play has definitely been affected by the shuffling of players at left guard, center and right guard. Their lack of cohesion and continuity up front was noticeable in pass protection against the Cowboys' pass rush and blitz schemes. The run game also does not have the same type of movement off the ball or ability to sustain blocks that it needs against a good defense like Dallas.
Titans 47, Lions 10
• The Lions could hardly even get a hand on Chris Johnson, whose role in the offense continues to grow. Of course, the Titans' run blocking was exceptional, as Johnson and LenDale White had gaping holes to run through all afternoon, but the Lions' back end support was just awful and someone as explosive and fast as Johnson was off to the races before the Lions could do anything to get in his way. His vision and start/stop ability is impressive and he needs just a tiny crack to make a big play. Tennessee also continues to get him more involved as a receiver. It was equally as dominating by Tennessee's running game as it was pathetic by Detroit's defense.
• The worst thing that could have happened to the Lions was getting down early. On a short week with aching bodies and far overmatched from a physical and talent perspective, Detroit had little chance in the trenches against Tennessee on both sides of the ball. With a lead, the Titans could run at will while mixing in a few throws to keep Detroit honest, but the Lions' defensive front was quite simply out-manned and worn down by the end of the first half. It looked like a varsity team against the JV squad.