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The Tape: 1st Quarter: EZ

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Some long drives made this a swift quarter without a lot to break down. Here are a few quick observations and a diagram of the nifty route that set up Burly's touchdown reception.

  • Though Kerney never penetrated, that is he never actually broke from Levi Brown's block and had a clear line to the ball carrier, his presence within whisper distance of Kurt Warner's right ear must have given Warner the yips. Interceptions take all forms, from tips to whatever selective Samoan blindness took hold of AJ Feeley last week, but Warner's was an Eli Manning special: overthrown right at an open defender. I give Deon Grant more credit for picking up Patrick in deep coverage than the interception itself. Still, a nice return.
  • On the fourth play of the Hawks' second drive, Clancy Pendergast cued up a nifty little five man blitz. Four interior rushers stunted into the line, creating confusion and occupying all five primary blockers. This allowed Matt Ware to come free from the outside edge. Unfortunately for Ware and the Cards defense, Leonard Weaver had his blocking shoes on. Ware is 6'2, 214; a somewhat large DB. That made it all the more fun to see him shot into the air. The funniest part, Weaver blocks Ware and then looks bemused by the results - like he's awed by his own strength.

  • The play to the right here is pretty self explanatory. Marcus Pollard gets extra credit for causing a ruckus off the line and setting a legal pick for Burleson. Burly shows some good route running, bending his route around Pollard's high contact curl and shedding Ralph Brown and Terrence Holt much like the boxer must shed roll after roll of sweaty, useless, disgusting flab before he can win the title. The star of this play, though, is its creator. He earns some criticism around here, but Mike Holmgren knows how to work the red zone. You can see that Pollard's route occupies Holt and forces Brown to take an obtuse angle of pursuit from a trailing position. That's how Nate gets so open. A great play call run to perfection. (Branch not pictured)