Well, this was a sucky quarter. Not that I panicked, but if not for the Trufant interception things would have looked a lot bleaker for Seattle entering the 4th. Not bleak, that's not the right word, but, maybe, endangered. As such, I have to break the string of positivity, as if not for bad news, there wouldn't be much to report.
- As a longtime defender of Rob Sims, the 3rd quarter in Sunday's contest was a NIGHTMARE. He was so bad, in fact, I couldn't help but think that Pork Chop had subbed in. Nope. The problems started for Sims on the fourth play of the Hawks first drive, on an Alexander rush up the gut. He did his best matador block, you know, the one where your hands are the cape and the defender the bull? Luckily for Sims, the play went largely unnoticed because his defender succeeded only in running behind and away from Alexander. Two plays later, Sims and Walter Jones get tangled on what was either a botched pop block (Tackle in Guard out, thanks for the terminology minor threat) or one of the worst blown assignments of Jones' venerable career. I'll go with the former. Jones and Sims double Joe Tafoya, allowing the outside linebacker to come unblocked. Beck is forced to throw it away.
The next drive starts with a really nice block by Jones. We talk so much about blown blocks, or pancake blocks, but the best block is the doin' your job block. Joe Tafoya (remember him?) attempts a spin move and Jones freezes him halfway, so that Tafoya is neutralized and the two make a very short conga line. On the next play Chris Gray blows a block (more on this tomorrow) but Beck finds Ben Obomanu who snags the reception, pops a couple tackles and ends up w/ 18 yards and the first. Now it's fun time. For the next three plays, Sims blows his block. That's right Bloof, his fellatio ratio is 1. The Cards have shifted Dockett left, believing as Tim Ryan puts it that Sims is the "weakest link", and on each play Dockett rips through Sims like he wasn't there. The problem would seem to be that Sims isn't getting off the line fast enough. The result is a quickly stalled drive. I've never seen Sims play so poorly. Sure, Dockett is wont to make even good guards suffer, but this was just a terrible series for Sims. Hopefully we can chalk this up to growing pains, but if Holmgren wasn't satisfied with his left guard before, I can only imagine what he's thinking now. The Hawks line might be about to get a lot less kosher.
- If someone asks you how Jerheme Urban recorded 6 receptions, 123 yards and a score against Seattle, the answer has but one name: Jordan Babineaux. Half of Urban's yards and receptions along with his touchdown came in the 3rd quarter. Those three receptions have a unifying phenomenon: blown coverage by Babs. Second play of the Cards first drive, Urban wide open, blown coverage Babs. Deon Grant chews him a new poo shoot after that one. Can't say it worked. Seventh play of the Cards second drive, 3rd and 18, Urban open for 38, blown coverage, Babs. Touchdown reception on the 16th play of the same drive, Urban does his best to screw it up by deflecting the ball up in the air, but luckily Babs is so badly beaten that Urban has little distraction whilst reeling the ball back in. That entire drive, FYI, was played with the Hawks in a Nickel defense. Thankfully, on the ensuing drive, after the Cards recovered their own onside kick, Seattle reverted back to a simple Base, Cover-2. Sheesh.
- Tapp is lightning fast off the snap, but, increasingly, tackles shade back - neutralizing Tapp's quickness and then neutralizing Tapp. Hopefully, we're just talking growing pains for the recently 23 Tapp, but it's been a long time since he made much noise, and the bulk of his sacks came via the Milford Brown expressway. He needs to show better ability fighting off blockers once engaged or suffer stagnation as a pass rusher.
- Three sacks in a contest is pretty nice. Three sacks in three of the last four contests is something very rare and very special. But the number that blows my mind is the sheer number of plays Kerney was able to come unblocked behind the line of scrimmage: 13 through 3 quarters. I'll cover Kerney in greater depth tomorrow.
That's all for today, I'm heading out to watch "No Country for Old Men". We'll cover the 4th on Wednesday, do our typical stat tango Thursday, and then Friday I'll debut a post looking at each week's matchups and what they might tell us about the Hawks heading into the playoffs. Fun. Thanks everyone for reading.