We’ve been pulling our hair out about this all season … how do we give you some great information you can’t get anywhere else just after the game finishes? For technical reasons we can’t start analysis until just after the game ends and then it’s around eight hours of hard data crunching before the information surfaces and another hour or so before we publish our Re-Focused articles.
We thought about giving you some quick hit stuff but frankly that’s not our style; we have lots of flaws at PFF but lack of substance isn’t one of them. We’re not going to give you, the hard core fan, less information than you deserve so we had an idea–how about giving you more? Why don’t we cut down on the width dramatically but go into more depth on a particular area of the game or matchup than we’ve done previously. We’ll use our top guys (or me in this case) to log just one part of play but in great detail and get it to you as soon after the game finishes as we can.
So, if you are reading this, you’re our guinea pigs for an experiment we’re going to try out during the playoffs. If you like it let us know in the comments section. If it needs some work, then tell us that too.
On Wild Card Saturday, how have we decided to begin this series? Well, we decided to compare and contrast how two of the best defensive tackles in the game perform. In this episode we’ll watch Cincinnati’s Geno Atkins against a formidable Texans line and later tonight we’ll analyze the play of Ndamukong Suh as Detroit play New Orleans. Let’s see how they got on.
The Bengals may have lost, but Geno Atkins did his part and then a little bit more. He played 72% of the snaps mostly at left or right defensive tackle with a preference for the right side (23 snaps against 15). This meant his key matchup was with left guard Wade Smith–a battle he won more often than not. Of his sack, hit and two hurries, all but the sack came against Smith.
Smith has not had his best year and has struggled badly blocking for the run. After some early issues for Atkins in this facet of play (when he got good penetration but then failed to locate the ball carrier), he settled down and usually made the tackle or stood up the guard to force a cutback when he was anywhere near the point of attack. On runs going outside, however, he was easily sealed inside and did not appear to have either the motivation or range to get down the line of scrimmage.
On 2nd-and-10, with 10:55 left in the first quarter, for one of only two times in the game, he aligned directly over the center and pushed Chris Myers back into the ball carrier with such force Arian Foster was knocked over and Atkins was able to touch him down for a 2-yard loss.
With 11:38 to play in the second quarter, on 3rd-and-6 he went outside Smith with such speed the Texan hardly slowed him at all and the quarterback hit resulted in an incompletion to end the drive.
Areas of Concern:
Very minor, was turned inside a couple of times in the first quarter at the point of attack but never gave ground on either occasion.
By the Numbers:
● Snaps: 42 (72.4% of all plays)
● Running Game: Two tackles and an assist on 24 running plays.
● Passing Game: One sack, a hit and two hurries on 17 pass rushing attempts and dropped into coverage once.
Got as much pressure as could have been hoped and held up against the run far better than expected, particularly at the point of attack.