We can't just make anything easy, can we? We have to make it difficult and complicated (insert a personal relationship joke here).
I'm not sure what happened during halftime, but we saw two different teams emerge at the break. As many, led by Rivers, mentioned: our zone coverage in the second half was abysmal. We were ripped apart by Alex Smith. Alex Smith. He of the 65.2 career QB rating (which I'm pretty sure he doubled with this game).
I'm gonna let that sink in for a moment.
OK, let's get to my ramblings.
1. Alex Smith/49ers Offense: So much for their vaunted rushing game. Our run defense completely nutted up, and we even registered a pair of rare sacks (Mario Williams and Jeff Zgonina). They couldn't move the ball at all in the first half, even with Frank "Winged God" Gore.
Then, here comes Alex Smith and the spread offense. Look, I'll admit I have no idea what scheme we were using in the second half. I just couldn't tell. We were in a zone coverage scheme. We were mostly rushing four, though mixing it up a little. Oh, and we were sucking ass.
Why did Frenchy Reeves struggle in Dallas? Because Dallas used an under zone scheme. It doesn't fit his style. And he struggled today in roughly the same scheme. Smith used our LBs and safeties at will. They adjusted at half, a pretty radical adjustment, and we just laid back and took it.
To me, this is yet another example of simply not understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the talent on the roster. And if you don't think the Colts are salivating at the thought of exploiting these gaping weaknesses, you're drunker than I am.
2. Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Missing Pass Rush: See, here's the other thing about zone coverage: if you can't get pressure on the QB, even Alex Smith is going to pick you apart.
We showed the occasional blitz, but on the whole, we rushed four. This pass rush consistently fell flat in the second half, and they weren't even double-teaming Mario on every play. When we blitzed a linebacker, it was an event in futility. We aren't creating sacks or hurries like we need to, and we do need to in order to cover our secondary/secondary coverage schemes.
During last week's game, which is so fresh in my head from just having watched it, Randy Cross talked fervently about the genius that is Bill Kollar. If he's a genius, I'm skinny and sober, and all you people want to watch me dance naked in the streets.
3. Steve Slaton just fumbled this post: I haven't been worried about the run game for a number of reasons. But I am now officially worried about Steve Slaton. We need to send him to the Tiki Barber School of Not Fumbling stat. He is our legit home run hitter out of the backfield, and we need him on the field.
4. The offensive JUGGERNAUT: Slaton's fumblitis aside, this team is one serious offensive force. Subtract the fumble and Duane Brown's stupid penalty, and we have a much more effective second half offense.
6. Owen Daniels pwnz you: I'm talking to you, Rick Smith. With every game, he's costing you more money.
7. The oddest thing about a bar that caters to lesbians? They aren't like the ones in the magazines or on my internet.
Westbrook Jackson Crabtree: Methinks he's gonna be a pretty good pro.
9. The offensive line: It's not that Chris White and Antoine Caldwell have played poorly. It seems as if the entire line is struggling. Buffalo has 14 sacks. Seattle has 16. These games are becoming worrisome.
10. Rams, 2005: Anybody else have a flashback?
That's all I've got for today. We escaped with a game we should've won. And we did. That's nice. We're also 4-3, and as tGC mentioned, we're all alone in second in the division. AND, we're in pretty good shape for taking a Wild Card spot.
But we need to start showing up for all four quarters. Until we do so, we are pretenders. It's up to Gary Kubiak, Baby Shan, and Frank Bush to get us to this next level. Right now, today, this is the best Texans team in history. It's time to close the deal.