December 07, 2009
A quick look back at the exploits of our Sunday Spotlight subjects...
Vince Young: Week 2 of the "Vince Young, Pocket Passer" experiment wasn't quite as successful. There were no 99-yard miracle drives; just some decent throws and some questionable play-calling. Would the Titans have been better off with more option looks, making Chris Johnson the epicenter of their offense? Perhaps. But the Colts' defense was great outside and inside, limiting Johnson to 113 yards and no touchdowns on 27 carries. Young went 24 of 43 for 241 yards and two scores, but the 27-17 loss ended Tennessee's five-game winning streak and put the Titans on the brink of elimination. Maybe Jeff Fisher needs to try on a Joseph Addai(notes) jersey next time -- the Colts' running back picked up the two rushing touchdowns one would have expected Johnson to get on the other side.
The New Orleans Saints: The unfriendly weather and three different ten-point deficits weren't enough to stop the Saints from staying even with the Colts in the ranks of the undefeated. Sean Payton's team benefitted from two unlikely plays -- Robert Meachem's(notes) takeaway and touchdown run after Washington safety Kareem Moore(notes) intercepted a Drew Brees(notes) pass with 22 seconds left in the first half, and the Mike Sellers(notes) fumble in overtime that was given to the Saints after a replay. Brees drove to the Redskins' one-yard line, and Garrett Hartley(notes) kicked the game-winning 18-yard field goal with 8:40 left in the extra quarter. It was the Saints' first win in temperatures under 40 degrees since 1995, and they did it with a vulnerable defense that allowed 455 total yards. New Orleans lucked out on this one to stay undefeated (if Washington kicker Shaun Suisham(notes) could nail a field goal, this wouldn't be a question), but any streak of any real length sees good fortune at a certain point.
Darnell Dockett: The Cardinals led with their lines in the 30-17 Sunday night upset over the Vikings. One underrated aspect of the Cardinals' current 8-4 record and climb back to the top of the NFC West is the ability of their front seven to stop the run. Through their first eleven games, the Cards' defense ranks eighth in rushing yards allowed by the line, fifth in number of productive third- and fourth-down productive short-yardage running plays, and first in the league in the number of negative rushing plays created (all stats courtesy Football Outsiders). Hey lived up to those numbers by limiting Adrian Peterson to 19 yards on 13 carries (the Vikings had 62 yards on 20 carries overall), and Brett Favre(notes) couldn't take advantage of the focus on Peterson because Arizona's coverage was so good, and the pass pressure was consistent. Dockett had three tackles (two for loss) in a complete victory for the defense he leads. Favre was sacked three times, hit four more, threw two picks, and had eight of his passes defensed by the Cards.
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