For several reasons, rather than watching Monday Night Football last night, I decided I’d rather re-watch the Ravens-Cowboys game. First off, because I could give a crap less about the NFC North. Secondly, because my fantasy football teams were all eliminated from any money-winning scenarios weeks ago. And finally, of course, because the game was friggin’ awesome and I want to relive it time and time again (full disclosure: this was my 3rd time re-watching said game, but first time being sober while doing so. Yeah, it was Monday and the game was Saturday – you do the math.)
Anyway, there were a couple things that jumped out at me that I missed during the original broadcast. Seeing as it’s the Holidays, I want to share them with you just in case you may have missed them too.
Derrick “Superman” Mason Moonlights as Roy Williams
Alternatively, Roy Williams and the Cowboys WISH he was Derrick Mason.
Mr. Purple Heart Himself
That guy looks familiar…
Rex Ryan is a Mad Scientist
Yeah, we always hear the announcers talking about how Rex loves to confuse an offense with pre-snap movement. And, to an extent, we do our best to try to watch everything the Ravens do on defense before the play even starts. But, and this may be just me, I’m always too pumped up and preoccupied worrying about down-and-distance and what the offense might be about to do and when the nachos are going to be ready, etc. to REALLY pay attention to what Rex is cookin’. Slowing things down with the DVR frame-by-frame gives me a whole new respect for the intricacies of a Ravens defense. Here is one such play that I’ll take as an illustrative example, from the Cowboys first drive.
Ok, I’ve highlighted several players that we will follow throughout this play (all pre-snap, mind you). They are (1) Fabian Washington, (2) T-Sizzle, (3) Jim Leonhard, (4) Jarrett Johnson, and (5) Fast Eddie Reed. Things start out innocent enough: Washington lined up to cover Terrible Owens, Suggs looking to rush from Tony Romo’s right, Leonhard (no, not the ref – he is behind the ref. Yes, he’s that small) and Reed as the deep men, and Johnson covering up the slot man, Patrick Crayton.
In the next frame, we see no big changes from Reed, Leonhard, or Johnson. Suggs, however, appears to be starting to walk out towards Owens. Perhaps there is some hot Terrell-on-Terrell action in store?
Now Suggs definitely appears to be telling Fabian “I got this.” Leonhard (out of the frame) and Reed are still deep, looking to be in an apparent Cover Two shell. Johnson is on Crayton, with safety help, Ed Reed about 10 yards off the line. The Ravens are down to only 3 men at the line of scrimmage.
In the final frame before the snap, we see that Suggs looks poised to escort TO straight into the Cowboys bench area, with Fabian Washington there in case TO gets by him. On the near side of the field though, Jim Leonhard has now sprinted forward and is lined up in JJ’s outside LB spot, while Johnson is now showing blitz from Romo’s left. Ed Reed is now out of the frame, most likely off introducing Jessica Simpson to “lil’ Eddie.” I promise you, this is all the same play, and transpired in probably 7 or so seconds of real time.
Well, that’s it for todays “Chalk Talk.” David Garrard, you are so not ready for this.