Wisconsin 24, Michigan 10

Wisconsin 24, Michigan 10


November 19, 2017

Brandon Peters (image via Maize ‘n’ Brew)

Brandon Peters, we hardly knew ye. The redshirt freshman quarterback was 9/18 for 157 yards in about three quarters of play before being knocked out of the game. This was just his third start after replacing the ineffective John O’Korn, who was himself replacing the injured Wilton Speight. Peters was in the midst of showing the whole country what a lot of us Michigan fans saw in the spring game, and that’s the fact that he’s Michigan’s best quarterback. Peters did lose a fumble while making an ill-advised lunge for the goal line, but that was his first and only turnover in about four full games of work and 64 passing attempts. Peters was being evaluated for a head injury, almost certainly has a concussion, and will probably miss next week’s game against Ohio State.

Hit the jump for the rest of the recap.

The hit wasn’t that bad. The injury to Peters came on a stunt by Wisconsin linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel, who was not flagged for roughing the passer or targeting – and rightfully so. Van Ginkel hit Peters a split second after Peters let go of the ball, hit with his shoulder in Peters’s ribcage, and took him down to the ground like a normal football tackle. The color commentator (Joel Klatt, I believe) said that football needs to take that kind of hit out of the game, and I disagree – to an extent. That was a perfectly clean football play, and it happened to have a poor result. If you take that kind of play out of the game, then – and I’m not being facetious here – you need to make the quarterback position a two-hand-touch position. Quarterbacks are “defenseless” for much of the game, and they already can’t be hit when they slide, they can’t be hit in the head/neck area, they can’t be driven into the ground, and they can’t be hit if you take more than two steps after they throw the ball. If quarterbacks are the lifeblood of football and need to be protected from hits like the one we saw on Saturday, then change the rules, make it a two-hand-touch position, keep the quarterbacks healthy, and move on with the game.

A bad call bites Michigan. I called it in the game preview that a crucial call would go against Michigan (LINK), and that’s exactly what happened when a video replay of a Peters-to-Donovan Peoples-Jones pass was upheld as an incomplete pass when it should have been a touchdown. I don’t blame the officials for calling it incomplete on the field, because it was literally as close as you can get to being incomplete when Peoples-Jones’ feet came down almost simultaneously, one in-bounds and one out-of-bounds. But slow-mo and freeze-frame replay show that Peoples’s left foot came down within the field of play just before his right foot landed on the sideline. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but I just had a feeling that in a big game that would likely be close, Michigan would lose out on a big call. Not everything went against Michigan. For example, a long third-down catch by Wisconsin’s Danny Davis III was reversed and called incomplete when it was called complete on the field, despite the ball barely moving. And Michigan avoided a roughing the kicker penalty on a punt because Wisconsin’s punter kicked his leg out at the defender, even though that would probably be called a roughing penalty 90% of the time or more. But taking 6 points off the board is a bigger deal than either of those calls.

Wisconsin wore out Michigan. Michigan gave up 99 yards to Wisconsin in the first half, and then gave up 226 yards in the second half. They bottled up running back Jonathan Taylor in the first half, but he ended the game with 132 yards on 19 carries (6.95 yards/carry), the highest average he’s had since Wisconsin played Purdue on October 14. I talked about Michigan lacking depth on the defensive line, and they just don’t have bodies who can come in after the starters and be effective. Redshirt junior nose tackle Bryan Mone played a fair amount in a game where he should be effective, and he was largely ineffective with 0 tackles, along with some missed opportunities to make stops in the run game.

Michigan also misses Keith Washington. I was disappointed that Washington transferred prior to the season, reportedly upset that he wasn’t a starter at cornerback and that Michigan was transitioning him to safety. Michigan’s starting corners have been fine, but where it hurts is depth. With Lavert Hill out due to a concussion, Michigan was forced to play freshman Jaylen Kelly-Powell at nickel corner, and Kelly-Powell isn’t up to the task. He was beaten soundly for a 51-yard gain by Wisconsin slot receiver A.J. Taylor, and the Badgers scored on a 24-yard pass to Taylor a couple plays later. There are some transfers that don’t hurt (Shane Morris, Wyatt Shallman, etc.), and there are some that do, such as Washington.

Michigan isn’t creative on offense. The Wolverines are going to have to make some changes with the offensive staff this off-season, and hopefully it’s not too painful or divisive. Whether it’s Tim Drevno or Pep Hamilton (or others), someone has to go and some new ideas need to be implemented. Michigan inexplicably rolled out a “Wildcat” package for the first time that saw Chris Evans taking some direct snaps…in an empty backfield. They have been working on this package since the summer. And in that whole time, this is what they came up with. That was the last straw for me. Evans isn’t a threat to throw the ball, and Michigan didn’t put anyone in the backfield with him for misdirection. There were no reads, no motions, no fake handoffs, nothing. It was just Evans standing all alone in the backfield, Wisconsin teed off on it, and he gained zero yards on two attempts (if I remember correctly). Here’s how the conversation must have gone in the coaches’ meeting room when they dreamed this up:

“Hey, guys, what if we take our second-best running back, put him in shotgun, empty out the backfield, and then just let him run straight forward against the best run defense we’ll see all year?”

“That’s a great idea, but let’s not roll this out until he has a chance to take snaps away from our only competent quarterback after we go through two crappy ones.”

Achievement: Unlocked.

Bad things happen when young guys play. This isn’t so much an excuse as a reality, but being young probably cost Michigan this game. If Michigan’s players had one year more under their belts in this matchup, then I think the Wolverines pull out this win. Peoples-Jones would have better field awareness to only drag his left foot, Peters might not try to be a hero and fumble the ball, Kelly-Powell might not get beaten deep by Taylor, and maybe the right side of the line picks up stunts better. I worked with a coach once who said (about high school ball), “You lose one game for every sophomore who starts on varsity.” It takes a year or two for even these elite athletes at the college level to figure out how to do things the right way, and they weren’t capable of doing it in this game. The bright side is that Michigan will return 8 starters on offense (no Cole, Kugler, or Hill/Poggi) and 9 on defense (no Hurst or McCray) in 2018.

What does it all mean going forward? I’m not going out on a limb here, but Michigan’s going to lose against Ohio State next week. John O’Korn (2/8 for 19 yards, 3 carries for 2 yards) can’t do enough right things as essentially the #4 QB (behind Speight, Peters, and the previous version of O’Korn himself), and there are no other viable options on the bench. It would be unfair to burn Dylan McCaffrey’s redshirt, Alex Malzone suffered a precipitous dropoff in practice snaps, and Michael Sessa and Garrett Moores aren’t options. On top of the quarterback problems, Michigan is beaten up at running back with Higdon nursing an ankle injury and Ty Isaac apparently aggravating a knee injury. We can hope for a miracle, but ultimately, what Michigan is looking for is to get through the game healthy and then maybe win the bowl game when Peters or Speight comes back.

39 comments

  1. Comments: 169
    Joined: 12/24/2016
    INTJohn
    Nov 19, 2017 at 11:03 AM

    You’ve touched on so many things in this write up I don’t even know where to begin. Much of it doesn’t even really have much to do with the Wisconsin loss as it does going into the future Big Picture of Michigan Football.

    I’ve made a list of items you ‘Touch The Banner’ on that I’ll come back to after The Game as this week is too busy for me.
    (I’ve returned to San Diego from Lake Michigan Coast for the winter and am still getting adjusted & settled in).

    I’ll hope for The Miracle in The Game;
    Go Blue!
    INTJohn

  2. Comments: 978
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Roanman
    Nov 19, 2017 at 11:18 AM

    Some very nice precognition this week Thunder.

    I would have preferred it had you been completely wrong.

  3. crazyjoedavola
    Comments: 198
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    crazyjoedavola
    Nov 19, 2017 at 11:46 AM

    The problem with assuming that next year Michigan will take a step forward is the fact that schedule will be much tougher. It is quite possible that the team will be better but the win total will not increase which will put a lot of pressure on Harbaugh to deliver in 2019.

    As for next week, OSU will run up the score like they did 2 years ago.

    • Comments: 140
      Joined: 8/12/2015
      coachernie
      Nov 19, 2017 at 2:51 PM

      Yep… four games away of major concern,
      ND, NW, MSU, OSU…
      …which with a young QB and continued suspect OL will result in
      2 – 2 or 1 – 3, plus another bump along the way and I see a
      4 loss or worse season.

      Time to revisit if the savior, JH is right for this job.

      • Comments: 22
        Joined: 1/29/2016
        maizinblue88
        Nov 19, 2017 at 3:46 PM

        Yeah, we should fire him and hire Jon Gruden.

        • Comments: 140
          Joined: 8/12/2015
          coachernie
          Nov 19, 2017 at 7:51 PM

          the beatings will continue….

      • crazyjoedavola
        Comments: 198
        Joined: 8/13/2015
        crazyjoedavola
        Nov 19, 2017 at 5:42 PM

        The next couple of years will determine whether Harbaugh is the savior of this program. My guess is that he isn’t because he badly missed when he assigned Drevno to the OC duties and sided with him over Fisch who subsequently left. So now the offense is a mess, the o-line is a turnstyle and it will take a while to recover while time is ticking.

        Next year the schedule is much tougher so I don’t see Michigan making a run at the conference title or the playoffs. That takes us to 2019 when the fan base will be demanding wins against every rival, a conference title, and a trip to the playoffs. Anything is possible but I don’t see Harbaugh beating more talented Ohio St teams or far better prepared MSU teams who play out of their minds against Michigan every year.

        It is truly mind boggling at how well and how thoroughly Brady Hoke recruited the O-line, and how poorly that unit played for the last 6 years. A total and utter failure by 2 coaching staffs to develop nearly elite talent at such a crucial position is the main reason for this amount of frustration. And the funny part is, a bunch of those guys are playing in the NFL.

        • Comments: 22
          Joined: 11/17/2015
          funkywolve
          Nov 19, 2017 at 10:54 PM

          This might be one of the best posts I’ve read on any board since the game ended. The oline when it comes to pass blocking is in shambles. In all 3 years under Harbaugh QB’s have gotten hurt in pass protection – Ruddock couldn’t finish either the Minnesota or OSU game in 2015, Speight couldn’t finish the Iowa game last year and then couldn’t play vs IU, Speight got knocked out against Purdue and hasn’t come back and now Peters couldn’t finish the Wisconsin game and we’ll see if he can play against OSU.

          It’s tough to win the East division when your QB is getting dinged up on a regular basis every year. If they aren’t able to somehow fix what ails the pass protection by the offensive line while Harbaugh has been here things probably aren’t going to get a lot better.

  4. Comments: 539
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    michymich
    Nov 19, 2017 at 12:05 PM

    In regards to the hit. I was mistaken originally. It was a bad hit because the ball was released and the defender knew it. That should be illegal. Now, I believe like you do that this is football and it is a rough sport and should qb’s not be tackled the same way rb’s or wr’s?

    I have a problem with this mindset (as do you) that the game is starting to play qb’s like it’s flag football. Shouldn’t the defender be able to hit the player and drive him into the ground. Peters, as an example, is a big guy. Speight too. Shouldn’t a defender be able to make sure the qb goes down and make a harsh tackle? Didn’t O’Korn get whacked pretty good on the sidelines?

    I heard the argument that O’Korn got hit hard because he was out of the pocket and moving forward. So pocket qb’s get treated nicer than dual threat qbs?

    The next question is does a defender really care about getting tossed if he can take out the qb? What kind of penalty can you implement? Got to get rid of the ball quickly and protect your qb. Qb’s need to be taught how to not go down on their shoulder. I am ecstatic that Peters doesn’t seem to have broken anything and was just knocked out which tells you football is a tough sport and he needs to get rid of the ball quicker.

    Finally, Big Ben. Here is a big guy. They fight going down. Well, you are asking defenders to be rough. Big guys are an easier target and take more to put down. I saw Brady against the Chiefs earlier in the year who seemed to just want to go down late because he knew the game was over and there was no use in fighting or resisting the 290 lb tackle. Asking for trouble. Pay attention to the blitz. Don’t let the defender get a clean shot. It’s football. It’s rough. Ask Joe Theisman.

    You think things are rough now. Go google Lawrence Taylor.

    • Comments: 2276
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Nov 19, 2017 at 12:15 PM

      I don’t buy the “the ball was released” argument. That’s what the “two step” rule is for. That gives defenders enough time to determine whether the ball is gone or not. Defenders aren’t looking at the contents of the throwing hand all the way through the throwing motion. How many times do QBs double-clutch, pump fake, etc.? The “Tuck Rule” in the NFL (a.k.a. the Tom Brady rule) is a perfect example. Just because a QB is going through his throwing motion doesn’t mean that he threw the ball as his hand came forward, and you can’t expect a charging defensive player to follow the ball with his eyes, nor pull up when he’s laying his shoulder into the QB.

      Major League Baseball players get “penalized” with a strike when they misjudge a pitch and can’t check their swing of a 34 oz. bat in time. Defenders who weigh 235 or 270 or 320 lbs. can’t stop on a dime, either.

      • Comments: 539
        Joined: 9/13/2015
        michymich
        Nov 19, 2017 at 12:33 PM

        I am more on your side although I don’t think defenders should be able to grind an offensive player into the ground when the play has moved on. That sounds more like wrestling? UFC?

        Hey, I am one of the few people who are on your side of the aisle but would you agree with the above statement?

        • Comments: 2276
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Nov 19, 2017 at 6:47 PM

          You see that kind of thing all the time, and it’s almost never called. I don’t like the grinding into the ground, but it’s really not that big of a deal. That type of thing doesn’t cause injuries.

      • Comments: 539
        Joined: 9/13/2015
        michymich
        Nov 19, 2017 at 12:38 PM

        I agree with you on the wildcat call. I have absolutely no idea of what the intent was on the part of the staff. Here is my slightly different take.

        So I am a coach in a room game planning. I say hey, let’s take our elusive rb and put him in the shotgun and take Peters who isn’t a threat to catch the ball so we play 10 on 10. So far so good. Now this will give him more space to operate? But does it? The defense knows UM isn’t going to throw the ball and now the safeties are up closer and playing the run.

        What is the logic behind how this will help UM run the ball. I would assume it’s tougher to run because the pass option is taken away. Not too mention that this play wasn’t working last year against a quality defense with Peppers.

        Does this staff have an aversion to passing? They went out and got Peters who was a big catch. They go out and they get Black, DPJ, Collins. They have TE’s up the ying yang. They don’t have great pass pro (give em that) and then they run a play that is more conducive to the RR era.

        Don’t get it. This is some bad game planning.

        • Comments: 2276
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Nov 19, 2017 at 6:46 PM

          The logic of running Wildcat is the same it has always been. The QB is your tailback, and now he has an extra blocker. Instead of having the QB hand off the ball and then remove himself from the play, all 11 of your guys are involved in the blocking or the running. It doesn’t necessarily give the RB more space, but it gives you one extra good guy blocking ahead of you.

          The idea of running the Wildcat is sound. The execution is the mind-boggling part of it.

    • Comments: 140
      Joined: 8/12/2015
      coachernie
      Nov 19, 2017 at 2:53 PM

      Do you actually believe if Tom Brady was driven hard (and it was a continued grind into the turf if you look at in slow mo,) like on this hit it would not have resulted in a flag at very least?!?!

      • Comments: 2276
        Joined: 7/13/2015
        Nov 19, 2017 at 6:39 PM

        It happened to Aaron Rodgers earlier this year, and there was no flag.

        The “continued grind into the turf” is pretty irrelevant. You see that type of thing all the time, and it’s almost never called.

  5. Lanknows
    Comments: 3611
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Nov 19, 2017 at 12:15 PM

    Disappointing loss. Tough loss. A winnable game where the breaks did not go our way. Too many of those games lately.

    Many things brought up in the post above that I disagree with but I don’t think having a conversation here is productive anymore, if it ever was. You’ll be free of having to see my comments on here for a while — probably long overdue. The Ty Isaac graduation party can proceed without my contributions to the punch bowl.

    This was not our year obviously. Anybody who tries to sugarcoat things “as expected” is being dishonest. It’s a disappointing year. Some people seem to not remember that a couple months ago many were predicting 10-2 and a walkover win over MSU.

    The Speight injury and the MSU game flipped the season and only an OSU victory would flip it back to what was expected. I agree with Thunder that isn’t going to happen, certainly not with O’Korn.

    Anything can happen so I’ll watch and hope like always but I expect nothing but struggle. The OL will be overmatched. The receivers will continue to lack receiver instincts and disappoint. The pass defense will continue to give up back-breaking plays when facing any decent QB.

    But the future is very very bright. Michigan looks loaded for 2018, at every position save OL. While that’s a major concern, it’s one this program should be up for addressing. There will be negative people out there who want to badmouth Harbaugh, Speight, the young DL and LB, the WR, etc. but I don’t think Michigan fans should let those people bother them.

    We should all be very very excited for 2018. GO BLUE!

    • Comments: 539
      Joined: 9/13/2015
      michymich
      Nov 19, 2017 at 12:46 PM

      I think this team is ready to go but I would like this to be on the record. UM will NO excuses for next year. None. Not ONE excuse.

      1. Harbaugh makes all hiring/firing decisions. It’s on him.
      2. Harbaugh will have his choice between Speight and Peters. It’s on him.
      3. Harbaugh will have Ruiz and returning veterans in Bredeson and Onwenu. It’s on him.
      4. Harbaugh recruited Filiaga and Steuber and may have Newsome. It’s on him. Throw in Honingford.
      5. He has talent at TE’s and Wr’s. It’s on him. Experienced talent.
      6. He has talent at the rb position. It’s on him.
      7. He has most of the defense returning with Solomon and Kemp to offset Hurst. It’s on him.
      8. He has woods and Hawkins if he wants to replace Kinnel. This defense will be more experienced. It’s on him.

      The offense and the conservative nature of this team is the problem. It’s all Harbaugh. There is not ONE excuse I see for next year. Not one. All of the bad luck (Newsome or Speight) will be old news. No more Hoke. I am fair but Harbaugh will have everything he needs to turn the corner next year.

      It’s on him.

      • Comments: 140
        Joined: 8/12/2015
        coachernie
        Nov 19, 2017 at 2:59 PM

        Exactly…. his act is growing really thin.
        Actual coaching has been average at best…
        .. in fact I would give a D

        The ice has become very thin for Harbaugh, very thin,…
        and a blow out loss to OSU might be enough to start the engine for change!!!

        • Comments: 2276
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Nov 19, 2017 at 6:37 PM

          I don’t think the ice is that thin. I think this is something made up by people on message boards. The guy was 10-3 for two consecutive years, and in a rebuilding year with the top 2 QBs injured, he’s 8-3.

      • Comments: 22
        Joined: 1/29/2016
        maizinblue88
        Nov 19, 2017 at 3:48 PM

        Kinnel is a junior this year, no need to replace him. Unless you are saying for performance-related reasons.

        • Painter Smurf
          Comments: 209
          Joined: 8/12/2015
          Painter Smurf
          Nov 19, 2017 at 11:08 PM

          Point is there will be safety competition next year, unlike this year where the starters were locked in based on no depth.

    • Comments: 68
      Joined: 9/28/2015
      PapaBear
      Nov 19, 2017 at 3:01 PM

      Yup Thunder, you nailed this game. Hated the Wildcat!

      Does Winovich come back next year?

      • Comments: 140
        Joined: 8/12/2015
        coachernie
        Nov 19, 2017 at 3:05 PM

        Yes Winovich has a year remaining and if he was smart he would return for monster final year like Mo Hurst has,
        thereby playing himself into a better draft position.

        • Painter Smurf
          Comments: 209
          Joined: 8/12/2015
          Painter Smurf
          Nov 19, 2017 at 11:19 PM

          Winovich is in a different spot though. Hurst had to rotate with Godin in ’16. Winovich does not come off the field. I think he has tapered off a bit the last few weeks, but a good game against OSU may lead to some decent draft options.

    • Comments: 2276
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Nov 19, 2017 at 7:06 PM

      Your comments are appreciated. Your insults are not. That’s the case for everyone.

  6. Comments: 539
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    michymich
    Nov 19, 2017 at 12:30 PM

    UM is getting better but I do have a slight problem with the coaching. Here is where Harbaugh is strategically making a mistake. He is trying to rely on a defense that can clearly be scored upon in an era of offensive football. The team is trying minimize risk by not turning the ball over which is great but by doing so you are less aggressive and thus will not score as much.

    UM is playing a different version of football than many teams. No better example than yesterday which most people except me gloss over. It sure looked like on the one drive in the 2nd half that UM decided on 3rd down not to risk an interception by Peters and just ran it up the middle so they could get the lead 10-7. The previous drive had stalled and had a false start so they seemed to be playing to get a fg and rely on their defense relatively early in the 3rd qtr.

    Can you win football games nowadays because of a good defense, on the road, by kicking fg’s? It’s an offensive era of football. Notice most of these top 10 teams want to score 50 pts and you don’t get there by settling for 3 pts.

    Take Wisconsin. The ultimate conservative offense. It’s 7-10 and they are 3rd and 16 and they zing it into the end zone with a qb who has a penchant for making bad throws.

    This part of the game seems to be lost on most fans. They want to focus on the call on DPJ or the injury but that part of the game stands out to me. It’s very conservative which I believe is why UM has a tough time on the road. When things get tight (Iowa) they, as one guy said, turtle up and try and rely on a defense who know is playing later in the game against offenses that now have 4 downs in some cases late.

    It’s an offensive era of football and I think Harbaugh may think he is still with the 49’ers where it is tougher to move the football and he had a really good defense. You don’t need Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady to move the football in college football. Just check out the scores. Just look at Wisconsin. You have to score nowadays and trust your qb.

    I believe in the running game mentality to wear teams down and keep your defense off the field but only when it leads to touchdowns. If Harbaugh doesn’t want to pass it as much then maybe he needs to get a dual threat qb. I saw Fisch last night and UCLA and he lets his qb make mistakes. You have to develop a qb to beat a quality team on the road. I saw some good offensive things yesterday in the pass game but it came when they were behind.

    It’s obvious UM can beat the weaker opponents by running the ball consistently. It’s obvious UM can’t beat the better teams by running the ball consistently. Very optimistic about where Peters can take this team next year if Harbaugh is willing to let him.

    • DonAZ
      Comments: 350
      Joined: 8/12/2015
      DonAZ
      Nov 19, 2017 at 2:06 PM

      “Whether it’s Tim Drevno or Pep Hamilton (or others), someone has to go and some new ideas need to be implemented.”

      Embrace the healing power of “and”.

      • Comments: 140
        Joined: 8/12/2015
        coachernie
        Nov 19, 2017 at 2:55 PM

        Boom.. if not JH then for sure Drevno and Pep both !!!

  7. DonAZ
    Comments: 350
    Joined: 8/12/2015
    DonAZ
    Nov 19, 2017 at 12:42 PM

    So how does a play like “Evans Wildcat with Empty Backfield” pass all the way from whiteboard to game-time without someone raising their hand and questioning it?

    Dead serious question. It’s more than just lack of creativity. There are lots of un-creative football plays that are based on reasonable assumptions.

    • Comments: 2276
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Nov 19, 2017 at 6:42 PM

      I honestly don’t know. If you’re the head guy coming up with that idea, maybe nobody questions it. Maybe the staff just figured that Wisconsin would be stumped because Michigan hasn’t shown any Wildcat at all this year. Regardless, somebody should have nixed the idea a long time ago.

  8. Comments: 28
    Joined: 9/18/2016
    Chowman
    Nov 19, 2017 at 1:03 PM

    Man you took the words right out of my mouth when it comes to the wildcat. Basically running the wildcat with Evans and moving Peters to a wide out makes the offense play 10 on 11. There’s zero threat to throw the ball. Hell why not just take Peters out of the game and put in an extra blocker.

    • Comments: 539
      Joined: 9/13/2015
      michymich
      Nov 19, 2017 at 1:05 PM

      That’s a great point actually. Maybe you should be the OC?

    • Comments: 2276
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Nov 19, 2017 at 6:41 PM

      The idea behind keeping Peters in the game is that the opposing coaches/players can’t change personnel or make a particular call based on the personnel. I have no problem with keeping Peters on the field, because you can still split him out and use someone else as the additional blocker or run threat.

  9. Comments: 762
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Nov 19, 2017 at 1:17 PM

    Great read Thunder. I expected a loss all week, but thought we did just well enough with Peters to pull off the tough road win. Losing him sucked the air out of the game
    *Wildcat… still shaking my head over that!

  10. Comments: 68
    Joined: 9/28/2015
    PapaBear
    Nov 19, 2017 at 7:41 PM

    Thunder, Why haven’t we seen more slants and flat 1 routes this year? Those were staples in Harbaugh’s first year. I know that we didn’t need them vs the lesser teams, but against the good teams when our running game is non existent, we need something. I’ll hang up and listen!

    • Comments: 140
      Joined: 8/12/2015
      coachernie
      Nov 19, 2017 at 9:47 PM

      The coaching performance this year has been poor to just plain terrible.
      Appears Coach H is too busy planning their next excellent European vacation!!

    • Comments: 22
      Joined: 11/17/2015
      funkywolve
      Nov 19, 2017 at 11:01 PM

      Agree on the slants (or any quick pass beyond the line of scrimmage). They used to run them last year with Darboh and Perry. It’s like they’ve been wiped from the playbook.

    • Comments: 2276
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Nov 20, 2017 at 9:08 PM

      I honestly don’t know. My only conclusion is that our WRs aren’t good at running them and/or our QBs aren’t good at throwing them.

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