No need to panic, we are still 3-2 and in the thick of it. For what was predicted that is not the worst place we could be. Although our win over Atlanta is not looking so hot right now. The Indy win has shown we can beat the best. Here is what we need to happen over the next 2 weeks.
1) Sherman and Philbin to get back to calling great plays and using our formations to hide and confuse the defense (Like beginning of Indy game). Get Wallace, Thigpen the ball in space (screens to WR, may be a new thought for our offense, but is all the rage with Brady and Manning). Both these guys are sharper than many give them credit for, but I'd like to see some "spice" with our calls. We are a little predictable. To me this is the #1 issue (even before the OLine) as good play callers hide areas we struggle. And if we run a freaking stretch on 3rd and 1 again to Daniel Thomas someone needs to be fired. The zone-read is our best running play so build off of it some. Roll outs and boots are a QB's best friend (and an Oline's)
2) Make a move on the Oline. In an early fanpost I listed 3 options. I'd say we have only 2 now. Move Garner to the starting lineup is the quickest, but in my opinion not the best (although better than the line as is). The other option is make a trade for a decent tackle or I'd even look at elite guys (Joe Thomas, etc...) if the price is reasonable. Anyone have a problem giving up a 1st rounder for an All-pro Tackle??
3) Get healthy on defense. When healthy we are elite over there. Grimes and Patterson are very good corners and I'd say Carroll will be solid as a nickle back. Wake makes a ton of difference.
4) Figure out how to get Dion Jordan on the field. The man makes plays. Quick going so slow with him. Put him out there with Wake and let them get after the QB's!!!
5) Get the ball to Gibson more. I was screaming at my TV he has a mismatch every play against a nickle corner. The man can make stuff happen. Hartline and Wallace are our studs and rightfully so, but Gibson is the guy that tends to draw the mismatch each week (as well as Clay at times).
6) Get a clue on defensive adjustments. Grimes on one side only is a joke. Put him on the best WR of the other team. The double A gap blitz hasn't worked since week 1. Mix up the blitzes (I love bringing Jones and Ellerbe). Be as simple as this fan in how we play defense: Bring Wake and Jordan and cover with our best on their best. To many times in the New Orleans game did we let them dictate terrible matchups (Ellerbe on Colston, any LB on Sproles).
I think this team can still be a 10-6 team (which was my guess to best-case this off-season) with a few adjustments. We have to beat Buffalo in the upcoming game. Remember: Playoffs is a success this year, we are building for the future.