Let me put a disclaimer on this post about last nights game by reminding everyone that we did just face a Bill Bellicheck defense that came at us with two perennial DT studs and a hybrid blitzing nickel package that we just could not game plan for. With that in mind here is my player by player review:
Jake Long - Overall he played well enough but not top 2 offensive tackles in the game good. Granted he is coming off an injury, but a few times when the Pats blitzed out of that speed nickel package a DB beat him around the edge. I am hoping the injury is the reason he struggled with speed and nothing more.
Richie Ingonito - WTF is my only reaction to Incognito. Between costly penalties, missed blitz pickups and Haynesworth/Wilfork ripping across his face, I would rather have signed Gurode and converted him to guard in 10 days then have had Richie **** the bed last night. If he doesnt step his **** up, we will never have enough time to get more than a 3 step drop called for Henne.
Mike Pouncey - Given the opponents star DT's I thought Pouncey played good enough is his first start as a rookie. Granted he got manhandled a couple times by Haynesworth/Wilfork, and couldn't move either of them more then 6 inches, I don't no many interior lineman let alone rookies that can. Pouncey did stay on his blocks though and if you go back and watch parts of the game I think he did an ok job on both Pass/Run blocking. If we had a more powerful back then Reggie that doesn't get knocked off his feet by arm tackles, I think Pouncey's game would've been impressive. I will tell you one thing, that kid sure can pull and fly down that line of scrimmage. A great Zone blocking/spread offense center IMO.
Vernon Carey - Carey wasn't very impressive whatsoever. Struggled with blitz recognition (Could be Henne/Pouncey's fault) not very explosive off the ball, couldn't drive block to save his life and Haynesworth/Wilfork ripped across his face a few times. This is what you get when you make a tackle a guard.
Marc Columbo - I am sure Columbo is going to have a bunch of bradys on this site (As will Chad Henne, as if 460 total yds isn't good enough) but like Chad Henne, I don't think it is all valid. Don't get me wrong Columbo was by no means Jake Long, or even good for that matter, but he held his own. He did decent versus blitz pickup, and was able to "survive" versus the Nickel blitz packages that the Pats were owning the Dolphins with all night.
One thing people need to remember is this is a Zone blocking offense ha we are built to spread it out, reach block on the first and second levels, and use speed/angles to win ball games and open lanes. We aren't the Steelers or Ravens that can line up I-form and shove it down your throat; we are just not big enough or strong enough. If we were, we may have scored on that 4th down on the goaline play, but at the same time, we wouldn't have scored that many points last night.
At the end of the day the O-line played well enough to win and ut was our Defense that dropped the ball.