Playbook: Monday tape study notebook

Another exciting week of games on Sunday – which means another interesting day of Monday tape study.

Here’s what we saw …

Eye in the Sky – Recap

We told you who to watch, now here’s what they did …

Patrick Willis vs. LeGarrette Blount

Willis had 12 tackles, which helped contribute to a lackluster day by Blount on the ground (10 carries, 34 yards). Without Isaac Sopoaga, San Francisco’s stingy run D didn’t skip a beat. Second-string nose tackle Ricky Jean-Francois, combined with defensive ends Ray McDonald and Justin Smith, controlled the Buccaneers’ offensive line from center to either guard.

Patriots receivers vs. Jets secondary

From start to finish, the Jets made it a priority to lock-down Wes Welker. They put Darrelle Revis on him one-on-one, and doubled him with a man defender and Revis sitting in the middle of the field, waiting on a crossing pattern. But they couldn’t stop Welker, who had five catches, 124 yards (a long of 73). Moreover, Tom Brady had his way with Kyle Wilson and the rest, picking apart the Jets’ secondary for 321 yards passing.

Titans stretch run vs. Steelers defense

Rebounding from a poor effort against the Texans, the Steelers held Chris Johnson to 51 yards on 14 carries (a long of 21). At the point of attack, Chris Hoke (more on him later) came in and blew back Tennessee’s interior linemen. LaMarr Woodley returned to form, as well, holding down the edge. And when the play went away, Woodley was mindful to play disciplined and take away Johnson’s ability to cut back.

Eagles receivers vs. Bills secondary

The Bills got a lot of pressure on Michael Vick and made the Eagles’ deep pass game almost irrelevant. When Philly tried to run longer-developing routes –- intermediate to deep digs or curls –- their offensive line wasn’t able to protect. So, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin didn’t get one of those patented “go” routes versus Buffalo’s safeties (more on one of them later). But when Vick escaped, he was able to hit Jason Avant several times over the middle of the field — but a key fumble late ended the comeback effort from the Birds.

Marshall Newhouse vs. Atlanta defensive ends

Left tackle Chad Clifton actually left the game due to injury, so Newhouse became more important than we could have ever imagined, moving over to left tackle. The Falcons finished with four sacks, one each for defensive ends Ray Edwards and Lawrence Sidbury, Jr. The Packers, on the other hand, did a good job protecting Newhouse and rookie right tackle Derek Sherrod — strange to be protecting a pass protector, right? -– as running backs and tight ends were used to chip Atlanta’s defensive ends. Aaron Rodgers had more than enough time to slice up the Falcons.


Just some of what we picked up along the way …

Seahawks 36, Giants 25

Marshawn Lynch was in beast mode again. He had 12 carries for 98 yards, including a 47-yarder. Forty-nine of his remaining 51 yards came from running zone stretch out of shotgun. The Seattle offensive line overpowered the vaunted Giants front four.

Vikings 34, Cardinals 10

Adrian Peterson made sure to put his stamp on Patrick Peterson in this game. On all three touchdowns, AP got a piece of the rookie. On his first touchdown, Adrian searched out Patrick, veering away from the pylon to give the defensive back a shoulder pop. On run No. 2, he just straight dragged the fifth-overall pick into the end zone.

And on touchdown number three, Patrick Peterson could do little else but tap Adrian’s leg with his hand as he cut up and dove across the goal line, truly anointing him King of the Petersons.

Saints 30, Panthers 27

The Saints’ defense was headed up by Aubrayo Franklin in the trenches. He had four tackles (one for loss) and a sack –- which came on a key third-and-8 on a one-on-one versus Carolina’s Geoff Hangartner. Against the run, Franklin does an excellent job establishing leverage with his hands and then disengaging to make the tackle.

And while Jonathan Stewart only had six carries for 20 yards, taking a backseat to DeAngelo Williams (9 carries, 115yds and a TD), Stewart had a key blitz pick up on Steve Smith’s 54-yard touchdown pass from Cam Newton. Jonathan Vilma was hugging the A-gap pre-snap, forcing Stewart to immediately engage Vilma. Stewart used great leverage with his legs and proper posture to put his face into the chest of Vilma, getting underneath him and flipping him over. This allowed Newton to set up and extend the play –- eventually finding Smith down the field for a score.


You won’t see their jerseys on the rack …

Jackie Battle really splashed onto the scene with a 119-yard performance versus the Colts. A fourth-year player out of Houston, Battle had labored as a backup behind Jamaal Charles for most of his career, but showed terrific burst of his own in Week 5. Most of all, he finished runs, plastering Pat Angerer on one play and Kavell Conner on another. Kudos to his offensive line, as well, which consistently pushed the Colts off the ball with double teams on DTs, giving Battle plenty of room to run. But the way Battle ran with it was impressive for a career third-stringer.

Chris Hoke is well-known to most Pittsburgh fans, but he made a name for himself in Tennessee, as well, with his performance against the Titans. Chris Johnson had three runs for loss, and Hoke could be given credit for all three of them. Hoke absolutely controlled Titans center Eugene Amano from his nose tackle position, using his left arm to stonewall him, keeping his right half free and making the tackle on stretch runs.

Again, George Wilson is well-known in Buffalo, but the Bills safety had a game well above his notoriety nation-wide. With 11 solo tackles, Wilson was all over the field versus the Eagles, making big hits at the third level as well as sticking LeSean McCoy and a scrambling Vick in the box. It was a really physical effort from Wilson at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

“Playbook” — the ultimate football Xs and Os show — airs Thursdays and Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on NFL Network. Check the NFL Network broadcast schedule for further details. Follow “Playbook” on Twitter @NFLN_Playbook.

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