Upon Further Review: Titans Offense v Pats, First Half

As I commented in my brief cap of Friday’s game against the Pats, how you viewed Friday night’s game against the Patriots made a nice Rorschach test for how you viewed the Titans’ chances this season. If you thought the Titans performed fairly well on Friday, chances are good you expect the Titans to do well this year. If you thought the Titans performed poorly, you’re probably like me and don’t have high expectations for 2007.
The biggest question about Friday night’s game among Titans fans is just how well exactly Vince Young played. Over at my own site, I’ve been breaking down the Titans on a play-by-play basis. It’s called Upon Further Review, or UFR for short, and I ripped off the name and from from MGoBlog, an excellent college football blog focused on the University of Michigan. Last year, I only did it in a systematic manner for the last seven games, and that only for offense, but I plan to expand the offering to add defense this year. What did I find?
I planned to do this for the Washington game, but DVR difficulties and work commitments have prevented me from getting more than the first two drives done to this point. I have, however, done the entire first half of the New England game, and you can see what I thought of each play by clicking here. I’m working on developing some better metrics, but right now the easiest summary is in the passing chart.

Opponent DO CA IN BR SCR PR

DO = Dead On, CA = Catchable, IN = Inaccurate, BR = Bad Read, SCR = Scramble, PR = Pressure. For more on how I grade each throw, please see the explanation. For comparison’s sake, you can see how I thought VY did in the last 7 games of last year by going here. As you might guess from the big fat “0” under DO, I didn’t think VY made any especially good throws against the Patriots. In fact, I think there was only one play, the 9 yard scramble on 3&8, that an average NFL quarterback wouldn’t be able to make.  He did, however, seem to play better as the game went on, with 5 Catchable balls and 1 Pressure on the last 6 pass plays.
Since it’s only the first preseason game, I’m not too concerned about VY’s performance. But, I am looking for improvement next week.  If we don’t see that, then I believe it’s entirely fair to be very concerned.
I hope to have a look at the Titans’ first half defensive effort up Wednesday. Once we reach the regular seaosn, I’ll be doing UFR for offense and defense for the entire game.  I’ll also be putting together as good a set of numbers as I can for evaluating how each player does.  In particular, look for something like this for evaluating how well each Titan defender tackles, as well as individual player stats for pass defense and pass receiver (throw at, caught, drops, YAC, and possibly more).  Note that all of UFR is a work in progress-if you have something you’d like to see or think could be done better, please let me know.

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