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The End Zone: Week 7


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The End Zone

Another edition of The End Zone is here for you yet again, and this week I have included a brand new feature! Its mainly for those of you who may not be too familiar with the game, or for those of you who would just like to know a bit more, as for the next few weeks I will be giving you a description of each playing position on the field. Ranging from the running backs to the defensive linemen, I will bring you all the information you need to know, with this week kicking off with the Quarterback. Of course I do have other items here for you, the game feature, results round up and a preview of next week to go with Jets Talkin. But for now I will get things under way with the brand new feature, The Position Profile.


The Position Profile

Over the next few weeks I will be bringing you all the information you need with regards to the various playing positions in a normal game of American Football. This week I will be looking at the Quarterback, by far the most important player in the whole team.


The Quarterback is the leader of the offensive unit when on the field, and his role as leader entails many duties and responsibilities. One of the main tasks concerns the play-calling, as he is the one who gets the instructions from the coaches on the sideline, and it’s up to him to communicate each and every play to the rest of the unit. Traditionally quarterbacks used to call their own plays on the field, based on the flow of the game and the read of the defence. However since the introduction of the radios in the helmets a lot of the play calling comes from the Offensive Coordinator or Head Coach on the side. There are literally hundreds of different plays available, if not thousands, that coaches come up with, and before a game the players have to learn those plays for use on the field. The QB initiates the plays, of which there are rushing and passing, by taking the snap from the centre. The snap is when the ball is moved from the line of scrimmage to the QB by the guy at centre. The QB usually stands just behind the centre when receiving the snap, and then drops back a few steps. From there he would either survey the field, looking for an open receiver or a receiver with little coverage and pass, or hand the ball off to the running backs. Sometimes, depending on the situation, the QB would try and progress the ball by running himself, but more on that later.


Going back to the play calling, there are a few guys in the league that regularly call their own plays, with the main one at present being Peyton Manning. Manning plays for the Indianapolis Colts and has done since he was drafted in 1998, but it was last season that he made the record books by throwing 49 touchdown passes in the regular season, 1 more than previous record holder Dan Marino, who played for the Miami Dolphins. He is a successful quarterback for his proficiency and his ability to lead his team to victory over a variety of situations, for example overtime, two minute drills, and coming back from behind to clench victory. Of course as I mentioned earlier a QB isn’t all about passing and handing the ball off, more and more QB’s recently are fast and able to gain significant yardage themselves on the run. If the quarterback can’t see an open receiver, and they have an open route to the first down marker, then the QB will take the chance and run the ball. The one guy who has really brought this option to the forefront of people’s minds as of late is Michael Vick of the Atlanta Falcons. Vick is an accurate passer, but is also a very fast and agile player who can gain important yards with the run. Let’s look at his stats for last season for an example of his talents, Vick passed for 2313 yards, 14 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, but he also rushed for 902 yards and 3 touchdowns. If those numbers don’t show that he is a capable runner then I don’t know what will. The threats from the air with his passing and on the ground with his rushing make Michael Vick one of the most dynamic players around the league today.


That’s the basics of a quarterback, they are based behind the guy at centre, call plays, pass, run or hand the ball off, and get the sack more often than most people do in their lifetime. Yes that’s one thing I forgot to mention, the sack. When a QB receives the snap and is behind the line of scrimmage with the ball he may get tackled by an opposition defender. This tackle is called a Sack, and defences are measured on how many they get whilst the offensive line are measured on how many they allow. I could go more into the snap count, where the name of the position originated and how a passer rating is achieved, but for most fans it’s not needed. For now that’s enough about the Quarterback, by far the most important player on the field, I hope I have helped shed a bit of light on the position. Next week I will look at the guys in charge of protecting the QB, the offensive line.


Week 7 Round Up

The games began early this week, with the game between the Chiefs and Dolphins being played 42 hours early on Friday due to the threat of a potentially devastating hurricane. Full details on the game can be found in the feature below, however Kansas City (4-2) were to walk away eventual winners with a 30-20 victory over Miami (2-4). Green Bay (1-5) fell to rivals Minnesota (2-4) 23-20 to kick off the Sunday games, with Indianapolis (7-0) maintaining their unbeaten record with a 38-20 victory over Houston (0-6) and Detroit (3-3) scraping a 13-10 victory over Cleveland (2-4). Pittsburgh (4-2) had a tough game to beat Cincinnati (5-2) 27-13, St Louis (3-4) came away with a 28-17 victory over New Orleans (2-5), and Washington (4-2) humiliated San Francisco (1-5) by 52 points to 17.


The Eagles (4-2) were on the better side of a 20-17 result against the Chargers (3-4), Seattle (5-2) scraped a 13-10 victory over Dallas (4-3), and Chicago (3-3) evened up their record with a 10-6 victory over Baltimore (2-4). The Arizona Cardinals (2-4) pulled off a 20-10 victory against the Tennessee Titans (2-5), Oakland (2-4) came away with a 38-17 win against Buffalo (3-4), and to round up the days games the Giants (4-2) won by a single point in a 24-23 encounter with the Broncos. Monday night saw the Atlanta Falcons (5-2) overturn the New York Jets (2-5) 27-14.


Game Feature

The week of NFL action got under way early as you know due to the threat of a potentially devastating hurricane in Florida. So the game between the Miami Dolphins and the Kansas City Chiefs was moved forward to Friday night in an effort to avoid its effects. Last week the focus was on the Dolphins as they brought back Ricky Williams to the starting line-up, however he was disappointing in their loss to the Buccaneers, and Ronnie Brown was going to get the nod this week. Kansas City are a high-scoring team, and have been for some time, with guys like Priest Holmes and Tony Gonzalez as part of the offence. Much was expected of them against the mediocre Dolphins D.


It was the Chiefs who got the game under way with the first possession, and they got things started with a 50-yard pass from Green to Horn, moving them to the Miami 18. From there it was just a matter of time as Holmes rushed in 4 plays later for a 5-yard touchdown. The extra point was added with ease and Kansas had taken a 7-0 lead with only 4:32 played. Miami had no direct reply however, as they fell to a three and out after a couple of incomplete passes from Frerotte. The Chiefs were held to a three and out, and Miami looked to get a drive going as Brown rushed for a 12 yard gain. But it was not to be as the offence were halted and forced to punt shortly after. Kansas looked to be putting together a decent drive, but they were hit with 15 yards of penalties and had to punt from the Miami 45. The Dolphins drive failed to progress by any significant margin, ending the quarter with a 3rd and 13 from their own 16 yard line.


Miami didn’t keep possession for long, as on their second play they were forced to punt and turn the ball over. The luck went their way though as a sack for a loss of 9 yards stopped Kansas City before they even started, turning the ball over with a punt shortly after. Ricky Williams was the running back for the drive, but he showed his ring rust yet again and lost 3 yards over 3 plays, forcing Miami to punt. A 10 yard penalty was called on the Chiefs kick return, having to start the drive from their 10 yard line. The pressure was too much for them and a punt ensued, however the Dolphins were able to return it 47 yards back to the Kansas 10. 6 yards was all the team could gain though, so Mare came on and kicked a field goal to make it 7-3 in the Chiefs favour. With 7 minutes to play Kansas relied on Johnson to run the ball on their following possession, and it paid dividends five minutes later. Johnson rushed for 34 yards and a touchdown after passes to Hall and Boerigter went for 46 yards. The Chiefs led 14-3 with just 1:50 remaining in the half, so Miami had to complete an effective 2 minute drill to get anything before the break. From the shotgun Frerotte went 4 of 7 for 66 yards, setting up a 23 yard field goal from Mare with 6 seconds left. The half ended with Kansas City leading 14-6.


The score had increased by 7 for each team within a minute of the third quarter getting under way, and it was interesting to see. Miami started the quarter from their own 35, and on the first play Ronnie ran for a 65 yard touchdown. This stunned Kansas City but sent the Miami crowd into a frenzy as the score went to 14-13. The Chiefs were not going to let that slide though, as on their second play on the resulting possession saw Holmes run for a 35 yard touchdown. The crowd were in a stunned silence as Kansas increased their lead to 21-13. Miami didn’t have as much success on their next drive as they moved just 15 yards before having to punt. Kansas took their time on their drive, taking nearly 8 minutes to move 73 yards and set up a 30 yard field goal. The Chiefs moved ahead by 11, but Miami couldn’t cut the deficit on their next drive as they fell to a three and out. Kansas took over and moved 29 yards as the quarter closed out.


Their drive continued as the fourth quarter got under way, finishing with a 51 yard field goal after Johnson lost 6 yards on a run. Another field goal for the Chiefs followed shortly after as the Dolphins came onto the field and fell to a three and out, allowing Kansas to move to the Miami 34 and convert a 52 yard attempt. The Dolphins turned the ball back over immediately after the field goal as Frerotte threw his first interception of the evening, but luckily for him Kansas were unable to capitalise on the turnover. Another three and out came Miami’s way, and it was looking less likely that they would be able to get back into the game. Kansas City had the ball with 7:20 remaining and yet again they were able to run the clock down as they moved 44 yards in around 5 minutes. It did help that an interception by the defence was nullified by a penalty on Miami. Things took a turn for the worse though as Johnson attempted to convert on a 4th and 3 situation, he was tackled a couple of yards short of the line and Miami got possession back with 2:47 left in the game. Their first play brought hope back to the team as Rosenfels combined with Chambers for a 77 yard touchdown reception. That put the score at 30-20, and Miami looked to claw back further as they attempted an onside kick to keep the ball. However like many onside kicks the opposition recovered the ball and Kansas were able to run down the clock for a 30-20 victory.


A great game with some superb scoring taking place, but again Miami showed flaws in their offence and defence that need to be looked at urgently if they want to turn their season around. Kansas again put in a solid offensive performance, but showed weakness on defence and need to take a close look at this week's mistakes. Although they can be forgiven in as much as they skipped a practice to fly out to Miami early, arriving just 6 hours before kickoff.


Jets Talkin’

They say that no news is good news, and in a way that’s true with the Jets this week as we didn’t lose anyone to injury from the game! Speaking of the game, the Atlanta Falcons were just too good for us on the day. Vinny fumbled three times in the first half, and then left the game in the third after straining a thigh muscle. Brooks took over and finished the night 12 of 20 for 94 yards, whilst Vinny had left the game on 11 of 18 for 140 yards and an interception. Curtis Martin was restricted as well as he managed just 28 yards from 14 carries, although he did score a touchdown. The Falcons had moved out to a 20 point lead, before Testaverde had rushed in for a 1 yard touchdown and reduce the deficit. After a Michael Vick TD in the third Martin ran in during the fourth to make the score 27-14.

We now go into our bye week with a poor 2-5 record and things going against us from all angles.


Hopefully the week off will give the team some time to get together and work out some of the kinks that have been letting us down this season. Obviously the Jets will still have the problems of having some major injuries, but as we return to face the Chargers hopefully a win will be a viable outcome. Due to the bye week there will be no Jets Talkin’ in the next issue of The End Zone, but don’t worry, things will be back to normal the following week.


Week 8 Preview

Arizona get things started in week 8 as they play Dallas, Detroit host Chicago, Houston host Cleveland and Green Bay travel to the in-form Cincinnati Bengals. The St Louis Rams host the Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota take on Carolina, Oakland face off against Tennessee and Washington travel to the N.Y. Giants. Kansas City take on San Diego, New Orleans host Miami and Philadelphia take on Denver. Tampa Bay travel to the lowly San Francisco 49ers and Buffalo take on division rival New England to round off the Sunday games. Monday night will see the Baltimore Ravens take on the Pittsburgh Steelers. The four teams with bye weeks are Atlanta, Indianapolis, N.Y. Jets and Seattle.


Wrap Up

The Indianapolis Colts are on fire! Seven games and seven straight victories, they seem to be absolutely invincible so far this season. They have come back from early deficits and held on to slight leads, but the team are firing on all cylinders and are on a Superbowl charge. I said it last week and I will say it again, put money on them being there before the price gets too bad. A little bit of news for you, last week saw the trade deadline, and the Niners sent QB Rattay, who had earlier started in place of Alex Smith, to the Buccaneers who lost Griese to injury. Also, the end of season showcase known as the Pro Bowl has opened its voting doors. Head over to NFL.com and vote for the players you want to see at the end of the season in Hawaii, I have, although most of my votes were for Jets players! Next week I will bring you another position profile, an article on the Manning brothers, a game feature and a round up of all the week 8 NFL action. The pass has been thrown; will you catch it next week, in The End Zone?

Edited by Alan
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Vick played ok, but his passing accuracy is poor.

Vinny was unlucky really.the fumble with Kendall is inexcusible, but the other two fumbles the O Line gave him no protection.

After the interception I stopped watching.

Our O Line was poor, the rest of the team played well.

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