The Game Plan: Week 4 (cont.)
In three games, he has been double-team-blocked on four of the 101 passing plays, and chip-blocked (another blocker, a tight end or running back usually, helping momentarily while performing another task) another seven times. That means, according to PFF, that on 11 of 101 pass plays (11 percent), teams have devoted more than one blocker to Williams, at least for a short time with a chip.
Williams, at 292 pounds, has never been a cat-quick rusher, and therefore not likely to get as many sacks as a quicker rusher such as DeMarcus Ware. That's bearing out this season. For the Bills to get their money's worth, he has to hit the quarterback much more often. And for that to happen, he has to vary his rush technique but always rely the most on power. "When I looked out there,'' said coach Chan Gailey said in the wake of Sunday's Buffalo victory at Cleveland, "Mario went to the power rush, and that's what he's good at.'' Gailey's right: When in doubt, bull-rush.
In three games now on 101 passing plays, Williams has picked up:
1.5 sacks (adjusted to reflect NFL stats).
6 quarterback hurries.
He simply has to do more.
Watt on how 3-4 defensive ends aren't supposed to be big sack guys: "I keep hearing people say that 3-4 defensive ends aren't supposed to be big playmakers and aren't supposed to make big plays and I don't understand why not ... It always kind of irks me when people say that -- say that we're supposed to be the block-eaters and let everyone else make the plays. We like to have fun, too.''
Chicago left tackle J'Marcus Webb (No. 73) -- The man with the neat birthday (8-8-88) has the toughest task of any other player in the Monday night matchup with Dallas in Cowboys Stadium: keeping DeMarcus Ware from sacking Jay Cutler multiple times. Webb, a seventh-round pick in 2010, has had a forgettable year so far, and it's becoming clearer by the week that he'll be the number one guy on GM Phil Emery's got-to-replace list when free agency begins in March, or come draft weekend in April. But for now, the question is: How much help will the Bears give Webb in handling Ware?
1. Kevin Kolb, the new dad, trying to keep the Cards flying. Kolb's third daughter, Saylor, was born Thursday night. So scratch all the angst off, Cards fans. Your quarterback will line up to play the Dolphins Sunday. Amazing how a quarterback can go from failure to savior in three weeks.
2. The refs. Quicker games. Games more under control. Games without Lance "I swear I made the right call" Easley. It's all good.
Not so good: Ed "Guns'' Hochuli won't be in wide display Sunday. He's got Cincinnati-Jacksonville, with the Jacksonville, Savannah, Cincinnati, Lexington, Louisville, Columbus, Toledo and Charleston (W. Va.) markets.
3. The spin. These referee talks weren't solely about saving $3.3 million in pension costs per year, though that was a part of it. The stalemate also was about the league being able to replace poorly performing officials between 2013 and 2019 -- and decreasing pension contributions over the life of this contract. The officials won more than the league here, but the quality-of-officiating thing can't be forgotten. I'll be interested to see the reporting on this over the weekend.
4. Green Bay simmering. Can't wait to see how the crowd at Lambeau responds after the Pack got a 12-7 win transformed into a 14-12 loss. The league should be thankful Green Bay has the most polite fans in the league.
5. Seattle, starting a road-rattling test. Seattle has five games in 29 days starting Sunday (nothing odd there), but four are on the road. The stretch: at St. Louis, at Carolina, New England at home, at San Francisco, at Detroit. Five games, four time zones. Strap it on, Russell Wilson.
6. Matthew Stafford's hip. It's injured. Looks like he'll play, but Jared Allen is licking his lips in anticipation of facing a wounded animal.
7. The Jets without Darrelle Revis. You ready for your close-up, Kyle Wilson?
8. Field-goal nuttiness. Kickers are hitting 93 percent of their field goal attempts through 49 games. The weather's been great, and that helps, to be sure. But that's an amazing run of success that I can't see continuing.
9. The real truth about Kellen Winslow. Smart people knew he and Bill Belichick would never be a fit. In fact, I'm told in the offseason, when Belichick inquired about acquiring Winslow from Tampa Bay, the coach's good friend Greg Schiano told him, in effect, 'Bill, you do not want this guy.' I'm doing you a favor -- lay off this player. And Tampa traded him to Seattle instead. Now, with the news that Winslow asked for and received his walking papers after one week in New England, the mystery deepens. Was it a physical reason Belichick agreed to let him go? Or was it Winslow wearing out his welcome in yet another place?
10. J.J. Wattmania. The Houston 3-4 defensive end will attempt to continue his hot streak (last five games: nine sacks, seven passes batted down) against Tennessee at home. You are hereby forewarned, Jake Locker.
Sharks beat Kings in overtime to get much-needed Game 3 win
Red Wings drub Blackhawks, even series at 1-1