The New Orleans Saints are locked in a close defensive game with the San Francisco 49ers and the defense just surrendered a deep touchdown pass to Vernon Davis. Let’s check in on Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, just to make sure he’s doing OK.
The Browns hung tough and looked ready to write an epitaph for Andy Dalton’s credibility as the QB of a contending team. Unfortunately, back-to-back Cincy TDs on a blocked punt and a fumble return proved too much to overcome on the road. The Jason Campbell Dreamwagon snapped an axle in a three-pick, 4.4 YPA day, but the Browns’ D never backed down as they picked Dalton twice, held the Bengals to under 240 total yards and scored a TD of their own. They’re still a quarterback away, but with a bevy of picks in a deep draft they’re in fine shape to remedy that deficiency in the future. You can’t ignore the whole God-hating-them thing, but on the whole things are looking up in Cleveland.
The Bengals’ D is missing Geno Atkins and Leon Hall something fierce, but they had enough to work an overmatched Jason Campbell and pull Andy Dalton’s fat out of the fire for a crucial home win. They’ll come out of their Week 12 bye hoping that Dalton can recapture some of his mid-season magic, but their gaffes against the Dolphins and Ravens probably put down any chance of a top two seed in the AFC. At least they won’t have to face the Texans again.
While they haven’t been playing all that poorly, three narrow losses in a row have San Diego on the outside of the AFC playoff picture looking in. Sunday may have seen critical mass on the Chargers’ O-line, as D.J. Fluker got thrashed at left tackle while Jeromey Clary turned in a typically shoddy show in his return to the right tackle spot. Mike McCoy may need to experiment with the one- and two-step drop going forward, while investigating a 12-step tackling program to get a flailing defense back on the wagon.