The plan heading into Sunday’s game against the Lions was to switch up the looks on Calvin Johnson to keep him guessing. That tactic was used sparingly early on. By our count, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie lined up over Johnson just three times in the first half. Nnamdi Asomugha was in charge of Megatron the rest of the time.
Johnson ended the half with one catch for 28 yards.
“I was on him most of the game,” said Asomugha. “I think when we got to the fourth quarter there was a lot more trying to give him a different look, give him something else so that he doesn’t get comfortable with one guy. There were sometimes, especially in the fourth quarter, when Dominique would go to him.”
Right now it’s difficult to build a case that Asomugha is earning his paycheck, considering what Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is doing on the other side of the field. DRC’s numbers are better, and he’s making considerably less coin.
Take a look at the side-by-side comparison of the two corners.
The key 20-yard completion from Ben Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown on 3rd-and-12 is probably seared into your brain by this point. But it’s important to revisit, given the way in which it came to pass.
As it turns out, the success of the play is tied directly to a sequence in the first quarter. This is an example of exceptional quarterback awareness, and a reminder of how important it is to keep opposing offenses guessing.
That might not be entirely the right question, because it won’t be a solo mission.
“There’s only been like, not even 10 to 15 snaps this year where I’ve had one-on-one [coverage] or something like it,” said Johnson.
“I was guarding him and he was supposed to get the screen so I got my chance to hit him,” said Boykin. “Every play I wanted to hit him but it didn’t happen that way, so it’s all good.”
There were two key third-down conversions on Pittsburgh’s game-winning drive. The first was a 20-yard completion to Antonio Brown on a 3rd-and-12 from the Pittsburgh 18. The second was a seven-yard out to Emmanuel Sanders on 3rd-and-4 at the Philadelphia 38-yard line that put the Steelers in field goal range. Moments later, Shaun Suisham booted a 34-yard field goal as time expired to win it for Pittsburgh.
“He seems to me like he’s lost his confidence,” said Joyner on 97.5 The Fanatic. “And I think one thing that happens when you lose confidence is you begin to break down from a technical standpoint.”
Joyner believes one of the Eagles biggest mistakes was trying to fit Asomugha — a clear press man corner — into a zone scheme last season.
“I think he got put in a situation he wasn’t prepared for, on top of trying to learn a new defense, and his confidence is just gone, shot,” said Joyner. “He’s gone from a guy that was a shutdown corner to in my opinion, as I watch him play, he’s a below-average cornerback right now.”
With all the talk surrounding Nnamdi Asomugha‘s play Sunday night, we thought we would switch on the coaches tape to see what it revealed. The question being debated: Was Asomugha burned on a couple big plays against the Giants, or was he let down by his safeties?
Let’s zero in on back-to-back strikes from Eli Manning downfield midway through the fourth that set up the go-ahead score for New York.
Nnamdi Asomugha exited in the first half of the Eagles-Giants game with an eye injury.
Trainers were working on the cornerback on the sideline for a couple series in the second quarter and appeared to be giving him eye drops. He eventually made his way into the locker room with about six minutes remaining in the opening half. He was replaced by Brandon Hughes.
The press box announcer said that Asomugha went to the hospital for further evaluation. He later corrected himself and announced that Asomugha would return.
September 25, 2011 is the day that Victor Cruz — and his salsa dance — were introduced to the world. It also marked the first time Eagles fans began to really question if the the substance matched the hype when it came to Nnamdi Asomugha. These two events are not mutually exclusive. Asomugha was around the ball for both backbreaking Cruz touchdowns but didn’t make the play. The next thing you know, Cruz was on the map.