« Week 12 Week 14 »

Richmond Timed Distant, November 1, 2009
Last-Minute Reed FG Boosts Baltimore Over Rebels, 16-13
Blocked Jones Punt Leads to Visitors’ Only Touchdown
Box   Drive Chart

Wilmington Snooze-Terminal, November 1, 2009
Cherries Collapse, Fall to Hershey, 25-22 — But Clinch
Onside Kick Recovery and Flacco Bomb to Moss Spark Hosts’ Comeback
Box   Drive Chart   Snooze-Terminal Commentary

Philadelphia Ink Crier, November 1, 2009
Lakers Thump New York, 33-16, as Favre Throws for 3 TDs
Ward, Shiancoe, Jacobs Combine for 273 Yards
Box   Drive Chart

Albany Sliced Onion, November 1, 2009
Racers Edge Providence, 21-19, to Punch Playoff Ticket
Hampton Stuffs Johnson on 2-Point Conversion Try to Forestall Overtime
Box   Drive Chart

Charleston Daily Smell, November 1, 2009
Special Teams Pace Cannons in 34-21 Rout of Washington
2 Blocked Punts in 2nd Qtr., 1 for Hixon TD; Berrian Returns Punt for TD in 3rd
Box   Drive Chart

Syracuse Posed Standee, November 2, 2009
Crush Whips Connecticut, 29-10, Keep Playoff Hopes Alive
Ellis, Williams, Defense Holds Guests to 6 1st Downs, 128 Yards
Box   Drive Chart

Wilmington Snooze-Terminal, November 1, 2009

Rip Snorter

Late Arriving Injury Bug Aims Right at Cherries’ Strength

For the Cherries last night, as if the agony of blowing a 10-point lead in the last 3 minutes, losing to the Hershey Bars, 25‑22, and seeing their road winning streak come to an end at 18 wasn’t bad enough … they got a visit from the injury bug. Up until last night, the Cherries had been virtually injury-free this season. So the bug was late in arriving — overdue I would argue.

When it arrived it took direct aim at the team’s greatest strength, its pass defense, and came away with a huge bite:

That’s half of the Cherries’ secondary, folks — the same secondary that has allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete only 46.5 percent of their passes. Man, this is gonna hurt!

You could say it already has.

While it wasn’t the replacements for Whitner and Carr who got beat on the pivotal 41-yard touchdown bomb from Joe Flacco to Santana Moss that tied the score with two minutes to go — that dishonor went to Corey Webster — the Delaware defense looked lost after the injured players left.

Prior to snaps Brian Dawkins, the Cherries’ defensive coach on the field, was gesticulating wildly, directing little-used players like David Barrett and William Gay into place. Once snaps occurred, Dawkins was running hither and yon, trying to maximize his utility but more often than not, as the play results bore out, he tried to do too much.

Meanwhile, as the lead evaporated, coach Jon Brams stood impassively on the sidelines, arms folded, looking like he was thinking at any moment the defense would make a big play, and the Cherries would escape with yet another road victory. Either that or he couldn’t believe what he was seeing, that it was all just a bad dream.

Two plays exemplified the difficulties Dawkins and the defense were having trying to cope with the loss of Whitner and Carr:

Despite the hard to stomach Halloween night loss (boy, it seemed like playing in the shadow of Hersheypark during Trick or Treat would be fun), the Cherries found their 4th consecutive Central Division crown in their bag among the candy, thanks to Philadelphia’s romp over New York. But the bite of the injury bug can only make it a lot more difficult for the Cherries to defend their EFL title:

What was for most of this season arguably the Cherries’ biggest strength may now be a weakness. Blame that pesky injury bug.