Usually, it is not the smart decision to write a fanpost so fresh after a loss. But there are some things I want to say, that I need to say now. I'll try to remain somewhat logical, but I am still very hot after that embarrassment.
First of all, I am probably building up a reputation as a Dalton supporter, because I think he is an above average QB. I still think that overall, but before you crucify me for that, let me finish. I have no defense, reason, or excuse for what happened late in the second half. There are some contributing factors that I'll touch on later, but if he wants to be a guy in this league, he is going to have to put the team on his back when it matters on some point. So far, the closest to that was the clutch pass to AJ that setup the winning FG @Pitt last year. I can't use the young excuse anymore, because he is, as of now, a 4th year guy. The frustrating part is, we STILL saw flashes. The first half was very good. Even after everything unraveled, that deep throw to Green late was fantastic. The throw to Jones (the first throw with "prevent" defense) was actually a very nice throw right inbetween three defenders. But if he can't make that happen more consistently or doesn't cut down some of the awful throws, it could easily be the end of a starting career.
Next, the offensive line. What happened? Honestly, I'm in shock. Now, Dalton still wasn't acceptable and it doesn't excuse the whole half, but the line was the worst I've seen them be in some time. It's no accident that (aside from some nice runs early) even our RBs couldn't get much going. Dalton was pressured on nearly every throw in the second half, and they know how well Dalton responds to that. At some point, they HAVE to stand up to the defense, and they didn't. The line was awful. The only word for it. Awful.
RBs, who would have guessed, I have no complaints about BJGE. He played pretty well when he was in, and ran hard. Gio, not so much. I still love Gio, but this was easily the worst game in his short career. Drops, a fumble, and very little production on the ground. Some of that is the OLines fault, but Gio's niche is that he should be able to make something out of that.
Receivers/TEs overall played well, with a special shout out to Mojo. He was superb. My biggest complaint here would be the long drop by AJ, that would have kept it a game, and a few scattered drops. There were lots of issues getting open at times, but that isn't too unusual for the NFL. They have to take some blame for that, but really not much to take issue with.
Now the defense. That's right, everyone gets to take heat for this. Starting with the line, we got manhandled in every sense of the word. There was no pressure, and we got pushed around like a bunch of kids in the run game. Pathetic.
In the secondary, while they didn't play that poorly, there were numerous issues. Dre got beat deep again, and Adam Jones had a lot of trouble keeping up with the receivers. Crocker was still himself (smart, but old enough where he has trouble physically), and Nelson/Iloka were mostly just bodies. While I can't fault the safeties for much, the CBs needed them to be big helps, and honestly, the team needed ANYBODY to step up.
That leaves the linebackers. The biggest issue here was that Boley is just not very good. Burfict, while not a world beater, was good. Maualuga, on the other hand... was fantastic. I said it. After being the biggest liability on the defense last year, and the target of the bulk of the Texans offense, he was one of the only bright spots today.
I like Marvin, I really do. I don't think it's entirely fair to blame a coach for every loss on the field. But... eventually, you have to look at the common denominator. Gruden's playcalling was again poor, like maybe half the season. Zimmer, I don't know how to feel. The defense was beaten fairly soundly most of the day, but had some key stops. I don't actually know whether I should credit Zim for that, or the players.
To sum it up:
People I am livid at: OL, DL
People I am upset at: Andy, coaching staff, to a lesser extent secondary
People who were "normal", and didn't step up: RBs(Gio I'll give a pass because rookie), most WRs, most LBs
People I like. Mojo, Maualuga