PLAYER: Texans RB Wali Lundi
NUMBERS: 5'10, 214 pounds
9/10 GAME TAPE ANALYSIS VS EAGLES
Running Plays: 11-32 rushing...longest run 11 yards...average run 2.9
yards, median run 3 yards.*
*Median indicates half his runs were greater than and less than that number. Helps balance the impact a single big run can have on the reflection of usual performance.
Pass Plays: 2 catches for -1 yards, one pass attempt dropped.
|Touches/Success by Down|
|1st||6-12 (2.0)||2 for -1 yards, 1 drop|
Draw/Delay Handoff: 0 attempts
Pitch: 1 - 11 yds.
Standard Handoff: 10 - 23 yds.
Screen Passes: 2 attempts, 1 drop
Other Passes: 1 - 4 yards
NOTES AND ANALYSIS
General Comments: Lundi didn't have an especially productive or impressive game against the Eagles, but at times he didn't get much help from others on the field who executed poorly, putting him in bad situations. He also split time, sitting out for entire possessions while Vernand Morency took over. Morency was traded to the Packers this week, which isn't a surprise after watching the handful of plays that he participated in. Lundi performed like the rookie he is in several aspects of his performance, so it'll be interesting to see whether or not those issues were fueled by opening day jitters. Perhaps the most startling observation was that he didn't appear to break a single tackle where any type of solid contact was involved. He got past a couple of lunging players who got a single hand grasp on him, but whenever he took on any type of actual tackling contact, he went down.
Pass Protection: When not running the ball. Lundi wasn't a factor at all in pass protection, looking lost or strictly running to a position to block whether there was anyone there or not. Two plays in particular showed his rawness in this area of his game. On one play in the middle of the third quarter, he aggressively bolted towards the line gap between the TE and the RT to help pick up any blitzing players from that side. Unfortunately, he ran so hard to the spot that when the LDE rolled around the corner against the hapless TE, Lundi was over-committed to the inside and unable to help pick up the blitz. As a result, he got to his position, but had no one to block. The LDE sacked Carr for a loss. On the one play where Lundi did spot a pass rusher, he immediately dove below the players' waist and in the thigh/knee area to slow him down. Although the Texans were usually running a 2-back I formation with FB Jameel Cook helping out, whenever the Colts see Lundi alone in the backfield, they should bring the blitz. He is executing poorly in this area and it's a clear advantage for Indy.
Play Action: The Texans only tried to run the play-action fake a couple of times with Lundi in there, and it was obvious why. This is not another area where he shines. His snatching at the ball looked fake rather than natural. It's not going to fool anyone.
Receiving: The Texans, somewhat dictated by need, are active in using the screen pass. It was hard to measure how effective Lundi can be on a screen because of Texans center Mike Flanagan. It was apparent that he had the job of sliding through the line and moving laterally to set up the key block on the ROLB, who held perfect position as he saw the screen develop. Flanagan was simply too slow and didn't get to LB on both attempts to Lundi. He was smothered for a 5-yard loss as soon as he caught one pass and was hit so hard in the back on the other that he dropped the ball. QB David Carr threw to him on just one other occasion, a quick turnaround route about 3 to 4 yards downfield that resulted in an immediate tackle as Lundi tried to turn the play upfield.
Rushing: Lundi's biggest run of the day was on a well-executed pitch right that went for 11 of his 32 rushing yards. It was the only play where he really got the kind of blocking that a running back hopes for at the pro level, and he took advantage of it. Lundi didn't show much burst, even on that play, but he was hindered throughout the day by inadequate blocking by his tight ends -- which the Texans keep near the line on most plays for pass protection reasons. And if FB Jameel Cook doesn't block more effectively than he did against the Eagles, the Texans may as well scrap the I formation. Other than on that pitch play where he made an excellent block to push two players out of Lundi's way, he either stalemated his opponent, clogging up the lane for Lundi, or he ran through his assigned gap with no impact on the play because he didn't use good vision to help with perimeter blocking in the lane. A great example of that was on a run left during the first quarter where Cook ran up behind the LT who was doing a terrific job with the RDE, pushing him outside. Cook ducked inside of that block into the gap and ran through it as though he was carrying the ball. Had he glanced to his right as he hit the gap, he could have helped the LG who had lost his battle with the RDT. Cook ran right by and when Lundi came through on his heels, the RDT was able to smother him for a one-yard loss while Cook was left standing a few yards past the line of scrimmage wondering what happened.
Expect the Texans to try running a few more pitch plays and handoffs where David Carr fakes a bootleg. Those were the two plays where Lundi got his best results. Oddly enough, even after his longest run of 11 yards off the pitch, the Texans didn't run it again the rest of the game. The Texans were awful trying to run wide left or behind the left tackle, with three attempts to that area netting 0 yards. Other than the one pitch right, Lundi was most effective running between the center and the right tackle, averaging about 3.2 yards per attempt to that side. It won't be surprising to see them try to test that area where 6-foot-five, 309-pound tackle Zach Weigart will matchup against 245-pounder Robert Mathis at LDE and 301-pound center Mike Flanagan can try to push his way into the second-level to work against 235-pound MLB Gary Brackett.
Additional Comments: If the Colts want to prove that their rushing defense isn't broken, they'll have their golden opportunity today. Lundi isn't any better than a No.2 depth chart back at this stage of his development. Combine that with the poor blocking by the tight ends and the left outside area of their line and you've got a back who shouldn't be able to put up big numbers against them. While he should certainly do better than 32 yards just by getting more carries due to Morency's departure, this isn't a back who should put up more than 60 - 70 yards maximum in a day unless he gets loose for one big run.