Throne Room

5 thoughts on Game of Thrones season 8 episode 2

Only four episodes left! Episode 2 was much like episode 1. A set up with a lot of interaction between key characters. The real stuff starts next week. A look at what happened:

1) All about Jamie

The first 20 minutes of the show was about Jamie. His interactions with Tyrion, Bran and Lady Brienne were strong. Even Daenerys backed off with him. It was Nikolaj Coster-Waldau's acting at its best.

2) Setting up

The whole show was a setup for the big battle. In essence, it was a continuation of the first episode. Lots of characters connecting. Cool to watch, but not much action. And no deaths! (I think we will see many of those next week).

3) The big battle

We are now set up for the big battle with the dead. My guess is lots of deaths. Surprised they did not send Arya to kill Cersei. And we really did not need to see her have sex with the useless Gendry, did we? It felt uncomfortable because we have watched her since he was a child.

4) The Greyjoys

Theon showed up and did not do much. But he did arrive and he is on the side of the living. How long does he survive? His relationship with Sansa is interesting now as well. And he is going to protect Bran?

5) The key moments

There we so many great interactions. Jamie knighting Brienne. The whole scene with all of them together (who knew Podric could sing?) And Jon told Dany his real background. You can tell all he cares about is beating the Night King. Does anyone else fear he dies in this battle? Only four episodes left. Next week should be huge.

Not a great episode but not bad. Suspect the next one will be huge. This should be an all time battle. Can't wait to see what happens!

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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF O'BRIEN'S COACHING

Not my job: Texans no match for the Ravens

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

The Texans fell to the Ravens 33-16 in a game they had a shot at winning. Most of you reading this will probably think I'm crazy for saying that. I assure you, I meant what I said. One of the reasons they didn't was because Bill O'Brien made a few questionable decisions that cost this team.

The first was the 4th & 1 decision. Deciding to go for it was bad enough. They were down 3-0 near the end of the first quarter with the ball on their own 34-yard line. This is not a situation that calls for a gamble or statement play. The play call itself was okay I guess: a play action bootleg with two short options. It was read and played perfectly by the Ravens defense. Deshaun Watson had nowhere to go with the ball and had to throw it at Darren Fells' back before getting sacked. That led to a quick Ravens touchdown and an early 10-0 deficit. I seriously think he has PTSD after that playoff loss to the Chiefs when it comes to fourth down calls. Bumbling Bill strikes again!

When they got the ball back, they scored a touchdown thanks to more play action passes and pre-snap motion. It was as if Bumbling Bill realized his offensive line was outmatched by the front seven they're opposing. Sure Watson is mobile and looks like a magician escaping sacks, but misdirection helps throw the defense off and keeps Watson from breaking into 177,000,000 pieces. Oh, and the quick reads were a good idea as well. Too bad Bumbling Bill went away from that and opted for longer developing routes. Or will he blame it on Timid Tim Kelly? Or was Waiting Watson holding onto the ball too long? I blame all three.

Also, can we stop starting drives with the predictable run, run, pass combo please? First down should be play action rollout with Watson having the ability to choose to run if it's there. More run/pass/option plays need to be called as well. Incorporate more things that we saw when Watson was on his way to winning rookie of the year before his knee was sacrificed for the Astros.

Credit where it's due: the end of the first half to get a field goal with a minute and change left was good to see. Typically, these situations tend to make Bumbling Bill come out. I liked the quick slant to Cobb with no timeouts. They were able to spike the ball and get the field goal up.

The game was still within reach at 23-13 in the beginning of the fourth quarter. On a 4th & 1, they gave up a 30 yard touchdown run on a direct snap to Mark Ingram. I saw gaps on both sides of the defensive line pre-snap. Sure enough, Ingram got a lead block from the Ravens human plough of a fullback and that effectively put the nail in the coffin at 30-13. I know the tendency is to quarterback sneak or run up the middle, but don't leave gaps along the defensive line trying to stack the middle. First time defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver will take the L on this one.

Overall, I'll give O'Brien and his coaching staff a C- this game. Mistakes were made that could've cost them a legit shot at winning, but the Keke Coutee fumble return for a touchdown wasn't their fault. The play calling menu was brought to us this week by Craft Pita via the "What's Eric Eating" podcast. Tune in next week for another "Not my job!"

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