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The Giants (as told by numbers)

Created for PatsFans.com – Stats from Pro-Football-Reference

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Pregame on Playoff Saturday

The players involved in tonight’s game need no mention. You all know the Tim Tebow story and the score of the last match up between the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots. However, this is not the same Broncos team. The win against Pittsburgh proved that this team is real. Robert Ayers is living up to his draft expectations, Von Milller is playing lights out, and Demaryius Thomas is coming along. Ian Logue wrote a great article about how the Broncos having nothing to lose and all to gain in tonight’s match up.

Though the situation is different, the outcome will be the same. The Patriots will be the Broncos tonight and Denver’s magical story will be over.

Game Info:

  • On CBS at 8:00 ET
  • Played at home in Foxborough

Inactives:

  • Ryan Mallett, QB
  • Nate Jones, CB
  • Shane Vereen, RB
  • Gary Guyton, LB
  • Donald Thomas, OG
  • Sebastian Vollmer, T
  • Ron Brace, DE

Questions:

  • Will the Demaryius Thomas effect be felt again this weekend?
  • With Chung and Spikes back, how does the defense play?
  • Does McCourty play more safety than corner?
  • How does Denver cover Gronk, Hernandez, and Welker?

Predictions:

  • Ridley and/or Green-Ellis run for 2 touchdowns
  • The game is competitive for the first half, but second half adjustments made by BB will put the Broncos down
  • Patriots 34, Broncos 27

Interesting Links:

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Pregame Post: Pats Go Ice Fishing

As the season enters a new phase, the Patriots enter the final stretch starting off with the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins, 5-9, enter this game with the hopes of messing up the Patriots #1 seed hopes while the Patriots just need to win the next few games to keep the seed.

The Dolphins are lead by journey man Matt Moore and running back Reggie Bush who combined have put up decent numbers. Don’t let their record fool you though, this Dolphins team is vastly improved since Chad Henne was starting quarterback.

Game Info:

  • 1:00 ETS on CBS
  • Played at New England

Injuries and Inactives:

  • Ryan Mallett
  • Patrick Chung
  • Shane Vereen
  • Brandon Spikes
  • Matt Lightn
  • Sebastian Vollmer
  • Ron Brace

Key Matchups:

  • Reggie Bush vs Pats LBs
  • Welker vs Dolphins Corners (not named Benny Sapp)

Questions:

  • Will Reggie Bush have a 100 yard day?
  • Does Brady torch the Dolphin secondary again?

Predictions:

  • The Patriots defense shuts out Miami in the first half. The bulk of their offense comes in the second half
  • Patriots 34, Dolphins 21
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Pats go Tebow-ing

It’s that time of year again, Christmas time! This year the Patriots are traveling to Tim Tebow and his Broncos at Mile High. Denver is currently 8-5 looking in at the playoffs while our Pats are sitting comfortably at 10-3.

Game Info:

  • On CBS at 4:15 ETS
  • Played at Invesco Field at Mile High in Denver

Pats Injuries and Inactives:

  • Ryan Mallett
  • Patrick Chung
  • Shane Vereen
  • Brandon Spikes
  • Nick McDonald
  • Sebastian Vollmer
  • Deion Branch

Key Matchups:

  • Willis McGahee vs Pats Linebackers
  • Von Miller vs Pats OLine
  • Eric Decker vs Pats Secondary
  • Welker & Gronk vs Denver D

Questions:

  • Will Tebow burn the Patriots 32rd ranked defense?
  • Does Tebow run all over the Pats? How bout throw all over the seconday?
  • Will Von Miller sack Brady?
  • Does Brady have 300+ yards today?

Predictions:

  • There is no Tebow Miracle today
  • Patriots  27, Denver 21
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Pregame Post: Downing Eagles

Before this season I predicted that this year’s SuperBowl would be the Patriots and Eagles. Well, I guess I was wrong on that, but the Eagles record doesn’t actually represent their talent or ability. This game comes down to defense. Both offenses are able to score and bring a load of talent to the field. The key for the Eagles is to slow down Brady and stop the Pats on 3rd downs while the Pats key is to force Vince Young into mistakes and to establish the run.

Game Info:

  • Starts at 4:15 EST
  • Played at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia
  • On CBS

Pats Injuries and Inactives:

  • Patrick Chung
  • Chad Ochocinco
  • Brandon Spikes
  • Dan Connolly
  • Dane Fletcher
  • Devin McCourty
  • Ryan Mallett

Key Matchups:

  • Jason Babin and Trent Cole vs Pats O-Line
    • Babin and Cole have a combined 15 sacks on the year. The Pats line has let up 19 sacks on the year so don’t be surprised to see running backs blocking in the backfield helping Tom Brady out with the rush
  • DeSean Jackson vs Kyle Arrington
    • DeSean Jackson can burn about any corner in the league. He is a difference maker, but with Young at the helm we’ll see what he does…
  • LeSean McCoy vs Pats Linebackers
    • Spikes is out and McCoy is one of the, if not the best, running back in the league right now. Not a good matchup without Spikes.
Questions:
  • Will McCoy be contained?
  • How many sacks will Andre Carter get?
  • Will Vince Young be harrased all day?
  • will the Eagle secondary be able to contain Gronk?
Predictions:
  • McCoy will be held for under 100 yards
  • Kyle Arrington has gets another interception
  • Gronk has 2 touchdowns
  • Taylor Price makes his presence known
  • Patriots 34, Eagles 14
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Pregame Post: Wrecking the Jets

Anytime the Patriots and Jets play, it can go anyway. So to start this pregame up, I’ll post the definition of the word toss up.

toss up - an unpredictable phenomenon; “it’s a toss-up whether he will win or lose”

The Patriots offense has been a mess the past two weeks. Brady is not playing smart, but he is not getting help with the play calls. The only way the Patriots are productive is if they run, run, and run some more with Green-Ellis and Ridley. The Jets run defense is ranked 21st in the league so its manageable, but it’s Bill O’Brian we’re talking about… On the defensive side of the ball, Andre Carter is filling his role and Wilfork is always there. Kyle Arrington is playing well and McCourty is starting to fight his way back. Sterling Moore will be starting in place of the injured Chung, so may God help us there.

The Jets offense looks great on paper, but is very inconstant. That starts with Mark Sanchez, but he can manage a game. Shonn Greene is very incontinent too and LDT is old. Holmes is the fire though. He can burn our secondary like they are highschool players. In fact, he is the only player the Jets have I’m scared of. The Jets defense has a very good secondary lead by the best corner, Revis, in league. Their line on the other hand is not very good and again, is ranked 21st against the run.

Honestly game is a toss up and every drive will count. I changed my prediction so far about 10 times…

Game Info:

  • Played at MetLife Stadium
  • Starts at 8:20
  • On NBC

Patriots Injury and Inactive Report:

  • Patrick Chung
  • Taylor Price
  • Brandon Spikes
  • Shane Vereen
  • Dane Fletcher
  • Donald Thomas
  • Ryan Mallett

Key Matchups:

  • Dustin Keller vs Pats Linebackers
    • Keller is a tightend that scares me when the Jets use him right. With Spikes out, well, he scares me more
  • Shonn Greene vs Pats D-Line
    • The Jets live or die with Greene and Sanchez, so if Greene is shutdown, it’s just Sanchez

Questions:

  • Will Tom Brady be sacked twice?
  • Sterling Moore is starting in place of Chung… How will he play?
  • Does Sanchez have a career day?
  • Jeff Tarpinain is starting too…. Does he get lit up as well?

Predictions:

  • I have no clue how this game will play out
  • Patriots 17, Jets 14
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Big Al Cut and the Patriots ran over

The biggest piece of news today is the Albert Haynesworth, the $100 million dollar man, has been cut from the team. The move comes after the loss against the Giants, which we will get to later. According to Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe, on three consecutive plays, Haynesworth was thrown to the ground with one arm and pancaked to the ground by a David Diehl. Also, during the game he and defensive line coach Pepper Johnson were seen in a heated argument.

The dude has talent, but no motor and drive. I would consider myself one of his biggest supporters, but enough is enough. Like Leigh Bodden (one of my favorite players) he was becoming locker room cancer and a cancer to the team. Good riddance to the man and good luck to Kyle Love, not that he’ll need it or anything.

But back to the Giants game. Simply put it, this was a game lost by the offense. Sure the defense let up the winning drive but how many times did the Patriot offense stall? We all know the defense struggles at times, but this is a Tom Brady lead offense. I’ve seen him do amazing things with the likes of Jabar Gaffney and Reche Caldwell so there is no excuse that this offense with Wes Welker, BenJarvis Green-Ellis, Stevan Ridley, Gronkowski, and Hernandez should be stalling.

So lets talk more on the offense. At the head of the problem is Bill O’Brian. First off, I’ve never liked that guy. His play calling is vannila and he doesn’t utilize players to the fullest potential in situations. During the game the Boston Globe sent out a tweet stating that “ Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien were having a pretty animated discussion on the Patriots’ bench”. Ridley was only ran 3 times, Woodhead 7, and Green-Ellis 12 times. On the Giants side, Brandon Jacobs ran 18 times for 72 yards. Brady passed 49 times only completing 28 of those. The ball simply needs to be ran more and the tight ends need to be involved more throughout the game, not just the fourth quarter.

The other problem on offense is the Tom Brady. Yes, Tom Brady is a problem right now. I don’t want to sound spoiled or anything, but at the end of the day he’s the one with the two interceptions and a 57.1% completion rate. Part of the problem lies with the line, which is playing horribly, but Brady is just not playing as well as he should. For instance, take the interception when he was trying to get it to Gronkowski. What was he thinking there? If I recall correctly, Rodney Harrison had a good point about Brady starring down receivers lately.

On Twitter, people were saying that it was like a ‘bizzaro’ world – the defense was playing well. Pressure was in Manning’s face and the Giants were 4 for 14 on 3rd downs (28%). I don’t know about you, but I love that stat. Brandon Spikes was playing lights out until his injury and players were tackling. I know Sergio Brown let the big pass happen, but he shouldn’t of been out there. Chung was hurt and so was Barret. I would chock that up to the game. Arrington, who had a good game until the last few plays, caused a major pass interference call, but with today’s rules, what can I say?

Special teams still sucks. Our field position was absolutely awful. The Patriots did bring in Tiquan Underwood today, so we’ll see….

All together, this game actually answered more questions than it created. We now know that the defense is capable, but is just one or two players short of being there (a safety would be nice) and that the offense needs major progress if we want to compete.

Beasts:

  • Brandon Spikes
    • Spikes was playing with passion and it showed. Unfortunately he suffered an injury during the game

Bums:

  • Albert Haynesworth
    • See above….
  • Sergio Brown
    • Can’t cover and should be on the team
  • Julian Edelmen
    • Fumbled the ball and having off the field issues… Not good Julian, not good

Answers:

  • Will Tom Brady be sacked more than two times?
    • He was sacked twice
  • Does Brandon Jacobs have a career resurgent day?
    • Not really a resurgent day, but he ran with fire in his eyes for 72 yards
  • How does the Patriots as a team respond to the loss last week?
    • With another loss…
  • Does Eli Manning light up the secondary?
    • He was 20 of 39 for 250 yards and 2 touchdowns

Thoughts:

  • I like where the defense is going
  • Ochostinko should be the next cut
  • I’m jumping on the defense bandwagon if you can’t tell
  • And I’m jumping off of the offense bandwagon too
  • Is it still possible to get Romeo Crennel and Josh McDaniels back?
  • I like the Nate Solder pick more and more
  • Corner Jonathan Banks from Mississippi State should be a guy to watch when it comes draft time. He is shutting down top SEC receivers like Alshon Jeffery. He will be a still for who ever drafts him

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Pregame Post: Crushing the Giants

(My PC is on the fritz today so I’m reusing an older image from the preseason… )

The last time these two teams faced off, well, you know the story. No reason to bring up the past, the Patriots play the 5-2 New York Giants in a game of which defense can last the longest.

On offense the Giants aren’t particularly scary with Ashmad Bradshaw and Hakeem Nicks out with injuries. Eli Manning and Victor Cruz having been rocking it all season long, but other than Cruz and Mario Manningham, Eli has no weapons. The defense is banged up in the secondary, but their line is scary. Jason Pierre-Paul has 8.5 sacks on the year and is one of those guys you have to always account for.

The Patriots offense should get back in the swing of things today. Stevan Ridley will get his chance to carve up the Giants and Welker will get a lot of touches today with the Giants blitz attack. The Patriots defense will have Ron Brace back, but I’m not sure that matters. The secondary excluding Kyle Arrington is absolute crap, but they are playing Eli Manning today so who knows…

Honestly this game is a battle of two teams who look almost identical; crappy defenses and pass happy offenses. The deciding factor in this game is turnovers and who runs the ball best.

Game Info:

  • Played at Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, Massachusetts
  • Starts at 4:15 ETS
  • On FOX

Pats Injury Report and Inactives:

  • Dane Fletcher
  • Jermaine Cunningham
  • Ryan Mallett
  • Kevin Faulk
  • Taylor Price
  • Donald Thomas
  • Shaun Ellis

Key Matchups:

  • Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck vs Pats Offensive Line
    • Pierre-Paul has 8.5 sacks on the season and is out to prove his doubters wrong. He is one of those guys you have to account for every play. The Pats line has been playing awful lately and Tom Brady has been sacked 14 times this year
  • Giants Offensive Live vs Vince Wilfork and Andre Carter
    • The Giants will be without their starting center. Carter is finally showing up and Wilfork is Wilfork
  • Corey Webster vs Welker/Gronk
    • Whoever covers these two will have a rough day. The Patriots offense is out for blood after the awful showing against Pittsburgh and teams have a hard time covering Welker and Gronk on a normal day

Questions:

  • Will Tom Brady be sacked more than two times?
  • Does Brandon Jacobs have a career resurgent day?
  • How does the Patriots as a team respond to the loss last week?
  • Does Eli Manning light up the secondary?

Predictions:

  • Patriots offense has a big day
  • Vince Wilfork has a sack
  • Eli Manning looks flustered all day
  • Tom Brady is sacked twice
  • Patriots 38, Giants 24
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PreGame Post: A shootout in Foxboro

Coming off of a hard fought win against the Jets, the Patriots play the Cowboys at home in a matchup that either results in a blowout or a nail biter. Will Devin McCourty and company be able to stop the talented but troubled Dez Bryant and Miles Austin? Does Jason Witten become a zero factor like Antonio Gates did in the San Diego game earlier this year?

I predict that this will be a battle of defenses and one the Patriots will win. Tony Romo is overrated and is protected by a young offensive line that can’t protect a rock much less a quarterback.

Game Info:

  • Played at Gillette Stadium
  • Starts on Sunday, Oct 16, 2011 at 4:15PM EDT
  • On Fox

Pats Injury Report:

  • Josh Barrett, thumb
  • Jerod Mayo, knee
There are a few injuries that will be determined at the start of the game..

Key Matchups:

  • Dez Bryant and Miles Austin vs Pats Secondary
    • I’m torn on how the secondary will play against these guys. They’re not better than Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burres who where shutdown last week, but they do have a better quarterback in Romo throwing to them. The secondary’s success will live and die with the pressure on Romo
  • Anthony Spencer and DeMarcus Ware vs Pats OLine
    • Tom Brady was sacked four times and hit five times by a weak group of Jets lineman that don’t compare to DeMarcus Ware or Anthony Spencer. To say I’m worried is an understatement
  • Sean Lee vs Green-Ellis/Gronk
    • I’m not familier with who will cover Gronk or shadow Green-Ellis on the Cowboys, so I’ll just stick with Sean Lee with the worst task on the Cowboys. Gronk should be over his flu by now and Green-Ellis is playing like no tomorrow 
  • Phil Costa vs Vince Wilfork
    • Earlier this week Costa said that Wilfork is just a ‘speed bump’. Wilfork responded with ‘I’ll be there Sunday. He can tell me that then’. He will be there in full force

Questions:

  • Did Phil Costa bring on the wrath of Vince Wilfork upon himself?
  • Will the Patriots be able to stop Jason Witten?
  • Does Dez Bryant torch the Patriots secondary?
  • Will Mark Anderson get another sack today?
  • Does the offensive line allow any sacks?

Predictions:

  • Tony Romo will come on strong first quarter but will be flustered in the second half
  • Deion Branch will show up
  • The Pats will bring the rush
  • Tony Romo gets sacked at least 2 times

Patriots 34, Cowboys 27

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Pats outplay the Jets to a high flying win

The defense showed up today and kept the New York Jets and their big mouths out of it. The offense need to be bailed out a few times by the defense but overall it was a great Sunday.

Beasts:

  • BenJarvus Green-Ellis
    • He had 136 yards and 2 touchdowns on the day. Green-Ellis really was the difference maker today.
  • The Defense
    • Even though the defense was night and day at times, as a unit they were levels better in terms of pressure than they’ve been in a while. In fact, they forced seven 3 and outs. I feel like the defense really progressed today. Oh, and Mark Anderson has what now, 3 sacks?
  • The Crowd
    • At different times in the game today the crowd noise was really a difference. There are many things I could say about the Patriots crowd, but today they where good.

Bums:

  • Logan Mankins
    • Mankins was getting beat by Mark Devito. That shouldn’t happen
  • Aaron Hernandez
    • Anytime you cause an interception, then you’re on this list

Answers:

  • Will the Pats secondary shut down Mark Sanchez and his wide receivers?
    • The Jets top receiver had 60 yards and Sanchez was 16 for 166 yards on the day. Job well done by McCourty, Bodden, and co
  • Does Stevan Ridley get more touches than Green-Ellis today?
    • Ridley had 7 runs for 13 yards. Green-Ellis on the other hand was really good today
  • Will Welker stay red hot?
    • Revis did have an impact on Welker, but Welker remained the threat he’s been the past four games in more ways than one
  • Does Dustin Keller have a big game or will he stay forgotten?
    • Keller was a ghost most of the game thanks to Patrick Chung
  • Will Ochocinco have his breakout game?
    • Well, he did have two catches

Thoughts:

  • Gronkowski was sick for the game so that would answer my thoughts on why he wasn’t being targeted as much as he should of been
  • Pat Chung is on the edge of becoming elite
  • Where was Derrick Mason?
  • Tom Brady was sacked four times and hit five times
  • I had Stevan Ridley in today on my fantasy team… I got three points from him
  • The cheerleaders looked good today…

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