Archive for October, 2012

Patriots at Rams: Photos From London

Here are a few photos from Sunday’s win over the Rams:


Patriots head coach Bill Belichick fired up during game action on Sunday.



Patriots defenders Rob Ninkovich and Chandler Jones introduce themselves to Sam Bradford.




Patriots tight end celebrates following a touchdown during game action on Sunday.



Patriots quarterback Tom Brady following Sunday’s win over the Rams.

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Patriots Got Their First Fourth Down Conversion Sunday


Belichick and the Patriots got their first fourth down conversion of the season on Sunday. (FILE:USPresswire)

Patriots fans are used to seeing head coach Bill Belichick go for it on 4th down, but so far this season it hasn’t happened too often.

They’ve gone for it on fourth down just three times this season, with Sunday’s win over the Rams being the first time they’ve actually converted one.

Belichick made a gutsy call with the score knotted at 7-7 on a 4th-and-1 from St. Louis’ one yard line during the second quarter of Sunday’s win.  On the play Shane Vereen took the ball in over right tackle for the touchdown, putting the Patriots up 14-7 and they never looked back during their 45-7 win.

Prior to Sunday’s game New England other two times came in week six against the Seahawks on a 4th and 17 in their final possession of the game (they completed a 15 yard pass to Wes Welker but came up short), and in week five against the Broncos in the fourth quarter on a 4th and 5 which resulted in a sack and a loss of 20 yards.

Otherwise they’ve opted to punt 31 times (1 was blocked), and have tried 15 of their 17 field goal attempts on 4th down so far this season.

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Patriots Found Their Identity on Sunday

Maybe a change of scenery was exactly what they needed.

The Patriots can call their trip to London a rousing success after destroying the St. Louis Rams 45-7 on Sunday, but more importantly it appears that they may have finally found what they’ve been sorely lacking in recent weeks.

They found an identity, and more importantly they’ll get on a plane back to Boston knowing that they have the ability to become a better football team in the second half of the season.

It was a pretty solid effort all the way around.  They were terrific throwing the football, with Tom Brady starting the game a perfect 8-for-8 in the first quarter for 119 yards and a touchdown to receiver Brandon Lloyd.  That touchdown erased a Rams opening scoring drive that featured a 50-yard scoring bomb to Chris Givens that initially gave St. Louis what ended up being their only points of the game.

Most Patriots fans probably had that “here we go again” feeling after watching the Rams begin the game with another play similar to the one that beat this football team two weeks ago out in Seattle.

The good news is while they may have lost in the rain against the Seahawks, they ended up making it rain in London.


Rob Gronkowski scored two touchdowns Sunday for New England. (FILE:USPresswire)

Brady added two touchdowns to Rob Gronkowski as well as another to Lloyd in what ended up being a huge afternoon for New England’s offense.  Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley also each had a rushing touchdown, capping what was a very balanced day for a Patriots team that improved to 5-3 on the season.

“Well that was a nice way to end this trip for us,” said Belichick following the win. “You have to give the players a lot of credit this week. It was a tough game against the Jets and kind of a quick turnaround, you know we moved everything up for them.  So it was really kind of like a short week for us. We came a long way, but I thought they really did a good job in their preparation and they executed and played very well out there today.”

Looking at what the Rams did offensively, it was pretty clear they wanted no part of Vince Wilfork in the running game.  Of St. Louis’ 23 rushing attempts, they only ran once up the middle – which was a late 4th quarter attempt well after the game was out of hand.  They quietly finished with 107 yards rushing, but the longer the game went on, the farther the game began to get out of reach and it made St. Louis one dimensional.

Sam Bradford was fairly effective throwing the football, and at one point had only missed on two passes after New England’s secondary did a decent job of keeping most plays in front of them and not giving up many more big pass plays.  On the afternoon the Patriots allowed just 5 plays of over 15 yards, and three of over 20.  That’s better than last week’s effort against New York where they gave up 8 plays of over 15 yards, including 6 for over 20.

Part of that success came thanks to New England doing a good job of blitzing Bradford and putting pressure on him.  They brought guys from all over, and were much more aggressive than we’ve seen in recent weeks.

They knocked him around and sacked him twice and while Belichick denied that much was different in terms of their game plan compared to last week, he also acknowledged that getting pressure was a big key in helping the secondary be more effective.

“Overall I thought we did a lot of good things defensively, but it wasn’t perfect – certainly,” said Belichick. “There are a lot of things that we can continue to work on. But it was good to come up with a couple balls, we had our hands on a couple more balls, but you never like to give up… I don’t know… What was [Sam Bradford] like 16 for 18 at one point? Whatever it was, you want to defend some of those passes a little tighter than we did and rush a little bit better, so it’s a combination of that too.

“I’d say our pass rush wasn’t as good as what I’d hoped it would be and our coverage therefore always is going to be put under a little more stress when we don’t rush quite as well.  And then we had times where we did rush well, but we’ve just got to do it more consistently.”

Overall fans have to be happy with what we saw on Sunday as well as being optimistic with what we may see in the weeks to come.  For the most part they escaped London relatively injury-free, although both Marquise Cole and Wes Welker each hobbled off the field during Sunday’s win, however, both injuries are believed to not be serious.

All-in all it was a pretty balanced effort with another big performance from New England’s runningbacks.  Stevan Ridley finished with 127 yards on 15 carries, including carries of 30 and 41 yards, the latter of which was a career long and the longest rush from scrimmage for the team this season.  They punted just twice all game, and were 6-0f-7 in the red zone.

“That was a fun day for us offensively,” said Brady after the game. “We played pretty well there in the first half and made some plays there in the third quarter, and the fourth quarter, we put it away.  So it was great to come on a trip like this and put everything into it. We’ve got the bye week next week. It’s a good feeling.”

They should definitely be feeling pretty good.  They dictated the pace of the game and did a great job in terms of not giving up the football and also not turning the ball over.  On the other side they made two interceptions and also had two sacks, but Brady was never touched and had excellent protection.

Now they’ll try and grab a flight Monday morning back to Boston as they try to avoid hurricane Sandy, which is set to batter much of the East coast over the next couple of days.  Aside from that they’ll be able to relax a little knowing they’ve got the ability to be better than they’ve been during the first half of the season.  Hopefully they’ll build on this as we head into what has traditionally been a strong final two months for this football team.

“It feels good,” said Brady. “We’ve been close a few times, but haven’t closed the deal. You’re playing a team today that beat the two teams that we lost to so we knew it would be a challenge and it certainly was because they got off to a good start.  But we countered and never really looked back.”

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Bill Belichick’s Post Game Press Conference Transcript

Opening statement:

“Well that was a nice way to end this trip for us. You have to give the players a lot of credit this week. It was a tough game against the Jets and kind of a quick turnaround, you know we moved everything up for them.  So it was really kind of like a short week for us. We came along way, but I thought they really did a good job in their preparation and they executed and played very well out there today. As I said I’m just really proud of the way our players performed. You’ve got to them all the credit in the world. They’ve had a couple tough weeks here with aSeattletrip and this trip and all that. But they didn’t let it affect them, they just took care of business and played a good solid football game.  Looking forward to getting a few days of rest here and then turn our attention to Bufflao. But it’s great to come here and come out of here with a good win like that against the Rams. I have a lot of respect for the Rams. They’re a good football team, but we had a good day today and the players did a real good job, all three units.”

On if he has any uncertainty before the game as to how his team will respond to adversity:

“Look, every team we play is a good football team. Every week is tough in this league. You’ve got to come ready to play every week, you know that your opponents are, that’s what makes this a great game. Every Sunday is its own challenge. Nobody knows what’s going to happen on Sunday in the NFL, that’s why we play the games.”

On the fact they seemed a lot more aggressive in terms of sending extra people on defense:

“I don’t know. We can take a look at the calls after the game but I didn’t sense it was much different.”

On his team’s ability to get home due to the storm:

“We’ll leave that to our travel people.  We have people in the organization who work on that and so we’ll see exactly what we have there.

On the way they’ve played in London:

“We certainly like the results. It was a good win for us againstTampaand it was a real good win for us today. It’s a great feeling to walk out of here feeling like you played well and knowing that you can kind of relax for a little bit here – we don’t have a game for two weeks. So at least we can relax for little bit and kind of enjoy this one for a few moments but we’ll pretty quickly turn our attention toBuffalo. But it’s good to win and it feels good to come toLondonwith these kind of results.”

On the support they had and if it felt like they had an extra home game:

“I don’t think I’d go quite that far, but it was good support out here. The Rams had a lot of support here too. But no, it was good. We had a lot of our fans here and it looks like we had someLondonfans at the game.  But that was a good feeling.”

On the fact that they were in the shotgun and spreading things out, which was similar to the Jets game and whether he liked what he saw and if it was something they felt they could take advantage of in this game:

“I’d say it’s pretty much always a game plan thing. We take a look at who we play each week and what we feel like is the best way to attack that team. I don’t we can worry too much about how we played somebody else or didn’t play somebody else, it’s a new team. Doesn’t mean you can do a similar thing, but I think we have to look at who we’re playing. We can’t do something just because it worked last week”

[Inaudible – in relation to their offensive execution and how they attacked the Rams]

“I don’t know, you’d have to ask them about that. I would say from our standpoint we tried to get in formations and personal groups that we feel like could give us an edge one way or another either on the play, or maybe a pre-snap read that we go through the communication of what they were going to do or a matchup that we could create, and Tom did a good job of finding those. We blocked well, we threw the ball well, we made some yards in the running game, we scored in the red area, didn’t turn the ball over, so it was good execution offensively. A lot of good things there.

On the pressure they were able to put on Sam Bradford:

“I think probably when we look at the game we’re going to see things all the way around. Some were good, some could’ve been better. Overall I thought we did a lot of good things defensively, but it wasn’t perfect – certainly. There are a lot of things that we can continue to work on. But it was good to come up with a couple balls, we had our hands on a couple more balls, but you never like to give up… I don’t know… What was he like 16 for 18 at one point? Whatever it was, you want to defend some of those passes a little tighter than we did and rush a little bit better, so it’s a combination of that too. I’d say our pass rush wasn’t as good as what I’d hoped it would be and our coverage therefore always is going to be put under a little more stress when we don’t rush quite as well.  And then we had times where we did rush well, but we’ve just got to do it more consistently.”

On the play of Nate Solder and the offensive line against the Rams pass rush:

“I think our whole offensive line did a good job, yes. Tom did a good job of stepping up in the pocket too. I mean there were plenty of times where they were running past him, but he was able to slide up into the pocket and that was the result of Donald [Thomas] and [Ryan Wendell] and Dan [Connolly] giving us a pocket that he could step up into. So it’s good teamwork all the way around but certainly Sebastian [Vollmer] and Nate saw two good edge rushers today.”

On the play of the running backs:

“All of our backs have been productive this year. They really have, including [Brandon] Bolden, who wasn’t here today but we’ve gotten good production from all those guys. We’re confident when any of them are in the game, we have different groups and packages and that type thing for them, but whichever guy’s in there, we have a lot of confidence in, they’ve all been good for us.”

[Inaudible – potentially about the health of his team coming into the game]

“Yeah, you know we talked about that before the game. I think it’s always easy the end of the game to look back and say, based on the results, ’well, it was or wasn’t’. I think the better thing to do is to really look at it before the game and say well, ‘how do you feel going into it?’ And I think in talking to our players and our assistant coaches, some of our medical people, our trainers and strength coaches and that, we all felt the team was ready to go today from a physical standpoint that we were rested, that we had some energy, that we were focused and ready to go. So of course it’s easy when you win like we did today to say well, ‘it was great’. But I think kind of the better measuring stick is kind of how it was, how you felt before the game before you know the results. And we all felt good about that. We did that the last time we were out here and I think that the players handled it well, and I thought they handled it well this time. I felt like going into the game that we had good energy, we’d be ready to go, and we played a pretty good football game.

On playing at Wembley:

“Every stadium’s different, every stadium’s got kind of their own personality and own atmosphere and own environment. You know, Wembley Stadium’s big, it’s almost cavernous there with that slight opening up on top. The lighting’s a little bit different, but it’s a big crowd, a good crowd, they were into the game and again you hear a lot of back and forth cheering in the game which normally it’s one way or another. You know, you play at home, it’s all your fans, or you’re playing on the road and it’s all their fans. This is a little bit of a kind of split, so it’s unique. Were not used to, you usually don’t get games like that. But you know the stadium was great, playing on grass is always good, you know we play most of our games on turf. So it was good to see those jerseys get a little dirty and grass stained and get muddied and all that. Got a good feeling there about watching football and guys picking out dirt around their facemasks and stuff like that. We don’t see a lot of that back in the states, we see grass fields down in Florida, and Tampa and Miami, and Jacksonville and it’s all pretty Forida grass. This is kind of a little throwback here in the mud in the rain, so was a good old fashion football game. I think our guys liked it. It looked like Gronk liked it.”

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Tom Brady’s Press Conference Transcript

NOTE: It was very difficult to hear the questions due to the audio from the television broadcast, but here is the transcript from Brady’s responses:

On his performance on the afternoon:

“That was a fun day for us offensively. We played pretty well there in the first half and made some plays there in the third quarter, and the fourth quarter, we put it away.  So it was great to come on a trip like this and put everything into it. We’ve got the bye week next week. It’s a good feeling. I’m sure guys will have fun tonight.”

On Rob Gronkowski’s touchdown spikes:

“I don’t know what the hell he was doing that first time but…”

The changing of the guard

“Is that what it was? I was trying to get out of the way so he wouldn’t get find. But yeah, he needs some work on that.”

On what it’s like to play there:

“This is a great venue. This is a beautiful stadium. I know how historical it is, it’s a great atmosphere for football so I hope they enjoyed the game today, all the fans, I know it got out of hand there but that’s how the Patriots liked it. So it was a fun game for us.”

On Belichick calling it an old fashioned football game where players got their jerseys dirty, and if he enjoyed it:

“That’s how it felt out there. When you play on grass, then it feels like you’re in high school football whereas rain’s coming down and that’s how football’s meant to be played. You go out there no matter what. So it’s one of those days, we’ve had a few of those this year, but this is a great place to put together a win like we did.”

[Inaudible – something to do with the atmosphere of the Stadium]

“Similar, I think similar. There’s times where the crowd’s really into it and I said they booed us…”

On if the fans were more engaged:

“You know, I think they liked seeing the action. It felt like there was a lot of stoppages between the timeouts and there’s quarter changes, there were quite a few stoppages today but that’s how the game is played. We made some good plays out there, some good throws and catches, some guys made some great runs. So it was a good day of playmaking football.”

[Inaudible]

“We’ve got a long way to go. We’ve only played eight games, we certainly haven’t played our best football, hopefully we can get some guys healthy, get back into the swing of things here with the bye week, have a good practice on Wednesday or Thursday and then hopefully start playing some football in the second half. We need to”

[Inaudible – relating to Brandon Lloyd]

“I have a lot of confidence in Brandon. He works his butt off, he goes out there every day to practice and works hard. But he made some really great plays tonight, great job on the two touchdowns. Deion [Branch] made plays, Wes [Welker] made plays, Julian [Edelman] did, the running backs did.  It was really a great team effort.”

[Inaudible – possibly on how satisfying it was to finally beat an NFC West Opponent]

“It feels good. We’ve been close a few times, but haven’t closed the deal. You’re playing a team today that beat the two teams that we lost to so we knew it would be a challenge and it certainly was because they got off to a good start.  But we countered and never really looked back.”

[Inaudible – possibly relating to what they need to do over the rest of the season]

“Yeah. I think you look at… you know, coach always says football season doesn’t start until after Thanksgiving and it’s not even Halloween yet. So there’s a lot of football that needs to be played. There’s a lot of teams that are really going to start making improvements, there are going to be teams that go the other way. So I hope we’re one of those teams that continues to get better and uses the games they’ve already played as a… you know you learn from those.  You try and make your improvements there, and move on from the bad things and get to the stuff that’s working.

“Thank you for having us.”

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Grogan’s Grade: Week 7 – Patriots vs Jets

PatsFans.com is proud to welcome former New England Patriots quarterback Steve Grogan back for the 12th straight season. Grogan played in 149 games with the Patriots from 1975-1990, and was named to the Patriots Hall of Fame in 1995. Steve will join us each week to provide his insight on the progress of the Patriots during the 2012 football season. He already joined the Buzz on Monday, now we do an additional expanded feature with another interview from local writer R.R. Marshall which gives you even more from the former New England signal caller.

R.R.Marshall: Steve, stop me if you’ve heard this one before: the Patriots held a double-digit lead late in the game, and couldn’t close it out. At least this one had a happy ending with a 29-26 win in overtime?

Steve Grogan: It’s happening too much. Whether it’s the offense not being able to control the ball in the fourth quarter, or the defense giving up points. They’re playing with fire too often and they didn’t get away with it a couple times on Sunday. They’ve got to find a way to play a complete-game which they haven’t done very much of this year.

RRM: The Jets took advantage of the Patriots’ secondary as we thought they might on their first touchdown drive, but then on their second to start the second half, they played smash mouth football by running the ball right up the middle. We haven’t seen that before, so now is this a new area of concern for this perplexing team?

SG: I hope it’s not. I think that’s the solid part of that defense is right up the middle. The front seven, particularly Vince Wilfork and Kyle Love inside have been very good at stopping the run….Jerod Mayo and Brandon Spikes in the middle, sometimes a team just kind of gets on a roll during one drive and has some success, which they did. I thought the rest of the day they shut down the run pretty well.

RRM: What a difference a pass rush makes? A sack by Dont’a Hightower late in the fourth quarter, then another at the end of overtime by Rob Ninkovich really were the big keys in the victory and you have to wonder where these key defensive players have been all season?

SG: Yeah, they’re getting sacks, with two in key situations. But a lot of the rest of the day Mark Sanchez had way too much time to throw the ball. They’re just not consistently getting pressure on the quarterback and I think that’s, with the secondary they’re playing with right now, that’s got to be a little bit of a concern for the defensive staff. They’ve got to find a way to get in the quarterback’s face even if they’re not sacking him, they’ve got to get in his face and rattle his gun a little bit so he’s not having the kind of time he had Sunday to find the open receiver.

RRM: You would think they’d want to get their defensive backs some help in bringing little bit of extra pressure, yet for some reason Bill Belichick just doesn’t like to dial things up?

SG: You know, the only thing I can figure out is that he’s so afraid of putting those guys in the secondary on an island by themselves by bringing the blitz that he’s not bringing pressure and trying to let linebackers get underneath coverage and help out a little bit. But you know, they struggled in the secondary last year early in the season and got better as the year went on, and I guess all we can hope is that the same thing’s going to happen again this year – that some of these young guys are going to get the experience that they need to make plays. It’s really difficult to play defensive back in the NFL right now because you can’t hardly touch a wide receiver within a flag being thrown. They had several defensive holding calls on the secondary on Sunday, a couple pass interferences for both teams, so it’s a difficult position to play the way the rules are written right now.

RRM: Poster boy Devin McCourty continued to be a lightning rod for this team. His kickoff return for a touchdown helped negate the Jets opening touchdown drive. Bun then his fumble late in the fourth quarter on another return nearly cost his team the game. We’re you surprised Bill kept him back there on kickoff returns for the rest of the game after the fumble?

SG: I think I was a little surprised about that. Usually Bill, if somebody makes a mistake like that, finds somebody else to put back there. But apparently he had enough confidence in him to put him back there. The return for the touchdown was very impressive, but you can’t drop the ball on another one. I don’t know, they must not have anybody else they feel comfortable with putting back there. I would think Julian Edelman or Wes Welker, who returns punts, would be able to return a kickoff too and hang on to the ball.

RRM: Maybe Danny Woodhead as well?

SG: Yeah, Woodhead would be good back there and he had some key plays late in the game playing offense. Who knows what Bill’s thinking, but he got away with it Sunday.



“I know the Jets have a fairly decent secondary and a solid defense, but it just doesn’t seem to be offensively clicking they way we’re used to seeing it click with Tom Brady back there.” – Steve Grogan

RRM: All eyes were on Tom Brady to see if he would have a bounce back game after last week’s spotty performance in Seattle. Although he failed to deliver when the Patriots were trying to put the game away, he came up with some big plays at the end of regulation and then in overtime?

SG: If you look at it offensively, they really didn’t do a whole heck of a lot the whole game. They had two touchdowns to Gronkowski, and then they had the kickoff return and the safety. If it hadn’t been for the kickoff return and the safety, they lose that game by a fairly substantial margin. So I’m not sure what’s going on offensively. They really never tried to establish the run a lot on Sunday, it didn’t look like the receivers were getting open. I know the Jets have a fairly decent secondary and a solid defense, but it just doesn’t seem to be offensively clicking they way we’re used to seeing it click with Tom Brady back there.

RRM: Speaking of not clicking, Brady targeted wide receiver Brandon Lloyd eight times and they only connected once for 6 yards on a little screen play. What’s going on with what was supposed to be this dynamic combination?

SG: I don’t know. Lloyd dropped a couple balls which would have helped his stats and helped the team. Again, there’s just some games where guys catch everything, and there’s some games were guys drop balls and Sunday was a dropped ball for Lloyd. They need to get him to go deep. Brady had him deep a couple times, overthrew him a couple, hit them in the hands once that I remember – that he dropped. I think they had the right idea in trying to target him, it just wasn’t working out.

RRM: Well, perhaps the most positive thing to take out of this game was the redemption of kicker Stephen Gostkowski. It had to help for him to nail both the game tying and game-winning field goal to keep the Patriots in first place?

SG: Yeah, there’s no question about that. I think everybody in the stadium I’m sure was holding their breath on the one that put it into overtime because he has missed a couple of those this year, which is unusual for him. But he’s done it, you hold your breath, and it went through and then he kicks the game-winner. So he’s got to be feeling a lot more confident and you have to have your field goal kicker feel confident that he can hit anything, anytime, anywhere, if you’re going to be successful and that confidence should come back with those two kicks.

RRM: For all the talk about Tim Tebow last week, we barely saw him on the field at all in this game. Was Rex Ryan simply blowing smoke all week about using Tebow as a running back?

SG: Yeah, I think he was probably trying to give the Patriots something else to work on defensively to take away from their regular preparation in trying to prepare for Tebow. But it’s hard to figure out what they’re doing with him or why they even have there. He plays the Wildcat position and runs up the middle for 4 yards, which you can turn around and hand to a running back and let him do the same thing. And then they put him on punt protection and he pretends he’s catching the ball every time but they don’t snap it to him. He just wasn’t a factor, so I’m figuring that Rex Ryan was just trying to give the Patriots something else to worry about.

RRM: You’ve always defended Tebow in the past and I can’t help but wonder if you see a little bit of yourself in him?

SG: You know, he’s a kid that has a lot of athletic ability, he can run the ball very well, not a great thrower – at least at this point in his career. He’s a lot bigger and stronger than I was in my heyday [laughs]. I guess I get disappointed when people criticize his throwing motion. The kid’s a competitor, he’s a winner, every time they put him in there, at least in Denver when he was starting, he was making plays and helping them win games. So I don’t know how you knock somebody that’s like that, and how you don’t give him a chance to do a little more even if he’s playing with the Jets. Give him a series or two and see what happens.

RRM: Last Friday on WEEI’s big show they were discussing Tim Tebow and show host Glenn Ordway stated in a similar vein that Steve Grogan was essentially a running back playing quarterback for the Patriots. Any response?

SG: I think we had some pretty good running backs back in those days, Sam Cunningham, Andy Johnson, Horace Ivory, Don Calhoun. I never considered myself a running back, I was a scrambler, more…I don’t know…bigger than Fran Tarkenton but a Joe Kapp kind of guy that didn’t mind running the ball when he had to, but I would never have considered myself a runningback.

RRM: This week the patriots take a hop across the pond to take on the young St. Louis Rams and quarterback Sam Bradford in London. What’s the biggest factor next week the trip itself, or the opponent?

SG: The trip over there is somewhat distracting, it takes you totally out of your routine. They’ve got the bye week the next week that they’re probably looking forward to. They’ve just come off an emotional overtime win against a division rival, and then they’re going over and playing a team that’s really not very good. I think all those things contribute to having to really stay focused on what you’re doing, what your job’s going to be when you get there. Don’t worry about the bye week coming up, it’ll come when the game’s over with. A lot of them have been through it before and played over there, but the young guys are going to have to really concentrate on staying focused and not let the trip and the team they’re playing distract them from preparing to play as well as they can.

RRM: I have to think the players to a man hate this whole part of playing, playing a game in Europe, it has to be a real distraction?

SG: Yeah, it just takes you out of your whole routine. The long flight over, I’m sure the big guys hate being on an airplane that long, although it’s not a whole lot longer than going to the West Coast. You’re staying in a hotel, you’re getting on a bus to go to practice, it’s not fun but it’s something you’ve got to do. As Bill Belichick says, “it is what it is” and they’ve got to get their preparation in, get the game over with, head home, and go from there.

RRM: The Rams are the youngest team in the NFL and like most young teams they play a lot better at home than they do on the road. But they do have some talent, especially the quarterback they invested in, Sam Bradford from Oklahoma. Given that fact it would be nice to get up a few scores and see if we can put a team away for change I suppose and go into the bye week with some positive energy?

SG: Yeah, it would be nice to see them have a walk-over kind of game where the offense comes out and puts up two or three scores in the first half, the defense shuts them down and they play the second half like they did the first half and get out of there with a win and get home and let everybody start healing up for a little bit. Now will that happen? Probably not [laughs], but that’s what you’re looking for anyway.

RRM: So what are Grogan’s Grades for the big overtime win against Rex’s Jets?

SG: This was a hard one to grade. Anytime you beat the Jets it’s a good thing, but I think across the board, offense, defense, special teams, they did some good things and they also did some bad things. To me it was just an average performance by everybody out there on Sunday. I give them a C across the board.

RRM: Considering the fact they didn’t have enough men on the field a couple times, I think that’s fair. It’s just funny, we’ve seen so many things from Belichick coached teams before and it’s really getting to the point where you can’t blame it on just the overall youth of the team?

SG: I would agree with that. There’s been some interesting decisions made by the coaching staff this year that you haven’t seen in the past. Not real sure what’s causing that, but we’ll find out more as the season progresses.

Grogan’s Grades For Week 7:

OFFENSE: C
DEFENSE: C

OVERALL:

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By the Numbers: Charting the Jets Passing Offense

Here’s a closer look at where the Jets were able to have all their success throwing the football on Sunday against New England’s secondary. You can see in the chart above where they were most effective, with the numbers listed below showing who caught the football in each zone:

Total Receiving Stats on Short Attempts to the Left:
Player
Targets
Rec
Yards
YPC
TD
S.Hill
1
1
12
12.0
0
K.Reuland
1
1
11
11.0
0
J.Kerley
2
1
5
5.0
0
J.Cumberland
1
1
4
4.0
0
S.Greene
3
1
3
3.0
0
C.Schilens
1
0
0
0.0
0
Totals:
9
5
35
7.0
0

Total Receiving Stats on Deep Attempts to the Left:
Player
Targets
Rec
Yards
YPC
TD
J.Kerley
1
1
19
19.0
0
S.Hill
1
0
0
0.0
0
Totals:
2
1
19
19.0
0


Total Receiving Stats on Short Attempts to the Middle:
Player
Targets
Rec
Yards
AVG
TD
D.Keller
4
4
38
9.5
1
S.Greene
4
4
19
4.8
0
L.Hilliard
1
1
8
8.0
0
C.Schilens
2
0
0
0.0
0
J.Kerley
1
0
0
0.0
0
Totals:
12
9
65
7.2
1


Total Receiving Stats on Deep Attempts to the Middle:
Player
Targets
Rec
Yards
AVG
TD
J.Kerley
1
1
24
24.0
0
Totals:
1
1
24
24.0
0

Total Receiving Stats on Short Attempts to the Right:
Player
Targets
Rec
Yards
YPC
TD
S.Hill
3
2
22
11.0
0
S.Greene
2
1
12
12.0
0
D.Keller
1
1
11
11.0
0
J.Kerley
2
1
7
7.0
0
J.Grimes
1
1
3
3.0
0
Totals:
9
6
55
9.2
0

Total Receiving Stats on Deep Attempts to the Right:
Player
Targets
Rec
Yards
YPC
TD
J.Kerley
4
3
65
21.7
0
S.Hill
2
1
21
21.0
0
D.Keller
1
1
21
21.0
0
Totals:
7
5
107
21.4
0

*Receiving and Rushing direction totals are based on the official stat sheets. For accuracy reasons Passes and/or Rushes may be omitted from the direction charts in the event they aren’t given an official classification by the NFL score keepers in a given game and may affect the totals.

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TY LAW: Time to Change the Secondary Scheme

Former Patriots cornerback and CSNNE Analyst Ty Law had some interesting things to say about New England’s secondary after Sunday’s overtime win, and he feels that Bill Belichick needs to start getting more aggressive and physical with opposing receivers.

In the above video you can here the former defensive back pleading his case on why Belichick should switch things up.

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Patriots Still Have Secondary Issues

The good news is the Patriots managed to send Rex Ryan and the Jets home with a 29-26 overtime loss on Sunday.

The bad news is, they allowed Mark Sanchez to finish with his best performance of the season and he almost did enough to give New York a win.

There weren’t plays of 46 or better like there were last Sunday against the Seahawks (Seattle hit passes of 50, 51 and 46 last week – the final two of which came in the 4th quarter and the latter was a touchdown that put Pete Carroll’s bunch ahead to stay with under two minutes left.


Belichick was happy with the outcome, but he should still be concerned after seeing what the Jets did offensively on Sunday. (FILE:USPresswire)

This time around New England’s defensive backs kept the ball a little bit more in front of them, but it’s still pretty clear that issues remain with this group.

The story was more or less the same as it’s been in recent weeks, but fortunately the outcome worked out a little bit better.  The Patriots took a 10 point lead into the final quarter of play and they couldn’t keep it as the Jets took advantage of what remains a glaring weakness for this football team.

Sanchez for the most part played terrible, making bad decisions and forcing a couple of throws that were extremely ill-advised. However, he was still able to have his way against the Patriots defensive backs for most of the game. He made far too many big plays, hitting on 10 passes of 15 yards or better, including six of over 20.

The veteran was able to exploit the fact that safeties Patrick Chung and Steve Gregory were both inactive for this game, which saw some personnel changes that included Devin McCourty getting some snaps at safety.  Sanchez and the Jets offense went after them all afternoon and took plenty of shots down the field, challenging New England’s secondary and for the most part they had a lot of success.   He was 7-of-10 for 150yds throwing the deep ball.

Belichick said after the game that despite the two veterans being out, he felt McCourty did a serviceable job for them.

“Well, you know with Chung and Gregory both out, we felt like we had to do something there at safety,” said Belichick.  ”Devin’s got some experience back there, I thought he did a pretty solid job from what I could see – we’ll take a little closer look at it. But I thought the deep part of the field was more secure than it’s been, so that was good.”

It didn’t look quite as secure as it probably should have been.  Overall Sanchez finished 28-of-41 for 328 yards, with a completion percentage of 68%.  Most of his success came from the fact the Patriots defense couldn’t stop Dustin Keller (Sanchez was 7-of-7 for 93 yards and a touchdown throwing to him), nor could they stop Jeremy Kerley (he targeted him 11 times for 7 completions and 120 yards).

In the end it was linebacker Rob Ninkovich who forced a fumble by Sanchez in overtime after which gave them a huge win, as well as the lead in the division. However, it’s not going to get any easier.  They’ve got a tough game against the St. Louis Rams now looming in London next Sunday, and the Rams are yet another team that could potentially give them fits with their passing game.

For now Belichick’s happy with the fact his team was mentally tough enough to overcome their mistakes and ultimately come away with a win.

“We talked about 60 minutes and it took a little bit more than that today,” said Belichick. But the players did a good job. They really fought hard, we had our ups and downs, in the end we made enough plays to win and that’s what it’s all about.

“We got good contributions from all three units and we’ve just got to keep working harder to get better, to do things better and eliminate a few of the mistakes that we had but I’m proud of the team I thought they played mentally and physically tough and like I said, in the end made enough plays to win. So now it’s on to St. Louis.”

 

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Tom Brady’s Post Game Press Conference Transcript

On if he thinks he silenced his critics after their two minute drive at the end of the game and at the beginning of overtime:

“I haven’t turned the TV on in a week, so I don’t know what anyone’s said.  But it was good to win that game.  It was a tough game, it always is against the Jets.  It’s nice to pull out a close one, so I’m glad we did that today.”

On if anything was different that made it seem easier on those last two drives:

“We executed better, I think that’s what it is.  It was not our best day of execution in terms of assignments. We have to nail those things down.  A lot of those inconsistencies, you don’t score points and we didn’t score as many as we needed to. Those last couple drives we moved the ball better, I wouldn’t say they were great drives, but they were good enough.”

On if he’s at his “wits end” with figuring out how to be as efficient as he wants to be, or if he knows what the problems are:

“I think we know. We’re just not doing a good enough job, so we all have to do a better job.”

On the back shoulder throw to Aaron Hernandez on the 3rd down play before the game tying field goal, and why that throw because it seems like a low percentage throw:

“We talk about what we want to do in certain situations and Aaron happened to be in that position.  So at some point it’s going to be tight coverage and you’ve got to make a tough play and they’re close and we’ve got to hit it. I think that’s what it comes down to.  It’s not like guys are going to be open by five yards with that kind of time left on the clock, that important part of the game.  It’s close they either make it or we don’t, or we either make it, or we don’t.  And we didn’t.”

On how much he likes those two minute situations:

“I like it when the outcome’s good, and then I like it when we execute well.  There’s a lot of satisfaction when we do the right thing. But we did a good job with it when we needed to. I thought there were some good plays that the guys made. Everybody really contributed. We work on that situation all the time, so it’s nice when you work on it and it pays off.”

On being on the sideline watching the defense waiting for the next possession in overtime:

“Yeah, it’s an interesting format.  The first overtime with kick a field goal and then you kind of wait and then there’s four downs for the other team. Their field-goal kicker was making clutch kicks, and we were kind of preparing to go back out there and then Rob [Ninckovich] made a great play. Those are the kind of plays you need. If you want to win games, you’ve got a make plays and that’s a great example of a game-winning play.  We’ve all got to start making more of those.”

On the fact they had a 3 point lead and another chance to close the game out and if it’s getting frustrating to not be able to close these games out:

“Well, it was first and 10 and then we got a pass interference, and then it’s first and 20 and then it’s incomplete, and then it’s a run and then it’s 3rd and 16.  So it’s not the way to play offensive football. I don’t think there’s going to be much high percentage playing that way.  We can’t really put ourselves in that situation and we’ve all got to do a better job executing our plays.  I mean there’s no easy way out, it’s not like there’s magic special play you save for those situations.  It’s about doing your job and doing a better job of it.”

On what this team’s learning about itself in these last few games in the fourth quarter where they’re “living on the edge” win or lose.

“I think that’s it. It comes down to a few plays. We had opportunities last week, we had opportunities againstBaltimore, we help opportunities against the Cardinals, and you know, when you make the plays, you win the game. Were 4-3, we’re in a decent position.  We have the whole season ahead of us.  We’ve been fighting injuries like every team has. We play a very important game this weekend and then we get a bye, which will be good for this football team.”

On if this team has the psychological makeup to deal with this kind of stress in the fourth quarter week in and week out:

“I hope so. I sure hope we do, that’s part of our mental toughness.  I think we’re coached very hard and we prepare for tough situations and that’s the kind pressure our coach puts on us every day in practice to perform and to perform consistently.  It’s not like in the seventh week of the year you’ve got all the answers, you never really have all the answers. There’s only one team that’s really happy at the end of the year, and I think it’s a building process – playing your best football at the most important times.”

On if he can put his finger on why they’re struggling on offense:

“It’s tough to say.”

On if it’s because they’re not really sure what they’re identity is yet:

“I don’t know. I think you asked teams, they would probably change over the course of the next, whatever, nine weeks anyway?  I think you continue to go do the things that you are doing well. You’d love to figure those things out in spring camps but it really doesn’t play that way. You have some teams that you play and situations that you face and players that are healthy or not healthy and schemes that you run and you boil it down to what you’re good at. It’s only October.”

On the fact that while it’s nice to win 35-0, what is it like to win this way?:

“It’s nice to win the close games. It’s nice to win when you’re down three with a minute 40 left in the game. I mean I think that’s… a lot of guys made a lot of really great plays to get us in that position. Steve [Gostkowski] had some huge kicks, Danny [Woodhead] made some plays, Brandon [Lloyd] made plays Wes of course made plays, Gronk made some big plays, Aaron made plays. When those guys contribute it ends up being… it’s a nice win, I’m sure the guys are going to have fun tonight.”

On the fact the byproduct of these games the of experience being in these positions and if that makes things easier:

“That’s important, you’re going to make some and you’re going to miss some, and you’re going to complete some, and you’re going to throw some incompletions, we’re going to catch some, and we’re not going to catch some.  We’re building and hopefully we continue to get better.  We played a team tonight that fought hard, and we fought hard, and it came down to the end.”

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