Join Date: May 2005
San Diego Breakdown (Divisional)
I'm starting off with the Pats' 11-play, 72-yard scoring drive to put the Pats back within 4 going into halftime:
Offensive Series #7 Touchdown
Time: 2:04 remaining in the second quarter
Statistics: 11 plays (4 run, 7 pass), 72 yards (22 run, 55 pass, -5 penalty), time of possession was 1:56
Breakdown: 8 green plays (3 run, 5 pass) for 74 yds. (19 run, 55 pass), 3 red plays (1 run, 2 pass) for 3 yds. (3 run, 0 pass), 5 penalty yards lost for the Patriots.
Kickoff: Maroney from the NE 3, 25 yd. return, Maroney runs behind Wright but Woods and Thomas are both decked backside, breaking down the return.
1st and 10 NE 28
Result: Run, Faulk, up the middle, 7 yds.
Analysis: Faulk lone RB with Brown slot and Graham motion inside to RG vs. 3-4 with OLB and CB press. Graham wham blocks the NT (shaded over LG), freeing up Koppen to chip the LDE and get a solid lead block on the SILB, actually FS Marlon McCree. Neal and Kaczur kept the LDE and LOLB wide enough to give Faulk some space behind Koppen. The WILB and Light met each other too quickly for Light to gain the inside angle, so the WILB was able to shed and stack up Faulk. The first hit actually came from the LDE, who got an arm on Faulk, causing him to spin right to the WILB and then LOLB.
2nd and 3 NE 35
Result: Run, Faulk, right tackle, 7 yds.
Analysis: No huddle, same formation and TE motion vs. 4-2 nickel with CB press. As Brady said after the Jets game, when the Pats run a successful play, McDaniels will tell Brady to “just run it again.” That is precisely the case here. The exact same wham block by Graham occurred, but this time, Kaczur was able to ride the LOLB well outside, and Neal got good drive on the LDE, giving Faulk much more room to work with. Koppen, however, could not catch up to the DB-turned-SILB McCree, who blew past Koppen but made a premature dive at Faulk. A short hurdle by Faulk took him over both the defender and the to-gain line.
1st and 10 NE 42
Result: Pass, Faulk, Incomplete, underneath, pass dropped.
Analysis: Shotgun with same formation and personnel vs. 4-1 dime with only 2 DBs press. Neal and Kaczur took care of the NT and LDE right, Mankins took the RDE wide, and Koppen and Light forced the ROLB Merriman to drop off. This gave Brady a wide open pocket, but the 4-man (3, really) gave the Chargers plenty of DBs to roam the waters. Apparently the 3 WRs and Graham were swallowed up deep by 5 DBs, and the LB and 6th DB shadowed Faulk underneath. The pass came in a bit high and wide, conveniently causing Faulk to turn towards the secondary and notice the imminent hit behind him. I’ll take 0 yards over 4 and a possible fumble.
2nd and 10 NE 42
Result: Run, Faulk, right guard, 3 yds (after penalty).
PENALTY on NE-L.Mankins, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at NE 45.
Analysis: Non-shotgun same formation and personnel vs. 4-2 nickel with all 3 CBs press. Graham ole’d the aggressive LOLB, opening up an enormous right side hole that Mankins pulled through. Undersized and overmatched, the SILB (SS McCree) was grabbed by the shoulder pads and thrown to the ground by Mankins. With help on the inside from Kaczur and Neal sealing the LDE and WILB, Faulk ran wild into the secondary. But, alas! The flag appears. Apparently, by grabbing McCree’s jersey to get a grip for his throw-down, Mankins committed a holding penalty. Simms had trouble finding it too.
2nd and 17 NE 35
Result: Timeout, New England – 2 remaining in the first half.
Analysis: Shotgun same formation and personnel vs. 4-2 nickel LBs blitzing and only 2 DBs press. Maroney took the carry, but with only half of the players moving, it was obvious a timeout had been called, as there were no flags.
2nd and 17 NE 35
Result: Pass, Gaffney, sideline comeback pattern, 17 yds.
Analysis: Shotgun same formation and personnel vs. 4-2 nickel with LCB press and NB blitz look. The CB backed off the blitz on the snap and covered Brown in the slot left. Mankins took care of the RDE, Neal and Koppen the NT, and Kaczur kept the LDE at bay for long enough. Merriman took one charge at Light then backed off. Faulk came through the line and was covered from behind by the LBs, so this was probably the same play as his drop before. Brown kept the NB low long enough, and with the RCB so late on Gaffney’s sideline route, it certainly looked to be a cover-3 RCB sky. Brady nailed Gaffney in the void.
1st and 10 SD 48
Result: Pass, Gaffney, seam pattern, 16 yds.
Analysis: No huddle, same personnel and similar formation, with Brown slot right instead vs. 4-2 nickel with RCB press. A 4-man rush with some stunting was picked up flawlessly to give Brady a squeaky clean pocket. Graham took the WILB short left, Faulk the SILB/FS underneath, and Caldwell the LCB (zoned) short right. This left Gaffney and Caldwell deep against 4 DBs. With no replays because of the no huddle, it’s unclear how Gaffney caught this ball. He beat the RCB on a seam route, and on the next frame with him in it, you can see the RCB trailing, the NB breaking off Brown (2 yards to the right) and going for Gaffney, and both safeties coming up late. Gaffney was sandwiched between the RCB and NB, but did emerge with ball in hand.
1st and 10 SD 32
Result: Pass, Brown, Incomplete, quick out, pass thrown wide.
Analysis: No huddle, same formation and personnel vs. 4-2 nickel with RCB press. Despite an excellent jump on the snap by the RDE, the 4-man rush was still picked up with the help of only Graham to give Brady the clean pocket he’s been enjoying over the past few plays. Faulk took the WILB into the left flat, the SILB/FS took a mid-zone, and Brown took a quick out to the right flat on the NB. Caldwell (barely) and Gaffney took their CBs deep. Brady’s throw came in too wide and too low, which wasn’t helped by a Brown stumble as he tried to extend for it. It’s possible that Brady was trying to give Brown the ball far enough wide for he could go out of bounds, but with 2 timeouts, I don’t understand the reasoning behind that.
2nd and 10 SD 32
Result: Draw, Faulk, up the middle, 5 yds.
Analysis: Same formation and personnel vs. 4-2 nickel with DBs and LBs well off. This gave Faulk a 10-yard cushion to run with, which may or may not have been a good thing. Graham came out ahead and took care of the SILB/FS, but Faulk came up between Koppen and Neal. The LDE broke off but missed Faulk. Luckily for the Chargers, the WILB Edwards was right there to wrap up Faulk. Coming across from the slot, Brown let the NB slip behind him and instead had to pull up from blocking the SS in the back. The LCB was second to Faulk.