1. I have to say that when the board went down. I missed it. When Ian figures out what happened, I hope he informs us and if we can help in some way, he lets us know.
2. I sincerely hope fans and media don't second guess and look to blame BB or the Pats for Gronk reinjuring his arm. As BB said in his post game, if the doctors say they can play, he plays them. Its horrible luck that we have lost him again. It just is. This is a great offense. It can be even greater with Gronk playing. Unfortunately we are going to have to wait until next year to see what that looks like. Until then we are stuck with what we have. Fortunately that doesn't suck.
3. Its the pure Patriot way to have prepared a lot of great things all week for Woody and Gronk Ias Brady alluded to postgame.) and then lose them BOTH in the first series.....Then within 2 series they had reset the offense and managed to score 41 points on a top 10 defense over the next 3 and a half quarters. Kudos to Josh, Brady, Vareen, and Hooman
4.Back in the 2010 draft, I didn't mind that we draft Vareen, and I didn't mind tat we drafted Ridley, but drafting BOTH in consecutive seemed like a wasted pick to me. Mea Culpa - Now it doesn't
- Vareen showed us that he can fill that 3rd down back role well. and showed some the explosive plays that caused us to draft him BEFORE Ridely. . Yeah the 3 TD's, the great hands, and 5.5ypc are fantastic, but what stood out to me was how well he blocked the blitz. Vareen got an opportunity and made the most of it....in true Patriot style.
5. I'm going to assume that Woody will also be IRed. Now the Pats are left with just 3 RB's. Good running backs, productive RB's, but RB's that only have 5 years of experience between them. So I ask the question do the Pats go out and add a RB, or do we take a chance that we can make it through the next 2 games with just 3.
OR with the Pats put out a call to Kevin Faulk and hope he's in shape or is there someone else out there like Sammy Morris who knows the system and could come in and at least be the 4th back
6. But the real story of this game, imo was the continuing maturation of our Defense.
Over the first 3 quarters the Pats D allowed only 13 points and all of those points came on drives of LESS than 45 yds. Now in the end, the Texans piled up a ton of yard, over a 3rd of them came in the 4th quarter after the score was 38-13. So I'll go by what my eyes saw and not what I read in the final box score and here is what I saw.
I saw a run defense completely shut the one of the best run games in the league completely for all but one drive in the first half and only 90 yds total, and half of those were gotten in garbage time. I saw a defense that got off the field on third down 74% of the time (11 out of 15) I saw a secondary that contested every down hill throw and tackled very well.
In particular I thought Wilson did a very nice Job on Daniels. He seemed to be right on him most of the time. Interesting that he, not Chung seemed to get most of the 3rd S snaps. I thought this might be a big game for Chung, but all it did was confirm that he won't be back after this season. But who knows with the Pats, next week he might be the key performer. I doubt anyone had Shane Vareen as their playoff fantasy RB.
Andre Johnson got close to 100 yds again and was a beast for the Texans, but Talib made him earn every one of those yards. Steve Gregory didn't provide us with any highlight big hits, but he did defend and tackle extremely efficiently. Finally McCourty didn't make any big plays that were obvious to us, but I have to think that his positioning and range was one of the reasons, that, IIRC, the Texans RARELY tried to go deep on the Pats, which was a bit surprising to me.
BOTTOM LINE - I like this defense. I'm starting to like it a LOT. Sure the offense has been damaged, losing Gronk and Woody. It will make it a lot easier for teams to cover Wes Lloyd, and Hernandez. BUT, unlike last year, THIS defense doesn't need to be carried by the offense This unit is starting to show that it can share the load with the offense, and very soon be capable of carrying the load for short periods.
7. I have to say I got a woodie when Brady tossed 2 outlet passes to the RBs early in the game. I have been begging for that from Brady, since I kept seeing RB's open in the Jets loss in 2010. I'm sorry I didn't see more of it. I hope that the success he got out of it tonight, plus the success the Texans had dumping the ball off to Foster, will put the seed in Josh's head that THIS might be a good idea going forward.
8. On the negative side - 2 things. First, going in to the game the Pats had one of the best KO coverage teams in the league....and they sucked all but one time. That HAS to get fixed. Secondly, the Pats could muster very little pressure on Shaub with just a 4 man rush. They did do much better when they blitzed however usually getting a man free in those situations.
Also you can't be happy giving up 15 points in the 4th quarter, and all those total yds, even if they were in garbage time. Just not a great precedent. Too much of a reminder of the bad old days when we gave up double digit leads to both the Ravens and Seattle.
9. I read in PFT that JJ Watt spit on the Pats logo and rubbed it in with his feet....BEFORE the game. Good thing LT wasn't around to see it.
. Not that it bothered me much, but still diminished Watt a bit in my eyes. Just more BS, childish behavior that show why the Texans aren't mentally ready to take that next step, to where their play matches their talent. Letterman jackets and spitting our our emblem isn't going make you any more intimidating. "GROW up JJ, this is the NFL."
Besides according to NFL.com JJ got credit for a half a sack (which came very early in the game) and 3 tackles. IIRC what hits the Texans got on Brady came from Smith more than Watt. In other words JJ didn't get much return on his saliva.
10. No even Jet fans can complain that the Pats got the calls from the officials. Far from it. The "forward progress fumble", cost the Pats a turnover at the Houston 20. The ref who obviously was going thru the "change of life" cost the Pats a TD when he hit Lloyd with 15 yds for throwing the ball too hard. Also Foster hand hit the ground BEFORE he got the ball to the 1st down marker on that 4th down. Plus I have to wonder if what Gregory did was worth a flag, what about the time Welker was crushed when he was defenseless.
All that being said, the fact that by and large the refs kept their flags in their pockets and there wasn't a sing PI, IIRC made this game go much faster. Even with the bad calls, I prefer games like this to games where every other play a flag is thrown.
10. Some quick thoughts on the Ravens
A. On the plus side, I don't think the Raven's OL is not as good as Texans have, (3 all pros) and with the injuries to Ngata, and Suggs, they don't have anyone who can rush the Pats like Smith and Watt. So I predict our 4 man pass rush is going to improve a bit, while the chances of Brady getting hit a lot is going to decrease.
B. No question that the Ravens, unlike Houston, is going to test our secondary DEEP. Torry Smith and Aquan Bolden are just too good not to. Both are big tough guys who excel at winning the ball even when well covered. IMHO its the #1 threat and should be the #1 topic of discussion this week in the strategy threads.
C. I am a lot less fearful of Ray Rice's running. He's not near the threat that Foster was, and we handled THAT reasonable well. Where I DO fear Rice is in the passing game. Screens and dump offs make me worried.
D. We need Daniel Fells to go from a healthy scratch to a viable 2nd TE receiver in the course of a week. He doesn't have to be Gronk. He just has to catch about 3 balls and take someone out of coverage.
11. Just peeking ahead to the superbowl - In a playoffs riddled with rematches, it would seem that should we win next week, we should be getting another shot at the Niners. Of course they present a myriad of problems, which, hopefully we'll have 2 weeks to get into, but on the plus side, a Niner win next week, will likely mean that the Gronkless Pats, would likely be a Superbowl UNDERDOG.
Rodney and I would very much enjoy that.status again