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1st half-play calling

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Don Calhoun, Nov 6, 2007.

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  1. Don Calhoun

    Don Calhoun Rookie

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    At the risk of being somewhat nitpicky on the heals of a huge regular season victory, I was somewhat dismayed by the offensive play-calling in the first half. I was very surprised to see the Patriots almost completely abandon the style that had gotten them to 8-0. I understand the Colts defense presented some problems they hadn't faced to that point, but I thought the game-plan over-reacted to them quite a bit. While it made sense to turn more to the running game with both Colt DE's rushing hard on the edges, I felt that Brady could've exploited that better with some 3-step slants and screen passes.

    Having said that, the play that really got me pissed was the designed roll-out for the interception that set up Addai's TD to close out the half. That play looked like a freaking hail mary with 3 seconds left at the snap of the ball! I understood that Brady was getting alot of pressure and this seemed like a good way to buy him some time for a deep ball, but then he throws that prayer jump ball to Stallworth? Moss maybe, but not Stallworth. We were up by a point, could've taken some time off the clock, put some more points on the board, and given Peyton very little time left in the half. The whole thing reeked of desparation at a time when we really didn't need to be desparate. Thoughts??

    Don't get me wrong here...I am ecstatic that we won the game and believe that the Pats overcame several steep obstacles to win this game. I just think that there is alot to learn from the differential between the 1st half and 2nd half successes.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2007
  2. njpatsfan

    njpatsfan Rookie

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    Not to nitpick, but it's "heels", not "heals".

    I couldn't disagree more. The designed rollout was a stroke of genius. When have you ever seen the Patriots do that ? It was so well executed there wasn't a defender within 10 yards of Brady. No one spys Brady, and this play took advantage of it. Tom just underthrew it. The INT was made by a defender that was already badly beaten on the play.

    Hail Mary ? What 50+ yard pass play *doesn't* look like a Hail Mary ?

    R
  3. satz

    satz Rookie

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    What the hell . they were loosing the los which did not happen in the past games without bring addition help opeing underneath .
  4. Bobs My Uncle

    Bobs My Uncle PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    I too question the play calling early but more so because it took them so long to get into the hurry up, and figure out protection on the OL, than anything.
  5. jeffd

    jeffd Rookie

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    Strange post. You don't like the conservative play call, then don't like them going deep?
    I agree with the first part, way too much running in the first half. But, their pass rush was much less effective in the 2nd half. Maybe thats why BB gets paid more than me.

    That play to Stallworth was perfect playcalling. Donte was open, Brady blew the throw. A TD there, could have opened up the game and sparked a blowout.
  6. SVN

    SVN Rookie

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    if we had come out with 3 step screen passes we wouldve gone nowhere. Screens dont work at all on the colts defense. they are too fast. if we had followed the script we had for last 8 games then brady wouldve got killed.
    On the stallworth INT .i think donte couldve also done a better job of jumping up higher or go aggressively for the ball to break the INT. Something every WR needs to look for on a 40 /50 yard pass.
  7. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I agree. I loved the call, hated the execution. The play did do exactly what it intended. It gave Stallworth the favorable one on one match up. The ball was just underthrown and Bethea made a great play.
  8. chrisfx811

    chrisfx811 Rookie

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    Didn't Brady say something to the effect of the Colts doing things they weren't expecting? It sounds like the Patriots were caught with their pants down a bit, coupled with the communication breakdown, it just took them longer to adjust.

    I liked the 2nd Q bomb to Stallworth, it just needed to be thrown a split second sooner, or 5 yards deeper.
  9. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    As for the play calling, I questioned a lot of plays on both sides of the ball.

    I wasn't thrilled with the conservative play calling, but I think in the end it accomplished what they wanted. The Colts' defenders were spent by the fourth quarter. Bob Sanders, Dwight Freeney, and Robert Mathis all had to be taken out of the game due to injuries or exhaustion.


    I didn't like the Pats playing in a nickel package early in the game as much as I didn't like the play calls. Going into the game, I thought the Pats had to shutdown Addai and force Manning to throw as strange as it sounds. And I was right. Addai killed us in the first half. We figured out how to slow down Addai in the second half and Manning couldn't do anything against us.

    I do wonder how much the Pats played close to the vest because they knew they would likely see the Colts in the playoffs and weren't going to pull too much out of their bag of tricks unless they had to.
  10. chrisfx811

    chrisfx811 Rookie

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    On the flip side, is Manning's confidence so shaken that he can't play more aggressively w/o a full complement of WR's?

    I'm not used to seeing the Colts go out in the 4th quarter like they did.

    Brady may have looked shaky in the last 3 losses with all the int's but I'll say this: he never lost confidence in himself, or whomever was on the field with him.
  11. Pujo

    Pujo Rookie

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    Belichick addressed it in his post-game press conference. They were intentionally trying to slow down the tempo of the game. It didn't work, so they adjusted in the second half. Hindsight's always 20-20, but what's important is they were able to adjust in the second half when their first plan didn't work.
  12. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Rookie

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    How were the Patriots playing conservatively on offense when the first play from scrimmage Brady was sacked which originated from the shotgun formation? Obviously Brady was looking to pass on first down on the Patriots first offensive play. If anything, the Patriots failed on their first offensive possession to establish the running game. On the Patriots third offensive possession, the Patriots failed to finish the drive with the running game.
  13. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think yuo guys should rephrase "I wasnt happy that we didnt call plays the same way" to "I wasnt happy that what we did didnt work perfectly again".

    For the year, we have run the ball 48.5% of the time. In the first half against the Colts we ran 13 and threw 13(including a sack and not counting a kneel down). Thats 50%. Are we really trying to say that because we ran ONE MORE time than we traditionally have that we changed our entire concept and got conservative?

    We had THREE possessions in the first half. One started with a pass and sack. The second was a TD drive with 6 runs and 7 passes. The third ended with the Brady Int and 5 runs and 6 passes.

    I don't know if people just don't watch games, and only watch the highlights? But this idea that we are a mad bombing offense is way off base. Our offense is balanced. We use all of the field in the passing game. Sometimes we go deep, but we certainly dont do it all day long. I would say we threw about exactly as many 40+ passes as we normally do in a game.

    Can we please stop this search for reasons to make the win look better? We won the game. I don't think making up a story that we changed everything, to make it feel like we would have won by more if we didnt can imporve on the result. And it just isnt true,.
  14. TruthSeeker

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    Stallworth misplayed it badly. One of the most important things on a deep ball when you have time is to remain between where the ball is coming down and the defender. You force the defender to commit interference if he goes for the interception and force a good play to break up the pass. Stallworth played it like he was the only player on the field.

    True, Brady underthrew it or didn't throw it soon enough. That's not unusual on a 50 yard pass.

    You can also say that this was the coaching staff's fault for designing the play for Stallworth instead of Moss. Randy doesn't make that mistake - and he almost certainly comes down with the ball.
  15. njpatsfan

    njpatsfan Rookie

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    Then the play wouldn't have been in single coverage, and you would have Brady on the wrong side of the field from the receivers that were.

    R
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2007
  16. chris_in_sunnyvale

    chris_in_sunnyvale Rookie

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    The Colts took the opening kickoff and ran off a ton of clock before the missed FG. Then the Pats went 3-and-out. Then the Colts took a ton more time off the clock for a 3-0 lead. At the end of the first quarter, the TOP was heavily skewed in favor of the Colts. It was starting to look like the Pats' D was going to be on the field the whole game and recent history at the RCA dome didn't bode well for that happening again. I think the Pats were playing conservative for two reasons: 1) Establish a running game, but also 2) Give the D some rest that they'll be thankful for in the 4th quarter.

    To be fair, you are not the first person to criticize this play, but you're the first I'm going to rebut. That play call was great, but Brady's throw and Stallworth's reaction screwed it up. Brady had been harassed all game in the pocket; The previous play Light was called for a leg whip. It was 2nd-and-24. The rollout to the right did two things: 1) Get Brady some much needed time and 2) Get the coverage sliding in that direction. Both things worked. Stallworth was running a post, but then cut to the corner and was wide open because the D (including Bethea) continued sliding to the right. Brady simply underthrew the ball, allowing a badly-beaten Bethea to recover and make the pick. Stallworth should have done a better job establishing position for the jump ball, but instead drifted back and allowed Bethea inside position. If Brady put that ball in the endzone, Stallworth has 6 with Bethea two steps too late.

    Regards,
    Chris
  17. chris_in_sunnyvale

    chris_in_sunnyvale Rookie

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    I said they went conservative after the Colts had TWO possessions of good ball control and TOP skewed heavily in their favor.

    Regards,
    Chris
  18. AndyJohnson

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    I dont know if underthrown is quite accurate. It was, however there was very little room left to fit it in. How much deeper could Brady have thrown it?
    I think ultimately the biggest issue with the play was the route. Stallworth was heading out of bounds at about the goalline. The route (whether its design or Stallworths running of it) should have either angle to the back corner of the end zone, or he should have come further inside before breaking it back out.
    I agree Brady underthrew the ball, but with the amount of field he had to work with, its hard to expect much else.
  19. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    I completely agree. Even the two bomb TDs to Moss against Miami were underthrown.
  20. chris_in_sunnyvale

    chris_in_sunnyvale Rookie

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    This thought did cross my mind, that the corner route should have been run deeper. Still, either Brady waited to long to make that throw to that spot or he should have thrown it deeper and let Stallworth adjust since he had Bethea beaten by a step.

    I think Brady missing Moss twice on deep throws vs. Dallas has made him put more air under the ball lately. Even the 55yd throw to Moss was underthrown and that ball was thrown with a huge arc. That pick intended for Stallworth should have been thrown more on a line, much like his 33yd catch in the game-winning drive...which Bethea would have had a play on it if it had more air under it, too.

    Regards,
    Chris
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