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Divisional Playoff Thoughts

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by AndyJohnson, Jan 16, 2008.

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  1. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    -How could you NOT rate the Pats OL as the best in the NFL? After a sack on the first play (great job by Henderson btw) Brady was hardly breathed on. Run blocking was good, including the WRs too. I can't think of a better game by an OL than having the QB touched once, enough time to complete 26 of 28, the RB running 22-120, and total rush yards somewhere around 150.

    -Here is my opinion of our 2007 D compared to other Ds we have won Championships with. For the most part it is about as good as we have had, with one exception. When we put heavy emphasis on stopping one facet of a team, i.e. stopping the run and making them beat us through the air, there have been years when we stopped both anyway. This defense to me appears to be very much like our other Champions when playing both phases, but has a harder time stopping the phase they are taking for granted (or lack of a better way to put it). In the end I dont think it matters much because when we sell out one phase, its because the other is poor, and while they make plays, they cannot sustain it enough to win. In other words, we have, and still do dictate what teams that are weak in one area do, and while in some years, they still couldnt make plays in that weak area, now they make some, but not enough to beat us.

    -I saw some impressive effort plays in this game. Probably no more than normal, but they stood out. Few examples: Seymour tipped a pass, Jones-Drew caught it, and Seymour hustled about 20 yards to make the tackle after deflecting it. Seymour has always been the most hustling DL I have ever seen, and this was a good example. Stallworth's fight for the first down late. Gaffney fighting toward the goalline early in the game. Maroney AGAIN driving the pile for an extra 5-7 yards, this time almost getting in the end zone.

    -Another play that stood out to me about Maroney wasn't anything special but it showed the excellent running instincts and vision he has. Maroney was running left, broke through, and about 8-10 yards downfield Gaffney had a blocker engaged. Gaffney was kicking out, yet rather than cutting inside him which is what a RB normally does, he cut OUTSIDE, in the direction Gaffney was blocking the defender. I noticed it as the play developed, but more clearly on the replay. There were 2 defenders inside of Gaffney unblocked. If he cut inside of Gaffneys block, they stop him on the spot. Instead he started inside, got very close then cut outside of Gaffney. Gaffneys blocker was engaged, and one of the 2 guys inside of the block ran right into Gaffney. The other, and the guy Gaff had ended up tackling him, but he gained an extra maybe 5-6 yards than if he just read and cut of Gaffs block. Had there been more field before the sideline there is a good chance he would have broken it. 3 guys, 1 being blocked, and he almost set up the other 2 off of that block to be shielded out of the play. Nice running, but more importantly, a great signal of his instincts and vision.

    -I like Randall Gay, but we are a different defense without Hobbs.
    -I was heavily rooting for Rodney to be the guy who got the inevitable 4th quarter Int.
    -Good catch but Watson on the first TD, but what a fundamental nightmare on how he caught it. CATCH WITH YOUR HANDS BEN.
    -Very disappointing to see Gostkowski chunk short kicks. Hard to argue with the year he had, but sometimes I think Id rather see him kick from 45 than from 35.
    -For the most part everyone we put back to return kickoffs breaks long returns pretty often. I don't get the feeling that Chad Jackson is that type of threat. Not that he has done anything wrong, you cant break a return if blocking isnt there, but I just don't get that feeling.

    -I felt that there was no way we were losing that game (before, but moreso during the game) but I also think we played a more difficult opponent last week than we do this week. And I still think that both of those will be more difficult opponents than we face in the SB. We may have beaten the best team we will face in the playoffs already in our first game.

    -What happened to the 'physical' Jags that were going to beat us up? I saw almost zero plays where we were 'outphysicalled'. Anyone else notice that the supposed tough guys didn't play very tough?

    -Absolutely without question, BB wins the appeal on the first TD if he throws the flag. My opinion on why he didnt:
    You had to really slow it down and stop the tape at the precise moment to see that the shin/knee were down and the ball wasnt out yet. Without that proper look, it looked like one of those that could have been called either way and not overturned. I think they didnt get a conclusive look in the box until it was too late. I think BB felt that it was 4-5 minutes into the game, they are going to have to do a lot more than score 1 TD to beat us, and they will need to play 60 minutes, not 5 to beat us. Not that the TD wasnt important, but given the uncertainty, it may be prudent to save the challenge for a fluky play that could hurt us worse (i.e. a turnover). Its not a matter of blowing a TO, but there is also a limit in challenges. The first 5 minutes is not the ideal time to burn one. Just my thought as it was happening.

    -We forced a lot of fumbles in this game. Back to the physical comment, we were definitely more physical from a tackling standpoint.

    -I had mixed emotions in the Colt/Charger game. Basically, it came down to how much I enjoy watching the Colts lose, vs how much more I enjoy watching the Colts lose TO THE PATS.
    -Another point on that game. Peyton Manning until last season was considered by many a flat out playoff choke artist. Last year, he played very poorly in the playoffs, especially compared to his own regular season play, but his team got the monkey off his back. Sunday, this is what happened:
    1) AT HOME, his team was ahead in the 4th quarter
    2) There were 2 drives left for each team
    3) Peyton Manning had 2 shots, BILLY VOLEK had 2 shots
    4) Billy Volek came through, Peyton Manning failed twice
    I think it is tremendously ironic that he puts up 400 passing yards, and all the stats, but with the game on the line, his team got him the ball twice, he got them to the red zone, then failed both times. This is the difference between Brady and Manning. There is absolutely NO WAY, no chance that you can tell me that Tom Brady in that situation would fail on both of those drives. Even the thought of the possiblity of that happening is ludicrous to me.
     
  2. Seacoast Fan

    Seacoast Fan Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I think it is tremendously ironic that he puts up 400 passing yards, and all the stats, but with the game on the line, his team got him the ball twice, he got them to the red zone, then failed both times. This is the difference between Brady and Manning. There is absolutely NO WAY, no chance that you can tell me that Tom Brady in that situation would fail on both of those drives. Even the thought of the possiblity of that happening is ludicrous to me.

    Agreed 100%
    He wasn't the only reason the Colts lost, but he was certainly one of them.
     
  3. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I put the majority of the blame on him. The other 52 players played well enough for Manning to MAKE IT A WIN.
    Yes there are 53 players who are all supposed to make it a win, but when you build your team around a player, and he is the clear leader, and is supposed to be the reason they win in spite of other problems, he is accountable to get the job done. Did Manning contribute more to the team in that game than most of the other 52, sure he did, but he failed to do what the team requires him to do in order for the team to win.
    If you said to the Colts management that their season would revolve around being up 3 points, and Peyton Manning and Billy Volek will each get 2 possessions, they would say, that is what we have built this team for.
     
  4. patsox23

    patsox23 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Great stuff, as always, AJ.
     
  5. Buchanty

    Buchanty On the Game Day Roster

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    Nice post and lots to agree with. In particular I agree about the Jags being the better team than the one we meet this week. They do play very well as a team, and my estimation of Garrard rose greatly from his last two games. However the Chargers bring enough to the table to present a tough challenge.

    I also agree with your comment on the D being focussed on one phase and relaxing on the other phase. Sometimes I worry that it allows the other team to get into rhythm (especially in the passing game), but the O is so good that BB knows they are always going to get more points.

    If a concern remains it's about tackling, and its not just stopping the opponent its the fact that they dont bring them down. As an ex-rugby player I know the shoulder charge has a very low success percentage, yet our secondary seems to use the shoulder charge or body as missile as their first or second option way too often.

    Other thoughts on the Indy-Bolts game, which was unexpected though not a shocker:

    PM did play quite well, although in typical seasonal fashion he started off really well and sputtered out at the end. I dont blame him as much as Dungy for the loss though. Yes he makes the calls at the LOS, and he may have pushed Dungy for a passing frenzy at the end of the game, but ultimately its the head coach's decision more than the QBs to give up on the running game. There were no running plays on either of the last 2 possessions. Perhaps Dungy colluded with Wade P, to do the same in Dallas. As far as blame goes I would apportion it as follows:

    Dungy 40% - he is responsible to the owner for how the team plays and after sparking early they played most of the game flat.
    DefenseL 30% - no pass rush, soft against wideouts, where was Sanders?
    Manning 15% - lost his composure and accuracy in the final drives.
    Clark 15% - yes the ball was high, but there was no pressure from a defender and he had an open field in front of him. Harrison (when fit) or Wayne would have got that one. Let's hope they stop showing that ad with the Kid whispering Clark in the last second of the Taylor rush.

    In fact wouldnt it be nice if the result of the Colts failure is a 90% reduction in Manning commercials (that would still allow him at least 10 appearances a day :p )
     
  6. Ootball

    Ootball Guest

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    " This is the difference between Brady and Manning. There is absolutely NO WAY, no chance that you can tell me that Tom Brady in that situation would fail on both of those drives. Even the thought of the possiblity of that happening is ludicrous to me."

    You must have missed the AFCCG last year. Tom Brady had 2 drives & 2 chances to put the game away at the end. He didn't get a 1st down the 1st time, and threw an INT the 2nd time.
     
  7. Double G

    Double G In the Starting Line-Up

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    For every ying there is on this forum, there's Ootball, aka, the yang.
     
  8. captain stone

    captain stone Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Why was Payaton throwing to Kenton Keith instead of Addai? It wasn't a perfect pass, but Keith should have caught it. Instead, Eric Weddle made a lucky/great catch, while a dolts OLineman was tackling him. No penalty flag thrown, of course. And Dallas Clark should have caught the last pass of the game, on 4th/5.

    I just love looking at Payaton's Playoff Puss. Priceless.
     
  9. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The situation was not the same. First, it was not AT HOME. Second it was not against Billy Volek. Third, he did not have 2 drives when trailing, he had one with lead, and one with 1:00 left and 79 yards to go, needing a TD.
    There is a world of difference between a drive when you are ahead, and a drive when you have 1 minute left vs 2 drives when you are behind 4 points, and have all of the time you need.

    Try again, but I dont think you'll find a case of Brady choking it up like Manning did, at least going back 5 years.
    And by the way, it would be very easy to find playoff games where Manning came up short in a similar of worse (4 Ints, 3 points all day) fashion.
     
  10. SamBam39

    SamBam39 Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    he was thowing to keith because addai was on the sidelines after a blow to the head.
     
  11. SamBam39

    SamBam39 Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Good Post Andy,
    I agree, the media makes all these 'general impression' claims, such as 'the jags are more physical than the patriots', but they don't go back and say, hey, we were wrong, when the jags are proven to clearly not be any more physical than the pats. they just point to other reasons.

    they do the same thing with our running game.

    the truth is, the pats can be anything they decide they want to be. they are flexible and have a great roster full of talent and depth. The pats can and do change their gameplan completely from game to game, to fit that week's needs - something that alot of teams can't do, and wouldn't know how to pull offf if they could. but because of this, the pats don't get credit at being strong at some of the things they can do - because they don't do it all the time.
     
  12. SamBam39

    SamBam39 Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    had to go make the kids dinner..
     
  13. SamBam39

    SamBam39 Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    sorry, it posted on me by accident!

    was gonna say, I meant to talk more about the jags game.


    I felt the talk was also all around the jags vaunted rushing attack and our run game was as good or better. we were physical at least as much if not more. so what is it that we're supposed to be scared of with the jags? garrard? he's a good player, but not great so far. he made some nice passes and avoided alot of mistakes. he can scramble well. yeah, so.
    even if he gets good receivers, it's not like he's amazing. he's sort of like roethlisberger, seems to me. a nice player. and capable of beating you if you let him. but also very ordinary at times.

    I thought the pats made great adjustments at halftime and the d was better after that. the thing too, about these teams, even when they fall behind, and are running out of time, they don't take their shots down the field. I understand that nobody may be open and they don't want an interception, but if your gonna lose if you don't - ya gotta - but often they still don't - just amazing.
     
  14. captain stone

    captain stone Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    I too am surprised that more teams don't try just chucking the ball up for grabs and hope for at least a DPI call. That should have been Jacksonville's strategy in the 4th quarter.
     
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