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Dolphins vs. Pats: week 1 Breakdown & Analysis

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Patspsycho, Sep 13, 2011.

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  1. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Going to look at the first Miami drive in depth as that is the worse drive we had all game- try to get to the bottom of it.

    As always, if I err on formation, personnel, or scheme, throw the flag on me. I don't pretend to be smarter than anyone in this forum.

    Dolphins 15
    1st and 10
    Fins in 3 x 1 posse shotgun, Bush in as HB.
    We are in 4-3 okie (nose is covered) but after Henne assigned protection, we shifted to the over (3 tech is weakside).

    Ninko is strong and Mayo is will. Secondary is in man-free, weakside is cover 2, strongside is cover 0, because of Henne's tendency to throw strongside. Nobody is on Ninko and he has a free path to blitz.

    This is the terrible completion to Marshall that should have been ruled incomplete. To Miami's credit, they hurried to get the ball snapped before anyone could review the play.

    Dolphins 39
    1st and 10
    Fins: same formation
    We are in 4-3 under (3 tech strongside). Man-free in cover 0.

    Fins run reduced splits to the flat (no rub). This left Mayo to pick up Bush on the over part. Bush is a little too fast and already has a head of speed, and is able to elude Mayo.

    Patriots 43
    1st and 10
    Fins: basic I formation
    We are in 4-3 under, still man-free, strongside is man to man, weakside is cover 2.

    Dolphins know we are one-gapping and execute their blocking scheme perfectly, springing Bush for 12 yards through weakside B gap. This is so well played that the FB doesn't even have anyone to block. Henne fakes bootleg

    McCourty will get yelled at in the film room. His head just was not in on this play. He failed to read the fake bootleg and disengage from his man. Chung was also slow to react. They bite too hard on the fake bootleg. A simple case of MNF opening night jitters.

    Patriots 29
    1st and 10
    Fins: Posse 2 x 2
    We show cover 2 basic, then quickly go to cover 1 with strongside being cover 0 and weakside cover 2. Chung rolls up on the slot.

    A simple wide split dig off a 3-step hot read (they were expecting us to blitz) with Hartline beating McCourty inside. This is another incomplete pass that the refs blew again. However, we didn't challenge either so we are at fault here too. McCourty is still not 100% there.

    Patriots 25
    2nd and 4
    Fins: Posse 2 x 2 shotgun
    We are in 4-3 under, both sides cover 0. Bess motions outside numbers and goes under the slot to stack weakside (and you know an inside route is coming). Credit Dowling and Chung (star) for making a seamless switch. Chung sticks to the under (Bess) and Dowling covers the top. Chung stays with his man (Bess) who fumbles the catch away. Incomplete pass.

    Patriots 25
    3rd and 4
    Fins: Posse 3 x 1 trips left
    We are in 4-3 under. By this time we are usually in the nickel, but curious choice here- we are not, but we are in cover 0. Wright brings the heat and flush Henne out of the pocket. Mayo reads the play all the way through and nails the slant short of the down.

    Patriots 25
    4th and 1
    Fins: 2 x 2 ace ISO
    We are in a reduced line 4-3 okie (Haynesworth directly over the nose). TE motions strongside and this shows we are in zone.

    Dolphins feint strongside pull and do a FB draw through the weakside B gap. Haynesworth is double-teamed but nearly breaks through. It is clear they want to hit the guard bubble and Guyton as the 20 tech is the weak point and it is clear they want to go at him. Long does a good job riding Wilfork away. A well designed play by the Dolphins who knew we would be in the 4-3, prior to regular season and practiced for it.

    Patriots 19
    1st and 10
    Fins: 2 x 2 Ace, Henne under center

    We are in 4-3 over and read this as run all the way through. Guyton is walked up over the B gap. This is a strongside run, aiming for the B gap, but Wilfork and Ellis do a great job filling the lanes. Bush reads this and bounces outside and is tackled by Chung (personal foul). This is offset by the holding foul on Ninko.

    Repeat 1st down.
    Fins: 2 x 2 Ace, Henne under center.
    We are in 4-3 under. Ninko is the mike and Mayo is in will. Cannot see top of screen, but Dowling is in cover 0 on weakside. Chung in rover.

    This is the same play with a different wrinkle (TE pulls inside for the wham) and the blocking is "better" (RG rides Wilfork to the ground and Incognitio is blatantly holding on Haynesworth). Bush hits the B gap for a gain of 5 yards, which is retracted.

    Patriots 29
    1st and 20
    Fins: 2 x 2 ace shotgun
    We are in 4-3 under with only 3 true lineman (Ninko is in 3 point) cover 2 base that changes to cover 0 strongside at the snap. Marshall gets lucky and chucks McCourty right when he is off-balance and gains a full step. He comes in for the dig and gains

    Patriots 25
    2nd and 15
    Fins: 2 x 2 ace, Henne under center
    We are in 4-3 okie (Wright over the nose) over (3 tech on weakside). Can't see top of screen but Marshall is at weakside slot now and McCourty follows him there and is in press coverage with weakside CB (Dowling, I think) in cover 2.

    This is a PA with Fasano on a go route. Guyton who was supposed to pick up on him bit hard on the fake, and that is why you see him trail. Chung has bit hard too, but the fault lies with Barrett who took a bad read on the situation. He will receive a lecture in the film room. When he enters the screen, he is already signaling OPI. I can imagine BB telling him "what the ****? You wanna be a line judge now?"

    Now this is the third incomplete pass that the refs missed (you can see Fasano fumble the ball as he lands on the ground), all on the same drive. But also three straight missed opportunities for challenges. Sloppy on the refs, but also sloppy on us.

    Patriots 2
    1st and goal
    Fins: Tank personnel I formation
    We are in our goal line package (6 linemen 4 backers 1 safety).
    This turns into another PA, but everyone is covered pretty well (the backers read pretty good) and Henne is sacked by Wright/Carter.

    Patriots 11
    2nd and goal
    Fins: 3 x 1 posse, Henne under center
    We are in 4-3 under pass D. Ninko is the 4th DL in 4 point.
    Run play to the strongside B gap.
    This is vintage Haynesworth. Shedding a doubleteam and clotheslining Bush with one arm. Not sure why the Dolphins would want to run right at him. Maybe they wanted to test him.

    Patriots 10
    3rd and goal
    Fins: 3 x 2 empty, Henne in shotgun.
    We are in 4-3 under, pass D (nickel). Base cover 2 with Guyton in robber and the rest in cover 0 (including Mayo). Ninko, again the 4th DL in 4 point.
    (note: still attached to this post).

    This is the one wrinkle that the Dolphins worked on for this week's game- the trick QB draw. Well executed. Caught us flat-footed. Simple as that.

    Mayo had the opportunity to nail Henne, but for some reason he stops and hesitates, probably thinking that Henne could flick the ball over his head to his man. Just a case of thinking and not simply playing.

    Reviewing this drive- it was simply a case of opening night jitters on the part of our D, the referees, and the Pats upstairs staff, particularly on those three incomplete passes.

    Bottom line: Dolphins were in hurry-up for the most part, and pushed the tempo, being very aggressive, and this set us back on our feet a little

    Some of our DBs, particularly McCourty didn't seem to be 100% there. A lot of rust just had to be knocked off.

    I think that the Dolphins should experience a rejuvenation if they keep this offensive aggressiveness up- they aren't going to flop like they did last year- they'll continue to give everyone a hard time.

    Barrett looks lost at time- but I think given a little more time he'll find his groove.
     

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    Last edited: Sep 14, 2011
  2. TheComeback

    TheComeback 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    Great post as usual, Psycho. Thought the front seven looked pretty good, but the back end has some work to do.
     
  3. fumbrunner

    fumbrunner In the Starting Line-Up

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    Awesome analysis and very insightful. Thanks for posting it.
     
  4. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    So there were literally 3 incompletions that they called complete?
     
  5. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Correct...
     
  6. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Wow, that's kinda pathetic, both on the part of the refs and Belichick. Definitely makes that first drive lose some luster.
     
  7. tobias funke

    tobias funke Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    ESPN didn't even show replays of the first two, which I found very annoying watching the game.

    I can say for sure the short pass to Hartline was trapped on the ground; it was obvious when watching live that it was an incomplete pass. I was waiting for the challenge to come, but it never did. It was the least consequential of the 3 plays, though.

    I never saw a good look at the pass to Marshall, but the Dolphins hurried to the line quickly, so there's a decent chance it was close.

    I honestly thought the Fasano catch was just a really great catch. I've watched the game twice now and still believe it was complete, but I didn't go back and forth with it to see for sure.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2011
  8. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    If nobody beats me to it, I'll get a video up early next week. I have a new slow motion tool I wanna try out:D
     
  9. Ghost of Ben Dreith

    Ghost of Ben Dreith Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Good read....thanks for taking the time to post it!
     
  10. Gumby

    Gumby 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    #11 Jersey

    Psycho, Awesome post, AA (as always).

    Sciz ?? --early NEXT week. Don't get me so excited just to tease me.
     
  11. NEGoldenAge

    NEGoldenAge Banned

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    I don't think you can blame BB for not challenging the second incomplete pass. It was only a 6 yard gain with plenty of game left. The officiating was truly aweful that game.
     
  12. Fencer

    Fencer Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    #12 Jersey

    Great post!

    Good point that it was the first drive of the SEASON, with rust or jitters all around.
     
  13. BlueThunder

    BlueThunder PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Great Post !!

    Send a copy to BB and the coaches.....It will give him extra time to prepare for San Diego instead of breaking down the Miami game...


    ( We all know you work in the film room for the Pats anyway ;) )
     
  14. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Offense:

    First thing we see is Ocho is not in there- this gives us a clue that this will be a hurry up offense, and I think this is the last thing the Dolphins expected us to give them, a taste of their own medicine. Who would have thought we'd outlast them in their own weather?

    Patriots 21
    1st and 10
    We are in ace 2 x 2, Brady under center.
    Fins: 3-4 nickel, rush 3, zone coverage, they put Wake on the line to go right at Solder.

    Woodhead motions to wide split. Welker and Branch align for the cross-route. Both TE's are on out routes so clearly Brady's first choice is whoever comes clean off the cross.

    Brady goes to hard count and incites false start. Waters and Solder combo on Wake, so Solder's choice to dive is ill-advised. If Wake had gone down, it would have been a chop-block.

    Patriots 26
    1st and 5
    We are in our first 3 TE package (3 TE, 1 RB, 1 WR)
    Fins: 3-4 personnel, in 5-2, man free.

    Our formations are bracketed by the Gronkowski brothers. Brady wastes no time and uses a significantly reduced snap count. This is the second straight time we catch the Dolphins unprepared. When Brady snaps, you can see the mike still communicating to the DBs, with his head turned away from the play.

    This is a pitchoff to BJGE. The line pulls strongside, and Mankins tries to break through to head off the scraping backside will and gets there way too late. This shows you how fast Miami's backers are and that they really do have an underrated defense. The unimpeded will manages to trip up BJGE.

    Patriots 30
    2nd and 2
    We are in a 3 TE package, and we have snuck in Slater as the sole WR.
    Miami in base 3-4. We are in low hat to signal run, but Miami doesn't seem to bite, only the linemen are in 3 point.

    This is my favorite play of the whole game, a play action with Slater on a skinny post. I think it was the key play on the key drive of the game.

    You can see from the still attached, that Miami completely disrespected Slater. There is no safety over the top (in the still he is on the sticks on the 40 mark), and Vontae Davis is on an island with Slater who is already doing what he does best, a straight line speed, and already has inside leverage which is a big no-no when you don't have help over the top.

    I really like this play- it's something we can pull out every now and then, and the fact that we use Slater who is primarily in ST is just icing on the cake. This is a low cost high benefit play for us that other teams must plan against even though we won't use it but once or twice a game, or maybe even not at all.

    Dolphins 25
    1st and 10
    We are in our 3 TE package again
    Not sure what Dolphins are in, because Brady snaps before they are even fully set. Davis is still in motion.

    Strongside OZ run. Dolphins do a good job clogging the line so none of our pulling linemen are able to break through to the 2nd level.

    Dolphins 22
    2nd and 8
    We are in ace 2 x 2 shotgun
    Dolphins in 3-4 40 front cover 2, but again not set before the snap. Brady is moving pretty quick here.

    Dolphins blitz (rushing 5). Welker reads and occupies the vacant flat for the hot read. A well oiled machine.

    Dolphins 18
    3rd and 4
    We are in ace again 2 x 1 max shotgun (max protect). Hernandez and Woodhead are in as HB's.
    It looks like the Dolphins are trying to constantly motion their backers to make it hard on Brady, but he simply sets the protection and snaps before they are set. This is the third straight snap that the defense hasn't really been set.

    Very odd that two linebackers would cover Woodhead. Might be a simple case of blown coverage. That leaves a safety covering Gronk and you know the rest. I am not sure what the Dolphins intentions are here, so if anyone has any insights, feel free to correct me.

    Dolphins 4
    1st and goal
    3 x 1, Brady under center. 3 TE package again.
    Fins: 3-4 40 closed front (with Wake in 4 point).

    Gronk smashes two backers, and BJGE dances (dare I say that?) into the EZ.

    I personally think this was the drive of the game, more from a psychological point of view. I would compare it to a chess player who hems and haws and works hard on his next move (as the Dolphins did on their first drive), only to be surprised by his opponent taking all of 5 seconds to plunk down his next move with a "right back at ya!" I think that it had to be a psychological letdown and believe that it changed the momentum for the rest of the night.
     

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  15. livinginthe past

    livinginthe past Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    #12 Jersey

    Awesome stuff, Psycho - very insightful.

    Now, when are you doing all the other drives in the game ;)
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2011
  16. BritPat

    BritPat In the Starting Line-Up

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    Outstanding work fella. I'd kiss you if I could.
     
  17. sbpatfan

    sbpatfan Banned

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    Thanks Pyscho, these threads make working somewhat more enjoyable.
     
  18. HomerSchooled

    HomerSchooled Practice Squad Player

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    Great work. Lots of fun to read. I for one could read that sort of analysis for a whole game. But that would probably be too time consuming for me as a reader, let alone you as a writer.
     
  19. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    I wish I had the time, but I have to work for a living. Also by the time I get half done, it'll be time for the Chargers game.

    From this point on I'll focus on key plays of the game.
     
  20. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    My college blocks torrents, hence I won't have a copy of the game until Saturday:eek:

    (But if anybody feels the need to beat me to it... ;))
     
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