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Five keys to victory today

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Patspsycho, Nov 8, 2009.

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  1. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Rookie

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    There was someone who used to do "five things" every Sunday if I remember and I enjoyed reading that, but it's been missing lately, so I thought I'd plug the gap (pun intended).

    1) Defense The past few games we've seen that have been played against the Dolphins seem to have stumbled upon a consistent formula for defeating the wildcat, starting with the Saints and then the Jets. This formula starts with an aggressive defense that seeks to get in the backfield as fast as they can, to stop the wildcat before it has a chance to develop, mainly the power sweep which gives Ricky Williams a lot of velocity to start with before the other team crosses the LOS. One play that stood out to me from the Saints was motioning the SS down to fake man coverage and having him slant blitz to edge contain. The Jets also rushed aggressively to edge contain.

    However, the Dolphins would be an un-Parcells-like, oops, I mean un-Sparano-like team if they were to continue without adjusting to this latest development, and I would point to today (since it is a key game for them as well) as a perfect time for them to bring a big adjustment to how they run the wildcat.

    With this in mind, I believe we open in the 3-4, with OLB on the LOS, and stacking the box with Meriweather, and play the good old fashioned gap contain. While the exotic blitz options will certainly be there, I don't think we will see much of it, at least not in the beginning, until we figure out what their gadget of the day is. This probably will disappoint most people, but BB believes in keeping things simple (gap discipline) over complication (fancy blizh and rush packages) I believe the key to look out for in the Dolphins offense is a number of increased misdirection plays to try and defeat the aggressiveness.

    We must stop their run game, big time, and our 3-4 is our bread and butter for doing that. The Dolphins rank 29th in passing (152.0) but THIRD in rushing (153.4 yards). Another reason for going to the 3-4 is how big of a game Wilfork has against the Dolphins. He used to beat up on Satale badly, which is one reason the Dolphins got rid of him and brought in Grove. This will be a key matchup for today.

    2) Pass attack: Dolphins open with three rookies, one at safety, two at cornerbacks, and Brady and the OC must take advantage of that. I would not be surprised to see a return to the smash concept with a lot of mixing it up in the middle (think cross routes = picks). I do not think Moss will be single-covered like he was last year (he made them pay with 3 TD). The Dolphins are not opposed to some crazy gambles so look for Brady to identify that quickly and exploit it ruthlessly.

    3) Containing the Dolphins pass-rushing: The key matchup is not just "Taylor vs. Vollmer" but also containing Porter on the other side. If Porter played as hard as his jaw muscles does, he would have had 10 sacks at this time, but he is not playing up to par. Taylor has 5.5 sacks up to this point which is a respectable number. One thing I have been quite surprised about this year, is how well Brady throws out of empty sets (no backfield personnel). This is a plain contradiction to how we imagined Brady to be this year, as it leaves him with absolutely no protection. Yet, it has been successful and we've seen plenty of it (45 snaps I believe) I hope to see more of this today, and as a key to beating the pass-rush, as opposed to praying that Vollmer and Kaczur have a great day and then roasting them if they don't.

    4) Gostkowski: One bizarre lack of adjustment in the Jets game was why the Jets didn't bother to kick away from Ginn in the ST game. They strangely did not treat the ST game as a critical 3rd component of a football game (just about as important as the other two components) and paid for it dearly. I know that we are too smart to do that, so watch for Gostkowski to not only kick away from Ginn but to attempt kicking out of the endzone. Today's weather looks to be perfect for this.

    5) Quick-scoring: The Dolphins do not play well from behind. In fact, when they play behind, they have left their concepts and philosophy just about more than any other teams I have seen. So it is critical that Brady drives his team out to a quick start. I believe we'll see plenty of out routes, and run plays up the middle now that Crowder and Ferguson are out.

    I have said this before and I'll say it again. I see a lot of utilization of our safeties, especially the nickel and dime with McGowan as hybrid LB. This is a massive difference from last year and will be huge in stopping the wildcat and forcing Henne to shoulder the load, which is where the game breaks down for the Dolphins, as Henne is not polished enough to be able to identify coverage and audible, or change protection.

    If we cover #1-5, it will be a blowout.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2009
  2. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Good stuff - I'll be honest, the Dolphins' pass rush is all that really concerns me. That's the way the can keep our scoring down. If we have decent protection we should score in the high 20s, worst case, which I expect to be more than enough.
  3. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The key is to contain Brown, so I suspect that the Pats will key on him.. it may make Henne look like the second coming of Peyton for a while, but they do not have the big guns there...
  4. farn

    farn Rookie

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    Completely agree. Brown will be #1. Williams will end up getting more yards because they focus on Brown. Only thing that worries me is the Doplhins' running attack... or if Vollmer goes down... Levoir vs Taylor ? I dunno.
  5. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    I've been able to boil it down to one key.

    1. Score more points than the Fins.

    If they can do that they SHOULD be able to win by my estimattion.

    :D
  6. Lloyd_Christmas

    Lloyd_Christmas I can delete my own crap! PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Wow! You totally called it!

    Great pregame analysis.
  7. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Rookie

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    Never again will I do an in-depth analysis on any Pats vs. Dolphins game.

    Nothing ever goes right.

    Brilliant assessment above.

    Just score... more points.. than them..
  8. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    Yeah - exactly why I stopped (aside from the above)

    I'd come up with a brilliant game strategy that by the numbers and analysis should have been exactly how the game played out.

    "Should have been" being the key words.

    Oftentimes the game just comes down to an INT or Fumble or one big play and then the other team needs to adjust their gameplan, being down by a score or two etc...

    That strange shaped ball just bounces kindof funny sometimes
  9. TheBostonStraggler

    TheBostonStraggler Rookie

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    >>>3) Containing the Dolphins pass-rushing:<<<

    I think you should save this to your clipboard and have it ready to paste for every game (obviously changing the opponent's name). The Patriots will live and die by their ability to maintain the pocket and give Brady enough time to pass. Our ability to score will alter our opponent's offense play calling, limit their scoring opportunities/keep our defense off the field. It starts with our ability to protect Brady and successfully pass. Also:

    - RED ZONE CONVERSION. The Patriots ability to convert in the red zone still worries me
    -I kept an eye on Vollmer and this guy played rock solid (with and without help). A new guy going up against Porter (or Taylor) in a critical division game and he shut 'em down! That's a fact that should make every Patriot fan happy.
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