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Five keys to victory today

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Patspsycho, Nov 15, 2009.

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  1. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Rookie

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    1. Battle of the OL

    The Colts are dealing with a battered secondary; we want to protect Brady from the DE's- Freeney and Mathis.

    BB has said that the DL is on its own in terms of beating up and collapsing Colts OL and getting to Manning, but I wonder if this is not a ruse, and that he will bluff the ILBs from time to time and maybe pull stunts and/or send in the occasional safety blitz (OLBs must contain out routes). However if it turns out that we concentrate on the drop back, then the our DL has to play its best game. I see major rotation between Wilfork, Wright, Warren, and Pryor to keep them all fresh.

    On the other side, our OL must be nothing less of outstanding, to give Brady time to execute, because in the last 4 games we have played them, there has been an alarming trend- Brady has 7 interceptions in those 4 games, in which we have been 1-3. However, if he has time, he will pick apart the battered secondaries. Vollmer and Kaczur will be having long days, but Baker will spell them with the occasional block or chip. He should be in motion a lot today.


    2. Battle of the TE's:

    Manning has more than one option, naturally, but we all know it is a BB trademark to take away the primary strength of the opponent, and in this case it is Clark. We saw what happened last week when you don't take away the primary strength. Texans left their DB corp too deep, so all Manning had to do was fake play action to draw the LBs up, and that opened up the middle, e.g., Clark who went for 14/100+ The thing with Manning is when he does the play action fake he doesn't run down, he remains stationary and lets the RB pass him by and then flips and shoots, so there is no time to react.

    The key is to put bump coverage on Clark coming off the LOS. His bread and butter has been the deep out, and on the D, to contain this we must roll the CB up to invite this, because Clark will sweep across in the wake of his WR in go pattern. To defeat this, the CB must release WR to top safety (who rolls over to pick up WR) and stay at the apex to lateral-contain Clark who will be in his cut and looking back, so the CB is blind to him and can then tear his head off.

    Our TE's are key to our offense. Last week Baker was in motion a lot and helped to chip or stone Porter. We will see this continue again this week, as well as with Watson in his 3rd receiver mode to keep the D honest and spread the field to keep the LB in contain mode. I expect to see quite a few 2WR/2TE sets.

    3. Our Defense

    The main key to the D starts with making Manning get happy feet. The more Manning dances around (which is the result of being pressured) the lesser his pass rating- he has 108.5 when unpressured, and only 91.2 rating when he has to face pressure. We speak of having a balanced offense; our defense must be the opposite of this- it must be unbalanced, we must put up an unbalanced line, and our schemes must be unpredictable and varied. Count on plenty of fake blitzes, and only a handful of actual blitzes.

    The one big thing about Manning is how fast he gets rid of the ball. For all the talk on Manning, on whether he is truly cerebral or not- I would point out that you don't get rid of the ball very fast without knowing what is coming at you. And because of this, Manning has a very low sacks to throw completions ration.

    So naturally, the key to the D rests with our DB corp. I see us playing a 33 nickel, like Jays52 and Mayoclinic says, and/or spending extensive time in the dime. The dime will allow us to blitz a stray safety and not sacrifice deep coverage. Again we will see liberal rotation and I will be surprised to find a single DB being declared inactive today. I expect to see us take a page from the Falcons game and put bracket coverage on Clark and keep the high safety.

    4. Wildpat or the equivalent of it:

    It is no accident that we've seen a flurry of transactions happen last night for a good little old-fashioned mindf*** as far as gameplanning goes. You can bet that all of this happened last week and only became official last night. Stanback has probably been working intensively with the first unit this past week.

    Does this mean we will see the "wildpat"? I would not think so, and especially not if we're up. The great thing, and the one thing I most admire about BB is that he would make for a great poker player; he holds things very close to his chest and will frequently wait until the last possible moment to yank out that ace. He plays it when it really count.

    However, Colts had problems with Miami and the wildcat. Colts front 7 have a tendency to overpursue, and that is giving the wildcat a great opportunity to excel, because pursuit = no gap contain. So we may well be pulling that big time. With BB vs. the Colts, I have been more wrong in analysis than in any other game. It seems to me that he is at his most deceptive against the Colts.

    Either way, we will see some major wrinkle that BB has been saving up for all this time- he always seems to get up for the Colts, intellectually. I know we have been very efficient with Faulk going up the middle out of the shotgun, but I wonder how long we can run with it before they catch up to it. Hopefully Faulk continues to remain effective.


    5. Red Zone

    Yes, I can imagine a collective groan going up now, but this has been a persistent problem, and last week it came back. Against an inferior team, we were able to hold our own, but against an elite team, we cannot get away with disguising RZ problems.

    In my opinion, the RZ problems we've had can be traced to two elements, the 3rd receiver issues we've had, and the playcalling. When we get inside the RZ, the field is compressed and so you can double up on Welker and Moss, and play zone on the rest. This is where playcalling comes in. I am tired of us tunnel-visioning once we are inside the 20. We need to execute more run plays, and against the Colts I would be happy to see more of the I formation to stop the backside pursuit that the Colts D are so good at.



    It's also critical that we win, because I do NOT want to see Saint Dumpy pull that "holier than thou" crap on Harrison in the studio. I want to see him miserable, with Harrison egging on him.
  2. FloridaPatsFan

    FloridaPatsFan Rookie

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    Good post Pat...

    I would love to see some different looks from the Patriots...even if it means using some form of modified wildcat...I would be willing to be that Brady would be in favor of mixing it up....given them an extra wrinkle to protect against.

    Not to go negative...but you could almost add a #6 and call it the referee effect on the outcome of the games we've had with them. Going back to 2003: the Patriots have been the more heavily penalized team in games with the Colts..including the 10 flags for 146 yards debacle in 2007. It is highly likely that a there will be some questionable calls today....against the Patriots that will be talked about long after the game ends.
  3. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Rookie

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    Also doesn't help that the crew we have today has called almost 20 personal fouls up to this point in the season. :eek:
  4. FloridaPatsFan

    FloridaPatsFan Rookie

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    Damn...I think we lead the NFL in that category too....
  5. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Nice work. I'd put it a bit differently:

    1. Red zone execution. Whichever team does a better job of getting points (especially TDs) when in the red zone will have a decided advantage.

    2. Pass rush. Whichever team gets more pressure on the opposing QB will have a decided advantage.

    3. Running game. Whichever team does a better job of running the ball will have a decided advantage.

    4. 3rd receiver option. Whichever team does a better job of finding an effective option outside of their 2 main guys (Moss/Welker vs. Wayne/Clark) will have a decided advantage.

    5. Big plays on defense. Whichever team makes them will have a decided advantage. We need to force a few INTs or fumbles.

    In addition, we need to mix it up on both offense and defense, and throw a lot of different looks at the Colts. Keep them off balance, and you slow them down.
  6. chrisfx811

    chrisfx811 Rookie

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    lol
    Whichever team scores the most will have a decided advantage.
  7. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I bow to your superior logic. :D
  8. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Great analysis Psycho and Mayo (as usual).

    I am concerned the most with Mayo's point #4, being the 3rd WR option. I have thought all yr that this would eventually come back to bite us badly, but wk after wk Brady has done a decent job at masking this a bit. I just can't help from thinking that we still do not have enough options at hand for a great play making QB such as Brady. I am hoping that Edelman will return, although that helps, it seems to be a plethora of slot guys and underneath route running TE's. I still believe we need someone else to be able to stretch the field somewhat, or at least be able to go downfield more than slot WR's and TE's. Watson has been helping so far or this probelm would be way more defined IMO.

    Since Indy's #3 and #4 options will be Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon, they certainly look to have a decided edge, as both have been great so far in timing issues and also route adjustment. Manning will also use a RB as another option sometimes to dump firescreens to, as he proved last wk vs. Houston.
  9. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    So, let's look at my 5 keys to victory, in reverse order:

    5. Big plays on defense. Both teams made them. We intercepted Manning twice, the Colts intercepted Brady driving in the 3rd quarter and forced a fumble when we were on the goal line. Tie.

    4. 3rd receiver option. Both teams were fairly effective. Brady completed 11 passes (out of 29 completions) to 8 guys other than Moss and Faulk for 102 of his 375 yards. Manning completed 14 of his 28 passes to guys other than Wayne or Clark for 136 of his 327 yards. Tie.

    3. Running game. The Pats appeared to have the advantage for most of the game, but the run defense wore down in the 4th quarter and the Colts shredded the Pats on numerous runs. Warren's absence was huge. The Colts ended up with 91 yards rushing, the Pats with 114. Tie.

    2. Pass rush. The Pats did a fabulous job keeping the Colts pass rush at bay in the first half, but the extensive use of the shotgun in the 2nd half allowed Mathis to start teeing off and get consistent pressure on TB. The Pats did not generate a consistent pass rush. The loss of TBC hurt. Overall, both Brady and Manning had time to find their receivers, hence 802 yards of passing offense. Advantage: Indy.

    1. Red zone efficiency. The Pats blew chances to put the game out of reach in the 3rd quarter, failing to score a point, including a goal line fumble by Maroney. They twice had to settle for Gostkowski field goals inside the red zone, including their last points when a TD would have iced the game. Manning scored 2 TD's inside the red zone on his last 2 possessions, resulting in the game difference. Advantage: Indy.

    In the first half the Pats were very aggressive and mixed it up on both offense and defense, and thoroughly dominated the Colts. They attacked more on defense, mixed the run and pass and used play action to perfection, keeping the Indy pass rush off balance. In the second half the Pats got more passive on defense and reverted to the shotgun on offense. And, as has happened every time we've done this in the past, we gave the game away in the second half.

    The bottom line for me is that this is a Super Bowl caliber team talent wise that can't put opponents away, and hasn't learned from its mistakes of the past. We've become a team that blows 4th quarter leads in big games - the 2006 AFCCG, the 2007 SB, and this game, among others. We dominate opponents and then get passive and predictable. Running out of the shotgun fools no one, and allows opposing pass rushes to tee off on Brady. We don't have enough of a pass rush to disrupt opposing QBs. And our defense wore down again in the 4th quarter and couldn't make the stops that counted.

    We put up almost 500 yards of offense and 34 points against the Colts and dominated the time of possession 35' to 25', and still couldn't win. We held Manning to 14 points in 3 quarters and gave up 21 points in the 4th quarter again. We shut down once again on the road in the second half, failing to put the game out of reach and letting the other team back into the game, as we did against Denver and the Jets (and against Baltimore at home). And our 4th quarter play calling and clock management was atrocious, after a brilliant performance in the first half. Baffling. We gave the game away, and the Colts were too good not to take advantage of it.

    We're still capable of winning out at any point, but at this point there have to be major questions about our consistency and killer instinct. The talent is there, but the consistency is not, and the ability to change from a dominating aggressive approach to a passive one which fails time and time again is just mind boggling.

    We're going to have to do it the hard way this year. We've lost all chance at home field in the playoffs, and there's a good chance we've lost a bye and will have to play at least one and possibly two games on the road. And confidence-wise we still haven't proven we can win the big game when it counts. That hurts more than the actual loss.
  10. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Looking at the red zone issue some more:

    1. In the 2nd quarter we had 1st and goal at the Indy 6 and came away with 3 points. Drive killing play was Kaczur giving up a 9 yard sack to Mathis.

    2. In the 3rd quarter we drove to the Indy 33 (not technically red zone) and TB threw an interception to Bethea in the end zone, returned 19 yards to the Indy 14.

    3. In the 3rd quarter we drove to the Colts goal line, and Maroney fumbled.

    4. In the 4th quarter we drove to the Indy 16 yard line (2nd and 6) and then stalled on a -2 yard Faulk run and an incomplete pass to Faulk.

    On the plus side, we did score TDs inside the red zone in the 1st quarter (1 yard Maroney run), 2nd quarter (9 yard TD pass to Edelman) and early 4th quarter (7 yard TD pass to Moss after the Welker punt return). So we were 3/6 in the red zone, with the 3 possessions that didn't score TDs netting 6 points.

    In contrast the Colts were 4/4 inside the red zone (15 yard TD pass to Addai in the first; 20 yard TD pas to Reggie Wayne in the 2nd; 4 yard TD run by Addai in the 4th; and 1 yard TD pass to Wayne in the 4th).

    Let's see: 3 TDs + 2 FGs = 27 points. 4 TDs = 28 points.

    That was the difference. Pretty simple.
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