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Game analysis: Pats will beat Jags by a TD

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by PonyExpress, Dec 18, 2006.

  1. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    The Jags offense is a clone of the 2004 Pittsburgh Steelers, in almost every facet. Del Rio and Co. must have used the Steelers as a model. 'Fragile" Fred has cropped up again, tweaking his hamstring and not being able to finish the Titan game. Jones-Drew supposedly had an X-ray of a leg injury post-game, and had trouble putting weight on his leg. Del Rio will conceal the true nature of these injuries all week, as is his habit. But the inability of Taylor to finish such a crucial game, and Jones-Drew, an injury prone college player, limping around post-game, suggest these two crucial cogs may be sub-par and possibly out of the Pats game. The ramifications of those two injuries on the Jaguar offense are enormous.... Garrard's greatest weakness as a QB is his downfield accuracy and ability to read defenses. The downfield accuracy problem makes it difficult for him, at times, to exploit the height advantage the Jags' giant receivers provide. They also make him prone to INTs when he is forced to throw frequently. As a Qb he is similar to Roethlisberger circa 2004, with the same scrambling ability to buy time and look for the deep throw. Mike Tice, the O-coordinator, has compensated for these QB weaknesses by making the offense RB driven. The Jags have the #2 running offense in the league, and Jones-Drew, in only a half-season of steady use, is already #2 on the team in receptions. The outside Wrs are notoriously inconsistent and prone to drops, like Plaxico Buress circa 2004. With these factors in mind, I expect the Pats D will dominate this game.

    The Patriots currently have the #4 defensive passer rating in the NFL, allowing a league low 9 TDs against 20 INTs. They also have the #4 rushing defense, and provided Wilfork returns, which seems likely considering he was out doing TV spots last week, the Pats front 7 should adequately contain a "hamstrung" Jags' running game. Garrard will struggle to diagnose the Pats' coverage, and play conservatively as a result of his 3 int game last week vs. the Titans, going to underrated TE Wrightster and checkdowns whenever possible. There will be opportunities for multiple ints by the coverages: The improved play of Hobbs vs. Andre Johnson, and the steady play of Samuel, combined with the Pats' rubix-cube/chameleon schemes, make this matchup very favorable for the Pats.

    The Jags special teams are not special. Jones-Drew's return ability props up an otherwise ordinary unit. The punter has a 33 yard net, Pearman an 8.9 yard per punt return average. If Jones Drew is hobbled, this unit is rendered average. While the Pats may have the advantage in big play potential with a revitalized Ellis Hobbs at KR, the already shaky Ken Walter, now with a hurt foot, and a hobbled Kevin Faulk rob the Pats of any Special Teams edge. Troy Brown will likely handle all PRs; this game may be too big for a Willie Andrews rookie sighting.

    The Jags defense has 3 star players and several solid ones. The Big Two make running a laughable exercise, similar to Minnesota, and give McCray opportunities for sacks. LB Daryl Smith plays the Mike Petersen role this year, among the easiest LB assignments in football, and Clint Ingram is among the most productive rookie LBers in the league, taking monthly rookie honors last month. CB Mathis is a top 5 player at his position.

    Since the Denver game, when the Pats were still suffering the immediate after effects of the Branch fiasco, the Pats have averaged 30 points per game against every team not coach by BB disciples Saban and Mangini. (Average score 30-12). This is partly the result of an easy schedule, partly due to the Pats coaching advantage vs. the field. The Jags defense, while physically gifted and mentally tough, does not scheme at the level of the Dolphins and the Jets, the only teams able to expose and fluster the Pats' offense for a full 60 minutes. Maroney's ornery attitude with the press indicates to me a readiness to play, and I believe he will in this game. Using Maroney in the passing game, similar to the way he was used against Chicago (provided he can shake the rust off his hands after a week of practice), will break down the Jaguar D, just as it was effective against Denver, when used, and Chicago. The solid play of David Thomas, who seemed to develop a rapport with Brady vs. Houston, gives Tom another reliable outlet. Unfortunately, I believe Caldwell will be physically pushed around (his weakness), just as Miami did and Chicago did for 3 quarters, and disappear. The key players for the Pats will be Troy Brown, Gaffney, Maroney and Thomas. Considering the relative unreliability of those players, (age, inconsistency, injury, inexperience) The Pats O is likely to struggle and Pats fans should not be surprised, or disappointed by that revelation.

    Bottom line: The game will come down to (1) which QB makes the wrong decision at the wrong time, Brady or Garrard; (2) Which injured rookie rb can make a greater impact: Maroney or Jones-Drew. (3) Which Wrs, recently prone to drops, can hang onto the ball, Troy Brown and Gaffney vs. R. Williams and Jones; and (4) which underused TE can provide the best safety blanket for his QB, David Thomas or George Wrightster. History shows Brady will outplay Garrard in a test of wills; Maroney's rib injury, after 3 weeks rest, is likely not as great an impediment as Jones' recent lower leg injury; Troy Brown still has enough savvy to make the smart play in the big game, which the others may lack; but George Wrightster will probably outplay David Thomas. 3 out of 4 aint bad... Conclusion: Pats win, 20-13.
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  2. unoriginal

    unoriginal Rookie

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    Man, stellar post.

    I get what you're saying about the 2004 Steelers offense, but I think there are a few key differences that change the complexion a bit. First, Garrard is a better pure scrambler and also likely reads more of the field than Roethlisberger did that first season, as he is veteran, not a rookie. But you're right, he doesn't execute his responsibilities that well. Furthermore, none of Garrard's receivers are named Hines Ward, and Jacksonville does not have quite the offensive line, and therefore running game, that the Steelers had in 2004.

    I also don't like that you count MJD and Taylor as out or as ineffective while you count Maroney in. And while Maroney would in fact be a nice addition, Faulk, who saw extensive work the last time the Pats played Jax, is easily his equal as a receiving threat.

    You count on Gaffney and Thomas to step up, but Caldwell to dissappear? You do realize that Kelvin Kight, he of zero NFL catches and two games in three seasons, played more offensive snaps against the Texans than Jabar?

    I thnk the game is going to come down to how well Jax can follow the Miami game plan. The Phins won the speed rush game against our overmatched offensive tackles, which pretty much put us two men down on every play, allowing Miami to bracket the wide receivers or blitz up the middle, as they saw fit. Last time we played the Jags it was a cold New England playoff game, and the Jags looked out of it. Now the Pats go down to Florida in December, which is usually the primary ingredient in the recipe for Disaster. If Bobby McCray and company can succeed in making Light and Kaczur look like clumsy drunks its going to be a long, long day.

    That said, if the tackles hold up reasonably well, Brady should be able to weasel 21 points or so out of the game, which should be enough for the defense to hold up, baring own-red-zone turnovers.
  3. richpats

    richpats Banned

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    This is so plainly obvious I wonder how most critics don't pick up on it. The teams that beat us this year had coaches that know our ways either by working with BB (Saban, Mangini), losing to BB (Dungy) or beating BB (Shanahan). That's why respectable coaches such as Marvin Lewis and Lovie Smith were plainly outcoached in our games. This is also a silver lining in the playoffs since Schottenheimer and Billick haven't faced us much lately.

    I believe we'll see more running from the Jags and consequently more 3rd-and-longs that will force Garrard to make plays. Advantage Patriots. Offensively, depending on our personnel (i.e. Maroney) we should be able to sustain some drives. I think we get more than 20 but allow about 13.
  4. stinkypete

    stinkypete Rookie

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    #24 Jersey

    I did not realize that. Very good point, and should be an encouraging one.
  5. psychoPat

    psychoPat Role Player PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Super thread-starter
    plus a couple of nice response posts!
  6. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    ten characters
  7. bobgeorge

    bobgeorge Moderator

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    I don't see the Pats defense dominating if Wilfork is out again. Otherwise, terrific analysis and I would agree. But if Wilfork is not there to clog up the middle, the Jags will run right through it.

    Bob G
  8. PatsDeb

    PatsDeb PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    What happened to Ken Walter? I didn't know he got hurt. Good post; reasonable points. What if Vrabel can't go? I am a little worried about our defense, which has been so good, without yet another valuable starter. Peter King also reported today in his MMQB that Big Vince is out indefinitely with a sprained ankle. It will be a lucky break if both Taylor and Jones-Drew can't go.
  9. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    Wilfork showed up to do his NEST show after the game in which he was injured and didn't seem overly concerned. BB today on the radio said he felt the team was getting healthier. My spidey sense tells me Big Vince got the Ty Warren "1 week off" treatment. :) Also Peter King is one of the "Woe is me, all is lost," crowd about the Pats. He is currently taking the glass is half empty approach on everything related to them. Even the 40-7 victory wasn't good enough for him. He's is currently worshipping at the altar of Tony Romo, which in my book is the kiss of death for the Cowboy's SB chances, considering King's track record on prognostications.
  10. PatsDeb

    PatsDeb PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Don't say that!! He predicted a Pats/Dallas Superbowl (with Dallas winning, of course, but we can fix that), so ya gotta believe!!

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