Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by patfanken, Oct 17, 2010.
Kicking off got to run
When we entered the 4th quarter right after the pick/TD by the Ravens, I was starting to think about the positives we could take from this game...in a losing effort. There was little the offense had done that would make me think they could score 10 points in the 4th quarter, and even if they did, as happy as I was with the progress of the D through the first half, I didn't think they would be able shut out the Ravens offense in the final 15 minutes....let alone 3 series of 3 and outs in the OT.
Frankly I haven't felt this good about a Pats regular season win since the OT win in Miami in 2003. Here are just some of the reasons why.
1. DEFENSE: That was a very good offensive team the Pats played today. Better than the Jets IMHO. We also caught Flacco on a good day. He put a lot of balls right on the money against decent coverage. Yet the Pats held Rice to just 3ypc, and, except for the Boldin TD, never allowed a Receiver to make a big play. Finally the THREE 3 and outs in OT was a seminal moment for the defense. It was a window into the shut down Defense that they CAN become. Several guys showed us a brief glimpse into what they could become, and as a TEAM, I don't remember a time where SO many players got significant time in critical situations
a. DL - FIrst Bill surprises us and starts ANOTHER rookie in Deadrick. Not only was he solid against the run, but so was everyone else. Vince at DE, Warren at N and DE, Wright and Pryor in the nickel. Even Brace was effective against the run. Great against the run CONSISTENTLY and good, not great at producing some pressure (IIRC Wright and Vince got sacks). Again this was against one of the Best OLs in the league. VERY ENCOURAGING
b. ILB - Mayo and Spikes were awesome. Nothing more to say. One good play after another. However was was shockingto me was that in nickel coverage at the most critical
time of the game it was Dane freakin Fletcher who was making plays as the ILB. I mean I thought Dane Fletcher was the name of a bad overrated (but local) comic. Not a rookie UDFA brought in AFTER the start of camp. Fletcher was a guy who was supposed to be a PS project, not a contributor in the 5th game of the season. WOW
c. OLB- And THEN at the same critical time of the game, I see coming around the corner pressuring Flacco into throwing the short ball, none other than Shawn Crabel. WTF!
But clearly the play of our rookie OLB Cunningham was the highlight for me. It was almost a like today was his Bar Mitzvoh.... he became a MAN . Actually what really happened was because he missed so much of training camp with injuries, he's had to learn on the fly and is JUST NOW getting a feel for his position. Not only did he pressure the passer fairly consistently, he set the edge on a on a regular basis as well. Not every play, but certainly enough for all of us who have dreamed of drafting a legitimate edge rusher to have hope Jermaine Cunningham IS that guy.....finally
I would also be neglectful if I didn't mention Rob Ninkovich. He has very quietly starting to turn into Mike Vrabel 2.0. Again he rushed the passer well when called to do it. He set the edge, and was good in coverage. Again not perfect and not every play, but you can see him improve game by game into the consistent player I hope he will become by the end of this season.
CB- I have sung Devin McCourty's praises from the start. Todays efforts didn't disappoint. I don't remember a time when he didn't have tight coverage on his man. Yes passes were completed against him, but each one demanded a good catch by the receiver and a great throw by the QB. If he had gotten his head around on his PI penalty he might have gotten a pick. But was most encouraging was that when the Ravens ran the same play in OT he not only stayed with his man, he got his body in position to make a play on the ball. This kid is going to be GREAT....not just good. Mark my words, in the future he will be mentioned in the same breath with Ty Law and Mike Haynes as the greatest Pats CB
I'm still not sure about Arrington. He got abused on the TD pass. He gave too much cushion on a couple of pass plays, and on a play where he was in position to make a big play he whiffed on the ball and it was completed. However he tackles really well, and I don;t know if his problem is a lack of physical gifts, or that he's just inexperiences
I didn't see Butler on the field. Was he active? Hurt? or buried deep in BB's dog house? Inquiring minds want to know.
S's - Again very solid play. Don't forget that the Ravens like to throw the ball down field and in the last 30 minutes of that game the Ravens were rarely able to get the ball to Boldin, Heap, or Mason, so someone had to be doing something right in the secondary, because while the pressure was decent, it wasn't the reason Flacco kept checking down to Rice underneath
Merriweather will get fined for his hit, but I don't care. One because I don't think it was intentional and two, because I want him and Chung to lay the lumber on TEs and WRs who come over the middle. I just wish he were a little bigger, because I worry about his health.
Another solid game by Chung. Again, room to improve, but definitely getting better game by game.
OFFENSE - two things to understand - 1- this offense is still a work in progress. It will get better. 2- The Ravens have a very good defense. They will MAKE good offenses look mediocre. Their defense is what I hope OUR defense evolves into by the end of the year
QB - Not Brady's best game. I think he mentioned it himself in his presser. He missed guys he should have hit. The most notable for me was the long pass to Tate, where he over threw it outside, when Tate clearly had a step and inside position. Not an easy pass, but one I see other QBs hitting. He also missed some short ones too.
However, when you see him get in that rhythm, he's magic.
I'm probably nitpicking when you consider that outside of Welker, he's now throwing to A LOT of new guys.
RB - Law firm proved that against a good running defense, he's not going to fill the bill. Hopefully when we play the Pittsburgh's and Jets down the road, Taylor will be ready.
......AND I keep waiting for the Danny Woodhead's bubble to burst. INSTEAD every game he gets a bigger role, more touches, and becomes more effective. WHAT A PICK UP. WTF were the Jets thinking when they let this kid go?.....and thank you.
TEs Its probably a good thing in the long run that Hernandez was humbled by his 2 drops today. It could have cost them a win, but it didn't. So while the lesson wasn't a HARD one, it hopefully will be a good one for him. Its hard to believe the kid is only 20 years old.
I want to see the ball go to Gronk more down field. I can think of one play in particular. It was Hernandez's 2nd drop. The replay clearly showed Gronk running a deep in cut, and just as Brady is throwing it to Aaron, Gronk is coming open in the middle around 20 yds down field. When Brady sees this on film I think he will agree with me.
Part of this new offense SHOULD be looking for the TEs more, and not just Hernandez.
WRs- Not much to say about Branch, but it really DID look like he never left. Very surprising given that he's been in town only 5 days. Welker was Welker, and Tate wasn't given a shot at the ball. As I mentioned he was open on that one deep shot they took, but if this offense is truly going to flow, they need Tate to be part of the offense.
I'm kind of surprised how Edelman has disappeared. I really thought he'd be a breakout player this season. Maybe he's hurt...again. Maybe it was all the training camp time he's missed, but right now he isn't really in the receiver mix.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Not the same explosive performance as we saw in Miami, but very quietly a very effective performance by all the teams KO coverage was excellent in those few occasions the Ghost wasn't kicking it out of the endzone. IIRC the 26 was the best return they had. Punt coverage was almost as good. IIRC they had one 10 yd return. Mesko had the special teams play of the game with that 65 yd punt in OT. He's going to be something when he finally starts getting the ball to turn over.
2. BTW - I think the reason why the Pats didn't go for that 62 yd FG at the end of the game was NOT because they were worried that it would be blocked, but because they were worried that it could be returned.
Remember I doubt very much any of the FG kicking team are guys you want chasing around a good KO return guy in the open field, and thats what would happen if the kick fell short. IIRC Ed Reed and Cromartie both have returned short FGs for TDs in the past.
3. The Pats IMHO got a good break from the officials on that last challenge by BB. It looked to me that when Flacco's knee hit the ground the ball was at the first down marker, not a half yard short.
4. I also thought the hit on Brady that he got into a hissy fit with Suggs on, was a clean hit. I don't want Brady to be seen as a whiner, constantly looking for refs calls. If I want that kind of stuff, I can get it at a Celtics game.
5. For 3 quarters it looked to me that the while the Pats were a "good team", the Ravens were clearly a little bit better. So while we ended up winning a GREAT game, I don't think this elevates the Pats into the "elite" of the league.
Hey I wouldn't have been upset if they had lost in a close game with one of the better teams in the league, this early in the season. So, neither will I overboard just because they eeked out a close game AT home against a good team
Even the most optimistic of us felt that a 12-4 record would be a good one for this team. (especially given the schedule) Well that means we have (at least) 3 losses ahead of us, and I doubt there are more than just a couple of teams in our upcoming schedule where anyone would be shocked if we lose. Thats how strong the schedule is.
This is a VERY young team, especially on defense, and VERY young teams make mistakes, and are often inconsistent. While I keep hoping for consistent improvement on a week to week basis, it would be pretty unrealistic to think that this team won't throw a few stinkers at us before the regular season is over.
BOTTOM LINE - So far.....so good.....and the best is yet to come, so don't go nuts when they slip now an again.
He injured his foot in the Atlanta(?) game, and he pretty much has barely seen the field since. Granted, part of it was that they still had Moss taking up 80% of the snaps; I hope that Edelman's snaps will increase as he gets healthier.
I've been lurking here all night waiting for Patfanken's thoughts. He never disappoints! Great job as usual, bro!
On Brady complaining about getting hit, he was hit hard in the helmet by another player to the side, not by Suggs. Brady wasn't aware though that it was his own guy who knocked him in the head.
I saw that too. It was a Pats player pushed into Brady that hit him late, not a Raven. I'm still glad he gave it to Suggs, though.
I'm trying to figure out how my half time comments got merged into this tread. If possible could a mod delete the half time comments part of the thread?
You got it, babe! (edit: Had to keep the last line in the first post - - deleting it all caused the whole thread to delete, sorry).
BTW, I'm just as flummoxed as you about the mysterious near-disappearance of Mr. Edelman.
I was convinced that he would be the key to this game for the Pats after two additional weeks to rest his injury.
Well, the basic problem is that in an offense that has Hernandez, GRONK, Welker, Branch, and Tate, there just aren't enough snaps to go around for Edelman to get the major role some of us would like to see.
He received a head injury.
Jesus. Maybe someday he might be able to stay healthy and make an impact in the passing game.
Yeah, I know, but that play at the goal line was deep in the second half. He was near invisible in the first half also.
I agree with almost all your comments, especially those regarding the tight ends. Gronk should be used much more, especially downfield.
I think we should get used to a 2 TE, 2 WR set for a lot of reasons. One of the primary reasons is that our #3 and #4 best receivers are tight ends. Edelman was injured yet again. Tate was almost invisible as a receiver.
The bottom line is that I do NOT think this is necessarily a problem; it is a change in philosophy.
However, it would be good to see some production from Tate downfield.
Come on Patfanken, you're better than that.
Huh? Truer words were never spoken. Why in the world was Woodhead in therei instead of BJGE for almost all the snaps, including runs between the tackles?
I hope to be proven wrong, but BJGE is NOT the answer. He has exactly onesolid NFL game under his belt and people are ready to annoint him as the answer in the running game. Unbelievable.
I like that BJGE is a more decisive runner than Maroney was and fights for extra yards, but he is still a JAG and anyone who fails to see this is wearing some pretty thick rose colored glasses.
Green-Ellis isn't an all-pro runner. Green-Ellis is not THE answer at running back.
HOWEVER, unless there is a trade in the next couple of days, Green-Ellis is what we have. I believe that he similar to Antowain Smith, and yes, he is a JAG. With our passing offense, and with Woodhead as the alternative, we have a solid enough 1-2 punch. And yes, we have Morris. And yes, we will be a better team if and when Taylor is anywhere 100%.
All you're telling me is that you don't understand today's game plan. We didn't go to the run very much today, and most of Woodhead's gains have been out of the draw.
Jay (jays52) predicted the game plan to a T yesterday, I have to take my hat off to him.
We all know you don't like him.
Valid point that a guy like BJGE wasn't going to make any yardage against the Ravens run D, thus not a lot of snaps or touches. Which is also EXACTLY WHY we need someone better. I have nothing against the man, but he is the Pats' plan E or F in the running game right now and they are going to have to scheme around the weakness at RB, like they did today, until Taylor comes back healthy--if he does.
Green-Ellis is what he is.
In this thread, I am defending Green-Ellis. He is doing fine. To be compared to Antowain Smith is a compliment. Green-Ellis is a good enough running back for us to have in the Super Bowl.
To think that Taylor at 100% is better that Green-Ellis is not evidence of disliking Green-Ellis.
I'm wondering if it's worth the time to debate with you. Are you even able to re-watch the game? If you are, you will see the Baltimore D bring their backers to the line whenever BJGE is in there (they didn't do that with Woodhead and paid for it).
Now, when BJGE was in there, they ran him a few times but for the most part they used him as a decoy (play action, e.g., the big Welker gain in the 3rd) to tuck in the linebackers and force them to play the lateral game until they got gassed. You can see Ray Lewis running sideline to sideline on a few of those snaps, and he has 35 year old legs.
Why risk injury to our OL and whoever we have at RB, when there is a better method, e.g., go to the lateral game and gas them?
He did what we asked of him.
Absolutely agree. I think that BJGE & Woodhead will be fine for the offense the team seems to be installing, and it will be better when Taylor comes back. It will be nice to have Taylor for the last half of the season when the weather turns and the fields get sloppy. A solid RB at that time will help things VERY much.
In the meantime, you nailed the situation, and I'm not gonna complain because it could always be much worse.
Good thread as always Ken ...
Hopefully Taylor has a chance to hit the field this year.
If not we will need a big guy option back there ... just to keep all options on the table.
I hate to say it but I wonder if Morris survives the season on our roster.
The desire and work are there but the body may be spent. He looks to be somewhere else when doing his interviews ... like he's definitely worried.
Could there be another scrap heap RB out there ... a good old fashioned mudder type?
Ken, you know I love your stuff, and I appreciated much of what you had to say in this installment of everyone's fave, "Idle Thoughts..." BUT --
-- ARE YOU INSANE? LOL. I love your enthusiasm and I share your high hopes for Devin McCourty, but I thought he played a pretty putrid game today. Maybe that's too far the other way, but the idea that his turning around and doing better in OT makes up for a game-long struggle-fest (imo) seems a bit too, shall we say, kind. Optimistic. Silly, maybe.
I really, REALLY hope you're right and everyone jumps all over me for saying it, but I honestly don't know what on Earth I was watching if that's the case because I felt like he was getting TORTURED today. Yes, he made SOME plays, and yes, he was close on others (that were completed), but all that kept going through my head was, "Exactly how bad is DARIUS BUTLER that we're watching McCourty and (especially) Arrington in the game all day, with no sign of #28 whatsoever?!"
Then, of course, I look at the scoreboard and see we only gave up 20 points so, maybe you're right, what do I know? But I thought it was a step back today, as opposed to a reason to celebrate. Am I done with McCourty? Of course not. Do I think people have been too easy on him this season already? Yep, a little. Do I think he can still be a very, VERY good player. ABSOLUTELY. BB's got him playing more defensive snaps than any other guy on the 53, so he must be doing something right.
Here endeth the rant. Thanks again for your insightful and always anticipated idle thoughts. Keep 'em comin'.
I had a pretty awful seat at the bar today so I wasn't able to get as clear of a look, but when Brady threw the deep pass to Tate did Tate have him beat, and the ball was in a bad place?
I think Tate didn't have much separation AND it was poor placement.
I also think that, while they did have some deep routes run in the 2nd half, Brady didn't see enough and checked down a LOT -- and, having said that, I think they didn't go downfield NEARLY enough. Throw the deep ball, force the D to defend it, even if they do successfully. Hope we see a LOT more of that, moving forward.
Pray, how will it be "better" when BJGE has had 3 TDs in the last 3 games in which he saw substantial time?
I daresay that BJGE and Woodhead are combining for much more than Taylor and Morris did last year.
Last year, Taylor, in 6 games had 4 TD and 269 yards. He started all 6 games.
In 5 games this year, BJGE has 3 TD and 235 yards. He has started only TWO games.
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