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Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by patfanken, Nov 22, 2010.

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  1. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    In no particular order or sequence, as they pop into my head...

    1. I said back in the one of my Pittsburgh posts that I thought that THIS game is the so called "trap game"....or whatever you want to call it. All I know is that the NFL for the last 60 years has given the Lions one of the most definitive home field advantage...period.

    For the sake of tradition, the league forces one team, not only to have an extremely short week; they make them travel 3 hours to boot. This competitive DISADVANTAGE has flown under the radar for the past 15-20 years because the Lions have been such a consistently bad team. But not this year.

    If the Pats can be called the worst 8-2 team in the league, the Lions can be called the best 2-8 team. There is a lot of talent on that team, and Swartz has finally got them playing hard. They know how to BE in games at the end, just not how to win them....and believe me, that is a hard lesson to learn....but when a team does learn it, they can be very dangerous.

    Now if this was an ordinary week, I'd be a lot less concerned. But this is not only a short week to be going on the road; its a short week after TWO very emotionally taxing games against 2 of the better teams in the league.

    It would be very hard for a team to be able to rise to the occasion emotionally for a third week in a row, during a regular week, but in less than 4 days, its going to be next to impossible, especially if you consider the fact that the all important Jet game is looming next.

    This is a game that will be the Lions chance at national redemption. It will be THEIR superbowl. We on the other hand are a team just trying to get in, get out (hopefully with a win), and get on to the "really important games" that are coming up against the likes of the Bears, Packers, and the afore mentioned Jets

    When the schedule came out I really didn't like this game. Oh I like it a lot better with the 2 wins over the Steelers and Colts, but I never liked this game and hate that we have to play it.

    2. As bad as I felt at the end of that game for our defense, there were a couple of things that keep me from going over the edge. First I thought that through 3 quarters the Defense did a number of really good things. We were getting more pressure on Manning throughout the game, than the Colts were getting on Brady, even though they had the only sack. Both the first and third picks were due the pressure the Pats DL put on Manning

    The defense did enough disguising that it fooled Manning into making a couple of critical mistakes The 2nd pick was a clear example of Manning being fooled (and I was surprised that the analyst took the time to point it out, rather than take the easy way out and blame the WR), And the last pick was partially due to Sanders falling off his initial coverage and dropping into the passing area. it was almost a deja vu moment from Ty Law doing something similar in his 3 pick game.

    We are now a +9 in turnover ratio, 4th best in the league.

    I liked the fact that through 3 quarters it seemed to me, that even while Manning was moving the ball, it wasn't easy. There was pressure, balls where being batted, even the completions were made into very tight coverage. That was certainly NOT the case in the 4th quarter, when Manning went though our defense like a hot knife through butter.

    3. Where the defense really failed was NOT in the amount of yds they gave up, but in the amount of points. This defense was 0-4 in Colt trips into the red zone. Its understandable that a defense THIS young and inexperienced will give up a lot of yds. But a defense that hopes to help its team to a championship HAS GOT to be able to hold teams to FGs in half of those forrays. Up until that last drive it seemed that our defense got weaker as it got closer to the GL, not stronger.

    4. Amazing as it may seems it was Felger who made two points that rang true to me. First he noted that Peyton Manning was good. I mean REAL good. He reminded me that in good conditions (as they were last night) Manning has carved up defenses a lot better than the one on the field last night. He spotlighted the 2003 team that couldn't stop Manning for most of that game until the GL stand. And that was a team with Bruschi, McGinest, Harrison, Seymour, Johnson, Vrabel, Law....all in their PRIMES, and STILL Manning carved them up.

    So Felger wondered out loud, how shameful is it that a young, athletic, and fast defense that is supremely inexperienced can have a very similar game to the one that the best Pats Defense of this decade had 7 years ago. The answer is, of course, not very.

    He also pointed out that perhaps the lack of pass rush in the 4th quarter was due to the simple fact of fatigue, Manning passed the ball 52 times last night. It could be that some of the guys had just run out of gas as the game went on into the 4th quarter. (and the loss of Wright) That also rang true

    5. So even while the defense allowing TDs instead of FGs is a concern, what should be more troubling to us all was the inability of the offense to be unable to close the game out in the fourth quarter. The question everyone must have is WHY did the the offense fail at that point.

    It seemed to me like the Pats came up with a great game plan, and they executed it flawlessly for the first 3 quarters. But they pay the other coaches too, and good teams will start to adjust to what they are seeing as the game goes along, and they will start to stop what is going on. I understand that. What I don't understand is why we aren't adjusting to the adjustments. There are a lot of moves in chess game. It seems we are very strong in our opening positions, but we aren't adjusting to our opponent's responses.

    Clearly the Colts decided that they would shut down Branch and Welker. They used a tight, virtual one on one, 5 under 2 deep to effectively do that. In our last 2 drives we didn'[t ONCE attack the weaknesses of that coverage, instead, when we finally DID attempt to pass, Brady chose to throw into the STRENGTH of that defense.

    Where were the delays to the TEs, or the seam patterns that led to big gains by both Gronk and Welker earlier in the game. With the Colts expecting run late in the game, a play action pass would have very effective,especially one attacking the S's. DE's and CBs are the strength of the Colts D, yet we failed in the 4th quarter to attack the weakness of that D....the Safeties.

    Again the question.....WHY????? Where was the adjustment???????

    6. Its so easy to be a critical, 2nd guessing fan. So that being said, its hard to fault an offense that puts up 31 points, has ZERO penalties, ZERO turnovers, ONE sack, and, IIRC only 2 negative plays. Add that performance to the one we had in Pittsburgh, and it isn't hard to think that perhaps we all might be a bit overly critical...or maybe just being fans ;)

    7. So while the offense looks like its finding itself, the Defense is show flashes of what it might come to be down the road. This is STILL a team that can beat anyone, but also a team that can lose to anyone if they don't play to their potential.

    The margin of victory is still thin. The "blueprint" still has to be followed. Its why I'm so concerned about this game. How can this team NOT have some kind of let down given all the adverse circumstances mentioned above. This week we will need one of BB's better coaching jobs. I hope he is up to it.

    8. OBTW, have I mentioned lately that Devin McCourty is turning into one hell of a CB. ;)
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2010
  2. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    7 The offense
    It should be criticized. When the game was on the line in the 4th QTR, when it really counted, both times the O had the ball they utterly failed to mount a drive. Any reasonable drive would have left too little time for a Manning comeback. The 'Clutch' aspect that always comes up in Brady vs The Forehead was MIA late in the game when the offense could have kept the pass weary, inexperienced D off the field. Fortunately Manning's Colts played aggressively and to their strengths going forcefully for a W instead of a limp wristed tie. THIS time a Pats DB leaped into the air and came down with the ball unlike that awful February night years ago.
     
  3. PATSYLICIOUS

    PATSYLICIOUS Pro Bowl Player

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    Yeah I don't think the defense is too far off. The red zone play had been improving (aside from the Cleveland game) but it took a step backwards yesterday. Still time for them to improve. The thing that really got me was right before the half when Wayne broke the long play. The Colts had the ball at around the 40 yard line and only 1 timeout. No way should they be able to get a TD in the 35 seconds or whatever it took. We handed them 4 points with piss poor tackling on that play. Hope that play is one of the points driven home by BB, you've got to tackle better in that situation. Really should have been up 21-10 going into halftime.

    We are going to give up our yards but we've got to buckle down in the red zone and avoid giving up big plays being lackadaisical. Overall though I'm pleased with the progression, I think in a couple months we'll be alot better.
     
  4. ALP

    ALP Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    i understand the heat the defense is getting, but only to a point...

    Manning is exceptional, and even with injuries taht offense is incredible, i like to compare this game to the saints game of last year

    THAT was awful defense, this was NOT, this defense kept that team to pretty much its average PPG (27 to be exact), and created turnovers to boot

    you guys can bash it all you want, but its light years better than last year
     
  5. Bella*chick

    Bella*chick Addicted to the light

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    I just comfort myself with the fact that this sort of heart attack game happens a lot with the Colts. It even happened back in the early 2000s.

    It didn't make it any easier to watch. But you figure a lot of these young guys had never faced Manning before and now they have. So it's a learning process and they'll be better for it.

    I unfortunately agree with your thoughts on the Detroit game. I don't like it either. Not at all.
     
  6. HEY BRO! WHAT UP?

    HEY BRO! WHAT UP? Banned

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    This defense is really bad statistically and sometimes very difficult to watch, but they are finding ways to win games in crunch time.

    I've been griping about this since their last super bowl vicory, and from 2005-2009, we rarely witnessed the defense making a play.

    In the end, I don't care if they rank last in the NFL in total defense. If they continue to make plays in crunch time, this will be the reason why they win their 4th super bowl.

    And can somebody please give BB a kleenex? I've noticed this for years, but it's really disgusting watching him wipe his nose with his own hand.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2010
  7. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I think the defenses struggles in the 4th Q are tied to two things.

    1.) The offense is struggling in the second half of games as opposing teams make adjustments and OC vanilla O'brien does not.

    2.) At some point in the second half when we have a lead, BB is changing up the defense, effectively taking his foot of the gas and going to a modified prevent defense that is being torn apart by opposing QB's.

    Why BB is doing this is unknown to me. But I think he is purposely forcing them to HAVE to make a play.
     
  8. ALP

    ALP Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    as for the bolded sentiment, i would have to disagree...i think the cleveland game was enough for this defense specifically, i do not expect to see another performance such as that again, for the rest of the season

    no more trap games, the personnel have experienced it once, and will not want to do so again, and i do not think they will

    we will be able to stop the run, and then calvin johnson will take all our attention, we will stop both those guys, im expecting a VERY good showing from the D in this turkey-day, maybe the best defensive performance of the season...
     
  9. upstater1

    upstater1 Pro Bowl Player

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    Oh oh, you suggested play-action pass in the fourth quarter to counter the Colts expecting the run. You are surely in for it from the people who say THOU-SHALL-NEVER-QUESTION the play calling.
     
  10. RayClay

    RayClay Pro Bowl Player

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    It's easy to forget we are playing with 3 cornerbacks, a rookie, an UDFA special teamer and a guy in the doghouse.

    This is the worst possible matchup for us now, yet we still managed the turnovers and hung in their as best we could. i don't think we want Chung covering one of the better receivers, but we saw a lot of that because our rookie mcCourty is now our top CB and our second and third are Arrington and Butler, neither of whom should be playing a lot of corner in the NFL right now. It used to be physical fatigue from age, now it's just pressure and mental weariness, from being forced to play over your head for 60 minutes.


    Amazing insight for Felcher. Our boys got the victory and their isn't another Peyton manning on the schedule, so let's face the fact we weren't going to stone him, nor sack him often, no matter what we did because...what Felchie said.

    Sometimes you take the W, thank Mr. Sanders, and go home.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2010
  11. Metaphors

    Metaphors In the Starting Line-Up

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    I'm not convinced it is the play-calling. I think it has to do with Brady (either consciously or subconsciously) not fully trusting the youngsters yet. Late in the game, he seems to lock into Welker and Branch. Given the Colts injuries, Hernandez and Gronk should have gotten 15 targets between them. They got 2 (both huge completions). I find it hard to believe that those were the only 2 plays of the game where Brady had them as legitimate options.

    It isn't just having a lead...it is having a big lead. This means some pretty good QBs (Rivers, Meathead, Goober) have played the 4th quarter in "4 downs" mode. It is amazingly difficult to prevent a good passing team from getting 10 yards in 4 plays. Even if they don't use all 4 downs, just the fact that it is available to them opens up options they wouldn't otherwise have. So the Pats needed to force these QBs into turnovers.

    Weren't able to do that against Rivers, but Sanders has gotten 4th quarter picks the last 2 weeks. The QB pressure has been getting better game by game. Much improvement is needed, but much improvement has already happened and much more is possible. The book on this defense hasn't been written yet. The ink is barely dry on the foreword.
     
  12. PatsDeb

    PatsDeb PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Agreed. Enter the other thread on that topic at your own risk.

    It's funny that Felger made a couple of good points on the issue of Manning. He IS really good (goober face and all). I was at the game and you can just see him getting into a zone and you know it's big trouble. I was so sure we were going to lose on that last drive that I was covering my eyes and talking to myself. I didn't give enought credit to the young D playing about as well as other more experienced Pats Ds have played against him. Kudos to them (mostly Cunningham, who I thought hit Manning as he threw, but maybe just threw him off balance, and Sanders of course) for not giving up and still trying to make a play, which they finally did.

    Of course, during the few minutes of Felger I heard today, he said the only reason Peyton Manning was in a position to choke at the end of the game is that the Pats choked first (meaning on O). So, fear not. He hasn't become a total Pats homer. :)
     
  13. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    DL Mike Wright (neck/concussion)

    Inactive
    DL Myron Pryor (back)

    So folks, when evaluating the 4th quarter, where was the interior pressure coming from to collapse the pocket?
     
  14. RelocatedPatFan

    RelocatedPatFan In the Starting Line-Up

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    I thought only the Colts had injuries to deal with?
     
  15. sarge

    sarge Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Always look forward to your posts Ken, but had to remind myself that the Pats actually beat the Colts after that.
     
  16. PatsFanSince74

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    I'd add that the O-Line with Mankins is really looking awesome. As Brady put it after the game, he reminds you of John Hannah and, with Light, is the best blind side unit in the league. I don't think the improved running game is any accident.

    Sign him!
     
  17. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Case illustrating your point...The dropped INT by the Colts LB where Brady in his own words said he misread the D and was looking for Welker waiting for Edelman to drag his guy with him. The LB stopped covering Edelman who was wide open and Brady threw to Welker hitting the LB instead. The fixation is still ongoing although less than when Moss was here. For their part the kids, Tate and Edelman have to show Brady that they are consistently where they should be and actually catch (Edelman) the ball.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2010
  18. NYCPatsFan

    NYCPatsFan In the Starting Line-Up

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    Ken - Thank you for taking the time to always write out your pre and post game thoughts. You manage to splendidly capture the thoughts, feelings - both euphoria and disappointment - of most average fans like me. Hats off! :)

    Please continue this great work because it is refreshing to see such well articulated thoughts that can be critical when needed without being negative and giving the props when deserved.

    Thanks again!
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2010
  19. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    You're welcome, but frankly I don't feel too articulate when I'm doing the writing.

    Here's an idle thought that I forgot to put in the original post.

    At some point on Sunday, I forget where, a commentator mentioned the possibility that Larry Fitzgerald might be looking to leave AZ next season. It got me to thinking about the possibility of getting him here. He would be a great Patriot. Not only is he one of the best deep threat WRs in the game, he's a great blocker, he goes over the middle, etc, etc.

    As the season goes on, it looks more and more likely that our first draft pick is going to be in the 12-18 range, and it got me thinking. Wouldn't THAT pick plus our own 3rd be enough to entice AZ to start their rebuilding program with the 2011 draft. Now with our pick (guessing 28-32), the Panther 2nd (guessing 33-36), and our own 2nd we can draft the usual 3 nameless guys that will solidify the defense and start the OL rebuilding process.

    I love draft picks as much as the next guy, but Fitzgerald is NOT just another talented WR. He is a game changer...without the baggage. And all he'd cost are draft picks and money. The draft picks we have in aboundance, and money....well, he wouldn't cost any more than Randy the last 2 years.

    BTW- given the cost of Marshall and Holmes, maybe they'd take OUR #1 instead.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2010
  20. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    So why wouldn't an opposing team play in 4th quarter mode all game against our defense?

    I still think BB is playing scheme defense for three Quarters and then switching up into a modified prevent defense when we have big leads for the 4th Q and forcing his youngsters to learn to make plays under pressure.

    Why is the defense improving? Because BB is force feeding them situational defensive football.
     
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